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Lesson Transcript


Hi, everybody! Olivia here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Cantonese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: Where is Cantonese spoken?
Cantonese is the oldest language and the most popular Chinese dialect spoken in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau, and some neighboring areas around the eastern part of Guangxi.
Let's get into more details. In which regions is Cantonese currently spoken?
Cantonese is the official language in 香港 (hoeng1 gong2), which is "Hong Kong," and 澳門 (ou3 mun2), which is “Macau,” and historically, the most popular form of Chinese spoken outside mainland China.
We're not kidding about Cantonese being spoken everywhere. It is the most widely spoken dialect among Chinese communities in Canada, the United States of America, and Australia, as well as Europe and Southeast Asia.
Is Cantonese very different from Mandarin?
Cantonese and Mandarin are two of the most spoken Chinese dialects. They share the same writing system, but each dialect has terms that are unique in their regions; in the case of Cantonese, there are even some special Chinese characters not used in other dialects.
Here is an interesting fact. Pronunciation among native Cantonese speakers in China can be different from that of Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong. A lot of people in Hong Kong, especially the younger
generations, use a lot of their own conversational slang and tend to speak what we'll call 懶音 (laan5 jam1) meaning "lazy tongue." An example is the word "you"; the right way to pronounce it is 你 (nei5 ), but in Hong Kong many people pronounce it as lei5.


How was it? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
"See you next time!", 下次見! (haa6 ci3 gin3!)