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What is the main difference between chinese mandarin and cantonese?

  1. Nomascus concolor profile image60
    Nomascus concolorposted 5 years ago

    What is the main difference between chinese mandarin and cantonese?

  2. NathanielZhu profile image71
    NathanielZhuposted 5 years ago

    Nearly everything is different when it comes to speech, but I think the characters are the same.
    Someone who only knows mandarin can't understand someone who only knows cantonese.

  3. neildabb profile image75
    neildabbposted 5 years ago

    Mandarin and Cantonese are two of many (I've heard there were 14 or more) dialects of Chinese.  All of the dialects read the same characters (so reading and writing Chinese would allow you to communicate with anyone who speaks either language) but each dialect is like speaking a different language.  I speak a little Mandarin Chinese and when I hear Cantonese it makes as much sense to me as if someone were speaking Spanish to me.

    1. oldhorse profile image67
      oldhorseposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      The written language is mutually intelligible, but the differences in the spoken languages sometimes show throw to the writing in terms of word choice.

  4. Paul Kuehn profile image95
    Paul Kuehnposted 5 years ago

    Although I can't speak Cantonese, I can recognize it when spoken.  Mandarin and Cantonese differ in tones and phonetics (sounds used in making words.  Mandarin basically has four tones while Cantonese has seven-eight tones.  Both spoken Mandarin and Cantonese are completely different and seem like two different languages.  For example, a Mandarin speaker might say, "gongxi facai" as a New Year's greeting, while a Cantonese speaker will say "gionghi hwatchoi" or something similar to this..