Cantonese Speaking World

With China booming and interest in Mandarin Chinese at a very high level, Cantonese (Yue Chinese) has also increased in popularity as it is spoken widely in southern China where some of China's major manufacturing centers are located. Primarily spoken in Hong Kong, Macau and the Guangdong province, which includes the major cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Cantonese is a lingua franca in the area. Even a few words come in very handy for travel and business and can open up otherwise seemingly impenetrable doors. Additionally, much of the "Chinese" encountered in Chinatowns around the world is Cantonese, and much of what people outside of China consider to be Chinese food is actually from the Canton region!

Cantonese Language Map

Cantonese Language

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).