Talk:Cantonese

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Another admin to do the move[edit]

This is meant with no offence intended toward kwami at all, but can we get another admin to do the move when concensus (or super majority) has actually been reached? Kwami obviously has an opinion on the naming, and it would be best if we had a neutral party to do the move. He has had a stake in this discussion for over a year now, and in fact, some of his page moves have been the cause of the lengthy discussions that have taken place here. I highly suggest we ask another admin to do the move itself when we're ready. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:41, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I would have to agree to this. Colipon+(Talk) 00:25, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Sure, but what difference does it make? If everyone agrees on C or SC or whatever, who cares who makes the move? I have purposefully not been expressing an opinion on which title (C or SC) I prefer, and in fact don't have a very strong preference. kwami (talk) 01:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, a year ago, you moved the article to "Guangzhou dialect", a name which you personally preferred, and that resulted in an extremely lengthy discussion where the majority opinion was to move it back to "Standard Cantonese". To be fair, your move to "Guangzhou dialect" was completely justified, as you brought up that proposed name and there were practically no discussion. Silence means no opposition. Then in September of this year, after some renewed discussion that took place mostly between you and an anonymous editor about the naming, you split the article and we somehow ended up here at "Canton dialect". After your split, another lengthy discussion came up where we're are closing in on agreeing to once again move to to some other name beside the one you originally prefer. Obviously there has been a lot of opposition to what you would prefer the article to be named, otherwise these lengthy discussions would not flare up after your article moving and splitting. I mean, we could go around in circles year after year, where you move the article to a name you prefer, and then a number of editors pour in and argue about the naming and we move it back to some other name. Or maybe you could just not move this article anymore and let another admin handle the moving if consensus is reached. Yeah technically everything was done according to WP policy, but that doesn't mean it's good practice. It's obvious this article require a higher threshold on having editors agree on a name before it should be moved. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 05:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not arguing for it to be here. We just need to come to an agreement. I've been criticized for not moving it again without waiting for agreement. kwami (talk) 06:59, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

See if this will work[edit]

Current obstacle is what get moved and which article get to stay. What if we skip this step?! Currently most of the people seem to be happy with JWB's proposal in terms of content. This is very sad if the logistic throws us back to square one. Some user expresses concern over how detail terms turn out. Here is my suggestion:

We start a page call Talk:Canton dialect/Cantonese (or wherever appropriate) in which all the editors write or contribute loosely according to JWB's proposal. This is a real article with references. Just like a real wikipedia article. The details may be worked out there over editing each other work. Until everyone is happy, we can go back to the logistic (i.e. which to move or what) and transfer the new content to the appropriate page. Anyone?? --WikiCantona (talk) 03:06, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, if we're agreed that this article is about the Ausbau, then there's no reason people can't edit it now. No need to wait for the move: Just because we're currently (& temporarily) at "Canton dialect" doesn't mean the first words in the article need to be those. It's kinda nice to keep the page history for posterity, which won't happen if we all collaborate at a temporary talk page, unless we merge the page histories, which means we shouldn't touch this article in the mean time. kwami (talk) 03:24, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course, editing the Canton dialects (to some people) could means endorse Canton dialect article to move new Cantonese article. If start with a new one, no one feels being trapped at the end. Starting anew always get new way of thinking the problems. --WikiCantona (talk) 05:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I have read the above many times. I cannot tell what is JWB's proposal exactly. Also editing a new article will not resolve the naming problem. This page content is about 廣州話 regardless of what the name is. The issue is the page name, not really the content. Benjwong (talk) 03:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, different people seem to have different interpretations of what they're agreeing with. As for the content of this page, yes, 廣州話. But what is that exactly? The ausbau? The Guangfu/Yuehai dialect? It seems you want it to be on the Guangzhou topolect, correct? If we disagree as to what we mean by 廣州話, we might be frustrated trying to edit the article. For some reason it seems difficult to pin people down on what they want. kwami (talk) 03:36, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
It is the content. "Cantonese" can translate into 廣州話, one way among many, which has a great deal of vagueness in the term in English usage. If Chinese translation works here, we would not have been here today. It is the English Cantonese being the problem, not the Chinese term. Just like others like to say, this page content is about 廣州話 regardless of what the name is is irrelevant. --WikiCantona (talk) 05:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Can we agree on two things here?

  • This article is about 廣州話, meaning the dialect specifically spoken in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, etc.
  • The most common English translation of 廣州話 is "Cantonese".

Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 06:02, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

What you're describing is called the "Canton dialect", according to the wording at Cantonese (Yue). Are you arguing that we keep the article at its current location?
Are you saying the article should be or should not be about the standard/prestige register of Cantonese? This is one of the questions we've been debating, and after all the verbage, I still don't know if we agree or not: Should this be about the dialect, or about the Ausbausprache?
Otherwise I agree with you: when English speakers say "Cantonese", they generally mean the speech of Guangzhou and HK, not Yueyu. I *think* most of us agree on that, but I can't be sure of that either. kwami (talk) 07:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
The most common translation for 粵語 (Yueyu), 廣東話 (Gwangdongwa), 廣府話 (Guangfuwaa) are "Cantonese" too. Please note. The majority of dictionaries I checked 粵 = 廣東, in the old day, 兩粵 (two yuet) means both Guangdong and Guangxi. (One is Contemporary Chinese dictionary, Chinese English edition 2002, Foreign language teaching and research press) --WikiCantona (talk) 07:41, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Which is another example of why we shouldn't use Chinese (or any other language) to decide on the definitions of English words. kwami (talk) 08:22, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree to some degree. When the English term has its origin in Chinese, the Chinese or other languages could help to unravel some issues. Knowing the past is important--WikiCantona (talk) 09:20, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Rather than work on Chinese names, could we just work on English and define "Cantonese" as follows:
  • The prestige dialect of the city of Canton -- the traditional prestige variety (and perhaps surrounding areas, although not necessarily with "standard accent") (广州话, 广府话)
  • This dialect is also spoken in HK/Macau, with admixture of English vocabulary. HK variant is also an influential Cantonese-speaking centre. (The language is known in those places as 广东话)
  • Also spoken as a lingua franca in Guangdong/Guangxi province (again not necessarily with standard accent) -- in this role known as 白话
  • Many other dialects from the Yue group diverge considerably from the standard, but are often also loosely referred to as "Cantonese"
We thus encompass the topolect of Canton, the prestige variant, the lingua franca, and the more loosely associated rural dialects within the article without violence to the spirit of the article.
Detailed linguistic information on the abstand language (Yue) would be placed in the Yue article. Even though the article would mention "Cantonese" in the narrow sense as a prestige dialect among the Yue dialects, it would theoretically treat all dialects as equal members of the family of dialects, without a hierarchy of "standard" vs "dialects".
Bathrobe (talk) 09:45, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I think you definition is largely fair and reasonable. Two comments. About first point: It is a prestige dialect (regiolect) originated in the city of Canton, spread to many parts of province. The last point: they just differ from the standard. "Diverge" appears to mean they become different through time, we should not make assumption that its other Yue dialects developed away from the standard. However, I don't think Cantonese (Yue) should be about abstand language, simply it is not (elaborate before). Yet, in Yue dialect or Yue dialect group article can treat them as equal members. --WikiCantona (talk) 14:41, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Bathrobe's definitions. That is exactly what I would like to see in a "Cantonese" article as well. The only problem right now is procedural. Do we write about this new article over at "Cantonese (Yue)" or do we do it here? Again, I propose that we do it over at "Cantonese (Yue)", which will be renamed 'Cantonese'. This is by no means an excuse to conflate the two concepts of Yue and Cantonese. The reason I say this is because I endorsed the creation of a new "Yue dialects" article with a separate page history, as I do not believe the history at "Cantonese (Yue)" ever exclusively dealt with just "Yue" itself. If we move "Cantonese (Yue)" now to "Yue dialects", editors will still get confused, especially with that article's long page history. Colipon+(Talk) 18:00, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

It matters little to the naming of the article that what it describes is "the Canton dialect" or "the Guangzhou dialect". It's also the native dialect of people in Guangzhou, but we don't move the article to Native dialect of people in Guangzhou, or some other equally meaningful name. The reason? It's not the common name! This is why spotted dick has not been moved to steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit. My simple suggestion is that we move this article to Cantonese (dialect). Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 13:56, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Either Cantonese or Cantonese language is better as regards UCNWP:UCN. But either 'language' or 'dialect' causes NPOV problems. JohnBlackburne (talk) 14:18, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
No, this article is about a dialect within the Yue group. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs)
I suggest that if the article is called Cantonese (dialect) some people will object that Cantonese is a language and seek to have the name changed to match, while others will look at WP:NC-CHINA#Language/dialect NPOV and try to remove dialect altogether. JohnBlackburne (talk) 18:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
That's a whole other discussion altogether, and can take place in the future. One obvious solution is to explain in the content of the article that Cantonese may be considered either a dialect or a language depending on who you ask. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
We already do explain that. kwami (talk)
Why is it that nobody seems to have trouble with 粤语 being a 语 in Chinese, but Cantonese being a language in English has been controversial? --JWB (talk) 19:10, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
If people would accept "Cantonese language" and "Cantonese dialect" for Yue and Cantonese, we might not have a problem. But that hasn't worked in the past. For one, the "language" becomes a "dialect" if you consider Chinese to be the "language"; for another, we've had at least one native Taishanese speaker object that Taishanese is not a dialect of Cantonese. The names just aren't sufficiently distinct to avoid confusion. That said, I think we might be able to get away with "Cantonese dialect" for the narrow scope, if the primary objection to the current name "Canton dialect" is simply that it doesn't contain "Cantonese". I just doubt that we'll be able to use either 'language' or 'dialect' for the larger-scope article. kwami (talk) 20:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
No, the objection is that it contains "dialect". It is the Yue group that consists of dialects; Cantonese is a language, meaning it is widely used as a lingua franca. It is based on a particular dialect but it is the Ausbau attributes that makeit a language in the usual sense. Your sense, which seems to be coming from comparative linguistics (though I can't say if it's representative of that field either) is nearly the opposite. As for "Taishanese is not a dialect of Cantonese" that affects article content but I can't see how it affects article titles.
I'm thinking now that Cantonese (Yue) is not that bad a title for the main article covering all aspects including Abstand and Ausbau though not necessarily in depth, although Cantonese (Yueyu) would have the advantage of clarifying with the actual term used in Chinese. --JWB (talk) 20:57, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Poll 2.0[edit]

Is it possible that we mostly agree but don't know we do? I can't tell. So here's a poll. If we actually have consensus or even a super majority, I will post an article move request. Note that I'm not asking for the perfect name for this article. I'm only trying to see what you think might be a better name. Please keep any discussion in the discussion subsection so we don't clutter up the poll, and add any other option you feel should be in the poll. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 05:33, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

In a first-past-the-post poll, an unpopular choice can win because several popular choices split the vote. Better to rank the choices: if your first choice loses out, where do you want your vote to go? kwami (talk) 07:39, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Who supports these names?

Cantonese (dialect)
Standard Cantonese
Cantonese
Canton dialect
Guangzhou Cantonese
Cantonese language
  • (2) JohnBlackburne
  • (2) Bathrobe (talk) 09:52, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (2) Colipon+(Talk) 12:49, 18 November 2009 (UTC) (so long as it describes the "four definitions of Cantonese" listed by User Bathrobe above)
  • (2) Akerbeltz (talk) 16:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (1) JWB (talk) 16:20, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (1) TrueColour (talk) 22:43, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Results

The results have been reported below, but I figure it's good form to spell them out. Assuming True-Colour's 9th-rank vote for "Cantonese" is a joke, that's 7 out of 9 for Cantonese. In first-past-the-post counting, "Cantonese" still wins with 5.

More importantly, "Cantonese" is the first or second choice of nearly everyone. We don't actually make decisions on WP by polling, as this poll implies, but rather by discussion and consensus, and it's clear that we have a pretty good consensus on "Cantonese". kwami (talk) 01:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion 2[edit]

I still would like the procedures of this page move to be clarified. Would we be transferring the content of this article to the article "Cantonese (Yue)" or would we just move it to "Cantonese" period? Because in my view, the new "Cantonese" article should cover the following (not just Canton dialect) as defined by User Bathrobe:

  • The prestige dialect of the city of Canton -- the traditional prestige variety (and perhaps surrounding areas, although not necessarily with "standard accent") (广州话, 广府话)
  • This dialect is also spoken in HK/Macau, with admixture of English vocabulary. HK variant is also an influential Cantonese-speaking centre. (The language is known in those places as 广东话)
  • Also spoken as a lingua franca in Guangdong/Guangxi province (again not necessarily with standard accent) -- in this role known as 白话
  • Many other dialects from the Yue group diverge considerably from the standard, but are often also loosely referred to as "Cantonese".

Colipon+(Talk) 17:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I suggest that we have one article for the Cantonese dialect and another article for the Yue dialectic group. There're enough info for the two topics to be separate articles. Heck, there are enough info for at least several of the dialects within the Yue group for their own articles. See Taishanese, Pinghua, etc. If voting on the poll continues as it has so far, with the simple and ambiguous "Cantonese" in the lead, the content of the article should have minimal impact on the name of the article. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:44, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to remind everyone that almost all of the interlanguage links to/from the present Cantonese (Yue) are with articles named with that language's version of the word "Cantonese", and that there is no way I know of to easily fix all of these. This alone is reason enough to put the new Cantonese in that article. --JWB (talk) 18:57, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

The interwikis are not a justifiable reason for our decision. We should decide what we think is best, and adjust the interwikis to fit. And if they don't fit perfectly, so be it: that's a minor concern, and shouldn't hobble our articles. kwami (talk) 20:44, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
We can definitely have a separate article for the Yue dialects - but I think we should create a new article that is roughly translated from the Chinese "Yue dialects" article. The "Cantonese" article will have only one section dedicated to these dialects, and will appropriately also discuss which dialects can be considered "Cantonese" and which dialects are generally treated separately from Cantonese (such as Taishanese). Colipon+(Talk) 19:54, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Why create a new article? We already have an article. IMO the page history should be preserved. I don't understand why you're so insistent on deleting articles and then recreating them.
This article would be about the first three bullets in your list at the top of the page, even if we were to stick with the current name: They are, after all, what "Canton dialect" in the narrow sense means. The fourth bullet is what this article is *not* about. (I'm assuming, since you didn't clarify, that by 'diverge considerably', you mean non-Yuehai dialects.) It should be covered, of course, in order to delimit the scope of the article, but the reader should then be directed to the Yue article for details. I believe this is what Hong Qi Gong is advocating, and I agree. kwami (talk) 20:44, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Those four bullets were suggested by Bathrobe as the "definition" of Cantonese, not by me. I am saying it is a good framework to write the new "Cantonese" article. The "Cantonese (Yue)" page was never exclusively about Yue, nor was it ever exclusively about Cantonese. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. I am not advocating that we delete anything. *sigh* I'm tired of elaborating this over and over again. Basically, it's what JWB proposed. Just read that if you are still unclear. Colipon+(Talk) 21:07, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
As long as "Many other dialects from the Yue group" means Yuehai, I agree. However, I wouldn't want the article to be about dialects more divergent than that; that's what the Yue article is for. kwami (talk) 22:47, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Please, no one has any right to restrict the Yue group dialects. It should be remain as vague as possible since it should be up to our fellow wikipedians with about what and which dialect to included (with references). It is totally unfair and useless to set such limits by those who lacks the knowledge of that particular language. --WikiCantona (talk) 15:01, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Are you criticizing Colipon, or me? Neither of us has suggested restricting Yue. We're instead discussing the limits of Cantonese: making Cantonese the same as Yue (I can't tell if Colipon is suggesting that or not), besides having been rejected by most editors, would mean there's no need to have separate Cantonese and Yue articles. kwami (talk) 19:30, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Cantonese the Ausbau language is not to be identified with Yue, Yuehai or any strictly delimited dialect area. Take a peasant from some village in the Yuehai dialect area and put him on TV speaking his village dialect, and people will hear it as a nonstandard dialect not as the standard language. The Cantonese article can mention relevant other speech varieties, whether a central Yue dialect, an outlying disputed one, Hakka, Mandarin or English. It doesn't have to and shouldn't take a firm position on how wide an area is associated with Cantonese, but can briefly list major documented POVs. --JWB (talk) 21:17, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

How about one thing at a time? As long as we agree that this article needs a new name, let's take care of this issue first. A number of the editors involved in the discussion have already voted in the poll. I will wait about three days and request an article move unless by then we no longer have a consensus. Right now "Cantonese" is the leading option. If this remains the same, I will also request that the current Cantonese page be moved to Cantonese (disambiguation). If all of this works out, then we can hash out whether or not the current content of this article is OK, what needs to be changed, and what to do with the other article about the Yue dialect group - in no particular task order. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 22:59, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Before we conduct this move, I simply ask involved users to read the Cantonese (Yue) article, and see why we are not dealing with two different articles with two clear-cut, hierarchical topics. The vast majority of the Cantonese (Yue) article deals with "Cantonese", not "Yue dialects". Imagine the mess and confusion if we moved this article to "Cantonese" while the other article is still at "Cantonese (Yue)". On that page, of its six sections, only the "Names" section makes a clear distinction between Yue and Cantonese. For the rest of the article it is very unclear whether or not the content deals with ausbau or abstand "Cantonese" or both. Ignoring this topical ambiguity, User Kwami changed all references to "Cantonese" on that article to "Yue", regardless of what context the word "Cantonese" was used. The Phonology, "development and usage", and "Cantonese outside the two Guangs" sections seem to focus more on the ausbau Cantonese, which is supposed to be the topic of this article. If we move this "Canton dialect" article to "Cantonese" we have to be very clear on the fact that it should be primarily, but not exclusively, about the ausbau language, which is why I am trying to advance User Bathrobe's "four definitions" as the content skeleton for the a new, comprehensive "Cantonese" article. Along that vein, it is more productive to merge part of this article into "Cantonese (Yue)", rename "Cantonese (Yue)" to "Cantonese", and move the bulk of the information about Yue to a new article called "Yue dialects". This is a solution that takes three considerations into account - namely, accessibility for editors and readership; preservation of page histories; preservation of inter-wiki links. Colipon+(Talk) 23:34, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
We've already decided against having three articles when we merged Standand Cantonese and Canton dialect. You were part of that discussion. Let's not rehash it.
The vast majority of the Cantonese (Yue) article deals with "Cantonese", not "Yue dialects". --I disagree. The vast majority deals with Yueh.
Imagine the mess and confusion if we moved this article to "Cantonese" while the other article is still at "Cantonese (Yue)". --But we can't deal with that here. That's a discussion for that page. This page is for discussing *this* article. Once we have articles at "Cantonese" and "Cantonese (Yue)", we can discuss over there how to better differentiate them, whether "Yue dialects" or merely "Yue (Cantonese)".
Kwami changed all references to "Cantonese" on that article to "Yue", regardless of what context the word "Cantonese" was used. --False. You might want to read the article yourself before instructing us to.
The Phonology, "development and usage", and "Cantonese outside the two Guangs" sections seem to focus more on the ausbau Cantonese, which is supposed to be the topic of this article. --If that were true, you'd have a point, and those sections could be merged here. They still could be. But as they stand, they include Taishanese etc. and so belong where they are.
If we move this "Canton dialect" article to "Cantonese" we have to be very clear on the fact that it should be primarily, but not exclusively, about the ausbau language --I agree completely. We can decide later exactly how much we cover beyond the ausbausprache, but I don't see how it follows that we should split up this article.
There are two basic concepts here: Cantonese in the broad sense (Yue dialects), and Cantonese in the narrow sense (Standard/Guangfu). The Cantonese (Yue) article is about the former, this article is about the latter. AFAIK, they've had this distinction for quite some time. We're going to get into a mess if we agree to move this article to 'Cantonese', and then try to swap its contents with the other article. When I say I support a move of this article to 'Cantonese', I mean that I support a move of the contents of this article to 'Cantonese' as well: that the 'Cantonese' article should be about Cantonese in the narrow sense, and Yue-whatever should be about it in the broad sense. kwami (talk) 00:20, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I am glad that we are able to agree on some parts of the discussion. I note that there are still some misunderstandings. For example, I never advocated for three different articles. In any case, I don't want to stall any productive moves or content rearrangements that may be happening. I think if we amalgamate User Bathrobe's "definitions of Cantonese" and User JWB's procedural suggestions, a workable solution will result. Colipon+(Talk) 00:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I am confused. You want to merge part of this article into Cantonese (Yue), then move that article to Cantonese, then create a new article at Yue dialects (or whatever). That's three articles. Unless we delete this one, but you also say you're not advocating deleting anything. kwami (talk) 09:54, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The vote was for this page to be renamed. There is nothing in the vote about merger. Benjwong (talk) 07:23, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I just wanted to challenge TrueColour's assertion above and below that Cantonese is "not good at all. Too many other meanings." As a sometime student of Cantonese I have a number of books here, e.g. Collins Cantonese Dictionary and Fonetic Cantonese made ezee [sic], both bought in Hong Kong last year. And they're typical - when talking about the language/dialect Cantonese the only word needed is Cantonese. Or Google the word, and see how the majority of web pages are the same.

(And that search has just found this, which as well as illustrating the above point is quite a good read: Mandarin pushing out Cantonese - The Globe and Mail) JohnBlackburne (talk) 00:11, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Not sure where to post this. I just managed to ask a Hainanese (female, late 20s, Haikou native, speaker of Hainanese) about "Junhua", "Danzhouhua", etc. Basically she wasn't very clear about the actual identity of dialects spoken in Western Hainan, except to say that they were all pretty incomprehensible. So my identification of Danzhouhua with Junhua should be put on hold. According to Baidu, Danzhouhua is one of two dialects in Hainan known as Junhua. It appears that only locals from Western Hainan are really clear about the identity of their local dialects, and I suspect that even they are likely to be unaware of linguistic affiliations. Bathrobe (talk) 08:11, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was move page. Sufficient consensus exists to move the page as outlined in the nomination. PeterSymonds (talk) 20:19, 3 December 2009 (UTC)



Canton dialectCantonese — This new name has been agreed upon in a first-past-the-post poll: Talk:Canton_dialect#Poll_2.0 The current Cantonese is a disambig page that will also need to be moved. --Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 16:27, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Support as nom and Poll. Let's get this done and focus on fixing issues afterwards. JohnBlackburne (talk) 17:29, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per Talk:Canton_dialect#Poll_2.0. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 20:49, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose user either Cantonese language or Cantonese dialect or Cantonese (linguistics). Cantonese does not refer to the language alone. Such polls are not usefull. TrueColour (talk) 22:40, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support The reasons don't need to be rehashed. If we get embroiled in the language/dialect thing again, this issue will never reach resolution Bathrobe (talk) 00:03, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I support the move back to either Standard Cantonese or Cantonese. This debate is merely about naming. Standard Cantonese is the term used in Hong Kong because its the official language. Obviously Cantonese originated from various places in Guangdong. But the mainland government only promotes putonghua so the majority of people outside of China knows the yuehai or Guangfuhua as Cantonese. It is the same everywhere. This debate was similar to the debate for Minnan, It was changed to Hokkien or Southern Min because a few people wanted to rewrite history in their own point of view which isn't a true world view and sadly very partisan. I'm glad Minnan has returned to its original entry in wikipedia. common sense prevails.

--Visik (talk) 04:43, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose — the article about the dialect may merit a change of page name, but no justification has been given for displacing the disambiguation page. To do that, first show that the article about the dialect is the primary topic. I would support a move of Canton dialect to Cantonese (dialect) or similar. --Una Smith (talk) 00:29, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Could I respectufully ask all those voicing an opinion who have come in at this state and not watched the debate over the last few months to please go to the trouble and read at least some of the talk page above? This is not some quick mov request that has come out of a straw poll but rather the last gasp stage of a very long debate. Akerbeltz (talk) 00:45, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • The very large discussion on various "Cantonese" article talkpages show that this is not the primary topic, especially since another Cantonese was sitting at the requested title for much of this and last year. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 04:33, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Chinese is a dab page, Japanese is dab page, I see no reason why Cantonese shouldn't be a dab page as well. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 06:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Should be Cantonese dialect or Cantonese language. Abductive (reasoning) 06:22, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Move back to original naming system: Standard Cantonese for the Guangzhou dialect and Cantonese (linguistics) as the overview of all the Cantonese dialects. Badagnani (talk) 06:53, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Cantonese (linguistics) was, if I remember rightly, almost universally disliked so that's not an option. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:26, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support on the basis of popularity that Cantonese received over all other Cantonese related pages. I also agree that the word 'dialect' should have never been used in the first place. Tavatar (talk) 07:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The language/dialect controversy and related political considerations should never have been allowed to dominate this discussion. Whatever this is technically, it's almost universally known as Cantonese and also what is meant by Cantonese. Andrewa (talk) 10:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't know where this page is moving to. But moving the current Cantonese page to Cantonese (disambig) seems straight forward. Benjwong (talk) 06:48, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

This has to include cleanup of interlanguage links. --JWB (talk) 17:00, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

There are no IW's currently at "Cantonese", so no cleanup is necessary. (Though you can if you want to.) The bots will move things from the redirect once the move is made. kwami (talk) 01:10, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course I was not referring to the disambig page with no interlanguage links. Again, please heed the example of Nuclear transmutation where bots or humans have not fixed the bad previous links with other language articles on Transmutation for years and in fact bots have reverted human attempts to fix them. --JWB (talk) 01:54, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Then they have nothing to do with the move. If the links are correct now, they'll be correct after the move. If they're not correct now, we don't need to wait for the move to fix them. kwami (talk)
The point is that fixing them is hard and not even known to be possible. Therefore we should put our "Cantonese" article in the article linked to every other language's "Cantonese" article. --JWB (talk) 02:49, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not following. How is that different than what we do with every other article? kwami (talk) 01:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

For those who are opposing the move because they want to keep 'Cantonese' a dab page, bear in mind that we have a rather unique situation here: With most languages around the world, our convention is "X language". However, that is not an option with Sinitic languages, because there is a strong conception that they are all dialects of Chinese. A Western analogy would be if Europeans insisted that French and Spanish were not languages, but dialects of Latin, and "French language" was considered an offensive title; at the same time there would be French nationalists who would take offense at "French dialect". In such a situation, I don't see why we wouldn't have the article at "French", with a dab line, For other uses of the term 'French', see French (disambiguation). kwami (talk) 08:56, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

No vetoes without creative input. We now have four people registering "oppose" votes without having contributed a single word to the discussion, and without a single positive proposal except to say "no". "Cantonese (dialect), Cantonese (language) or something along those lines" don't cut it as proposed names. There needs to be more than a simple "I oppose this move; if you want me to drop my veto, go and fight it out among yourselves". Bathrobe (talk) 10:36, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
You need to show primary usage or primary topic for an article to displace a dab page. Just because the common name is "Cantonese" does not mean that something else doesn't also have the "common name" of Cantonese. There clearly are atleast three other topics which can claim to be rightfully sitting at the undisambiguated title "Cantonese", which means a dab page should remain. Cantonese people, Cantonese cuisine, and the language commonly spoken in Canton PROVINCE are all clearly "Cantonese". The dialect spoken in "Canton CITY" does not show primacy against these other usages. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 04:38, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Your point about the dab page is taken. As you said, however, "a dab page should remain", and that is exactly what is being proposed. Incidentally, you have clearly not read the discussion at all, otherwise you would not have ventured the claim that this article is about the dialect of Guangzhou city. Bathrobe (talk) 05:03, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
That is not what is being proposed, since the dab page is proposed to be moved so it definitely isn't remaining, it's moving. And this article clearly states that it is the dialect of Guangzhou (Guangzhou dialect) - Guangzhou == Canton the City; not Canton the Province. In fact in the intro paragraph it most clearly states that this is the dialect of Guangzhou. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 06:15, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, what you meant to say was that the dab page should remain at "Cantonese". With you now.
As for your statement that this article is about the dialect of Guangzhou, I think you should read the discussion because this ground has already been gone over with a fine-toothed comb. In fact, historically speaking, this article is not about the dialect of Guangzhou, it is about Standard Cantonese as opposed to the Yue dialects. Appealing to what's written at the start of the article only goes to prove you haven't read the discussion. Bathrobe (talk) 06:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The "Cantonese Language" came in second in the poll. There is only one objection - Chinese government position that Cantonese is not a language (= POV issue). To avoid the dab issue, it may not be a bad alternative. --WikiCantona (talk) 07:37, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It is still a 語 even in China though, right? Or is there similar resistance to calling it 語? --JWB (talk) 16:18, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
If you think what I said about the article contains errors in real world facts, it's time to slap a big fat {{contradictory}} and {{accuracy}} banner on to this article, since it's exactly what this article says it is. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 10:06, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

The new editors are coming from this post by Special:Contributions/76.66.197.2 on several related WikiProjects:

Cantonese is up for renaming again. This time, the request is to move Canton dialect to Cantonese and move the dab page that is sitting there now to Cantonese (disambiguation). (A few months ago, the issue was the unrequested move of Cantonese to Yue, which now sits at Cantonese (Yue)... so this move would replace one kind of Cantonese (moved away earlier this year) with another kind of Cantonese (the current request), both linguistically based, and not the same concept).

This post seems less concerned with the dab page than with the fact that the new Cantonese is different from the old Cantonese, which is pretty much the same issue I have been raising. However some may be reading the first sentence as saying that the problem is the move of the dab page. --JWB (talk) 13:35, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

  • The new "Cantonese" page should be predominantly about the dominant Guangzhou-HK dialect, as well as a brief overview of the Yue dialects. The new article should deal with the four topics that fit the definition of "Cantonese" as defined by User Bathrobe above. If we are clear on this then I absolutely support the move. However, I will oppose it if there is a stubborn insistence that the "Cantonese" page will deal exclusively with the Guangzhou dialect - as that limits the definition of Cantonese beyond what is commonly accepted. Let's face it. 粤语 is Cantonese. Cantonese is 粤语. 广州话 is also "Cantonese", but this doesn't forcibly make 粤语 "Yue", especially when used outside the realm of linguistic taxonomy. Colipon+(Talk) 12:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
No-one is even proposing that it should be restricted to Guangdong, let alone "stubbornly insisting" on it. Where do you get these ideas? Even Ben, who wants the name "Guangdong Cantonese", has said that we need to be clear that it's not limited to Guangzhou. kwami (talk) 02:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, someone called user 76.66.197.2 has said:
"Cantonese people, Cantonese cuisine, and the language commonly spoken in Canton PROVINCE are all clearly "Cantonese". The dialect spoken in "Canton CITY" does not show primacy against these other usages. .... this article clearly states that it is the dialect of Guangzhou (Guangzhou dialect) - Guangzhou == Canton the City; not Canton the Province. In fact in the intro paragraph it most clearly states that this is the dialect of Guangzhou.
So we do have someone who is insisting that this page will deal exclusively with the Guangzhou dialect. Bathrobe (talk) 05:03, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, if you want to count an anon. IP who hasn't read either the debate or the article. kwami (talk) 05:23, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
You moved the other Cantonese article around, do you remember it? It's at Cantonese (Yue) now, and it is also a language article about a "language" named "Cantonese" found primarily in "Canton Province", which contains a dialect called "Cantonese" which is what this article is about. There's this gigantic debate that occurred on that article's talk page about Cantonese. There are other usages for Cantonese, some of them which are not even linguisitic. 76.66.197.2 (talk) 09:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
So you are defining Yue as a language and Standard Cantonese as a dialect of that language? How about a few sources for that interpretation. Your edits go back no further than 12 November, and despite the fact that you haven't made a single contribution to this debate you've now come in to obstruct. Tell me, why should you be taken seriously?
And in case it be thought that I am trying to exclude this anonymous IP user, that is not the case. I am asking him/her to either join the debate constructively, or if he/she is not willing to do so, please stay out. We all know that at the end of the day Wikipedia isn't that important -- there are much more important things in the world -- but most people who are constructively (if at times heatedly) discussing how articles can be made better are committing a considerable amount of time to the task. People who are not willing to commit their own time to the issue and simply want to come in and obstruct are just wasting everyone's time. Indeed, some people make a sport of this -- it's fun to upset the apple cart after other people have carefully laden it with apples. If this anonymous IP user is sincere in his/her objections, he at least owes it to other editors to familiarise him/herself with the previous discussion so that his/her comments actually address issues that have been raised and discussed. (Bathrobe (talk) 10:10, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Going by the logic of other Chinese dialects, Cantonese article should be about all the various Yue dialects with prominence given to the most common form which is the GZ and HK dialects. Standard Cantonese article should be related to the official Hong Kong romanization and pronounciation. Just like Mandarin has standard mandarin for putonghua and every dialect of mandarin under the sun should be in the Mandarin article. just a thought... --Visik (talk) 04:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
Now that this has been moved, discussion on the appropriateness of having two articles named "Cantonese" and "Cantonese (Yue)" should continue at Cantonese (Yue). kwami (talk) 21:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Concentric Proposal[edit]

This proposal deals with the content of this article. After ample discussion on this page and on parallel discussions over at Talk:Cantonese (Yue), User Bathrobe had introduced a "concentric proposal" on the definitions of Cantonese. I would like to introduce this as a proposal to serve as the guideposts on how to write this article. I would also like to find out who is interested in editing this article, not just voting on name changes.

The reason I advocate this proposal is because Wikipedia is in no place to prescribe what "Cantonese" means. It can only take into account what is commonly perceived and what sources say. Over the last few months we have found that there is little uniformity both in the popular perception of what "Cantonese" means and in the sources that visit this issue. Most academic sources make note that "Cantonese" is used to refer to both the dialect group and the prestige dialect; popular definitions of "Cantonese" is not conclusive. Neither popular perception nor academic sources limit the definition of "Cantonese" to Guangzhouhua alone.

The proposed topics to be covered in this article are as follows:

  1. This page should be predominantly about the dialect of Guangzhou and its variation in Hong Kong. This is the prestige dialect, the de facto official language of Hong Kong and Macau, and is what most readers will be interested in. This section can also discuss attempts at "standardizing" Cantonese, and the influence of Cantonese in popular culture, etc.
  2. A very closely related form to Guangzhou dialect is baak-waa (白話). This is spoken across Guangdong and eastern Guangxi, much of it based on the prestige standard. Sometimes people use "baak-waa" to refer to the prestige dialect, others use it to describe their perceived form of the standard. In any case this "baak-waa" is certainly Cantonese.
  3. The variety of Cantonese spoken in overseas communities in Malaysia, the United States, Canada, etc. These may not be exactly the same as "Guangzhouhua" (as these migrants are rarely from Guangzhou proper), but they have always called their language "Cantonese".
  4. The Yue dialects that can be loosely regarded as "Cantonese", with brief explanations on the separate identities of Taishanese, Lingui, Danzhouhua, and other varieties that are often regarded to be separate from Cantonese. This section will not be long, and will have a link to the "Yue dialects" (Cantonese (Yue)) article where it is explained in depth.

In addition, the 'names' section will be re-written to incorporate a discussion on the name "Cantonese" from a linguistic, socio-linguistic, and popular perspective. As you can see, this "concentric formula" does not shift the focus of the article much at all, but takes into account a diverse range of views on what "Cantonese" really is, to the benefit of our readership. Colipon+(Talk) 11:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

No. 3 is incorrect. Some Cantonese immigrants call their speech Taishanese, and distinguish it from Cantonese. Although it is good to cover all uses of the meaning of the word (which we already do, BTW), we do need to be careful to be clear when we mean Cantonese proper, and when we mean Yue. kwami (talk) 12:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
This is trying to impose clarity on usage that is genuinely ambiguous. Let's say I am a resident of Oakland. If talking to someone from far away who wouldn't recognize that place, or if there is simply no need to distinguish at a fine level, I might say I was from San Francisco. On the other hand, if I was talking locally with someone who lives in San Francisco, I might say I'm not from San Francisco. Formally, we can distinguish the usages with longer phrases like San Francisco Bay Area vs. San Francisco, but colloquially, we may simply use the shorter word if it is disambiguated by context. Many users may be unaware or at least unconcerned with the difference, and attempts to define them as completely distinct and well-defined concepts will bog down. They have to be approached as a continuum of related concepts with differing but related definitions. --JWB (talk) 14:33, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, if context disambiguates. But in an article on the Bay Area, we wouldn't want to say in one line that SF and Oakland are different cities, and in the next say that Oakland lies within SF. kwami (talk) 14:58, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
You don't want to make a bald, ambiguous statement like that; you do want to explain each context so the reader understands it. Not sure you noticed that Taishanese was under #4 not #3. --JWB (talk) 15:44, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
"The variety of Cantonese spoken in overseas communities in ... the United States": that includes Taishanese ("Cantonese" street signs in San Francisco are actually Taishanese), so Taishanese is covered by both 3 and 4. kwami (talk) 17:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I am opposed to this idea. There is enough content for a standalone article on the Cantonese dialect. I've said it many many times before, if there is ambiguity in naming, we use disambig pages and "Others" templates to alleviate any confusion. We pick a name to fit the content of the article, not the other way around. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 13:59, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Hong, I support you, but don't know how much change Colipon is actually suggesting. I can't tell if we agree or disagree. kwami (talk) 14:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I too don't see the point of this. 3 and 4 both come under what we've already agreed are outside the scope of this article, which already has enough to focus on. That "Cantonese" is sometimes used to describe "Yue" or bits of it is already prominently mentioned, with a link to Yue for anyone interested.
The only one I'm not sure is 2 on 白話 as I'm not sure what would be added other than what's already there, and it seems a very hand-wavy argument given above. Perhaps someone could write what they think should be added, with references, so we're all on the same page about what it is and can better judge whether and where it should be added.--JohnBlackburne (talk) 16:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There is not too much change that will take place towards the content of the article, actually. Basically, the current content on the article is good, we just need to write a bit more about Cantonese as used in the context of baakwaa. The section about Yue dialects will be kept fairly short, with a link to the Yue dialects article. This proposal mainly aims to clear up confusion with readers in a coherent way. John, I have also provided a source below for you to read up on "Cantonese" being used in a context to describe much more than Guangzhouhua. Colipon+(Talk) 19:58, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I doubt anyone would challenge you on baakwaa. AFAIK we all feel that is appropriate. It's more a matter of how you handle the other two, I think. kwami (talk) 20:45, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Editing confusion[edit]

I've changed the statistics in the "United States" section to reflect the status of Cantonese. User kwami insists that it is "Yue", not "Cantonese", that is the third-most spoken language in the United States. When I challenged that the source says "Cantonese", not "Yue", kwami reverted, saying "but Cantonese is not the 3rd, Yue is.". If this is the case, then I must ask for the quote from the source that says "Yue is the 3rd most spoken language in the United States" or anything along those lines. Otherwise this revert was unjustified. Colipon+(Talk) 20:18, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I just read the source. The source, on page 241, talks about "Cantonese people" as a linguistic group. The only reference to "Yue" I saw was to the non-Chinese peoples that settled in the Guangdong region in the third century. "Cantonese" is also clearly used in the source to describe the dialect group, not Guangzhou-hua. Although the author is careful in distinguishing those from Guangdong that do not speak Cantonese (Yue), and classify them under "Teochiu" etc. If I am not mistaken that source never uses "Yue" to refer to the Cantonese language, nor could I really find the reference to "Yue" being the third-most spoken language. This could also be because some pages are hidden from view. But user kwami could always provide a direct quote or page number on where "Yue" is used. Colipon+(Talk) 20:30, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Links section[edit]

Is it me or is the links section way too cluttered with "stuff"? Akerbeltz (talk) 01:33, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

I've just had a go at fixing it, doing the following:
* Removing duplicates: some sites had two or more links to them
* Removing pure spam links - to search engine sites
* Removing dead links
* Trimming long descriptions. It's a links section, not a site review section.
* Re-ordering based on content so Chinese only sites (and the one Japanese site) are clearly labelled
I'm not sure if the Chinese and Japanese links should be there, as this is the English wikipedia, we're not short of links to English sites, and readers who prefer Chinese or Japanese can go to the appropriate wiki via the interwiki links. But they don't take up much space so I've left them. --JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:58, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I notice a series of recent and ongoing changes to the article that seem to be largely replacing "Cantonese" with "Guangdong Hua (Cantonese)", an inappropriate change as the common name as per previous discussions is "Cantonese". As they stand, with the other changes also being questionable with a number of errors, would it be best to revert the series of changes to the version of a day ago ?--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

No problem with you being new, don't worry about that. You've replied in the right place, I've indented your reply to make it clearer. The name of the language/dialect is a contentious issue and has been discussed before, e.g. here, and the policy is that we follow the English common name, the general policy on the English Wikipedia. Hence the name "Cantonese" is correct, as is "Mandarin". They might be called "Guangdong Hua" and "Puthonghua" in Chinese (and even that's not universal), but this is the English WP.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:36, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


I won't try and argue with you - you've made a lot of statements, some of which I agree with, some of with I don't. But this is a contentious area. Often the data isn't available, or is incomplete where e.g. the number of Chinese speakers in a countries or known but now the number of Cantonese and Mandarin, or where speakers get classed as Cantonese even when they speak other Yue and non-Yue dialects. It's especially a problem as nowhere has Cantonese as a national language. Unlike French, German or Mandarin there's no national body to support and promote it and to provide data in support of their case. Except for Hong Kong it's a minority language everywhere. See here for example for a previous discussion on this.
Given this it's best to only add information to articles like this if it's supported by sources. They can be almost anything - given the shortage of detailed information almost any reliable evidence will do. But not your own experiences. By their nature everyone's experiences are different, especially where language is concerned where your own background and environment are significant. So I will mention anecdotes from my own experience in talk pages, but never use them to update articles.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 17:18, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've undone all the edits, to remove in particular the changes to "Cantonese" and "Mandarin". There were a few things I had less of an argument with, but without citations they really should not have been inserted either, and the number of edits and lack of edit summaries made it difficult to remove only some of the changes.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:16, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

As sad as it is. I do agree with bababa888. Cantonese is possibly the most marginalized dialect. The success of the dialect in HK/macau doesn't matter at all for Beijing northern government officials. The Cantonese-success history is "purposely" not clear. And the post-97 people in HK are reminded daily, you learn Mandarin or you will have no future. Even the British did not push English this hard. Then there is the "mother tongue" excuse. That is how Singapore fell to Mandarin also. Even a 30-year disastrous communist government was able to convince Cantonese speakers to give up their local dialect for Mandarin. You don't need more reality check than that. Benjwong (talk) 06:12, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


No-one disputes that this article is about Guangdong Hua /Guangzhou Hua (I'm more used to the former). It's just that the English common name for that variety of Chinese is "Cantonese". That may be a historical accident but it's widely accepted, so much so that when the word "Cantonese" is used on it's own it's often understood to refer to the spoken variety: you need to addd another word like "Cuisine" for other uses. Putonghua is even stranger in that it's common English name, "Mandarin", bears little relation to the Chinese name. But it's the common name so the article is called "Mandarin Chinese". As with Cantonese there's some variation in what it stands for, but as the common English name it's used for the article title despite it's lack of precision.
In general that's how it works here. The articles are about topics in English, and where the English has more than one meaning it's explained in the article. The only time when a foreign name like Putonghua or Guangdong Hua is used is when there is no English name, but that clearly does not apply here.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 10:36, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I apologize for the tone of my posts if they sound at all unpleasant. I'm aware of it. It's been engrained into me after years of Ivory Tower hubris. Talking live is a better medium of communication, personally. It's too bad there's not a friendly whisper mode for writing. I went back and skimmed over the pages here. A lot of process has gone into the wiki. I do not fully agree with it, but it doesn't matter. I mistakenly thought it was open ended to edit. Instead, there is an established process in place, which is OK in itself. I didn't realize it before the edits. I stand by all the facts in my posts. Yet I also respect the wiki method (for the most part). I deleted my previous replies in light of the larger process. I do think the wiki fits the perspective of those editing it. However, that is not a judgement call of character than it is of content. Content is mostly spot on and well informed. Character is professional and not unpleasant. Take care. Peace and happy new year. Bababa888 (talk) 18:17, 19 February 2010 (UTC)bababa888

Confusion[edit]

I offer the following rewrite for the "names" section. Please lend me all of your thoughts on this issue.

The problem with it is is "who?". I think there's no problem with the general usage, i.e. the meaning given in the second sentence, which it should be easy to find sources for in addition to the one there already. But then it says "Some also called..." without saying who. The next paragraph has the same problem: it does not say who also uses it in this way. Neither of these usages is sourced. This then seems to justify that it's "ambiguous" and there's "no discernible consensus", but without sources those look like shaky assertions.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 23:13, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
True, those are very genuine concerns, sourcing is an issue. I'll try to dig some up. That said, the current section also is fully lacking in sources... Colipon+(Talk) 23:37, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Names[edit]

In English, the term "Cantonese" is ambiguous. Strictly speaking, Cantonese proper refers to the dialect native to the city of Guangzhou, which was previously called Canton in English, and later brought to Hong Kong and Macau;[citation needed] this narrow sense may be specified as "Guangzhou dialect" or "Canton dialect" in English.[1] Some call the Guangzhou-Hong Kong dialect "Standard Cantonese" due to its social prestige, though this name is disputed because there is no legally sanctioned standard form of the language.

"Cantonese" is also used to refer to the primary branch of Chinese which contains the Guangzhou dialect as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang; this broader usage may be specified as "Yue" (粤), although "Yue" is not widely used in the English language. The majority of linguists, in order to avoid confusion, term the primary branch "Yue" and the narrow form "Guangzhou dialect". There appears to be no discernible consensus among linguists on the usage of the term "Cantonese".

Native speakers of Cantonese customarily call their language[clarification needed] "Guangzhou Prefecture Speech" (simplified Chinese: 广州话 or 广府话; traditional Chinese: 廣州話 or 廣府話). In Guangdong province people also call it "Provincial Capital speech".[2] In Hong Kong and Macau, people usually call it "Guangdong Speech" (simplified Chinese: 广东话; traditional Chinese: 廣東話), the academic term for Yue, while the term Jyut Jyu[clarification needed] (simplified Chinese: 粤语; traditional Chinese: 粵語) is also used. When speaking to each other, native speakers also refer to the language[clarification needed] as Baak Waa, meaning "plain speech" or "vernacular".[3]

I would also like to rewrite the intro in line with our discussion at Talk:Yue Chinese. Colipon+(Talk) 22:04, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Nice reasoning in your above points :) I agree with most of it but I think you have made some interesting points about the origins of Cantonese and Standard Cantonese. Thing is, Guangdong people who have migrated to South East Asia and abroad used the term Cantonese to identify with Guangfuhua or other variants. They also have strengthened their Cantonese knowledge through watching Hong Kong films and cantopop which are widely popular in the region and abroad. Hence, the only Cantonese variety they will identify with is the one from Hong Kong even though history tells us the correct name for Cantonese is meant for the variety from Guangzhou.
Semantic change does occur and it may seem when the average person refer to Cantonese, they seem to think it comes from Hong Kong and Guangdong province in general but more poignantly Hong Kong as it does have an official iso standards and romanization. Thing is, Guangdong province uses Putonghua for official communications and therefore Cantonese produced films and music are rather limited and people only use Cantonese for day to day and personal communications. It is also because it is not widely used in official communications or haven't been formulated into an official iso standard in the mainland which has produced this issue between Cantonese Yue and Cantonese in general.
The issue discussed here is also very similar with Minnan article or Southern Min. I've followed the discussions on the Minnan article's talk page. People from SE Asia has known it as Hokkien (through semantic change) and some of them will push and have done it at times to be renamed from Minnan to Hokkien and back. To identify Minnan as Hokkien is incorrect as Hokkien literal meaning is Fujian (a geographic place) and we all know Fujian have different variety of Min dialects. From an academic and linguistic point of view, Minnan article name is correct and should be the top level topic for Southern Min varieties and Hokkien is a forked out branch of the Minnan group. The article should be for everyone and should not be used for some groups who think they own the article and try to impose their POV on others to suit their world view or ideology. Hence leaving it as Cantonese may not be everyone's cup of tea but in a editorial perspective its neutral ground. Visik (talk) 08:27, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Here we say that Hongkongers call Cantonese Gwongdongwaa. On Yue Chinese, we say they call Yue Gwongdongwaa. They can't both be right as currently worded. — kwami (talk) 18:49, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes and no. The strict academic use of Gwongdongwaa is that it means Yue (粤语), a usage certainly found in Hong Kong, however typical Hong Kong usage would indeed say that "Cantonese" namely the lect spoken in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao, and is Gwongdongwaa . A good solution would be to use references to other sources, this would lead to changes in both articles names sections.Johnkn63 (talk) 17:13, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I like Colipon's suggested changes. (With this edit) I am making a few adjustments to the wording at the beginning, and adding in John's point, but IMO the language of the last paragraph is a bit ambiguous: when we say "their language", it's not clear whether we're speaking of the language proper, of the dialect, or are not distinguishing the two. Also, I don't think most readers are going to recognize Jyuet Jyu as being the same root as English Yue, which IMO is relevant, so I tagged these points for clarification. — kwami (talk) 21:43, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem with the names section is in one respect that it talks about people's usage - just as native speakers of English use Cantonese in an ambiguous way native speakers of Chinese use terms like Gwongdongwaa in an ambiguous way. Johnkn63 (talk) 12:07, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

wuzhou 梧州[edit]

The Chinese version of this article includes wuzhou 梧州 as a place where Cantonese 广州话 is spoken however this article makes no such mention. Is anyone clear why there is such a major difference?Johnkn63 (talk) 12:12, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

removed: Relationship with Tai-Kadai language[edit]

I just removed this newly added section, as it's unsourced, there are problems with the formatting – two of the characters don't display for me – and presentation, but mostly it's not clear what it's trying to say. There are a few words in Zhuang and two in Thai that sound a bit the same in Cantonese ? I would be surprised if there weren't many more, given the close links between them historically and geographically. But even that's not clear as phonetic transcriptions are not supplied, and I for one can't read Zhang or Thai. And why single out these two languages? Anyway, it's copied below in full in case anyone can turn it into something useful (as I suspect there's something interesting to be said about this) --JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:09, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Relationship with Tai-Kadai language[edit]

In ABC/ABB adjectives

Cantonese Zhuang/Thai
白☐☐ baak6 laai4 saai4 (unpleasant white colour) raix caix ("very" in Zhuang)
暖笠笠 lyun4 lap1 lap1 (homely warm) raej rub rub ("raej rub" means "warm" in Zhuang and "raej rub rub" is warmer than "raejrub")
滑捋捋 waat6 lyut3 lyut3 (extremely smooth) rauez rat rat (also means extremely smooth in Zhuang)
脆卜卜 ceoi3 pok1 pok1 (very crispy) geauux byob byob (means "the sound of chewing crispy food" in Zhuang) and byot means crispy.
軟腍腍 jyun4 nam4 nam4 (very soft) น้ำ namH (means water in Thai)

j, x and z are tone marks in Zhuang.



" two of the characters don't display for me "

I purposely insert squares into it because there are no character for these two sounds... Not even Cantonese native speakers know the meanings of the BB/BC part in ABB/ABC adjectives. Cantonese has about 10-15% of Tai-Kadai vocabularies and without them Cantonese will be seriously handicapped. I can find cite for these vocabularies. But there is no English source and it is even hard to find Chinese source to back up the relationship with Zhuang adjectives. Even Chinese scholars are doing research on Zhuang as it is an endangered language. I even personally ask for more scholars to research on it. But you do see the similarity. I am trying to find the ipa for Zhuang. Danielsms (talk) 18:30, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I see - they look like boxes as they are. I'm surprised if there's no characters for those sounds, as most everything including some very obscure things has been encoded as Unicode. I myself have noticed the similarity between Thai and Cantonese, and there's a history of contact between them - Bangkok has I believe one of the largest and oldest Chinatown's in the world. As for Zhang the area it's spoken overlaps with where Cantonese, or at least Yue, is spoken (though I know nothing of Zhang, having only encountered it once). So it's not suprising they are related - but it would be much better if the relationship were clearer - if it were clear for example how and why they are related, by how much, when from, and in which direction. All sourced of course - and there does seem to be a lot of work being done in China on minority languages.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 19:28, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


I don't know if you can read Chinese characters. Here's a list of fundamental words that share between Tai-Kadai, Hakka and Cantonese. Relationship between Cantonese, Hakka and Tai-Kadai. I started a thread in a forum and commented on the relationship of Hakka, Cantonese, Tai-Kadai and Tibeto-Burman languages. http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/27025-hakka-cantonese-zhuang-thai-and-tibetan. Thai people is closely related to an ethnic group called Dai in Yunnan while Zhuang people live in Guangxi where the Cantonese also live in there. Both languages of Dai and Zhuang are Tai-Kadai languages. Cantonese have many vocabularies that have no characters. Most people just write in latin alphabet if they want to write these word, such as 腍bat bat (nam4 bat bat), which I also found the about the same version in Zhuang. I gave you the link of a zhaung dictionary and you can check it out. http://scg.rauz.net.cn/ This site gives pronunciation of consonants and vowels. You can always look for IPA from Zhuang wiki.Danielsms (talk) 20:50, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Scholars agree that there are connections between Zhuang and Cantonese, so it would be good to have something about this in Wikipedia, even a whole article, however whether or not this table is representative is another matter. The boxes are acceptable in that the characters used for some of the Cantonese words are not standardized, therefore different sources give either a different character or no character. These particular examples appear to come from http://sites.google.com/site/funnycantonese/home/cantonzhuang , and the discussion of them in http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?1,101102,101429 . I would be interested to know if these examples have been published in print or not. There appear to be several typing errors in the table (1) 白☐☐ baak6 laai4 saai4 is as the table, this maybe connected to 白晒晒 baak6 saai4 saai4 (2) raej is a typo it means "to save", as in "to save money", for warm the word is "raeuj" (3) also "rauez" is a typo it should be "raeuz" (4) "geauux" in the original table is "geuux", however the correct spelling is "geux" Johnkn63 (talk) 00:23, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

No language code?[edit]

Is using zh-yue-HK wrong?--88.74.195.222 (talk) 00:35, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

transcriptions[edit]

Could someone check the romanization & IPA at Modu Chanyu and Macau Peninsula for me? I don't know if we're dealing w sandhi or typos, and don't know what Cantonese has to do with the former. — kwami (talk) 11:58, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Never mind. It's odd that all four tones were reversed in Jyutping, but I'm fairly confident the IPA is correct. The other I simply deleted as irrelevant. — kwami (talk) 06:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

"Jootping"[edit]

Hey, does nobody else here disprefer this non-English-oriented Jyutping to English-like Yale? For whatever reason (probably you fellow Canto junkies who use that Sheik site, which caused the whole problem with its noncommittal-turned-irreversible selection of the scheme), Jyutping and its idiosyncrasies are spreading all across this English Wikipedia. It really needs to stop. You familiar with it may not immediately realise how much "Yutping" diminishes accessibility to outsiders, in effect creating another IPA (that is, an alphabet that confuses more than helps the public, that only linguists and some students or avocationalists have any use for, and not always them; certainly not the mass of mildly interested viewers). Apart from numbers, which Yale readily adopts, and which any scheme can use, Jyutping is a less apt form of romanisation for us, except only in one instance of reversing 'eo' and 'oe' (and again, no reason Yale's 'eu' can't be 'ue', or take 'eo'). These 'j', 'c', and 'z' are simply confusing and less accurate -- though I would give them a thumbs-up for the Italian Wikipedia (whose Canto page, incidentally, seems to have inconsistently merged Yale and Jyutping). Can anybody raise their hand if they object to me fixing these here back to Yale? Bravo-Alpha (talk) 09:07, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me. People have been doing that for some time. There is no consensus to use Jyutping, and AFAIK Yale is far more common in the lit. — kwami (talk) 11:06, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Official use of variety of Chinese[edit]

I changed the statement that Cantonese is the only variety of Chinese used in official contexts. Taiwanese is frequently used in Taiwan for parliamentary speeches and political rallies, and Chen Shui-Bian gave a few speeches in it.

Actually.... Just thought of a better wording....

Roadrunner (talk) 09:41, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

tone split[edit]

Does anyone know what accounts for the ˥ 55 ~ ˥˧ 53 split in tone 1? — kwami (talk) 09:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it they are two different tones, high level and high falling, which are in the process of merging/have largely merged for some Cantonese speakers. I.e. the text at Cantonese phonology is basically correct. I have the first volume of Sidney Lau's Elementary Cantonese which describes it in much the same way with a bit more detail.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 11:09, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm wondering how they formed. The others are splits based on initial voicing and vowel length. — kwami (talk) 11:14, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
from this book, page xxvi:
High Level tone and ”Tone Sandhi”
Semantically speaking, a High Level is basically, or is modified from, a High Falling tone, but is pronounced in a consistently high pitch throughout, not as a High Falling starting high and falling very slightly off.
...
A High Level occurs to replace a High Falling usually under one of the following four circumstances
(1) To denote different parts of speech of the same word...
(2) To be regarded as a matter of usage...
(3) To be regarded as a matter or euphony or “Tone Sandhi”...
(4) To denote a diminutive, modest of contemptuous idea...
And that's missing over a page of examples and discussion of the how it's used by different speakers of Cantonese. I can't read the relevant page at the above link but I have an old copy of the book here.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 10:41, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, so it's not a phonological split like the 3 entering tones, but as they say a "modified" tone that can't be predicted from a historical reconstruction. Thanks!
(That's not s.t. we cover at Cantonese phonology#Tones, but we should. Also, that article illustrated the 3 entering tones w examples all of the same vowel length. I changed one to an alternate reading, but has the vowel length distinction disappeared in some cases, making the tone split phonemic?) — kwami (talk) 10:47, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
PS. We're not talking about the "changed tones" here, are we, but about the basic nine? — kwami (talk) 01:37, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

public domain cantonese dictionaries[edit]

http://books.google.com/books?id=QwaFAAAAIAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks

http://books.google.com/books?id=v6tFAAAAcAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks

http://books.google.com/books?id=qWsuAAAAYAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks

http://books.google.com/books?id=yUNXAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks

http://books.google.com/books?id=ECwOAAAAIAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks

sort these into properly formatted references and add them to the external links in the article.

note that google books have a tendency to dissapear, and theres a big lawsuit involving googlebooks and authors who sued it for copyright infringement. These specific dictionaries are so old I believe that are in public domain, being over 100 years old already.

If I have time for it, I will format these links into reference templates.

bear in mind that these public domain dictionaries and books may not be on display forever at google books

http://www.archive.org/post/349360/adding-a-google-book-to-archiveorg

http://209.85.227.191/support/forum/p/books/thread?tid=606f53f49c44be58&hl=en

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7510

since they are public domain, anyone can download them into a pdf file and reupload it on an archive or keep on their computers.

and Kessinger Publishing is also yanking these books out of our view for their own prophet, downloading these books Google has digitized, slapping on an ISBN number, and taking it out of public domain. Then they get to charge money for a previously free, public domain book.

Controversy Some of the books that are now being re-printed by Kessinger are no longer freely available to download. It is noted that Kessinger reprinted books are becoming restricted from 'full view' on Google Books. If only one edition of the book was printed, and is now being re-printed by Kessinger, it may no longer available to view or download. This is forcing readers to buy physical copies of hard to find books that would otherwise be in the public domain.

06:15, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

'Further Reading'[edit]

I just undid the addition of a Further Reading (sic) section in this link. The section was far too big but more importantly seemed to consist entirely of very old, a hundred years or more old, works. This would be a curious way to select further reading for any article but especially so here, as with most Romanisation techniques for Cantonese established in the 20th century older works are of limited use and I suspect mostly historical interest.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:58, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Loan Words[edit]

A complete section is devoted to loan words and the entire discussion of loan words consists of the following two sentences:

"As a results, many loanwords are created and exported to China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Some of the loanwords are even more popular than their Chinese counterparts. At the same time, some new words created are vividly borrowed by other languages as well.'

I see no loan words specified, I see no quantitative assessment of the frequency and currency of loan words in Cantonese or in the languages of China(? Canton is a part of China), Taiwan and Singapore or the other languages noted but not specified. What's the point of this section? Is there any reason it should not be deleted?154.5.33.29 (talk) 22:46, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Vocab section[edit]

I think this article needs one that displays common or contrasting (with Standard Mandarin) vocabulary (钟意). I find the vocabulary particularly interesting in some of the articles in other articles such as Sichuanese Mandarin and Shanghainese. 205.189.194.208 (talk) 18:22, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Prestige slang[edit]

According to the article, Cantonese is regarded as a "prestige dialect", yet at the same time "it is often said that Cantonese is 'slang'". Are these two things compatible? 86.176.208.173 (talk) 02:08, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Sure - it is saying that Cantonese is less prestigious than Mandarin (more accurately, more standard, as in Guangdong it is mostly migrant workers who are not proficient in Cantonese) but Cantonese is more prestigious than rural dialects. --JWB (talk) 23:49, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Another question along these lines: The intro says "The use of vocabulary in Cantonese also tends to have more historic roots." What on earth does that mean? All languages have historic roots, how can one have more than another? Mcswell (talk) 16:35, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I think it is trying to refer to examples like Classical Chinese 食 still being the Cantonese word for "eat" while Mandarin has replaced it with 吃. --JWB (talk) 23:49, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Irrelevant intro paragraph regarding putonghua (standard chinese)[edit]

I think this paragraph (last paragraph of introduction as of Dec 29 2011) should be removed but as a newbie am not 100% confident whether I should...

"Putonghua should be regarded as a designed common written and spoken language for all Chinese, or a politically selected common language. Putonghua also get ride of many "slang" in Mandarin. Linguistically it adapted the Beijing Mandarin pronunciation. So strictly speaking, it is different from Mandarin. As a result of the promotion of Putonghua, the target is that all well educated Chinese should write the same "language on paper" that they can read although it is likely different from the whatever dialects they are speaking. And they should be able to speak in Potonghua too. Hence, the "proper Chinese" is a wrong description for Mandarin or Putonghua and only people political biased will admit or advocate."

It is not relevant to the article, poorly written, and seems opinionated. Also much of what it says is covered under Standard Chinese. Not sure whether it should be rewritten or removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Littledman (talkcontribs) 04:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree so I've removed it and related changes as POV and very off-topic.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 05:41, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Somewhat confusing paragraph[edit]

"Although Cantonese shares much vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese, the two languages are not mutually intelligible largely because of pronunciation and grammatical differences. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of the verb, sometimes differs between the two languages. The use of vocabulary in Cantonese also tends to have more historic roots. The most notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is how the spoken word is written; with Mandarin the spoken word is written as such, where with Cantonese there may not be a direct written word matching what was said. [2][3] This results in the situation in which a Mandarin and Cantonese text almost look the same, but both are pronounced differently."

1. This seems contradictory. First it seems to be saying that the main difference is pronunciation and grammar, then that the main difference is in "how the spoken word is written". Maybe the first part about mutual intelligibility is supposed to be referring only to the spoken language, but it isn't very clear.

2. "tends to have more historic roots" seems vague and odd.

3. The reasoning of "This results in..." could do with more explanation, both in terms of how what has been said in the penultimate brings about that situation, and also how it squares with the previous statements about grammatical and structural differences.

86.160.85.74 (talk) 19:57, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

BTW, what does it mean "with Mandarin the spoken word is written as such, where with Cantonese there may not be a direct written word matching what was said"? --Thrissel (talk) 23:29, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Thrissel it means that a word spoken in Mandarin is also a written word. Where as in Cantonese the spoken work may not be written but another word, with a different pronunciation containing the same meaning is used for writing. And that written work is not used in conversation. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 22:24, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
You mean, as if in English you always said "I of done it" and always wrote "I have done it"? --Thrissel (talk) 16:41, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

relationship to railroads[edit]

In the hospital in los angeles, I often get a elderly cantonese speaking patient who speaks "first generation cantonese" that none of the cantonese translators understand. It apparently is from one region on Canton that most of the original railworkers spoke in the first major immigration relating to railroad. While I know I can't ask the question, "what dialect is that," I think it would be appropriate to include the relationship of the dialects in the USA in relationship to the building of the railroad if one actually does exist. Thanks! 163.40.12.37 (talk) 21:19, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

The dialect the patient speaks is most likely Taishanese 臺山話 (Toisanese), which this article mentions briefly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Talu42 (talkcontribs) 21:51, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

New illustration of 廣府話广府话[edit]

FYI: I have created and uploaded a scalable vector image Guangfuhua.svg with the same dimensions and the same fonts as Guangzhouhua-vector.svg used in the infobox near the top of the page. —LiliCharlie (talk) 06:00, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Guangfuhua.svg: Guangfuhua.svg   Guangzhouhua-vector.svg: Guangzhouhua-vector.svg

  1. ^ Ramsey and Ethnologue, respectively
  2. ^ simplified Chinese: 省城话; traditional Chinese: 省城話; Jyutping: Saang2seng4 waa2
  3. ^ simplified Chinese: 白话; traditional Chinese: 白話; Jyutping: baak6waa2