Advocates aim to save Cantonese as it loses ground to Mandarin

Metro News interviewed UBC history professor Henry Yu for a story on the shift away from Cantonese in Vancouver’s Chinese immigrant community.

“Language tends to be frozen by migration. If you leave some place, you tend to speak the language as it was spoken at the moment you left,” said Yu. “That’s why there’s hope that in a place like this, if we have a Cantonese program, it can last a long time.”

After a $2 million donation from the Watt brothers, who are long-time Vancouver residents and UBC donors, UBC became the only Canadian university to offer a Cantonese program last year.