Cantonese, the first language of 4% of the Chinese speaking world, is the most widely known and influential variety of Chinese other than Mandarin. It is spoken in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi and in neighboring areas such as Hong Kong and Macao, as well as throughout South-East Asia in such places as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. .
Due to the migration of Cantonese speakers from the Guangdong area and Hong Kong, Cantonese is the dominant form of Chinese spoken in the Chinatowns of many major cities in the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. .
In terms of numbers of speakers, the Sino-Tibetan family is the largest language family after Indo-European. There are two major branches : Tibeto-Burman and Sinitic. Chinese (Cantonese) is in Sinitic type. .
Because there has long been a single method for writing Chinese, and a common iterary and cultural history, a tradition has grown up of referring to, the eight main arieties of speech in China as dialects. But in fact they are as different from each other mainly in pronunciation and vocabulary) as French or Spanish is from Italian, the dialects of the south-east being linguistically the furthest apart. .
We often speak of Chinese as if it were a single language, even though it is actually a number of separate, mutually unintelligible languages, each with a number of dialects. .
The mutual unintelligibility of the varieties is the main ground for referring to them as separate languages. However, it must also be recognized that each variety consists of a large number of dialects, many of which ay themselves be referred to as languages. .
The Main Chinese "Dialects".
Dialect Where spoken .
1-Cantonese (Yuh) In the south, mainly Guangdong, southern Guangxi, .
Macau, Hong Kong.