Chinese and Cantonese
dialect or language?
Dialects and Language of China
What is a dialect? 方言
A dialect is a form of a language that may
share the same written form, but can be
mutually exclusive when spoken.
Dialect and accent are essentially the
方言 （fāng yán）
While there is no universal distinction
between a dialect and language, the
difference is left up to the degree of
Language is usually decided by political or
social differences, like different countries.
语言（ yǔ yán ）
我说中文 zhong wen
Used in the context of
knowing other languages,
usually referring to the
You don’t say I speak
American, we say I speak
我说汉语 han yu
Used when talking about
speaking the language itself
汉 (hàn) the largest ethic
group in china
Both ways are correct
Difference between 中文 和 汉语
Chinese has been broken up into 8 main dialects
Guang - Mandarin 官话 (Standard) also known as
Northern Pudongua 普通话 [850million native
Min Nan - Fukian 闽方言
Xiang - Hunan 湘方言
Wu 吴方言 (90 Million)
Ke Jia - Hakka 客家方言
Yue 粤语 (70 Million) 粤语,俗称广东话、广府
话,当地人称白话 (Hong Kong dialect and
My friend and I agree that Cantonese is a
different language, although it is often thought of
as a dialect of Chinese.
Why is it a different language? Because its
unintelligible to other mandarin speakers, initials
and finals are pronounced differently also, it has 6
Cantonese uses traditional characters so the only
way of communication is through writing.
Cantonese is the main language of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is almost like separate country from
mainland China. its also known as the “special
administrative region of the PRC”
Friend Interview 朋友
你好！我的叫做徐直 (xú zhí)
Where is your hometown? 家乡 (jiā xiāng)
上海。 (Yancheng, Jiangsu and moved to Shanghai)
Which dialect方言 (fāng yán) do you speak?
(Standard Pudonghua, local dialect of Jiangsu)
Is Cantonese a Language or a Dialect?
“I think different people have different views, but I think
Cantonese is a dialect, keep in mind other dialects can have
more than 6 tones.”
Do you think Hong Kong is a separate country?
“Hong Kong is not a country and it is still a part of China”
Eastern dialect of Jiangsu province
回家 拼音是 (huí jiā)
小孩 拼音是 (xiǎo hái)
干嘛 拼音是 (gàn ma)
但方言是 (wen ga)
但方言是 (xiao xia)
但方言是 (zun ni)
When saying I am learning Chinese, make
sure to realize it’s Mandarin.
Saying I’m learning Chinese is almost like
saying I’m learning European.
What do you think? Is Cantonese is a
Language or a Dialect? The answer is