Chinese, Yue


A language of China

Alternate Names
Cantonese, Gwong Dung Waa, Yue, Yueh, Yuet Yue, Yueyu

52,000,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 62,239,960.


Guangdong Province (except Hakka-speaking areas northeast, Min Nan-speaking areas east); Hainan Island; east Guangxi. Also in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Hong Kong, Macao, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam.

Language Maps
Language Status

2 (Provincial). De facto provincial language in Guangdong Province.


Bobai, Cangwu, Gaolei (Gaoyang), Guangzhou, Guinan, Ping, Qinlian, Siyi (Hoisan, Schleiyip, Seiyap, Taishan, Toisan), Tengxian, Yangjiang, Zhongshan. The Guangzhou variety considered the standard.


SVO; prepositions; genitives, relatives, articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; tonal

Language Use

Second only to Mandarin [cmn] in use. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Though many Yue speakers can understand Mandarin [cmn], many have difficulty speaking it.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 91% (2000 census, Han nationality). Speakers are highly literate in Chinese. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1894–1981.
Braille script. Han script, Simplified variant. Han script, Traditional variant, official usage in Hong Kong and Macau, also used elsewhere.
Other Comments

Majority in China classified as Han nationality, though many members of other nationalities in Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan also speak Yue dialects.

Also spoken in:

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