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Cantonese, a major variation of the Chinese language in southern China, is the lingua franca in Guangdong Province and other neighboring areas, including Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese has the most well-developed written form of all Chinese varieties apart from the standard-Mandarin variety and Classical Chinese.
With the advent of the computer and standardization of character sets specifically for Cantonese, many printed materials in predominantly Cantonese speaking areas of the world cater to their population using these written Cantonese characters.
The Cantonese name of Wikipedia was decided in April 2006, following a vote. In a similar manner to the existing Chinese Wikipedia, the name of Cantonese Wikipedia (Traditional Chinese: 維基百科; Simplified Chinese: 维基百科; jyutping "wai4 gei1 baak3 fo1") means "Wiki Encyclopedia". The Chinese transcription of "Wiki" is composed of two characters: 維/维, whose ancient sense refers to 'ropes or webs connecting objects', and alludes to the 'Internet'; and 基, meaning the 'foundations of a building', or 'fundamental aspects of things in general'. The name can be interpreted as 'the encyclopedia that connects the fundamental knowledge of humanity'.
The discussion in 2006 also decided the Cantonese name of the word "Cantonese" in the wiki. The result was "粵語". In a vote in Aug. to Sept. 2013 it has been decided that the name be changed to "粵文", which literally means Cantonese inscription.
At the time of establishment, there was no ISO code for Cantonese. Thus, zh-yue was used as the domain. However, some did not like the idea, as Yue is the Mandarin name of Cantonese. The native name is Yuet. Cantonese preserves entering tone while Mandarin does not. Some suggested using Cantonese instead, however zh-yue was chosen as the final domain name.
The ISO code for Cantonese is yue. Using the ISO code instead of current domain has been submitted as a proposal to Wikimedia, however, as of yet, no action has been taken to implement this change.
There are various native names of Cantonese, namely Kwang Tung Wa (廣東話), Yuet Yu (粵語), and Kwang Fu Wa (廣府話). Cantonese Wikipedians thus use the three names interchangeably, namely 廣東話維基百科, 粵語維基百科, and 廣府話維基百科. There is no consensus on the native name.
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Cantonese flourishes in Guangdong and Guangxi in China, and Hong Kong, and Macau. Some Cantonese speakers are native to Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Canada, United Kingdom, or the United States.
Hong Kong owns the largest written Cantonese assets. Fittingly, most editors are Hong Konger.
Starting from a small community, Cantonese Wikipedians have formed a consensus to follow, by default, the policies, guidelines, and customs of the English Wikipedia, wherever they are applicable. This consensus has provided stability and allows Wikipedians to concentrate on content.
As of 13 July 2013, the Cantonese Wikipedia has over 840,000 edits, over 23,000 articles, and more than 76,000 registered users, 11 of whom are administrators.
There are two different scripts of written Cantonese, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Cantonese Wikipedia uses Traditional following Hong Kong and Macau in their traditional usage. Some Cantonese specific characters can be typed in Traditional characters only. Simplified characters will be converted to Traditional ones manually.
For Simplified character users, an online converter to Simplified character is provided for viewing the content.
Cantonese is a member of the family of Chinese languages. Different Wikipedias have been established for different Chinese languages (see below). Cantonese Wikipedia is the second largest in this family.
- Chinese Wikipedia (Based on Standard Chinese)
- Classical Chinese Wikipedia
- Minnan Wikipedia (Main Page)
- Mindong Wikipedia (Main Page)
- Gan Wikipedia (Main Page), Wu Wikipedia (Main Page)
- Hakka Wikipedia (Main Page).
- Wikimedia Mail: (December 2004),  (January 2005),  (February 2005),  (September 2005)
|Cantonese edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- (Chinese) Cantonese Wikipedia