As I mentioned, written Cantonese and Standard Written Chinese (SWC) are two forms of written language, so they also use different basic words. For this reason, the characters they use are different.
What characters does Cantonese use?
Just like Mandarin, Cantonese is also written using both simplified and traditional characters depending on the region. In mainland China, locals and officials alike typically write Cantonese with simplified Chinese characters. In Hong Kong, the population almost exclusively uses traditional characters.
Is Cantonese written differently?
Cantonese and Mandarin are written in the same way, though Cantonese favors traditional Chinese characters rather than simplified. Mandarin has 4 tones. Cantonese has 9.
Does Cantonese use traditional characters?
In Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant dialect while people write in Traditional Chinese. The exception is Taiwan where people speak Mandarin and write in Traditional Chinese.
Does Cantonese use simplified characters?
Those from Southern China use Cantonese but write Simplified. Those from Taiwan speak Mandarin but write in Traditional Chinese. The only thing you can be sure of is that people from China use Simplified Chinese characters.
Do Cantonese and Mandarin use the same characters?
The characters used for Mandarin and Cantonese share the same roots in ancient Chinese, but Mandarin now uses simplified characters, which were set as the standard by the Chinese government in the 1950s, while Cantonese speakers still tend to use traditional characters.
Can Chinese understand Cantonese?
No, they are completely different languages. Although Cantonese and Mandarin have many similarities, they are not mutually intelligible. This means that, presuming one has no significant exposure or training, a speaker of Mandarin will understand little to nothing of Cantonese and vice-versa.
Why are Mandarin and Cantonese so different?
Both the Mandarin and Cantonese dialects are tonal languages where one word has many meanings depending on the pronunciation and intonation. Cantonese has six tones, whereas Mandarin has just four. Cracking the tones are said to be the hardest part of learning Chinese.
What is the hardest language to learn?
As mentioned before, Mandarin is unanimously considered the toughest language to master in the world! Spoken by over a billion people in the world, the language can be extremely difficult for people whose native languages use the Latin writing system.
Is Cantonese harder than Mandarin?
Cantonese is harder than Mandarin. Cantonese has a unique pronounication and has nine tones, it is relatively difficult enough for a foreigner compared to Mandarin, nevertheless, it requires lots of listening and practicing with a native Cantonese speaker to master the pronounication and the tones.
Can Cantonese speakers read simplified Chinese?
When there was a simplification in 1950 of the traditional Chinese, they simplified one small part of the traditional Chinese not whole! For Cantonese is easier to read simplified characters because they can guess the meaning.
Is Vietnamese similar to Cantonese?
The biggest commonality between Cantonese and Vietnamese has to do with words with coda consonants in Sinitic, in which there were final -p and -t and -k as well as -m -n and -ŋ. Mandarin lost all of /p t k/ and also /m/. This makes Cantonese and Vietnamese sound more similar to each other as compared to Mandarin.
Are Cantonese and Mandarin different languages?
By this definition, Cantonese and Mandarin are separate languages rather than dialects—despite sharing the same written form as mentioned above—because a Cantonese speaker would not be entirely intelligible to a Mandarin speaker.
Does Hong Kong use traditional or simplified Chinese?
In general, schools in Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore use simplified characters exclusively, while schools in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan use traditional characters exclusively.
Should I learn Mandarin or Cantonese?
So it seems as though Mandarin is more practical than Cantonese. That’s not to say that learning Cantonese is a waste of time, and for some people, it may be the better choice, but for most people wanting to speak “Chinese”, Mandarin is the way to go.
How do you know if a Chinese is traditional or simplified?
The most obvious difference between traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese is the way that the characters look. Traditional characters are typically more complicated and have more strokes, while simplified characters are, as the name suggests, simpler and have fewer strokes.