That guy who speaks Cantonese on YouTube (carlosdouh)

No sooner did I hear about this (non-Chinese) guy who speaks Cantonese on YouTube did I also hear that he was making a guest appearance at a Chinese mall in Vancouver (Richmond) and this is just the cusp of his Internet stardom. This could be an interesting ride.

The first video I watched from the carlosdouh YouTube channel was I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病. Good intro to this funny guy! But he was spitting out one sentence at a time from a script like all YouTubers. I think his “Good to be Bad”  [HD] – G.E.M. 鄧紫棋 REVIEW, amongst others I have not yet watched, better showcases his language ability.

As I was watching the first video, I was looking for clues about who the guy is. How old does he look? He mentions his girlfriend taught him something in Chinese, so she’s probably Hong Kongnese Chinese. And I scanned the room in which he filmed and it didn’t look like a Hong Kong apartment so where is he from? The U.S.?

Duh! He’s from Vancouver, the most likely place in the world given the Asian influence where a Canadian guy would learn Chinese. A quick glance over the sidebar of his YouTube channel shows his age (25), that he learned Cantonese after spending a couple years in HK after high school, and he resides somewhere in or just outside Greater Vancouver. In a recent OMNI TV interview, it also reveals that although he created a Chinese name for himself, 杜卓臨, his real name is Carlos Vidal.

Of all the tech-geeky Internet-based activities I do, I do not have a YouTube account but it’s a common mode of delivery for people with something to say and don’t want to write/blog it. I’ve added Carlos’ YouTube feed to my Google Reader to stay on track with his new videos.

What I’m trying to say is that I don’t know how unique this guy is but I love how he’s promoting Cantonese when my impression is that people are usually so staid and practical, learning and trying to teach you Mandarin. I think he’s drawn in the young YouTube generation that wants to spend only a minute of their life, be entertained, and walk away with a bit of cultural and linguistic enlightenment. The entertainment comes from the pop culture he draws on, his funny accent for those who do speak the language, and the way he mimics drama for those who might not understand the language.

On top of that he’s a Vancouver/Canadian guy!

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