Chinese Characters

What is the Difference between Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese?

Chinese is a Sino-Tibetan language. As the official language of China and Singapore, it has at least 1 billion 500 million users for the moment. Besides, it is also used as a work language in Malaysia, Burma, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries and the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries of the Chinese community.

Chinese consists of two parts: spoken Chinese and written Chinese. Ancient written Chinese is called classical Chinese (文言文). Modern written Chinese is called modern standard Chinese.

As for the modern Chinese language, it consists of standard words and dialects. Modern standard Chinese takes the pronunciation of Beijing as standard pronunciation, and the modern vernacular as the standard of grammar. As for Chinese dialects, it is divided into thirteen different parts like Cantonese, Wu Chinese, Huetseu Dialect, Komese, Hakka Chinese, Minbe di, Mindong Chinese, Jin Chinese, Hunan dialect, Hokkien, Minzhong Dialect, Puxian Dialect and Mandarin. The “Chinese language” we usually say in daily life refers to Mandarin.

1. What is Mandarin?

Mandarin (普通话 in Chinese character) is the official language in China. In China, more than 70% people use it as their mother tongue.

2. What is Cantonese?

Cantonese is also name “Guangdong Hua” “baihua” . It is one of the top seven languages in China. It is mainly used in Chinese provinces located in the South like Guangdong, Gunagxi, Hainan, Hongkong, Aomen, and the British, European, the North America, Australia, New Zealand and other countries in the Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. There are about 70 million users of Cantonese around the world.

3. What is the Difference between Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese?

Chinese language mainly consists of Mandarin, Cantonese and dialects from other disticts of China. Mandarin is a language part of Chinese based on Beijing pronunciation, which is named 普通话. Nowadays, almost all China citizens can speak Mandarin, but just not as standard as what Beijing native say. Cantonese is another part of Chinese language, which is also the second commonest language used in China. It is mainly used in Guangdong, Guangxi and Hongkong, Hainan and Aomen. In a word, Chinese consist of Mandarin and Cantonese, Mandarin and Cantonese are twos branches of Chinese, and it usually refers to Mandarin when we talk about Chinese.

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