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Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t;
Yale Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
: ''Gwóngdūng wá'') is a language within the Chinese (Sinitic) branch of the
Sino-Tibetan languages Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationsh ...

Sino-Tibetan languages
originating from the city of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
(also known as Canton) and its surrounding area in
Southeastern China South Central China ( zh, c = 中南, p = Zhōngnán, l = Central-South) is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), ...
. It is the traditional
prestige variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context (language use), context, on the way language is used, and societ ...
of the
Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sour ...
dialect group, which has over 80 million native speakers. While the term ''Cantonese'' specifically refers to the prestige variety, it is often used to refer to the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but largely mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as
Taishanese Taishanese, or in the Cantonese romanization Toisanese (; Taishanese: ), is a language of Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the ma ...
. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its
native speakers A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', mean ...
across large swaths of
Southeastern China South Central China ( zh, c = 中南, p = Zhōngnán, l = Central-South) is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), ...
,
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
, as well as in
overseas communities
overseas communities
. In
mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies ...

mainland China
, it is the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
'' of the province of
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
(being the majority language of the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River The Pearl River, also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China ...
) and neighbouring areas such as
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
. It is also the dominant and co-official language of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
. Cantonese is also widely spoken amongst
Overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () refers to people of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Overseas Chinese
in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
(most notably in
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, as well as in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
and
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
to a lesser extent) and throughout the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
. Although Cantonese shares much vocabulary with
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
, the two
Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In human society, family (from ...
are
mutually unintelligible In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related Variety (linguistics), varieties can readily understand each other without prior familiarity or special effort. It is ...
, largely because of lexical differences, but also due to differences in grammar and pronunciation. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference 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 Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently.


Names

In
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, which is the traditional English name of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
. This narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may also refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as
Taishanese Taishanese, or in the Cantonese romanization Toisanese (; Taishanese: ), is a language of Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the ma ...
and Gaoyang; this broader usage may be specified as " Yue speech" (). In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Historically, speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech" (), although this term is now seldom used outside mainland China. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people also call it "provincial capital speech" () or "plain speech" (). Also, academically called "Canton prefecture speech" (). In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech" (), or simply as "Chinese" (). In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is also increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is also referred to as "Tang speech" (), given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang" ().


History

During the
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...

Southern Song
period, Guangzhou became the cultural center of the region. Cantonese emerged as the
prestige variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context (language use), context, on the way language is used, and societ ...
of
Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sour ...
when the port city of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
on the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River The Pearl River, also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China ...
became the largest port in China, with a trade network stretching as far as Arabia. Cantonese was also used in the popular ''Yuè'ōu'', ''Mùyú'' and ''Nányīn'' folksong genres, as well as
Cantonese opera Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China's Guangdong Guangdong ( alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administ ...
. Additionally, a distinct classical literature was developed in Cantonese, with
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country ...
texts sounding more similar to modern Cantonese than other present-day Chinese varieties, including Mandarin. As Guangzhou became China's key commercial center for foreign trade and exchange in the 1700s, Cantonese became the variety of Chinese interacting most with the Western World. Around this period and continuing into the 1900s, the ancestors of most of the population of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
arrived from Guangzhou and surrounding areas after they were ceded to
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
and
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...
, respectively. After the
Xinhai Revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese hi ...
of 1912, Cantonese almost became the official language of the Republic of China but lost by a small margin. In Mainland China,
Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bri ...
has been heavily promoted as the medium of instruction in schools and as the official language, especially after the communist takeover in 1949. Meanwhile, Cantonese has remained the official variety of Chinese in Hong Kong and Macau, both during and after the colonial period.


Geographic distribution


Hong Kong and Macau

The
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
s of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
are
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
and
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, as defined in the
Hong Kong Basic Law The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China is a national law of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of mo ...
. The Chinese language has many different varieties, of which Cantonese is one. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the ''de facto'' official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the
Hong Kong Government The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region , commonly known as the Hong Kong Government or HKSAR Government, refers to the executive authorities of Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrat ...
and all courts and tribunals. It is also used as the
medium of instruction A medium of instruction (plural: media of instruction, or mediums of instruction) is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) a ...
in schools, alongside English. A similar situation also exists in neighboring
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
, where Chinese is an official language alongside
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
. As in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
, although there exist some minor differences in accent, pronunciation, and vocabulary.


Mainland China

Cantonese first developed around the port city of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
in the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River The Pearl River, also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China ...
region of southeastern
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...

Southern Song
dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
and
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories largely originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories. On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
'' of
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
and
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
provinces even after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
in 1949 and its promotion of
Standard Mandarin Chinese Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca among the speakers of various Mandarin and other varieties of Chi ...
as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a relatively higher standing than other Chinese languages, with its own media and usage in public transportation in Guangdong province. Furthermore, it is also a medium of instruction in select academic curricula, including some university elective courses and
Chinese as a foreign language Chinese as a foreign or second language is the study of the Chinese varieties by non-native speakers. Increased interest in China from those outside has led to a corresponding interest in the study of Standard Chinese Standard Chinese, in l ...
programs. The permitted usage of Cantonese in mainland China is largely a countermeasure against Hong Kong's influence, as the autonomous territory has the right to freedom of the press and speech and its Cantonese-language media have a substantial exposure and following in Guangdong. Nevertheless, the place of local Cantonese language and
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...
remains contentious. A 2010 proposal to switch some programming on Guangzhou television from Cantonese to Mandarin was abandoned following massive public protests, the largest since the
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 The Tiananmen Square protests, known in China as the June Fourth Incident (), were student-led Demonstration (people), demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square, Beijing during 1989. In what is known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre (), People' ...
. As a major economic center of China, there have been recent concerns that the use of Cantonese in Guangzhou is diminishing in favour of Mandarin, both through the continual influx of Mandarin-speaking migrants from impoverished areas and strict government policies. As a result, Cantonese is being given a more important status by the natives than ever before as a common identity of the local people.


Southeast Asia

Cantonese has historically served as a ''lingua franca'' among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, who speak a variety of other forms of Chinese including
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
, Teochew, and
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
.West (2010), pp. 289–90 Additionally, Cantonese media and popular culture from Hong Kong is popular throughout the region.


Vietnam

In
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
, Cantonese is the dominant language of the ethnic Chinese community, usually referred to as ''
Hoa The Hoa people (Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic ...
'', which numbers about one million people and constitutes one of the largest minority groups in the country. Over half of the ethnic Chinese population in Vietnam speaks Cantonese as a native language and the variety also serves as a lingua franca between the different Chinese dialect groups. Many speakers reflect their exposure to
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...
with a Vietnamese accent or a tendency to
code-switch In linguistics, code-switching or language alternation occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language Variety (linguistics), varieties, in the context of a single conversation. Multilingualism, Multilinguals, speaker ...
between Cantonese and Vietnamese.


Malaysia

In
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, Cantonese is widely spoken amongst the
Malaysian Chinese The Malaysian Chinese, also known as Chinese Malaysians (Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...
community in the capital city of
Kuala Lumpur , anthem = ''Maju dan Sejahtera In Basque mythology, Sugaar (also Sugar, Sugoi, Suarra, Maju) is the male half of a pre-Christianity, Christian Basque people, Basque deity associated with storms and thunder. He is normally ...

Kuala Lumpur
and the surrounding areas in the
Klang Valley Klang Valley ( ms, Lembah Klang) is an urban conglomeration in Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states an ...
(
Petaling Jaya ) , website = , image_skyline = , image_caption = ''From top, left to right:Skyline of Petaling Jaya, the 1 Utama Mall integrated with Bandar Utama Station, the Kota Darul Ehsan arch, the Petaling Ja ...
, Ampang,
Cheras The Chera dynasty ( ta, சேரர்) ( or Cēra), , was one of the principal lineages in the early history of the present day state of Kerala Kerala ( ; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ' ...
,
Selayang Selayang is a town in Gombak District, Selangor, Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three ...
,
Sungai Buloh Sungai Buloh, or Sungei Buloh, is a town, a mukim (commune) and a Dewan Rakyat, parliamentary constituency in the northern part of Petaling District, Petaling region, Selangor, Malaysia. The name itself means ''bamboo river'' in the Malay langua ...
,
Puchong Puchong is a major town and a parliamentary constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscript ...
,
Shah Alam Shah Alam () is a city and the of , and situated within the and a small portion of the neighbouring . Shah Alam replaced as the capital city of the state of in 1978 due to Kuala Lumpur's incorporation into a in 1974. Shah Alam was the fir ...

Shah Alam
,
Kajang Kajang is a town in southeastern Selangor, Malaysia. It is located 20 km southeast of downtown Kuala Lumpur, in the coterminous mukim (commune) of Kajang in the Hulu Langat District. Geography and development Kajang is about half an hour's ...

Kajang
,
BangiBangi may refer to: *Bangi (surname), an Indian surname *Bangi District, Bangi, Afghanistan *Bangi, Iran (disambiguation) *Bangi, Nepal *Bangi, Malaysia, ** Bangi Komuter station, Malaysia * Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia * Bangi (federal constituency), ...
, and
Subang Jaya Subang Jaya is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Subang Jaya
). The dialect is also widely spoken as well in the town of
Sekinchan Image:Sekinchan.JPG, 300px, A typical view of the village in Sekinchan. Sekinchan is a small town located in Sabak Bernam, Selangor, Malaysia. It is located along the coastal Federal Route 5. Apart from being a lively fishing village, Sekinchan ...
in the district of
Sabak BernamSabak may refer to: * Paolo Sabak (born 1999), Belgian footballer * Sabak, Selangor, principal town of Sabak Bernam district in the state of Selangor, Malaysia * Sabak, Silifke, a village in the district of Silifke, Mersin Province, Turkey {{D ...
located in the northern part of
Selangor Selangor (; ), also known by its Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transc ...

Selangor
state and also in the state of
Perak Perak () is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Perak has land borders with the Malaysian states of Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the e ...

Perak
, especially in the state capital city of
Ipoh ) , image_map = , map_caption = Location of Ipoh in Perak , pushpin_map = #Malaysia#Asia#Earth , pushpin_mapsize = 275px , pushpin_map_caption = Ipoh ...

Ipoh
and its surrounding towns of
Gopeng Gopeng is a town situated in Kampar District, Perak Perak () is a state of Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia ...
,
Batu Gajah Batu Gajah (population 34,000) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws ...

Batu Gajah
, and Kampar of the
Kinta Valley The Kinta Valley is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolises, cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban or industr ...
region plus the towns of
Tapah Tapah is a town and the capital of Batang Padang District, Perak, Malaysia. Name The name "Tapah" is said to be originated from the name of a freshwater fish, ''"Ikan Tapah"''. The scientific name of the fish is ''Wallago attu''. The locals said ...
and
Bidor Bidor is a mukim A mukim is a type of administrative division used in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The word ''mukim'' is a loanword in English language, English. However, it was also originally a loanword in Malay language, Malay from ...
in the southern part of the
Perak Perak () is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Perak has land borders with the Malaysian states of Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the e ...

Perak
state, and also widely spoken in the eastern
Sabah Sabah () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Col ...

Sabah
an town of
Sandakan Sandakan (, JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, who speak or spoke ...

Sandakan
as well as the towns of
Kuantan Kuantan (JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, who speak or spoke the ...

Kuantan
, Raub,
Bentong Bentong (Jawi: ﺑﻨﺘﻮڠ) is a municipality located in western Pahang, Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thir ...
, and
Mentakab Mentakab (alternately ''Mentekab'', Chinese: , ''Tamil: )'' is a town, a mukim A mukim is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational e ...
in
Pahang Pahang (; ms, ڤهڠ, label=JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, w ...

Pahang
state, and they are also found in other areas such as
Sarikei Sarikei is a town, and the capital of the ''Sarikei District'' (985 square kilometres) in Sarikei Division Sarikei Division is one of the twelve administrative divisions in Sarawak, Malaysia. Formerly part of the Third Division, which include ...
,
Sarawak Sarawak (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Sarawak
, and
Mersing Mersing ( Terengganu Malay: Ngesing) is a town, mukim and the capital of Mersing District, Johor Johor (), also spelled as Johore, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia in the south of the Malay Peninsula. Johor ...
,
Johor Johor (; ), also spelled as Johore, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper ...
. Although
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
is the most natively spoken variety of Chinese and Mandarin is the medium of education at Chinese-language schools, Cantonese is largely influential in the local Chinese-language media and is used in commerce by Chinese Malaysians. Due to the popularity of Hong Kong popular culture, especially through drama series and popular music, Cantonese is widely understood by the Chinese in all parts of Malaysia, even though a large proportion of the Chinese Malaysian population is non-Cantonese. Television networks in Malaysia regularly broadcast Hong Kong television programmes in their original Cantonese audio and soundtrack. Cantonese radio is also available in the nation and Cantonese is prevalent in locally produced Chinese television. Cantonese spoken in Malaysia and Singapore often exhibits influences from
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
and other Chinese varieties spoken in the country, such as Hokkien and Teochew.


Singapore

In
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
, Mandarin is the official variety of the Chinese language used by the government, which has a
Speak Mandarin Campaign The Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC; ) is an initiative by the government of Singapore The Government of the Republic of Singapore is defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore to mean the Executive branch of government, which ...
(SMC) seeking to actively promote the use of Mandarin at the expense of other Chinese varieties. Cantonese is spoken by a little over 15% of Chinese households in Singapore. Despite the government's active promotion of SMC, the Cantonese-speaking Chinese community has been relatively successful in preserving its language from Mandarin compared to other dialect groups. Notably, all nationally produced non-Mandarin Chinese TV and radio programs were stopped after 1979. The prime minister,
Lee Kuan Yew Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015), born Harry Lee Kuan Yew, often referred to by his initials LKY and sometimes known in his earlier years as Harry Lee, was a Singaporean statesman and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of S ...

Lee Kuan Yew
, then, also stopped giving speeches in
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
to prevent giving conflicting signals to the people. Hong Kong (Cantonese) and
Taiwanese Taiwanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Taiwan (Formosa) * Taiwanese aborigines, the indigenous people of Taiwan * Han Taiwanese, the Han people of Taiwan * Taiwanese people, residents of Taiwan or people of Taiwanese descent * Taiwan ...
dramas are unavailable in their untranslated form on free-to-air television, though drama series in non-Chinese languages are available in their original languages. Cantonese drama series on terrestrial TV channels are instead dubbed in Mandarin and broadcast without the original Cantonese audio and soundtrack. However, originals may be available through other sources such as cable television and online videos. Furthermore, an offshoot of SMC is the translation to
Hanyu Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objecti ...
of certain terms which originated from southern Chinese varieties. For instance,
dim sum Dim sum () is a large range of small Chinese dishes that are traditionally enjoyed in restaurants for brunch. Most modern dim sum dishes originated in China and are commonly associated with Cantonese cuisine Cantonese or Yue cuisine is the ...

dim sum
is often known as ''diǎn xīn'' in Singapore's English-language media, though this is largely a matter of style, and most Singaporeans will still refer to it as ''dim sum'' when speaking English. Nevertheless, since the government restriction on media in non-Mandarin varieties was relaxed in the mid-1990s and 2000s, the presence of Cantonese in Singapore has grown substantially. Forms of popular culture from Hong Kong, such as
television series upright=1.35, A live television show set and cameras A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A Sony Wega CRT television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly c ...
,
cinema Cinema may refer to: Film * Cinematography Cinematography (from ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It ...
and
pop music Pop is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical tra ...
have become popular in Singaporean society, and non-dubbed original versions of the media became widely available. Consequently, there is a growing number of non-Cantonese Chinese Singaporeans being able to understand or speak Cantonese to some varying extent, with a number of educational institutes offering Cantonese as an elective language course.


Cambodia

Cantonese is widely used as the inter-communal language among
Chinese Cambodian Chinese Cambodians or Sino-Khmers, are Cambodian citizens of Chinese or partial Chinese descent. The Khmer term ''Khmae Kat Chin'' () is used for people of mixed Cambodian and Chinese descent while ''Khmae Chin'' () can mean Cambodian-born citiz ...
s, especially in
Phnom Penh Phnom Penh (; km, ភ្នំពេញ, ; lit. "Penh's Hill") is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Phnom Penh
and other urban areas. While Teochew speakers form the majority of the Chinese population in
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
, Cantonese is often used as a vernacular in commerce and with other Chinese variant groups in the nation. Chinese-language schools in Cambodia are conducted in both Cantonese and Mandarin, but schools may be conducted exclusively in one Chinese variant or the other.


Thailand

While
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
is home to the largest overseas Chinese community in the world, the vast majority of ethnic Chinese in the country speak Thai exclusively. Among Chinese-speaking Thai households, Cantonese is the fourth most-spoken variety of Chinese after Teochew,
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
and
Hainanese Hainanese ( Hainan Romanised: ', ), also known as Qióngwén () or Qióngyǔ (), is a group of Min Chinese Variety (linguistics), varieties spoken in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan. In the classification of Yuan Jiahua, it was i ...
. Nevertheless, within the Thai Chinese commercial sector, it serves as a common language alongside Teochew or Thai. Chinese-language schools in Thailand have also traditionally been conducted in Cantonese. Furthermore, Cantonese serves as the lingua franca with other Chinese communities in the region.


Indonesia

In
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, Cantonese is locally known as ''Konghu'' and is one of the variants spoken by the
Chinese Indonesian , image = , caption = Slogan proclaiming that Chinese Indonesians stand together with Native Indonesians Native Indonesians, also known as ''Pribumi'' (literally " first on the soil"), are Indonesians whose ancestral roo ...
community, with speakers largely concentrated in major cities such as
Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the lette ...

Jakarta
,
Surabaya Surabaya (; Javanese : ꦱꦸꦫꦧꦪ read : Suråbåyå; Van Ophuijsen Spelling (Old Spelling) : Soerabaja) is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Java East Java ( id, Jawa Timur) is a province A province is almost always ...

Surabaya
and
Batam Batam is the largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routled ...

Batam
. However, it has a relatively minor presence compared to other Southeast Asian nations, being the fourth most spoken Chinese variety after Hokkien, Hakka and Teochew.


North America


United States

Over a period of 150 years, Guangdong has been the place-of-origin for most Chinese emigrants to Western nations; one coastal county, Taishan (or Tóisàn, where the Sìyì or ''sei yap'' variety of Yue is spoken), alone may be the origin of the vast majority of Chinese immigrants to the U.S. before 1965. As a result, Yue languages such as Cantonese and the closely related variety of
Taishanese Taishanese, or in the Cantonese romanization Toisanese (; Taishanese: ), is a language of Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the ma ...
have been the major Chinese varieties traditionally spoken in the United States. The Zhongshan variant of Cantonese, with origins in the western Pearl River Delta, is spoken by many Chinese immigrants in
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, and some in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
and the
Sacramento River The Sacramento River ( es, Río Sacramento) is the principal river of Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state ...
Delta (see Locke, California); it is a Yuehai variety much like Guangzhou Cantonese, but has "flatter" tones. Chinese is the third most widely spoken non-English language in the United States when both Cantonese and Mandarin are combined, behind
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
and . need page number(s) Many institutes of higher education have traditionally had Chinese programs based on Cantonese, with some continuing to offer these programs despite the rise of Mandarin. The most popular romanization for learning Cantonese in the United States is
Yale Romanization The Yale romanizations are four romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Lingui ...
. The majority of Chinese emigrants have traditionally originated from Guangdong and Guangxi, as well as Hong Kong and Macau (beginning in the latter half of the 20th century and before the
Handover In cellular telecommunications, handover, or handoff, is the process of transferring an ongoing call or data session from one channel connected to the core network to another channel. In satellite communications it is the process of transf ...
) and Southeast Asia, with Cantonese as their native language. However, more recent immigrants are arriving from the rest of mainland China and Taiwan and most often speak
Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bri ...
(Putonghua) as their native language, although some may also speak their native local variety, such as
Shanghainese Shanghainese, also known as the Shanghai language, Shanghai dialect, or Hu language, is a Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages spoken primarily i ...
,
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
,
Fuzhounese The Fuzhou dialect (, FR: ), also Foochow, Hokchew, Hok-chiu, or Fuzhounese, is the prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts ...
,
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
, etc. As a result, Mandarin is becoming more common among the
Chinese American Chinese Americans are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) (" and are not ous. While all citizens are nationals, not all nationals are citizens."); ''United ...
community. The increase of Mandarin-speaking communities has resulted in the rise of separate neighborhoods or enclaves segregated by the primary Chinese variety spoken. Socioeconomic statuses are also a factor as well. For example, in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
, Cantonese still predominates in the city's older, traditional western portion of
Chinatown A Chinatown () is an ethnic enclave File:India Square JC jeh.JPG, India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey#Demographics, Jersey City, New Jersey, one of 24 Indian American, Indian ethnic enclaves in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In ...
in
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
and in Brooklyn's small new Chinatowns in sections of
Bensonhurst Bensonhurst is a residential neighborhood in the southwestern section of the New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With ...
and in Homecrest. The newly emerged Little Fuzhou eastern portion of Manhattan's Chinatown and Brooklyn's main large Chinatown in and around Sunset Park are mostly populated by Fuzhounese speakers, who often speak Mandarin as well. The Cantonese and Fuzhounese enclaves in New York City are more working class. However, due to the rapid gentrification of Manhattan's Chinatown and with NYC's Cantonese and Fuzhou populations now increasingly shifting to other Chinese enclaves in the Outer Boroughs of NYC such as Brooklyn and Queens, but most mainly in Brooklyn's newer Chinatowns, the Cantonese speaking population in NYC are now increasingly becoming more mainly concentrated into Brooklyn's neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Homecrest, also known as Bensonhurst's Little Hong Kong/Guangdong and Homecrest's Little Hong Kong/Guangdong while the Fuzhou population of NYC are increasingly becoming more mainly concentrated into Brooklyn's neighborhood of Sunset Park, also known as Little Fuzhou, Brooklyn, which is now increasingly resulting in NYC's growing Cantonese and Fuzhou enclaves to become more increasingly distanced and isolated away from each other including much more isolated away from other Chinese enclaves in the NYC borough of Queens that have more Mandarin and other various diverse Chinese dialect speakers. Flushing's large Chinatown, which now holds the crown as the largest Chinatown of the city, and Elmhurst's smaller Chinatown in Queens are very mixed, with large numbers of Mandarin speakers from many various different regions of China and Taiwan. The Chinatowns of Queens comprise the primary cultural center for New York City's Chinese population and are more middle class. In
Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, its main population centers incl ...

Northern California
, especially in the
San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, San Pablo Bay, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuary, estuaries in Northern California. Although the exact bou ...
, Cantonese has historically and continues to dominate in the Chinatowns of
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
and
Oakland Oakland is the largest city and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public ad ...

Oakland
, as well as the surrounding suburbs and metropolitan area, although since the late 2000s, a concentration of Mandarin speakers has formed in
Silicon Valley Silicon Valley is a region in Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S ...

Silicon Valley
. In contrast,
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a in the . With over 39.3million resi ...

Southern California
hosts a much larger Mandarin-speaking population, with Cantonese found in more historical Chinese communities such as that of
Chinatown, Los Angeles Chinatown is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse neighborhood, residential neighborhood of some 85,000 people, and covers ...
, and older Chinese ethnoburbs such as San Gabriel,
Rosemead Rosemead is a city in Los Angeles County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the U ...

Rosemead
, and Temple City. Mandarin predominates in much of the emergent Chinese American enclaves in eastern Los Angeles County and other areas of the metropolitan region. While a number of more-established Taiwanese immigrants have learned Cantonese to foster relations with the traditional Cantonese-speaking Chinese American population, more recent arrivals and the larger number of mainland Chinese immigrants have largely continued to use Mandarin as the exclusive variety of Chinese. This has led to a
linguistic discrimination Linguistic discrimination (also called glottophobia, linguicism and languagism) is unfair treatment which is based on use of language and characteristics of speech, including first language, accent, size of vocabulary A vocabulary, also kn ...
that has also contributed to social conflicts between the two sides, with a growing number of Chinese Americans (including
American-born Chinese American-born Chinese or ABC () is a term widely used to refer to Natural-born-citizen clause, natural born American citizens of Chinese descent, excluding first-generation immigrants. It is therefore a sub-category of the term ''Chinese Americans'' ...
) of Cantonese background defending the historic Chinese-American culture against the impacts of increasing Mandarin-speaking new arrivals.


Canada

Cantonese is the most common Chinese variety spoken among
Chinese Canadians , native_name = , native_name_lang = , image = , pop = 1,769,1955.1% of the Canadian population (2016) , popplace = Calgary Calgary ( is a city in the western Canadian province of Alberta. It is situated at the confluence of the Bow ...
. According to the
Canada 2016 Census The 2016 Canadian Census is the most recent detailed enumeration of Canadians, Canadian residents, which counted a population of 35,151,728, a change from its Canada 2011 Census, 2011 population of 33,476,688. The census, conducted by Statistics ...
, there were 565,275 Canadian residents who reported Cantonese as their native language. As in the United States, the Chinese Canadian community traces its roots to early immigrants from Guangdong during the latter half of the 19th century. Later Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong in two waves, first in the late 1960s to mid 1970s, and again in the 1980s to late 1990s on fears arising from the impending handover to the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
. Chinese-speaking immigrants from conflict zones in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, arrived as well, beginning in the mid-1970s and were also largely Cantonese-speaking.


United Kingdom

The overwhelming majority of Chinese speakers in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
use Cantonese, with about 300,000 British people claiming it as their first language. This is largely due to the presence of British Hong Kongers and the fact that many
British Chinese British Chinese (also known as Chinese British or Chinese Britons) are people of China, Chineseparticularly Han Chineseancestry who reside in the United Kingdom, constituting the second-largest group of overseas Chinese in Western Europe after Chin ...
also have origins in the former British colonies in Southeast Asia of Singapore and Malaysia.


France

Among the Chinese community in France, Cantonese is spoken by immigrants who fled the former
French Indochina French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochi ...
(Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) following the conflicts and communist takeovers in the region during the 1970s. While a slight majority of ethnic Chinese from Indochina speak Teochew at home, knowledge of Cantonese is prevalent due to its historic prestige status in the region and is used for commercial and community purposes between the different Chinese variety groups. As in the United States, there is a divide between Cantonese-speakers and those speaking other mainland Chinese varieties.


Portugal

Cantonese is spoken by ethnic Chinese in Portugal who originate from Macau, the most established Chinese community in the nation with a presence dating back to the 16th century and Portuguese colonialism. Since the late-20th century, however, Mandarin- and Wu-speaking migrants from mainland China have outnumbered those from Macau, although Cantonese is still retained among mainstream Chinese community associations.


Australia

Cantonese has traditionally been the dominant Chinese language of the
Chinese Australian Chinese Australians () are Australian citizens of Chinese ancestry. Chinese Australians are one of the largest groups of Overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () are people of ethnic Han Chinese, Chinese birth who reside outside the territories ...
community since the first ethnic Chinese settlers arrived in the 1850s. It maintained this status until the mid-2000s, when a heavy increase in immigration from Mandarin-speakers largely from Mainland China led to Mandarin surpassing Cantonese as the dominant Chinese dialect spoken. Cantonese is the third most-spoken language in Australia. In the 2011 census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics listed 336,410 and 263,673 speakers of Mandarin and Cantonese, respectively.


Cultural role

Spoken Chinese has numerous regional and local varieties, many of which are
mutually unintelligible In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related Variety (linguistics), varieties can readily understand each other without prior familiarity or special effort. It is ...
. Most of these are rare outside their native areas, though they may be spoken outside of China. Many varieties also have
Literary and colloquial readings of Chinese characters Differing literary and colloquial readings for certain Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural langua ...
for newer standard reading sounds. Since a 1909
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
decree, China has promoted
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
for use in education, the media, and official communications. The proclamation of Mandarin as the official national language, however, was not fully accepted by the Cantonese authorities in the early 20th century, who argued for the "regional uniqueness" of their own local language and commercial importance of the region. Unlike other non-Mandarin Chinese varieties, Cantonese persists in a few state
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...
and
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...
broadcasts today. Nevertheless, there have been recent attempts to minimize the use of Cantonese in China. The most notable has been the 2010 proposal that
Guangzhou Television The Guangzhou Broadcasting Network (), also known as GZBN, is a municipally-owned television network A television network or broadcaster is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, where a central operatio ...
increase its broadcast in Mandarin at the expense of Cantonese programs. This however led to protests in Guangzhou, which eventually dissuaded authorities from going forward with the proposal. Additionally, there are reports of students being punished for speaking other Chinese languages at school, resulting in a reluctance of younger children to communicate in their native languages, including Cantonese. Such actions have further provoked Cantonese speakers to cherish their linguistic identity in contrast to migrants who have generally arrived from poorer areas of China and largely speak Mandarin or other Chinese languages. Due to the linguistic history of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
, and the use of Cantonese in many established
overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () refers to people of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

overseas Chinese
communities, the use of Cantonese is quite widespread compared to the presence of its speakers residing in China. Cantonese is the predominant Chinese variety spoken in Hong Kong and Macau. In these areas, public discourse takes place almost exclusively in Cantonese, making it the only variety of Chinese other than Mandarin to be used as an official language in the world. Because of their dominance in Chinese diaspora overseas, standard Cantonese and its dialect
Taishanese Taishanese, or in the Cantonese romanization Toisanese (; Taishanese: ), is a language of Yue Chinese Yue () is a group of similar Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the ma ...
are among the most common Chinese languages that one may encounter in the West. Increasingly since the 1997 Handover, Cantonese has been used as a symbol of local identity in Hong Kong, largely through the development of democracy in the territory and
desinicization De-Sinicization (''de'' + ''Sinicization'') is the elimination of Chinese cultural elements or identity, in contrast to the assimilation process of Sinicization. Historical Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chin ...

desinicization
practices to emphasise a separate Hong Kong identity. A similar identity issue exists in the United States, where conflicts have arisen among Chinese-speakers due to a large recent influx of Mandarin-speakers. While older Taiwanese immigrants have learned Cantonese to foster integration within the traditional Chinese American populations, more recent arrivals from the Mainland continue to use Mandarin exclusively. This has contributed to a segregation of communities based on linguistic cleavage. In particular, some Chinese Americans (including
American-born Chinese American-born Chinese or ABC () is a term widely used to refer to Natural-born-citizen clause, natural born American citizens of Chinese descent, excluding first-generation immigrants. It is therefore a sub-category of the term ''Chinese Americans'' ...
) of Cantonese background emphasise their non-Mainland origins (e.g. Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, etc.) to assert their identity in the face of new waves of immigration. Along with Mandarin and
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
, Cantonese has its own popular music,
Cantopop Cantopop (a contraction of "Standard Cantonese, Cantonese pop music") or HK-pop (short for "Hong Kong pop music") is a genre of popular music written in standard Chinese and sung in Standard Cantonese, Cantonese. Cantopop is also used to refer ...
, which is the predominant genre in Hong Kong. Many artists from the Mainland and Taiwan have learned Cantonese to break into the market. Popular native Mandarin-speaking singers, including
Faye Wong __NOTOC__ Faye may refer to: Places * Faye, Loir-et-Cher, France, a village * Faye-d'Anjou, France, a village * La Faye, France, a village * Faye, Kentucky, Elliott County, Kentucky, United States * Faye (crater), a lunar impact crater in the sout ...

Faye Wong
,
Eric Moo Eric Moo Chii Yuan (born 9 February 1963), better known as Eric Moo or Wu Qixian, is a Malaysian Chinese The Malaysian Chinese people, also known as Chinese Malaysians, ( zh, 馬來西亞華人; ms, Orang Cina Malaysia) are Malaysian cit ...
, and singers from Taiwan, have been trained in Cantonese to add "Hong Kong-ness" to their performances. Cantonese films date to the early days of Chinese cinema, and the first Cantonese talkie, ''White Gold Dragon'' ( 白金龍), was made in 1932 by the
Tianyi Film Company Tianyi Film Company (), also called Unique Film Productions, was one of the "big three" film production companies in pre-Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that ...

Tianyi Film Company
. Despite a ban on Cantonese films by the Nanjing authority in the 1930s, Cantonese film production continued in Hong Kong which was then under British colonial rule. From the mid-1970s to the 1990s, Cantonese films made in Hong Kong were very popular in the Chinese speaking world.


Phonology


Initials and finals

The ''de facto'' standard pronunciation of Cantonese is that of Canton (Guangzhou).
Hong Kong Cantonese Hong Kong Cantonese is a dialect of the Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate ath ...
has some minor variations in phonology, but is largely identical to standard Guangzhou Cantonese. In Hong Kong and Macau, certain phoneme pairs have merged. Although termed as "lazy sound" () and considered substandard to Guangzhou pronunciation, the phenomenon has been widespread in the territories since the early 20th century. The most notable difference between Hong Kong and Guangzhou pronunciation is the substitution of the liquid nasal () for the nasal initial () in many words. An example of this is manifested in the word for you (), pronounced as in Guangzhou and as in Hong Kong. Another key feature of Hong Kong Cantonese is the merging of the two syllabic nasals and . This can be exemplified in the elimination of the contrast of sounds between (Ng (surname), Ng, a surname) (/ in Guangzhou pronunciation) and (not) (/ in Guangzhou pronunciation). In Hong Kong, both words are pronounced as the latter. Lastly, the initials and can be merged into and when followed by . An example is in the word for country (), pronounced in standard Guangzhou as ''gwok'' but as ''gok'' with the merge. Unlike the above two differences, this merge is found alongside the standard pronunciation in Hong Kong rather than being replaced. Educated speakers often stick to the standard pronunciation but can exemplify the merged pronunciation in casual speech. In contrast, less educated speakers pronounce the merge more frequently. Less prevalent, but still notable differences found among a number of Hong Kong speakers include: *Merging of initial into null initial. *Merging of and codas into and codas respectively, eliminating contrast between these pairs of finals (except after and ): -, -, -, -, - and -. *Merging of the rising tones ( 2nd and 5th). Cantonese vowels tend to be traced further back to
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country ...
than their Mandarin analogues, such as M. /aɪ/ vs. C. /ɔːi/; M. /i/ vs. C. /ɐi/; M. /ɤ/ vs. C. /ɔː/; M. /ɑʊ/ vs. C. /ou/ etc. For consonants, some differences include M. /ɕ, tɕ, tɕʰ/ vs. C. /h, k, kʰ/; M. /ʐ/ vs. C. /j/; and a greater syllable coda diversity in Cantonese (such as syllables ending in ''-t'', ''-p'', or ''-k'').


Tones

Generally speaking, Cantonese is a tonal language with six phonetic tones. Historically, finals that end in a stop consonant were considered as "checked tones" and treated separately by Historical linguistics, diachronic convention, identifying Cantonese with nine tones (). However, these are seldom counted as phonemic tones in modern linguistics, which prefer to analyse them as allophone, conditioned by the following consonant.


Written Cantonese

As Cantonese is used primarily in Hong Kong, Macau, and other overseas Chinese communities, it is usually written with traditional Chinese characters. However, it includes extra characters as well as characters with different meanings from written vernacular Chinese due to the presence of words that either do not exist in standard Chinese or correspond with spoken Cantonese. This system of written Cantonese is often found in colloquial contexts such as entertainment magazines and social media, as well as on advertisements. In contrast, standard written Chinese continues to be used in formal literature, professional and government documents, television and movie subtitles, and news media. Nevertheless, colloquial characters may be present in formal written communications such as legal testimonies and newspapers when an individual is being quoted, rather than paraphrasing spoken Cantonese into standard written Chinese.


Romanization

Cantonese romanization systems are based on the accent of Canton and Hong Kong, and have helped define the concept of Standard Cantonese. The major systems are: Jyutping, Yale Romanization of Cantonese, Yale, the Chinese government's Guangdong Romanization, and Meyer–Wempe. While they do not differ greatly, Jyutping and Yale are the two most used and taught systems today in the West. Additionally, Hong Kong linguist Sidney Lau Sidney Lau romanisation, modified the Yale system for his popular Cantonese-as-a-second-language course and is still in use today. While the governments of Hong Kong Government Cantonese Romanisation, Hong Kong and Macau Government Cantonese Romanization, Macau utilize a romanization system for proper names and geographic locations, they are inconsistent in the transcription of some sounds and the systems are not taught in schools. Furthermore, the system of Macau differs slightly from Hong Kong's in that the spellings are influenced by the Portuguese language due to colonial history. For example, while some words under Macau's romanization system are the same as Hong Kong's (e.g., the surnames ''Lam'' 林, ''Chan'' 陳), instances of the letter under Hong Kong's romanization system are often replaced by under the Macau romanization system (e.g., ''Chau'' vs ''Chao'' 周, ''Leung'' vs ''Leong'' 梁). Both the spellings of Hong Kong and Macau Cantonese romanization systems do not look similar to the mainland China's pinyin system. Generally, plain stops are written with voiced consonants (/p/, /t/, /ts/, and /k/ as ''b'', ''d'', ''z/j'', and ''g'' respectively), and aspirated stops with unvoiced ones, as in pinyin.


Early Western effort

Systematic efforts to develop an alphabetic representation of Cantonese began with the arrival of Protestant missionaries in China early in the nineteenth century. Romanization was considered both a tool to help new missionaries learn the variety more easily and a quick route for the unlettered to achieve gospel literacy. Earlier Catholic missionaries, mostly Portuguese, had developed romanization schemes for the pronunciation current in the court and capital city of China but made few efforts to romanize other varieties. Robert Morrison (missionary), Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary in China published a "Vocabulary of the Canton Dialect" (1828) with a rather unsystematic romanized pronunciation. Elijah Coleman Bridgman and Samuel Wells Williams in their "Chinese Chrestomathy in the Canton Dialect" (1841) were the progenitors of a long-lived lineage of related romanizations with minor variations embodied in the works of James Dyer Ball, Ernst Johann Eitel, and Immanuel Gottlieb Genăhr (1910). Bridgman and Williams based their system on the phonetic alphabet and diacritics proposed by William Jones (philologist), Sir William Jones for South Asian languages. Their romanization system embodied the phonological system in a local dialect rhyme dictionary, the ''Fenyun cuoyao'', which was widely used and easily available at the time and is still available today. Samuel Wells Willams' ''Tonic Dictionary of the Chinese Language in the Canton Dialect'' (''Yinghua fenyun cuoyao'' 1856), is an alphabetic rearrangement, translation and annotation of the ''Fenyun''. To adapt the system to the needs of users at a time when there were only local variants and no standard—although the speech of the western suburbs, ''Xiguan'', of Guangzhou was the prestige variety at the time—Williams suggested that users learn and follow their teacher's pronunciation of his chart of Cantonese syllables. It was apparently Bridgman's innovation to mark the tones with an open circle (upper register tones) or an underlined open circle (lower register tones) at the four corners of the romanized word in analogy with the traditional Chinese system of marking the tone of a character with a circle (lower left for "even," upper left for "rising," upper right for "going," and lower right for "entering" tones). John Chalmers (missionary), John Chalmers, in his "English and Cantonese pocket-dictionary" (1859) simplified the marking of tones using the acute accent to mark "rising" tones and the grave to mark "going" tones and no diacritic for "even" tones and marking upper register tones by italics (or underlining in handwritten work). "Entering" tones could be distinguished by their consonantal ending. Nicholas Belfeld Dennys used Chalmers romanization in his primer. This method of marking tones was adopted in the Yale romanization (with low register tones marked with an 'h'). A new romanization was developed in the first decade of the twentieth century which eliminated the diacritics on vowels by distinguishing vowel quality by spelling differences (e.g. a/aa, o/oh). Diacritics were used only for marking tones. The name of Tipson is associated with this new romanization which still embodied the phonology of the Fenyun to some extent. It is the system used in Meyer-Wempe and Cowles' dictionaries and O'Melia's textbook and many other works in the first half of the twentieth century. It was the standard romanization until the Yale system supplanted it. The distinguished linguist Yuen Ren Chao, Y. R. Chao developed a Cantonese adaptation of his Gwoyeu Romatzyh system. The Barnett-Chao romanization system was first used in Chao's ''Cantonese Primer'', published in 1947 by Harvard University Press (The ''Cantonese Primer'' was adapted for Mandarin teaching and published by Harvard University Press in 1948 as ''Mandarin Primer''). The BC system was also used in textbooks published by the Hong Kong government.


Cantonese romanization in Hong Kong

An influential work on Cantonese, ''A Chinese Syllabary Pronounced According to the Dialect of Canton,'' written by Wong Shik Ling, was published in 1941. He derived an International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA-based transcription system, the S. L. Wong (phonetic symbols), S. L. Wong system, used by many Chinese dictionaries later published in Hong Kong. Although Wong also derived a romanization scheme, also known as the S. L. Wong (romanisation), S. L. Wong system, it is not widely used as his transcription scheme. This system was preceded by the Barnett–Chao system used by the Hong Government Language School. The romanization advocated by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK) is called Jyutping. The phonetic values of some consonants are closer to the approximate equivalents in IPA than in other systems. Some effort has been undertaken to promote Jyutping, but the success of its proliferation within the region has yet to be examined. Another popular scheme is Cantonese Pinyin, which is the only romanization system accepted by Hong Kong Education and Manpower Bureau and Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. Books and studies for teachers and students in primary and secondary schools usually use this scheme. But there are teachers and students who use the transcription system of S.L. Wong. Despite the efforts to standardize Cantonese romanization, those learning the language may feel frustrated that most native Cantonese speakers, regardless of their level of education, are unfamiliar with any romanization system. Because Cantonese is primarily a spoken language and does not carry its own writing system (written Cantonese, despite having some Chinese characters unique to it, primarily follows modern standard Chinese, which is closely tied to Mandarin), it is not taught in schools. As a result, locals do not learn any of these systems. In contrast with Mandarin-speaking areas of China, Cantonese romanization systems are excluded in the education systems of both Hong Kong and the Guangdong province. In practice, Hong Kong follows a loose, unnamed romanization scheme used by the Government of Hong Kong. Google Cantonese input uses Yale, Jyutping or Cantonese Pinyin, Yale being the first standard.


Comparison

Differences between the three main standards are in bold.


Initials


Finals


Tones


Loanwords

Cantonese has some substrate influence from Kra–Dai languages due to the historic proximity of speakers from both linguistic groups. Life in Hong Kong is characterized by the blending of Asian culture, Asian (mainly Lingnan culture, south Chinese), British and other Western influences, as well as the status of the city as a major international business centre. Influences from this territory are widespread in foreign cultures. As a result, many loanwords are created and exported to People's Republic of China, China, Republic of China, Taiwan, and
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
. Some of the loanwords are even more popular than their Chinese counterparts. At the same time, some new words created are vividly borrowed by other languages as well.


See also

*Cantonese grammar *Cantonese profanity *Cantonese slang *Languages of China *List of English words of Cantonese origin *List of varieties of Chinese *Protection of the Varieties of Chinese *Romanization#Cantonese, Romanization


References


Citations


Works cited

* * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * *


External links

*
Hong Kong Government site on the HK Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS)

Online Cantonese Editor

Cantonese Tools
* {{Authority control Cantonese, Cantonese language, Cantonese culture Languages of China Languages of Hong Kong Languages of Macau Languages of Vietnam Languages of Malaysia Languages of Singapore Articles containing video clips