Cantonese Wikipedia

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Favicon of Wikipedia Cantonese Wikipedia
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site Internet encyclopedia project
Registration Optional
Available language(s) Cantonese
Owner Wikimedia Foundation

The Cantonese Wikipedia (Chinese: 粵文維基百科) is the Cantonese language edition of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. It started on 25 March 2006.


Cantonese, a major variation of the Chinese language in southern China, is the lingua franca in Guangdong Province and some neighboring areas, including Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese has the most well-developed written form of all Chinese varieties apart from the standard varieties of Mandarin and Classical Chinese. Standard written Chinese is based on Mandarin, but when spoken word for word as Cantonese, it sounds unnatural because its expressions are ungrammatical and unidiomatic in Cantonese. As a result, modern Cantonese speakers have developed their own written script, sometimes creating new characters for words that either do not exist or have been lost in standard 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 are written to cater to their population with these written Cantonese characters. As a result, mainstream media such as newspapers and magazines have become progressively less conservative and more colloquial in their dissemination of ideas.


The Cantonese name of Wikipedia was decided in April 2006, following a vote. The same as 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 has 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.

ISO code[edit]

At the time of establishment, there was no ISO code for Cantonese. Thus, it is used zh-yue 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 not. Some suggested using Cantonese instead. But zh-yue is the final domain name.

The ISO code for Cantonese is yue. Proposal using ISO code has been submitted to Wikimedia but it did not get answered.

Native name[edit]

There are various native names of Cantonese, name Kwang Tung Wa (廣東話), Yuet Yu (粵語), 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.


Cantonese flourishes in Guangdong and Guangxi in China, and Hong Kong, and Macau. Some Cantonese masters or is native to Cantonese in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States.

Hong Kong owns the largest written Cantonese assets. Naturally, most editors are Hong Konger.

Starting from a small community, from early on, 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 the 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 divided scripts in written Cantonese, i.e., Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Cantonese Wikipedia uses Traditional following Hong Kong, Macau and traditional usage. Some Cantonese specific characters can be typed in Traditional characters only. Also, Traditional characters are more precise than Simplified counterpart .Simplified will be converted to Traditional ones manually.

For the Simplified character users, an online converter to Simplified character is provided for viewing the content.


Cantonese is a member to the family of Chinese languages. For other members, some Wikipedias have seen established among Wikimedia projects. Cantonese Wikipedia is the second largest in this family.

See also[edit]


  • Wikimedia Mail:[1][2] (December 2004), [3] (January 2005), [4] (February 2005), [5][6] (September 2005)

External links[edit]