Standard Cantonese, a variant of Cantonese (Yue) Chinese, is spoken natively in and around the cities of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau in Southern China. It is the de facto official Chinese spoken language of Hong Kong and Macau, and a lingua franca of Guangdong province and some neighbouring areas. It is also spoken by many overseas Chinese of Guangdong, Hong Kong or Macau origin in Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Australia, Europe and elsewhere.
Historically, Cantonese was the most common form of Chinese spoken by overseas Chinese communities in the Western world. That situation has changed now with the increasing importance of China's official dialect of Pǔtōnghuà/Standard Mandarin Chinese (traditional Chinese: 普通話; simplified Chinese: 普通话, literally "common speech").
In popular speech, Standard Cantonese is often known simply as Cantonese, though in academic linguistics the name can also refer to the broader category to which it belongs, Cantonese language (traditional Chinese: 粵語; simplified Chinese: 粤语; pinyin: Yuèyǔ; Jyutping: Jyut6jyu5).