rainbow over rippling sea in nature
Audio,  Kids,  Parents

Talking to kids about racism

I was listening to a podcast recently, where the interviewee raised the point that he would rather initiate a conversation about racism with his 4-year-old daughter, rather than wait for her to ask him about it. His rationale was that this meant that he could control her first exposure to the topic, and ensure that it was explained properly to her. It can be tricky to talk about these topics with your child (and definitely a personal decision as to when you wish to do so), so I thought it may be helpful do list some basic vocabulary and sentences with Jyutping translations. The sentences are a bit simplistic but I hope they will be useful as a starting point.

A big thanks to Manny from Cantonese For Families for giving feedback about my initially overly complicated sentences. Please also check out Young, Proud and Sung-jee (a children’s book on fighting anti-Asian racism during Covid-19) with translations in various languages, including traditional Chinese.

N.B. Thanks also to Kin for pointing out a typo for 反 (faan2) against, which has been corrected!

種族歧視 zung2 zuk6 kei4 si6

反種族歧視 faan2 zung2 zuk6 kei4 si6

歧視 kei4 si6
discrimination/to discriminate

膚色 fu1 sik1
skin colour (race)

少數族裔 siu2 sou3 zuk6 jeoi6
ethnic minority

偏見 pin1 gin3

虐待 joek6 doi6
to mistreat

sai3 gaan1 soeng6 jau5 hou2 do1 m4 tung4 fu1 sik1 ge3 jan4
In this world, there are people of many different skin colours (races).

kei4 sat6 m4 tung4 zung2 zuk6 ge3 jan4 dou1 hou2 soeng1 ci5
Actually, people of different races (ethnic backgrounds) are very similar.

ngo5 dei6 jau5 soeng1 tung4 ge3 seoi1 jiu3 tung4 maai4 kei4 mong6
We have similar needs and hopes.

lai6 jyu4 ngo5 dei6 seoi1 jiu3 jau5 dei6 fong1 zyu6 tung4 maai4 zung1 ji3 tung4 pang4 jau5 waan2
For example, we need a place to live and we like playing with our friends.

jau5 di1 jan4 wui2 kei4 si6 m4 tung4 zung2 zuk6 ge3 jan4
Some people will discriminate against people of different races (ethnic backgrounds).

例如佢哋會虐待佢哋, 或者講啲傷害佢哋嘅嘢。
lai6 jyu4 keoi5 dei6 wui2 joek6 doi6 keoi5 dei6, waak6 ze2 gong2 di2 soeng1 hoi6 keoi5 dei6 ge3 je5
For example, they will mistreat them, or say hurtful things to them.

gam2 zou6 hai6 m4 ngaam1 gaa3
(Doing) that is wrong.

jan4 jan4 dou1 hai6 ping4 dang2
Everyone is equal.

jyu4 gwo2 so2 jau5 jan4 hai6 jat1 joeng6,
ni1 go3 sai3 gaai3 zau6 m4 wui2 gam2 zing1 coi2 tung4 maai4  jau5 ceoi3
If everyone was the same, this world would not be as wonderful or as interesting.