Difference between revisions of "Cantonese"

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'''Cantonese''' is the de facto [[official language]] of [[Hong Kong]] and [[Macau]] and is also the lingua franca of Guangdong Province. The language is completely different from [[Mandarin]], the official language of [[China]], differing not only [[phonology|phonologically]], but also [[grammar|grammatically]] and in [[vocabulary]].  
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'''Cantonese''' is the de facto [[official language]] of [[Hong Kong]] and [[Macau]] and is also the lingua franca of Guangdong Province. It is a separate Chinese language from [[Mandarin]], the official language of [[China]], differing not only [[phonology|phonologically]], but also [[grammar|grammatically]] and in [[vocabulary]].
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Cantonese preserved many features found in Ancient Chinese that are lost in [[Mandarin]]. It kept many of Ancient Chinese's final [[consonant|consonants]] (i.e. "m", "n", "ng", "p", "t", and "k") and has at least six tones, compared to Mandarin's two final consonants (i.e. "n" and "ng") and Mandarin's four tones. Cantonese also has fewer initial consonants but it also has about twice as many distinctively different syllables compared to Mandarin. Therefore, colloquial Cantonese words tend to be more monosyllabic compared to Mandarin, whose words tend to be more polysyllabic, because Cantonese does not differentiate as many homonyms.
  
 
[[Category:Sino-Tibetan languages]]
 
[[Category:Sino-Tibetan languages]]
 
[[Category:China]]
 
[[Category:China]]

Revision as of 19:15, 6 December 2008

Cantonese is the de facto official language of Hong Kong and Macau and is also the lingua franca of Guangdong Province. It is a separate Chinese language from Mandarin, the official language of China, differing not only phonologically, but also grammatically and in vocabulary.

Cantonese preserved many features found in Ancient Chinese that are lost in Mandarin. It kept many of Ancient Chinese's final consonants (i.e. "m", "n", "ng", "p", "t", and "k") and has at least six tones, compared to Mandarin's two final consonants (i.e. "n" and "ng") and Mandarin's four tones. Cantonese also has fewer initial consonants but it also has about twice as many distinctively different syllables compared to Mandarin. Therefore, colloquial Cantonese words tend to be more monosyllabic compared to Mandarin, whose words tend to be more polysyllabic, because Cantonese does not differentiate as many homonyms.