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 Mandarin vs. Cantonese



Mandarin and Cantonese are two SPOKEN styles/dialects of Chinese language. As an official spoken dialect, Mandarin is widely used in Mainland China, Taiwan area and Singapore. Cantonese is specifically used in Hong Kong and Guangdong province in China only.



In Mainland China, we don’t have this exact word of Mandarin, instead, we call this official dialect as “Pu Tong Hua”, which means the “common language” in English. So where does this word “MANDARIN” come from? There is saying that the pronunciation of this word sounds like “Man Da Ren” in Chinese, which indicates the “Officials of Qing Dynasty”. Anyway, Mandarin is the official dialect in China, that's all we need to know.


Cantonese is a Chinese dialect in China's Guangdong province and in Hong Kong only. So why does this dialect become so well known in the western world? This is because the Grangdong province was the earliest in China to start its communication and economic exchange with the western world more than one hundred years ago (Hong Kong was then a small village in the south coast of Guangdong). Many Chinese people who came to live in the United States and Canada in the earlier years were either from Guangdong or Hong Kong, therefore their accent (Cantonese) is much more heard by western people than any


But things started to change in the recent years. Now more and more people from Mainland China came to United States and Canada either to study or as immigrants. And due to China's increasing economical importance, Mandarin has become more and more important than Cantonese. 




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