Opinions on Cantonese

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This article is about the language of Guangdong province, Hong Kong, and Macau. For related dialects, see Yue Chinese. For other uses, see Cantonese (disambiguation).

Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese (traditional Chinese: 廣州話 / 廣東話; simplified Chinese: 广州话 / 广东话), is the dialect of Yue Chinese spoken in the vicinity of Canton (i.e. Guangzhou) in southern China. It is the traditional prestige dialect of Yue.

Cantonese is the prestige language of the Cantonese people. Inside mainland China, it is a lingua franca in Guangdong Province and some neighbouring areas, such as the eastern part of Guangxi Province. It is the majority language of Hong Kong and Macau. It is also traditionally the most spoken Chinese language 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.

While the term Cantonese refers narrowly to the prestige language described in this article, it is often used in a broader sense for the entire Yue branch of Chinese, including related dialects such as Taishanese. When standard Cantonese and the closely related Yuehai dialects are classified as one variant, the language counts about 70 million total speakers.

The Cantonese language 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 much vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese, the two languages are not mutually intelligible because of pronunciation, grammatical, and also lexical differences. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two languages. The use of vocabulary in Cantonese also tends to have more historic roots. One of the most notable differences between Cantonese and Mandarin is how the spoken word is written; with Mandarin the spoken word is written as such, whereas with Cantonese there may not be a direct written word matching what was said. This results in the situation in which a Mandarin and Cantonese text look almost the same, but are pronounced differently.


In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Cantonese. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Cantonese in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Cantonese has and the evolution of its popularity.

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