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  • Hello everyone welcome to the Internet and my name is

  • Today we're going to look at the differences between Chinese and Chinese

  • Well, what I mean is we'll be looking at two of the many Chinese languages, Mandarin and Cantonese

  • As I mentioned in my video on Chinese, Chinese is not a single language.

  • But rather a number of dialect groups that are united by a common writing system.

  • The spoken languages are different and generally mutually unintelligible.

  • Which is definitely the case with Mandarin and Cantonese?

  • Which are both Semitic languages or Chinese languages spoken in China.

  • Mandarin is spoken by 960 million native speakers.

  • Mainly in the north of China, but is now used all over mainland China and Taiwan as the official language of government media and education,

  • and it's one of the four official languages of Singapore as well.

  • Cantonese on the other hand is spoken by 50 to 60 million native speakers in Hong Kong, Macau

  • Guangzhou and some adjacent areas as well as in Chinese diaspora communities around the world.

  • It's part of the wider Yue branch of Chinese

  • Before we get into the main differences between the two languages

  • it's important to point out that these days speakers of either language typically write in standard Chinese or

  • Hua which is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, but when Cantonese speakers read standard Chinese?

  • They say each word using Cantonese pronunciation

  • Which creates the misconception that Cantonese is exactly the same as Mandarin except for the pronunciation, but that's not the case. Spoken

  • Cantonese is also somewhat different in terms of grammar and vocabulary and there's also written

  • vernacular, Cantonese

  • Which reflects the spoken language and is used in some informal contexts. The differences we talk about in this video will be based on?

  • spoken, Cantonese

  • and its written equivalent, written vernacular Cantonese. By far the largest difference between Mandarin and Cantonese lies in pronunciation

  • Both of these languages are tonal languages

  • But they each have a different number of tones. Mandarin has four tones plus one neutral tone

  • there's a high flat tone a rising tone a

  • Falling rising tone a falling tone, and the neutral tone, for example,

  • bāo, báo, bǎo, bào.

  • The neutral tone is a short de-emphasized syllable which is said with no regard to tone

  • Cantonese has six basic tones

  • There's a high flat tone

  • a mid rising tone, a mid flat tone, a low falling tone, a low rising tone, and a low flat tone

  • si

  • si

  • si

  • Si, si si

  • Some people count three additional tones for a total of nine. These are historical tones that were used for syllables ending in p, t, or k.

  • In standard Cantonese

  • They've merged with other tones, so that the only remainder of these tones is the stop consonant at the end of the syllable

  • So if we compare the two sets of tones

  • You'll see that Mandarin has a tone that falls then Rises which is something that Cantonese doesn't have

  • You'll also notice that Mandarin has a narrower range of tones

  • Cantonese has a wider range of tones, with tones essentially in two ranges the mid to high range and the low range. this makes

  • Cantonese harder for English speakers to learn than Mandarin because instead of

  • distinguishing only the movement of a tone they also have to

  • Distinguish whether a tone is in the mid to high range or the low range. In both Mandarin and Cantonese,

  • and all Chinese languages for that matter, each Chinese character or

  • nzì

  • Represents one morpheme. Either a word or a meaningful part of a word, which can't be further divided

  • But each character is pronounced differently in Mandarin and Cantonese. One example of this is the word for I in Mandarin. It's pronounced (Mandarin)

  • With the third tone or falling rising tone. While in Cantonese

  • It's pronounced "ngóh", with the fifth tone or low rising tone so the tone is different

  • But also notice that the initial consonant sound is different as well

  • Another example is this word which means China in Mandarin.

  • It's pronounced "Zhōngguó", with a high flat tone and a rising tone, and in Cantonese

  • It's pronounced "jūnggwok", with a high flat tone and a mid flat tone

  • The pronunciation of these two words might sound pretty close

  • But the tones are partially different and remember that the meaning of words is partly determined by tones

  • Notice that the second character is

  • pronounced with a cup sound at the end in Cantonese, while in Mandarin it ends in a vowel sound. In Mandarin every syllable ends in

  • A vowel or in a nasal sound in Cantonese however syllables can end in the stop consonants /p/, /t/, and /k/ as well

  • Pronunciation differences between Mandarin and Cantonese are often consistent. This character that we just looked at is

  • Pronounced "Zhōng" in Mandarin, and so is this character and this one among many others. In Cantonese,

  • they're all pronounced "jūng". The difference here lies mainly in the initial consonant sound. The systems of

  • Romanization are different for Mandarin and Cantonese so the Roman characters might be a little misleading here

  • But the initial consonant in Mandarin is something like the English J sound,

  • but with your tongue curled back. The initial consonant in Cantonese is [tsʊŋ]

  • like TS in English. Think of the end of the word cats

  • Let's look at three more characters first in Mandarin "Jiàn"

  • "Jiàn", "Jiān"

  • and in Cantonese, "gin",

  • "gin", "gīn".

  • In this case. We can see that the consonants and vowels consistently correspond

  • But that a different tone in Mandarin corresponds to a different tone in Cantonese

  • But the sounds don't always correspond like this. There are also characters that have the same pronunciation in one language but different

  • pronunciations in the other

  • in Mandarin, there's "xiè",

  • "xié",

  • "xiě"

  • But in Cantonese they're pronounced /zeh/

  • /haàih/

  • /sé/

  • Here we can see that the Mandarin sounds don't consistently correspond with Cantonese sounds. In Mandarin

  • They're pronounced the same except for the tones, but the three words are pronounced in three completely different waysi n Cantonese

  • Differences in grammar

  • Both languages are fundamentally SVO

  • For example here's a sentence meaning "I read those books" First in Mandarin. (Mandarin). Next in Cantonese

  • (Cantonese)

  • Word-for-word both sentences translate as I read those book, so you can see that both are SVO

  • subject-verb-object

  • Even though the words are different, In both languages the verb consists of two parts, the verb itself followed by the perfective marker

  • which shows completion, and in both languages, the object includes two parts, a determiner followed by the noun.

  • A determiner is a word like an article or a demonstrative adjective, which tells us information about which now and we're talking about

  • One difference can be noted in sentences that have a direct object. In basic sentences in mandarin, the indirect object

  • Comes before the direct object, while in Cantonese it comes after

  • For example here's a sentence in each language meaning "Give me a pen". In Mandarin

  • We would say (Mandarin), and in Cantonese, (Cantonese)

  • Notice that these are imperative sentences, commands or instructions

  • Word-for-word the Mandarin sentence translates as give me a pen

  • The Cantonese sentence translates as give a pen me

  • with the indirect object in the sentence final position after the direct object

  • Notice that the word meaning. I and the phrase meaning "a pen" are reversed

  • Let's take a look at the phrase meaning a pen for a second. It consists of three parts first the word meaning one

  • Followed by a word that functions as a counter for long cylindrical objects, and then the word for pen

  • In other cases the indirect object is in the same position as in Mandarin before the direct object

  • Like in this sentence meaning "he sends me a book" in Mandarin

  • (Mandarin), and in Cantonese (Cantonese)

  • Notice right here that in both sentences the indirect object comes after the verb and before the direct object.

  • In both languages the indirect object could go after the direct object, but another word functioning like a preposition meaning "to" would be necessary

  • Another difference is the way that comparisons are formed in Mandarin and Cantonese. Here's a sentence meaning, I'm bigger than you. In Mandarin

  • you say (Mandarin), while in Cantonese you say (Cantonese).

  • Word for word the Mandarin sentence is I compare you big or you could think of it as I

  • compared to you and big the Cantonese sentence translates as I

  • Big more than you, so you can see that in the Mandarin sentence the adjective comes at the end

  • While in the Cantonese sentence it comes before the comparative word and the pronoun meaning you

  • Notice that the comparative word is different in the two languages

  • differences in vocabulary. In Chinese languages words are represented by ideographic graphic characters called hanzou

  • sometimes Mandarin and Cantonese use different words

  • Represented by different Chinese characters to represent the same concept, and in other cases the same Chinese character it might have a somewhat different

  • meaning or usage in either language

  • The difference in vocabulary could be as high as 50%

  • That's when comparing Mandarin to spoken Cantonese and written vernacular Cantonese. Here are some examples of different vocabulary

  • These words function as copula verbs like "is" in English. (Mandarin) is used in Mandarin. When read in Cantonese

  • It's pronounced (Cantonese)

  • But the typical Cantonese word is (Cantonese)

  • This character is also used in Mandarin and is pronounced si, but it's used with the basic meaning of relation or connection

  • These are negation words meaning no or not in Mandarin. In Mandarin it's (Mandarin)

  • This word is also used in Cantonese and pronounced (Cantonese)

  • but but it's used more often in standard writing than the colloquial Cantonese word (Cantonese). This word is not used in Mandarin.

  • If we look at the word for teacher in both languages

  • We'll see that Mandarin uses the word (Mandarin), while Cantonese uses the word (Cantonese)

  • This word is also used in Cantonese with the pronunciation (Cantonese)

  • This word is also used in Mandarin with the pronunciation

  • Say Shen, and means mister or husband actually in Cantonese it has both of those meanings as well as the meaning of teacher

  • But from what I hear this word (Cantonese) is not used by younger people who use (Cantonese) instead for the meaning of teacher

  • These are the words for bus. In Mandarin is (Mandarin)

  • These four characters could be translated literally as something like public, shared, gas, car

  • But normally these two characters form the word meaning public and these two form the word meaning car.

  • in Cantonese it's

  • (Cantonese), a word derived from the English word bus

  • two Chinese characters

  • with sounds similar to those of the word bus were chosen to represent this English borrowing. This type of

  • Borrowing from English is more common in Cantonese particularly in the Hong Kong variety because it was a dependent territory of the UK.

  • In Mandarin, to ask someone's name, you would say (Mandarin). In Cantonese you would say (Cantonese)

  • Here you can see that the word order is the same, so the sentences are

  • Translatable word for word. If we translate word for word, we get you call what name but some of the words are different

  • The word for what is different and the word for name or first name is different. In Mandarin

  • It's a two character compound word and in Cantonese

  • It's a single character of course even the words that are the same are pronounced differently in either language

  • This word meaning you is pronounced in Mandarin as (Mandarin) with a falling rising tone. In Cantonese

  • It's lay with a low rising tone. You may have noticed that the Cantonese audio recording sounded more like

  • Lay with an initial L

  • Sound rather than (Cantonese) with an initial /n/ sound. the /n/ sound is considered proper Cantonese

  • while the L sound is considered casual or relaxed pronunciation

  • This word meaning call is pronounced in Mandarin as (Mandarin) with the falling tone. In Cantonese it's

  • (Cantonese) with a mid flat tone

  • This word or word component meaning name is pronounced in Mandarin as (Mandarin) with a rising tone, and in Cantonese

  • It's (Cantonese) with a mid rising tone

  • Note that throughout this video I've been using traditional Chinese characters for both Mandarin and Cantonese

  • but in mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia

  • simplified Chinese characters are used for Mandarin while traditional characters are used in Taiwan. As for Cantonese, in Hong Kong and Macau,

  • Traditional characters are used. In Guangzhou and surrounding areas people normally use

  • Simplified characters for Cantonese. Some people think that Mandarin is always written in simplified characters, and that Cantonese is always written in

  • Traditional characters, but it's not that simple

  • You may be asking yourself, which language is better to learn well

  • there are definite benefits to learning either one if

  • You learn Mandarin, you'll be understood all over mainland China as well as Taiwan, and also in Singapore and Malaysia

  • But they'll probably just speak English to you

  • and if you learn

  • Cantonese, you'll be able to communicate with people in the southern part of mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Macau and you'll be

  • able to enjoy all of those famous movies from Hong Kong

  • Either way if you have a deep cultural interest in either of these languages that will certainly make it easier to learn

  • the question of the day: For native speakers of either Mandarin or Cantonese to what extent can you understand the other language when it's spoken?

  • How about when it's written, and for learners of either language have you taken a look at the other language?

  • What similarities and differences did you notice? Be sure to follow Langfocus on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

  • And I'm not sure if you can follow those in China, but please try and once again

  • I would like to say thank you to all of my wonderful patreon supporters, especially these ones right here on the screen

  • They are my top tier patreon supporters, so many thanks to them. Thank you for watching and have a nice day

Hello everyone welcome to the Internet and my name is

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B1 US cantonese mandarin tone rising tone pronounced chinese

How Similar Are Mandarin and Cantonese?

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    jigme.lee888 posted on 2018/08/22
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