In Chinatown, Cantonese is the Beating Heart of this community it’s a very expressive language and we can be very animated when we talk so loud that people mistake our Lively conversations for heated arguments, and this characteristic might be because Cantonese uses six tones Mandarin uses four. Let’s hear the differences in Mandarin and Cantonese
The history of Cantonese is complicated many theories claim the language was born between the tang and Sun dynasties where migrants from the Central Plains Region traveled down to Southern parts of China and settled in what we now know as Guangzhou the capital of Guangdong South other historians claim it originated centuries earlier in the Han Dynasty some sources say Cantonese was a hybrid of the Han language and various ethnic groups from the south called Baiyue. It’s not just in China Cantonese is spoken in many communities worldwide in Australia Cantonese is the fifth most spoken language at home with nearly 300 000 speakers recorded in the latest census there are nearly 86 million Cantonese speakers worldwide and more than half of those speakers are from Guangdong South one Sai Sam Hong Kong and Macau but that stat will look very different in a few years. Some older Cantonese speaking locals are talking to their children in Mandarin as younger people start to lose their fluency in Cantonese.
some of my younger cousins who are like 10 20 years younger and they don’t speak the language commonly known as Mandarin is a drastic change for many when I was a kid growing up in China everybody’s full countries I mean my primary school teachers taught us in counties I was like before the like the promotion of Mandarin in 2021 China launched a campaign for 85 of its citizens to use Mandarin by 2025. the government wants one national language for National unity in the education system and the employment the promotion of Mandarin sparch controversy with many Defenders of Cantonese concerned the widespread Campaign Will eliminate the language there are signs like these plastered in cities that read speak Mandarin those signs that say speak standard Chinese and when you standard characters there you see those all over China everywhere fortunately we don’t see that in Hong Kong yet the government’s campaign to take up Mandarin has stirred up resistance among Cantonese speaking people it is such a Pity to see my own language is not spoken as frequently as people of my own Heritage so with casinades on his way to Extinction I’m concerned for the future but I think the Cantonese if it goes extinct it will be a much longer process in Hong Kong
in Hong Kong speaking Cantonese is a source of Pride and identity Linguistics experts say the survival of a language relies on a range of social cultural factors like speaking it at home teaching it at school and personal choice I think people’s willingness of speaking Mandarin right now it’s not because the government is pushing it they choose what they preferred Mandarin because Mandarin is like a more practical and useful variety of the Chinese language to them many people believe speaking Mandarin guarantees a good future at school and work in recent years there have been some efforts that would make to try to preserve the language so I think it’s improving slowly I mean it’s not gonna die but it’s it will take time and effort to really preserve your language and preservation efforts have started taking effect in 2015 China launched a Country-Wide program to preserve different languages and dialects whether it can succeed now is another question but they’re doing their best and the government says they’re finding ways to preserve Cantonese linguistic experts are optimistic for the language’s survival yeah of course like nationalist propaganda is a factory I think the most influential impactful Factor would be whether this language is spoken in a housing and whether parents are willing to speak the language and pass it on to their kids.
It also starts right here with Cantonese-speaking people like myself, to continue talking in Canto… hopefully fluently.