Chinese Languages in Aotearoa
Chinese Languages in Aotearoa is an ongoing project using language to highlight complex issues of cultural identity within various Chinese New Zealand communities.
It begins with a series of videos, of people – a poet, a restaurateur, a typeface designer, and an interpreter – sharing stories of their connection to their heritage Chinese languages, speaking in Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, and Hakka. These videos have been made by local Chinese and Chinese New Zealand filmmakers.
The second part consists of illustrators responding to stories from people of diverse Chinese cultural heritages in Aotearoa. More on that to come.
Chinese Languages in Aotearoa is part of Voices of Asian Aotearoa. For more information, read our introductory blog ‘Exploring Asian Aotearoa’s diverse cultures through languages’.
Watch: Hakka, with interpreter Henry Liu
Henry Liu is an interpreter and the first and only New Zealander to have held office as President of the FIT (International Federation of Translators). Here, he speaks about language interpretation, the struggles of minority languages, and the difficulties of not being about to communicate.
Watch: Friends pay tribute to singer Teresa Teng in their Chinese languages
In response to our public callout for Chinese New Zealanders to share stories of their connection with their heritage languages, Aucklander George Thien brought together people from across the motu to recite the lyrics to a famed Teresa Teng song in their chosen language.