The Cantonese language

All Chinese languages are written using the same characters so that texts can be understood in all parts of the country. It’s the spoken languages that differ. There are many Sinitic languages spoken in China that differ significantly from each other.

The most widely spoken language is Mandarin, followed by Wu and Cantonese. The Cantonese language is spoken by approximately 100 million people worldwide, and Mandarin is spoken by approximately 800 million. The homeland of Cantonese is Canton (Guangdong), Hong Kong, and Macao.

Chinese-speaking people in the USA, Great Britain, and Australia predominantly speak Cantonese. This also applies to the Chinese who have migrated to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore, and translations into and from Cantonese are especially important for the economic sector.

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Cantonese and Vietnamese – Close Language Relatives

Cantonese and Vietnamese are closely related to each other, as they are both spoken by the Kinh people. The inclusion of Canton in the Chinese Empire and the intensive contact between Mandarin speakers and Vietnam caused both languages to take on many words and elements from Mandarin.

The pronunciation and sound of Cantonese

The pronunciation of Cantonese differs considerably from Mandarin. The possibility for a stop sound at the end of a syllable is what most differentiates the languages.

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When voicing a word or syllable in a tonal language, the pitch and length of the tones have an effect on the entire meaning of the word. By changing one pitch in a spoken sentence, it can take on an entirely different meaning.

The various dialects of Cantonese differ in their tones, however. The sound of the tones is made clear by corresponding markings on the characters. Using this, one reading a Cantonese character is able to recognize how the word reads in Mandarin. Above the characters, it also shows whether there is a change of tone in the Cantonese language. Depending on the circumstance, however, some characters may only be used in either Cantonese or Mandarin.

We are your partner for translations into and from Cantonese

The Cantonese language can’t simply be transferred onto a computer keyboard like Mandarin or another closely related Chinese language. A special program is needed to support the unique characteristic of adding accent marks to Cantonese symbols.

Our native-speaking translators are familiar with the linguistic idiosyncrasies of Cantonese and are capable of translating your texts with pinpoint accuracy.

Official Chinese texts are not written in Cantonese. However, if you’re in need of a translation into Cantonese or from Cantonese into English, such as a certified birth, death, or marriage certificate for U.S. Immigration, you’ve found your partner. We also have translators who are well-versed in a variety of industries and subject areas, including finance, marketing, medicine, and law.

Send us your text by email or by using the request form, and you will receive a no-obligation quote from us promptly.

United Kingdom Cantonese
Sverige Kantonesiska
Österreich Kantonesisch
Danmark Oversættelsesbureau for kantonesisk
Schweiz Kantonesisch
United States Cantonese
Nederland Kantonees
Suomi Kiina (kantoni)
Deutschland Kantonesisch