6 Key Differences between Cantonese and Mandarin

6 Key Differences between Cantonese and Mandarin

6 Key Differences between Cantonese and Mandarin


Cantonese and Mandarin are the foremost speech varieties in China. Cantonese is usually spoken in Hong Kong and South Eastern a part of China while the Mandarin variety is spoken in South Western and Northern China. While Mandarin is that the Official language in China, Cantonese is that the most generally spoken form throughout China and therefore the remainder of the planet in places like most China towns, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This is often because Cantonese has been around for 2000 years while Mandarin for less than 700 years. Also since most Chinese emigrants came from Hong Kong, the variability has spread throughout the planet with these.




The two languages are very different and two speakers of the 2 languages hardly communicate well with one another. this is often because Cantonese and Mandarin hardly share words that have an equivalent meaning. Cantonese has been around for 2000 plus years, it’s accumulated an upscale vocabulary which will prove overwhelming a replacement learner. There also are many phrases that are developed and stood the test of your time to remain and retain meaning. A good comparison of the 2 is like comparing an old widen man with accumulated knowledge to a young man with much to find out. There’s also a good range of sounds in Cantonese than in Mandarin. This is often because the variability has retained most of its time of life Chinese final consonant sounds. Also, the language is more oral and differs greatly with the written form, unlike Mandarin where the written form is that the same because the spoken form.


On another level, Learning Cantonese is harder of the 2 particularly due to the six tones compared to four of the Mandarin variety. Many learners of a couple of languages have difficulty in mastering a replacement language particularly due to the tones. Stocked had tones, you’ll find yourself finding it easier than those whose native languages don’t have tones.


On writing, Cantonese uses the normal sort of writing while the Mandarin uses both Traditional and simplified versions which contain fewer strokes. Also since more and more people learn Mandarin in Chinese classes than the Cantonese variety, it’s harder to find out Cantonese thanks to the limited resources. These are fewer materials for learning Cantonese and no standardization within the Chinese course work for learning this language variety but it personally boils right down to what you actually want to find out perception is merely as bad as you would like it to be.




Cantonese and Mandarin have different areas where they’re used. Mandarin is that the standard sort of communication within the mainland a part of China and Taiwan. It’s also a part of the four spoken in Singapore and therefore the official language for translation within the United Nations. Cantonese is spoken by some 66 million people in Singapore, Thailand, expatriate communities in China towns and therefore the home base, Hong Kong and Macau.


While Mandarin is that the principle dialect utilized in government administration and education, Cantonese is that the informal language utilized in day by day communication and reception especially to the elders who don’t understand Mandarin. Surprisingly, Cantonese is additionally utilized in mass media like print and electronic. Also in Hong Kong and Macau, Cantonese is that the official language utilized in education, business, mass media, and administration. The opposite language is English.




There is an overall interest in learning Chinese. this is often particularly felt within the us where they see China because the next economic frontier and also by the Africans more so as a results of the heavy investment by the Chinese within the continent. Round the world, since 2005 there has never been such an enormous interest shown by people to find out Chinese, over 1000% increase. this is often quite the other language within the world. However, more and more people are opting to find out Mandarin than Cantonese. This is often perplexing as Cantonese and English are the official languages in Hong Kong, a mega player within the business world.

Most people are choosing Mandarin particularly because there are more centers that teach Mandarin and which are stocked the newest course materials. Also, this maybe because most find Mandarin easier to find out and write as they use fewer strokes than the Cantonese which is more expressive in writing requiring many strokes to make a personality.


Also, a spectacle to behold is that more and more Chinese students are preferring to find out English and Mandarin to Cantonese. More therefore the native students in southern part China. The rationale given is that Cantonese Chinese characters are difficult and tedious compared the freeing nature of English alphabets.




Hong Kong and Beijing are having great connection now than any time in the history. The south is especially focused on the finance sector and therefore the north with the manufacturing and repair sector. In learning Cantonese, you’ll presumably be at a far better place as more business opportunities are opened for you. You’ll not only be at a far better place in Hong Kong (interacting with local and international businessmen and women) but also with the bulk of the Chinese elderly and people who don’t understand Mandarin who has opened stalls within the streets. These types are many considering the very fact that 70 percent of Chinese people like better to communicate in Cantonese which logically means more business opportunities are opened for you.

Also is the very fact that the Administration use and enforce Mandarin to the republic means most writing and documents are in Mandarin. This suggests with a previous knowledge in it’ll mean a neater path for you without much hustle. Another fact is that the northern a part of China which speaks Mandarin is way more accessible by road, unlike the southern part which is mountainous. This suggests easier and cheaper transport and therefore the probability of business growing thanks to better interaction with the environment.

Another fact is that like the present trend, more and more people are choosing to find out Mandarin lesson in Hong Kong which is opening new frontiers in business as more teachers are needed. Also, more books are needed and new applications are developed to help with the training.




Over the years, more and more students from everywhere the planet are choosing to find out Mandarin, especially within the prospect that China will become the new financial frontier. This has led to several start asking questions on the longer term of this language. Many people believe that Mandarin will be as important as English in the near future. Mandarin has risen in terms of speakers but will take more years to beat English out of its title. The increase in Mandarin has been attributed to more schools introducing Chinese language in their curriculum and doing away with the German and French. All of those usually find you being hogwash since they need little practicality after school. However, since the elite members in China send their children to find out these international schools, little is often said aside from money talks.

Mandarin will still grow and should at some point be a worldwide language since there are more Chinese emigrants now than before. Also, there are new investment targets by the Chinese government like Africa which is churning out thousands of latest speakers per annul.


The future of Cantonese is grim. 15 years ago, Hong Kong city was dominated by Cantonese speakers and even the TV watched was in Cantonese. However, over the years, Mandarin has started encroaching this place and even the education system is being proposed to be changed from Cantonese based to Mandarin based.




Culture is that the way of the people. Mandarin and Cantonese are both Chinese language and they share similar cultural settings and characters. Cantonese being the older of the 2 features a rich deep culture ranging from the center Chinese ages. Therefore, you expect the speakers to speak during a way you don’t understand. As stated above, Cantonese has over six tones and an upscale vocabulary spoken by the southerners. Also, there’s that part that both languages use characters when being written within the book. The culture of the Cantonese is to use the normal sort of writing which includes many strokes unlike that of the Mandarin which has fewer strokes.

Also Cantonese tend to possess more phrases and slang developed over an extended period of your time that tend to be harder for the new learners. This variety also tends to possess phrases associated with its volatile history and has acquired some culture of it conquerors like the Portuguese and therefore the Brits during the 1880’s. Cantonese art and cuisine (notable for its use of fresh produce and seafood) are widespread and known worldwide and may be easily differentiated from the mainland Mandarin. Mandarin is sort of simple and developing a culture of its own. Thanks to this, it’s far much easier to find out and understand than the Cantonese.




China may be a great country with many various dialects of which only two are more popular to the planet. Cantonese within the southeastern part has been within the picture for ages but is now facing a serious shove from the Mandarin which was officiated in 1932. Choosing the proper one to find out are going to be a hit considering the dynamic world we sleep in.