Cantonese

Language section number: 301 (How to register for Critical Languages classes)


Brandon Hoang leads a Cantonese class session at CLP

Cantonese is the language of the Cantonese people. Inside mainland China, it is a lingua franca in Guangdong Province and some neighboring areas, such as the eastern part of Guangxi Province. It is the majority language of Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta region of China. It is also the most spoken variety of Chinese among overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia (most notably in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore) and the Western world, especially Canada, Australia, Western Europe, and the United States.

Cantonese is viewed as part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swathes of southern China, Hong Kong and Macau. Although Cantonese shares some vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of pronunciation, grammatical, and also lexical differences. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. More historic roots can often be found in Cantonese vocabulary. One of the most notable differences between Cantonese and Mandarin is how the spoken word is written; both can be recorded verbatim but very few Cantonese speakers are knowledgeable in the full Cantonese written vocabulary, so a non-verbatim formalized written form is adopted which is more akin to the Mandarin written form. This results in the situation in which a Mandarin and Cantonese text may look similar, but are pronounced differently.

CLP's Cantonese Tutors


Brandon Hoang

Dolphin Law

Gloria Ng

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cantonese", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.