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Cantonese is widely spoken in the region of Guangdong in China, with a high concentration of native speakers distributed in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau.

Cantonese (廣東話gwong2dung1waa2) is also called Yue (粵語jyut6jyu5) while the name “Cantonese” is used more colloquially. It is considered as an spoken language but it is widely used on the Internet by youngsters nowadays. Being a colloquial language, Cantonese is full of slangs and funny expressions and its evolutionary rate is very fast, thanks to the innovation of the “youth language” and the creation of “trendy expressions (潮語ciu4jyu5)” by the new generation (we will have a in-depth discussion later on).

 

Cantonese has achieved in Hong Kong a special status when compared with any other Chinese dialects wherever they are spoken. In the social aspect, Cantonese is used by Hong Kong people for communication under general circumstances. In our daily life, we speak with our family members and our friends in Cantonese. Besides, it is used in different mass media (i.e. different kinds of mass media are reported or presented in Cantonese). For instance, there are Cantonese novels and adult comic books available. Also, we often find newspaper columns written in Cantonese. In radio broadcasts, international news programmes, dramas, movies, entertainment shows as well as periodics, speakers and actors always speak in Cantonese. What is more, in the area of education, Cantonese, which is the mother tongue of Hongkongers, is made to be the choice of language of instruction in many schools so as to carry out the “mother-tongue-education”. Furthermore, it is widely used in politics. In the legislative councilors and the Chief Executive vigorously debate proposed law in Cantonese as it is the main language of the Legislative Council. Among the Chinese communities, Hong Kong is the only one which Cantonese other than Mandarin is the majority language.

 

 

 

2 responses

16 11 2008
CatCar

Hi, as French speaking students, there are few particular things that we would like to learn on your blog. Since Cantonese is very hard to learn and that one of us has to go to Hong kong in January, we need to know few practicle sentences. E.g. How much is it? What time is it? What is your name? What’s the weather today? How Are you? How old are you? Thank you, yes, no, why, when, how, where and how to count until 10.

Thank you for your help!
Caroline and Catherine

17 04 2011
Amelia

Thanks for creating this blog! It definitely has some very useful audio!

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