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Chinese, Yue

A language of China

ISO 639-3yue

Population  52,000,000 in China (1984). 498,000 in Macau. Population total all countries: 55,541,660.
Region  Guangdong (except Hakka speaking areas northeast, Min Nan-speaking areas east, Hainan Island); Guangxi. Hong Kong and Macau. Also in Australia, Brunei, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam.
Language map  Southern China
Alternate names   Cantonese, Gwong Dung Waa, Yue, Yueh, Yuet Yue, Yueyu
Dialects  Yuehai (Guangfu, Hong Kong Cantonese, Macau Cantonese, Shatou, Shiqi, Wancheng), Siyi (Seiyap, Taishan, Toisan, Hoisan, Schleiyip), Gaolei (Gaoyang), Qinlian, Guinan, Ping. The Guangzhou variety is considered the standard. Varieties of Yuehai are Xiangshan, spoken around Zhongshan and Shuhai, and Wanbao around Dong Guan City and Bao’an County.
Classification  Sino-Tibetan, Chinese
A member of macrolanguage Chinese [zho] (China).
Language use  Second only to Mandarin in scope of use. Some also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].
Language development  Fully developed. Bible: 1894–1981.
Writing system  Han script, Simplified variant, used in Viet Nam. Han script, Traditional variant, used in Viet Nam.
Comments  Classified as Han nationality. Outside of mainland China, many characters specific to Cantonese are used in the writing system. SVO; prepositions; genitives, relatives before noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; word order mainly distinguishes subjects, objectives, indirect objects; passives usually indicated by adding a word in front of the verb; tonal.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  6,350 in Brunei (2006).
Alternate names  Cantonese, Yue, Yueh

Indonesia (Java and Bali)

Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  180,000 in Indonesia (1982).
Alternate names  Cantonese, Yue, Yueh

Malaysia (Peninsular)

Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  1,070,000 in Malaysia (2000 census).
Alternate names  Cantonese, Yue, Yueh
Dialects  Cantonese, Toishanese.


Language name   Chinese, Yue
Region  Panama City, Colón, larger towns of interior.
Alternate names  Cantonese, Yue, Yueh
Language use  Also use Spanish.
Comments  Merchants.


Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  9,780 in Philippines (2000).


Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  314,000 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 338,000 (1993).
Alternate names  Cantonese, Guangfu, Yue, Yueh


Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  29,400 in Thailand (1984).
Alternate names  Cantonese, Yue, Yueh

Viet Nam

Language name   Chinese, Yue
Population  862,000 in Viet Nam (1999 census).
Region  Soc Trang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Dong Nai, Kieng Giang provinces; Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Haiphong cities; north Viet Nam-China border regions.
Alternate names  Chinese Nung, Ha Xa Phang, Hai Nam, Han, Hoa, Kién, Liem Chau, Lowland Nung, Minh Huong, Nung, Phúc, Quang Dong, Samg Phang, Suòng Phóng, Trièu Chau
Comments  Renowned fighters. Came from Canton, China as railroad workers and soldiers several decades ago. Distinct from Nung in the Tai family or Tibeto-Burman Nung (Nu) of China and Myanmar. Daoist, Christian.