Talk:Yue Chinese/Archive 3

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Do Cantonese have 7 or 9 different tones?

It has 9 tones.Luke! 22:04, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
That would be 6, unless you count consonants as 'tones'. (Perhaps that's a problem with translation?) One of the traditional 6 has two distinct variants, so 7 is sometimes given as an answer, but the difference is not generally used to distinguish words. kwami (talk) 17:25, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I edited that section to make things clearer. kwami (talk) 17:47, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Informative article, but a couple of comments:

<cite>Cantonese is spoken by about 100+ million people worldwide. That's not very much compared to, e.g., Mandarin and since it has never really been a literary language, it is by far not as important as Mandarin.</cite>

The above comment strikes me as a value judgement, violating the Neutral Point Of View. Catonese is pretty important to Cantonese people, I would imagine. I would simply point out the number of speakers (which is more than all but maybe a dozen or less languages) and the fact that comparatively few works of literature are written in it.

<cite>Linguistically, Cantonese is a more archaic dialect than Mandarin. This can be seen, for example, by comparing the words for "I/me" and "hunger". They are written using very similiar characters, but in Mandarin their pronunciation is quite different ("wo3" vs. "e4"), whereas in Cantonese they are pronounced identically except for the respective tones. Since the characters hint at a similiar pronunciation, it can be concluded that their ancient pronunciation was indeed similiar (as preserved in Cantonese), but in Mandarin the two syllables acquired different pronunciations in the course of time.</cite>

Again, this sounds more like an argument that Cantonese is a worse language than Mandarian than an encyclopedia article about it.

To me it sounds just like an argument that Mandarin developed from Cantonese. Where's the value judgement?
The real problem was with the word "archaic" which to me implied "obsolete". Robert Merkel

Finally, there are a few points where you have written your article in the first person. While it is appropriate for many sorts of writing, even scientific papers these days, it's not really appropriate in encyclopedia articles.

This article is already informative, and in my opinion just needs a bit more work to be really good.

Cantonese is more often called "guong-dong-wa" than of "guong-zeo-wa". Please edit accordingly ----Ktsquare

Cantonese is often called "guong-dong-wa" probably because it sound like "guang-dong". Three dictionary I have translates it to "guong zeo wa". The dialect is only spoken in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and immediate surrounding area.
Taishan, for example, is about 100 kilometres (70 miles) from Guangzhou, its dialect is very different from Cantonese. (Taishan promotional website explains this in the middle of the page)

Linguistically, Cantonese is a dialect of Yue language. Yue language is a language of Sinitic language family. Toishanese is another dialect of Yue. So it is technically wrong to say Cantonese is "yue yu".

Cantonese is Cantonese. There is only one tone for it. All the other languages in China are not call Cantonese!!

COMPLETELY WRONG! Actually Cantonese is the unique name of the language, including all kinds of Cantonese dialects, although in narrow sense it usually mean Standard Cantonese(Guangzhou dialect or Hong Kong dialect). Toishanese is a dialect of Cantonese, just like standard Cantonese (Guangzhou or Hong Kong dialect). The Mandarin pinyin "Yue" is awkward, it's not the name of Cantonese language, nor the original pronunciation of "粵語" in standard Cantonese or any kind of Cantonese dialects. So why you use the awkward Mandarin pinyin "Yue" instead of the English word "Cantonese"? -Strawberycake (talk) 08:29, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Min nan vs Teochew

I have problem with the following statement:

Broadly speaking, all people of Guangdong might be classified as Cantonese. However, other Chinese groups in Guangdong include Hakka, Min Nan (specifically Teochew), and Mandarin speakers, and a narrower definition might include only those who speak Cantonese.

I disagree that you should mix Min Nan and Teochew. Though they are very close dialects linguistically, they are not exactly the same, at least not geographically. Besides, technically speaking Min Nan is from Fujian, Teochew is from Guangdong, they are from two separate provinces. Teochew people are often considered Cantonese because of geographic proximity of Teochew to Canton. I would never call a minnan person Cantonese because not only they are not from Canton, they are not even from the same Guangdong province. What I mean is that Teochew are Cantonese geographically though not necessarily linguistically, but Minnan is neither. Kowloonese 22:17, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

clean up tone marking

Some Cantonese words in this article have tone diacritics, some numbers, and some aren't marked for tone at all. In this of all articles we should be consistent. Yale would be best. kwami (talk) 08:56, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I've converted the numbers, but haven't added tones for the words that didn't have them. Someone might want to verify I haven't made any mistakes. kwami (talk) 07:40, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


At the recent discussion at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Chinese)#Language.2Fdialect_NPOV, which decided against the '(linguistics)' tag, there was some discussion as to what should replace it in this case. One suggestion was Yue Chinese. I think that's a debate for this article, since either "Cantonese" or "Yue Chinese" would fit the naming conventions. kwami (talk) 00:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

There really isn't a Cantonese standard the way there is a Mandarin standard. Rather, Canton/Hong Kong is a prestige dialect. We even have Guangzhou dialect redirect to Standard Cantonese. On the one hand, "Cantonese" is the most common English usage. On the other, a split between Yue Chinese and Cantonese/Canton dialect/Guangzhou dialect would parallel the split between Wu Chinese and Shanghainese/Shanghai dialect and also Mandarin Chinese and Beijing dialect. kwami (talk) 23:12, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

But Cantonese do have de facto standard, that is Guangzhou or Hong Kong dialect. The standard was established by usage, not by rule like Mandarin standard. Nearly all native Cantonese speakers admit the standard. You may treat "Yue language" as another name of Cantonese if you like (although I DO NOT and will NEVER accept this awkward-and-odd Mandarin pinyin name), but trying to split them and say that Cantonese is just a dialect of so called "Yue language" is completely wrong. In broad sense Cantonese is the name of the entire language, including all Cantonese dialects such as Taishanese, Gaoyang dialect, Yulin dialect and so on. Disregarding this fact and trying to limit the meaning of Cantonese to the narrow sense, as just the dialect of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, so as to replace the concept of Cantonese language with somebody prefered "Yue language" is obviously harbouring an intention of pushing biases and lowering the concept of the English word "Cantonese". This behavior is obnoxious. The new made-up "Yue Chinese" is more obnoxious. It is misleading, making people believe that Cantonese is a dialect of single language "Chinese"! --Strawberycake (talk) 09:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Wow you're paranoid.
What you are describing is a prestige dialect, not an official dialect. An official dialect is established by rule, a prestige dialect by usage. That's why other editors have suggested that we might want to change the title. As for Cantonese vs. Yue, this is like Shanghainese vs. Wu: Cantonese is, literally, the language of Canton; and historically the word "Shanghainese" was used for all Wu dialects. The situation is exactly parallel. kwami (talk) 17:46, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I could only say that the people who want to change "Cantonese language" into "Yue Chinese" is really paranoid. An paranoid of "unifying".
Anyone question about this should go and ask the foreigners "how you call this language?" I'm sure that they only know "Cantonese" and not "Yue" (what's that?!) Everyone could also prove this by checking titles in an English book store. Insist on "Cantonese" is not paranoid, this is an insistense on COMMONSENSE.
what is the main purpose of wikipedia? Let people searching information in convenience? Or to fulfill somebody's ambition on unification of language?
In theWikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Chinese)#Culture, "For the cuisine of China, use established terms that are understandable", I think that the naming of language should also follow this principle.
Even in the Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Chinese)#Language.2Fdialect_NPOV you quoted, Min_Nan does not changed into "Minnan Chinese", your suggestion is redundant and ridiculous.--Fongyun (talk) 15:30, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
One more word: If Cantonese_language should be changed into Yue_Chinese, than Hong_Kong should be changed into Xianggang. I think that everyone could know how ridiculous it is.--Fongyun (talk) 16:12, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Source of number of speakers: Journal of East Asian Linguistics

In this edit (without a summary) by an anon user (IP address:

the previous reference:

Li, Ping. [2006] (2006). The Handbook of East Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521833337. pg 13.

was replaced by this:

C.-T.J. Huang (2007). Journal of East Asian Linguistics. ISSN: 0925-8558. pg 13. 5 November 2007

There are several problems with this edit.

The actual author is not stated, C.-T.J. Huang is a co-editor of the journal, see

There is no issue dated 5 November 2007, see

The page number just happens to be exactly the same as the previous source.

The issue date and page number in the edit do not match those of the actual journal, see

I think this is obviously an example of someone adding a fake reference by adding a seemingly plausible but actually non-existent source. I suspect this was added by the same user or associate of the same user who made similar edits previously. I have discussed this before in the talk page of this article when it was named "Cantonese (linguistics)", see

Just for the record, the archived discussion as it is now contains a sentence that I wrote which was then vandalised before being archived: "Therefore I suggest any future addition of references regarding the number of Cantonese speakers as being 110 million, or more than approx 70 million, by one-edit/one-subject-edit account user names, anon users, or user: (including sockpuppets: Benjwong, snarfendu, miracleman123 etc), should be regarded as completely suspect and removed on sight." My original sentence did not contain " Benjwong, ". (quoted sentence corrected after Miracleman123's reply)

LDHan (talk) 22:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

That sentence is not entirely correct LDHan. In the original one, you crossed my alias out because, as you may recall, we both had agreed that I was not a part of any of those types of edits.--Miracleman123 (talk) 06:28, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

My apologies, you are correct. I copied and pasted the sentence here and the formatting (crossing out) was not carried over. My original sentence was "Therefore I suggest any future addition of references regarding the number of Cantonese speakers as being 110 million, or more than approx 70 million, by one-edit/one-subject-edit account user names, anon users, or user: (including sockpuppets: snarfendu, miracleman123 etc), should be regarded as completely suspect and removed on sight." I have also corrected it in my first comment. LDHan (talk) 00:07, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Page move needed: Take a look cat English item

Why not move the article describing Cantonese language to Cantonese language, and the article describing Cantonese people to Cantonese people? Take a look at English, the English item describes the meaning of the word "English" just like disambiguation page. When referring to the English language people may visit English language item; when referring to the English people we may visit English people item. That's very clear. I suggest that we should move item Cantonese_(disambiguation) to Cantonese, and move the article about language to Cantonese language. Now all these items about Cantonese are very pell-mell. --Anativecantonesespeaker (talk) 08:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Because we'll get into an edit war over whether it's a 'language' or a 'dialect'. kwami (talk) 19:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I've suggested at Standard Cantonese (which is a misnomer, as there is no standardized form of Cantonese) that this page be restricted to covering Cantonese-Taishanese-Siyi etc. and moved to Yue Chinese, while that page be moved here, since "Cantonese" is frequently used to mean the dialect of Canton and Hongkong, not all of Yue. kwami (talk) 20:39, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Just to be clear, the move requested (at Wikipedia:RM) is to rename this article to Yue Chinese, and Standard Cantonese to Cantonese. Can you provide any reliable sources to back up the claim that "Yue Chinese" is a better name for an article covering this particular dialect family? It seems so far you've only made assertions, but there is an issue of common usage when considering what article name is the best. Also, I would ask that you not change the entries on Cantonese (disambiguation) until this move request has been resolved - because we don't know yet if the move will actually be fulfilled. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:02, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

To add - I do see a problem with calling the entire dialect family by the Chinese name 廣東話, but the question we have to ask here is how the term "Cantonese" is used in the English language, and whether or not it is used to cover the entire Yue dialect family. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:13, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

The discussion is at talk:Standard Cantonese. kwami (talk) 18:31, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Wrong talk page

BTW this was originally the talk page to Cantonese (disambiguation). Kwami somehow made a move without the talk page earlier. Let me ask admins to move the talk page back first. Benjwong (talk) 03:32, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about that. For some reason I don't understand, talk pages don't seem to follow article moves in these Chinese languages articles. I'm so used to it being automatic that I often forget to check. kwami (talk) 08:12, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Benj, it looks like you fixed it once. I wonder if something else is going on. kwami (talk) 09:42, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Were you talking about the page history for the discussions archived at Archive2? I've re-archived, so they're associated as they are with Archive1, and we only have the links to worry about. kwami (talk) 08:02, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Terrible, terrible page move

Why was this page just moved to "Yue Chinese"? Was there consensus for this? We try to use the most commonly used English names for things for our page titles, and this is not one of them. Badagnani (talk) 03:35, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

It was open for discussion for five days, with notices here, at 'Standard Cantonese', and at 'Requested moves'. Not much was said. (One suggestion was "Yue Cantonese", but that is not a term used in English at all, AFAIK.) As far as "the most commonly used English name", there is no commonly used English name, as Yue is not commonly distinguished from Cantonese. (Similar to the situation with Wu and Shanghainese). "Yue Chinese" is parallel to other primary branches such as Wu Chinese and is the term used by Ethnologue. Yue is also used in semi-academic literature such as Ramsey's The Languages of China. kwami (talk) 06:22, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Five days of discussion is not enough to make proper decision. Page move from "Cantonese (linguistic)" to "Yue Chinese" is imprudent.--Newzebras (talk) 11:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Five days is the standard wait period. kwami (talk) 16:51, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
No commonly used English name? "Cantonese" IS the most commonly used English name. Perceptibly you are talking nonsense while keeping your eyes open. Shanghainese is not parallel to Cantonese, because the common usage of Cantonese in English is to refer things associated with Guangdong. Cantonese is a concept like Wu, although it may refer to Canton-Hong Kong dialect due to the latter's prestige and being made representative of the whole Cantonese language. Though "Yue" is used by Ethnologue, it is NOT a proper name. It has different meanings. It may refer to Cantonese people. Besides, the English word "Cantonese" has been being used for hundreds of years. It is familiar to normal English speakers, while "Yue" is just a Mandarin pinyin romanization used only by a few people. Why we abandon the commonly used English name "Cantonese" and replace it with awkward-and-unfamiliar Mandarin pinyin romanization? --Newzebras (talk) 11:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
We did abandon the commonly used English name for "Canton" for "Guangzhou" back in the 1940s. Change are okay if they do it slowly an encyclopaedia is not to misguide people, the truth is both Cantonese and Yue are correct but the only problem is the Standard Cantonese/Guangzhou dialect we need a better name represent it. Darknshadow (talk) 15:07, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Canton is still used commonly, together with "Guangdong" and "Guangzhou", as an alias. "Canton" is not the name for "Guangzhou", but also the name for "Guangdong".--Newzebras (talk) 08:09, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Because the primary meaning of "Cantonese" in English is Guangzhou dialect, not the Yue language. kwami (talk) 16:51, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Common usage of "Cantonese" in English is to refer things associated with "Guangdong (Canton) province" (including Guangzhou (Canton) city). Actually Cantonese language is called "廣東話(Guangdong speech)" or "粵語(Yue or Cantonese language)" or "白話(plain speech)". All these terms equal to socalled "Yue language". Guangzhou dialect is the social standard and representative dialect of the whole Cantonese language. It is only a smaller subset of Cantonese. But because of it's prestige and representative, people in Hong Kong and Macau directly call it Cantonese, using the bigger set name. Now we have moved Guangzhou dialect to the proper place per the concert we achieved, it does not confuse with Cantonese language any more. And, "Yue Chinese" IS a terrible name with different meanings and unfamiliar to normal English speakers. Cantonese (language topic) or Cantonese (language) or Cantonese (language/dialects) are the best proposals. --Newzebras (talk) 08:09, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I preferred the earlier version of "dialect" for all the big 8 languages mandarin, wu, cantonese etc. But there is alot of dislikes for the word "language" and "dialect". Benjwong (talk) 05:04, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Dialect is also linguistic phenomenon. In other words, language topic includes dialect topics. So language should be better. For language/dialect debate, refer to it in the content, that is OK. --Newzebras (talk) 13:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Terrible move, I thought that wikipedia does not "create","invert" or "fix/correct" English words. I bet that you cannot find it in all the most common dictionary. (talk) 06:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I think, if we have problem about "language", "dialect" or the name, we should not discuss and decide here. It is not a job/position of wikipedia. We should looking for "standard" (e.g. ISO639) our there. (talk) 06:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Requested move

Request Newzebra requested three moves among the Cantonese-language articles. After discussion, two were agreed to ("Cantonese" to Guangzhou dialect and "Cantonese (dab)" to Cantonese), and one was opposed ("Yue Chinese" staying where it was): Talk:Cantonese#Requested move. It is the move that was rejected that NZ is now requesting a second time.

  • Strongly oppose for multiple problems. This needs to be discussed at Chinese naming conventions, so that all Chinese language articles can be named consistently. If any article should be named "Cantonese", it should be Guangzhou dialect, but that was moved away from "Cantonese" per Newzebras' request. The current request, which NZ is already trying to enforce through rewording the article (which I have reverted twice, BTW), does not make much sense. Cantonese isn't a "language topic", it's a language, and that tag is also imprecise in that it does not distinguish Yue from Guangzhou dialect, or for that matter any other Yue dialect or any of the Category:Cantonese romanisations. At best, "Cantonese (language topic)" would be a dab. NZ's objection to the current title is that it could refer to the people. This was discussed at Chinese naming conventions. The Wikipedia convention for handling such situations is a dab link at the top of the page (just as we would have to do with "Cantonese (language topic)"). However, no-one uses the term "Yue people" in English except for the pre-Chinese people of that name. kwami (talk) 16:51, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Completely agree to the move request and Strongly oppose kwami opposing the move request. Current Guangzhou dialect was formerly named as Standard Cantonese which was move to Cantonese per kwami's request, not former article Cantonese (linguistic). Former article Cantonese (linguistic) has been moved to Yue Chinese per kwami's request (imprudent move, terrible name. I strongly oppose this name). If any article should be named "Cantonese", it should be a disambiguation page (Cantonese (disambiguation)) rather than Guangzhou dialect or Cantonese language. Yes, Cantonese is a language, but at the same time it can refer to all things associated with "Guangdong", not only with "Guangzhou". So we need to add a tag or adjunct to differ the article from other Cantonese associated topics while Cantonese being made a dab. The article IS a language-about topic. Now we have moved Guangzhou dialect to the place where it is per most people's agreement.
And "Cantonese (language topic)" is one of best name for this article. Cantonese=Yue=Guangdong-associated-things. Cantonese is a big linguistic set, including several dialects such as Guangzhou dialect, Taishanese dialect and other dialects. "Cantonese (language topic)" should not be made a dab because Cantonese is the name of the whole language. It is one of the best proposal name for this article. "Yue Chinese" do make people feel like the article may refer to any Cantonese-about things, for example, language, cuisine, people, etc. It is a very bad name. And it is used by few people comparing to commonly used English word "Cantonese". --Newzebras (talk) 07:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Would "Cantonese (Yue)" work? (talk) 00:24, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
It would work, but I don't see this as helping clarify the page much. It would suggest the Cantonese article should have a similar title: "Cantonese (Guangzhou)", and maybe move Taishanese to "Cantonese (Taishan)". I guess it just seems awkward to me, and AFAIK we don't name any other language pages like this. Newzebra objects that we should use the most common English term, but there really isn't one. The only unambiguous term in English is Yue, and I fail to see any problem with using the predominant term used in the lit. kwami (talk) 01:27, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The Mandarin spelling romanization form "Yue" is a seldom used transition for commonly used English word "Cantonese". It has the same meaning with Cantonese. It is not a unambiguous term. "Yue Chinese" may also refer to Cantonese people. We should use common English word rather than seldom used term. That is why I object "Yue", as common English speaker don't know what it is. "Cantonese (language topic)" is one of the most suitable proposal. It is very clear and familiar to us. --Newzebras (talk) 07:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
"Cantonese (Yue)" would suggest that Cantonese is referring to the family of languages/dialects, while "Cantonese (Guangzhou/Hong Kong)" (or possibly "Cantonese (Yue dialect)") could be a possible location for "Guangzhou dialect". (talk) 20:48, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem again is one of ambiguity. Both "Cantonese (Yue)" and "Cantonese (Yue dialect)" are extremely similar to "Cantonese Yue", which means Guangzhouhua, not Yueyu (that is, the Cantonese variety of Yue, just as "Beijing Mandarin" is the Beijing variety of Mandarin). kwami (talk) 09:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Wrong again. No "Cantonese variety of Yue". Cantonese=Yue=Guangdonghua. Although it may refer to Guangzhou dialect due to it's prestige and representative in all Cantonese dialects. See discussion page of Guangzhou dialect. --Newzebras (talk) 14:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Okay, Newzebras is edit warring over the name in the text, without giving this discussion a chance. He doesn't appear to actually be interested in discussion, but only getting his way. kwami (talk) 07:24, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Ha, I did discussed those problems on the discussion page, haven't you seen that, hum? --Newzebras (talk) 07:51, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
NZ, "discussion" does not mean you tell people what you're going to do even though they disagree with you. It means to come to a common understanding. You were able to convince us to make two page moves, but not the third. Meanwhile you're changing the wording of the third as if the move had been decided in your favour. This is not acceptable behaviour. The wording of the article should match the title, Yue Chinese. If you can convince us to make the move, then you should change the wording to Cantonese, but not before. kwami (talk) 09:30, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I think we'd better discuss in one place, just here, shall we? kwami tried opening discussion everywhere: HERE and HERE.--Newzebras (talk) 09:22, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
No, NZ, the first page is a disciplinary board. I'm requesting that you be disciplined for your disruptive and uncooperative behaviour. The second page is where you started the discussion. It is polite to let other people know when you move a discussion, so that they can follow. You should have said something there yourself, rather than making others do your work for you. kwami (talk) 09:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
How about just rename this article to Cantonese (Variety of Chinese), and do the same to other articles such as Hakka, Min Nan, and Wu? (talk) 21:04, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
That's not bad, but both Yueyu and Guangzhouhua qualify as 'Cantonese (variety of Chinese)'. The current title is unambiguous, as Yue can only mean Yueyu in English. kwami (talk) 00:04, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
The article describing prestige dialect of Cantonese, Guangzhouhua, which formerly named Standard Cantonese, has been moved to the right place, Guangzhou dialect, by kwami per concert achieved through discussion. That is good (in fact I don't care whether it is named as Guangzhou dialect or Standard Cantonese. former Standard Cantonese is not bad at all, because Guangzhouhua is the de facto social standard of Cantonese. I don't no why kwami against this name). The current title is ambiguous, and used a terrible uncommon Mandarin romanization term with the same meaning as "Cantonese", rather than the common English word "Cantonese".--Newzebras (talk) 09:04, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
"Cantonese (Variety of Chinese)" is much better than current name, but the tag, I think we had better use some words to disambiguate the topic and make it "linked" to the content: "language, language-about or linguistic phenomenon". Former "Cantonese (linguistic)", "Cantonese (language)", "Cantonese (language topic)", "Cantonese (language/dialects)", all these proposals are acceptable. Moving back to former Cantonese (linguistics) would also be a good idea. --Newzebras (talk) 09:04, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Per common English usage (as in all major dictionaries), "Cantonese (variety of Chinese)" would be more appropriate for Guangzhou dialect, which is what "Cantonese" normally means in English. kwami (talk) 09:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
No. Guangzhou dialect is now in the right place. The move is done by you per concert achieved through discussion. And, common English usage of the English word "Cantonese" is not only to refer things about Guangzhou, BUT ALSO TO REFER THINGS ABOUT GUANGDONG. You should look up more dictionaries. See discussion page of Guangzhou dialect. --Newzebras (talk) 14:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The previous move was unilaterally done by Kwami as well as his moves to other Chinese language articles and dab pages. The decision to move the articles should have been done by other "admins" who is not involved in the discussion. He also unilaterally altered the naming convention of Chinese too and falsely accused Newzebras disruptive at his talk page and ANI. I believe all are not only unwise decision, but also poor attempt to block the disputer. That can be viewed as "abuse of admin tools" and POV pushing. I roughly looked through the existent discussions in which there were no clear consensus reached to his preferred name. Besides, Chinese itself has several meanings, and Yue Chinese could misguide people to interpret it as Yue people. Both Yue Chinese language or Yue Chinese dialect have problems, so if he says that he tried to avoid "disputes", that is also wrong. At least Cantonese (linguistics) has no ambiguous meaning unlike Yue Chinese. I can't find any single reference for agreeing with Kwami's move after googling. As his allegation, he should present the evidence that "Yue Chinese" is the established English term or mostly used term by scholars. Besides, the argument that previous RM has its enough due time (5 days) is very ridiculous since I can only see strong resistences of the RM's period and improper closure by the involved editor, but when closing he acted as "admin. We don't say that Cantonese speaking singers as Yue Chinese speaking singers. To sum up, the article should go back to the original title or the newly suggested one to avoid lame disputes.--Caspian blue 23:50, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Don't misrepresent what I did, CB. I only moved this page (as suggested by another editor) after discussion and consensus was reached. (Why the sudden interest?) kwami (talk) 00:04, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Wrong. I don't misrepresent anything. That is my observation on your poor attempt at ANI. You alleged that articles related to Chinese language should be changed to your preferred version. You're wrong again, and don't call me CB unless I would say it is Okay. It has been on my watchlist for a long time, and Badagnani's complaint caught my attention a week ago but I had other matters. Also do not assume bad faith on my involvement. Since the requested move is almost occurred at the same time of my RM request for some article, there is no wonder for me to see the strong opposition to your unilateral move. There were no consensus.--Caspian blue 00:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

What about "Cantonese (Yue)" for Yue Chinese, "Cantonese" for the disambiguation page, "Cantonese (Yue dialect)" for the general dialect (linking to or possibly containing Hong Kong and Guangzhou Cantonese), and leaving the other dialects where they are (I'm assuming they aren't ambiguous)? (talk) 02:40, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

How is Cantonese (Variety of Chinese) any better than the earlier Cantonese (linguistics), Cantonese (dialect), Cantonese (language)? I am struggling to vote. This is getting too complex. Benjwong (talk) 05:07, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
User:, the benefit of the current title is its regularity. It follows the pattern of Wu Chinese, Gan Chinese, etc. Benjwong doesn't care for it (though he's said we should leave it as is for now), and would prefer "Cantonese dialect" for this article (see end of previous section), whereas Newzebras wants "Cantonese language". This language/dialect dichotomy has been debated ad nauseum over years. As long as there is a contradiction between the tests of mutual intelligibility and self-identification—that is, as long as the Chinese continue to see themselves as a single people,—we are not going to resolve this, so the first step to any solution is to avoid both "language" and "dialect" in the title. I agree with Benjwong that most of these proposals are non-starters. The only good one IMO that I've seen so far is "Cantonese (Yue)", but I don't see how this is an improvement over the current "Yue Chinese", which is the wording used in Ethnologue, The Languages of China, etc. I mean, if we're going to do that, why not rename Wu Chinese "Shanghainese (Wu)" and rename Min "Fujianese (Min)"? Newzebras objects to "Yue" because it is the Mandarin pronunciation rather than the Cantonese. But the same is true for Wu, Gan, Xiang, Jin, Pinghua, etc etc., and Mandarin (in pinyin) is the form seen in nearly every English publication on Chinese. kwami (talk) 05:42, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you joking? Wu Chinese, Gan Chinese, Hakka Chinese are moved from their original names by you according to your preference and a not-deep-enough discussion not long ago. See [1], [2], [3], etc. Move of these articles should be very very careful. You performed such impertinent move just to follows the pattern of, seems to be your own preference. Yue Chinese is too bad. BTW, Shanghaiese is a subset like Guangzhou dialect or Taishanese, while Cantonese is a bigger set like Wu (Cantonese includes several dialects such as Canton-Hong Kong dialect, Taishanese dialect, etc; Wu includes Wenzhou dialect, Shanghaiese dialect, etc). Your proposal of renaming Wu (linguistics) to "Shanghainese (Wu)" and renaming Min (linguistics) to "Fujianese (Min)" is quite ridiculous. Perceptibly, you need to learn more about Chinese. I think it's necessary to aware you that according to most Chinese linguistic literatures, the traditional classification classified Pinghua as a dailect of Cantonese (equals to your preferred name "Yue"), like Taishanese which is also regarded as a kind of merely differently accented Cantonese. Though recently some few people tried to make Pinghua independent. Due to lack of cogent evidences, their efforts still can not challenge traditional classification, only causing some dispute. Different branches of Chinese have different names. You do not have to make them look the same. I repeat again, "Yue Chinese" IS an unacceptalbe, terrible, unfamiliar, awkward, ambiguous name. --Newzebras (talk) 13:47, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Newzebra can you tell us what you prefer to rename all the pages? I think use Kwami works with a lot of language pages, and he was just cleaning things up. Benjwong (talk) 14:56, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Different branches of Chinese have different names. You do not have to make them look the same. Besides Cantonese, Hakka also has the same problem. kwami's newly made-up name Hakka Chinese is also ambiguous, as it also may refer to Hakka people, and "Hakka Chinese" is also an uncommon term. Just do Google search. kwami may had worked with a lot of language pages, he may cleaned some things up. But this time he's making things worse. If there is no other better proposal, reverting back to old names may be a good choice. kwami need to learn more about Chinese. --Newzebras (talk) 09:43, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

All of these moves of various Cantonese language articles to new original research titles is getting ridiculous. Stop making up new names based on assumptions, personal beliefs, logic, or other mental exercises. Instead stick with WP guidelines such as using common names, using English names, or others found at WP:NAME. A return to the status quo ante (Cantonese (linguistics)/Standard Cantonese) would be nice. — AjaxSmack 21:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Except that is what was OR: Standard Cantonese is Cantonese (linguistics). Current title follows Ethnologue, so it is not OR. Not saying it's our best choice, just haven't seen anything better. kwami (talk) 22:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
What about "Cantonese Yue" and "Guangzhou dialect"? I also do agree that Hakka Chinese can be easily confused with the people group. Benjwong (talk) 05:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the "X Chinese" formula is ambiguous between the language and the people, though it's only a practical problem for a few—I don't think anyone talks about the "Xiang Chinese people". We have a dab line at the top, just as we do at Pluto ('this page is about the dwarf planet, not the dog'), but maybe you can think of clearer wording for Hakka? We could have "Hakka Chinese language" vs. "Hakka Chinese people", and argue that we're not taking a stand as to whether the "language" is referring to the Hakka or the Chinese, but I don't know whether people who see Hakka as a dialect would accept that.
Grammatically, "Cantonese Yue" is a modification of the noun Yue by the attributive Cantonese—in other words, a variety of Yue called Cantonese, or as well now call it, "Guangzhou dialect". It would contrast with "Taishanese Yue" etc. and would have the same literal meaning as "Guangzhou Yue", and so is inappropriate for the language as a whole. This is the kind of problem that makes me think it may be wisest to stick with Ethnologue terminology. kwami (talk) 07:05, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
As Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese is now in the right place and will not cause confusion, and it is a dialect of Cantonese rather than independent language, "Cantonese language" or "Cantonese (language)" or "Cantonese (language/dialects)" are good proposals for the whole Cantonese language. We should use English names and common names. "Yue" is not a common English name. It's just a Mandarin pinyin romanization which is homonymous with Cantonese. And, it is used by only a few people. I object replacing "Cantonese" with "Yue". --Newzebras (talk) 09:36, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Hakka people and Hakka language are very clear names, here "Chinese" is not necessary. Similarly, Cantonese people and Cantonese language are the best names. For language/dialect debate, we can refer to it in the content of these artiles. That is the best solution. --Newzebras (talk) 09:57, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
No, none of them are good proposals, because they all use 'language' or 'dialect'. We've been over this many times, Newzebras, and nothing has changed. Benjwong, for example, would want to move the article to Cantonese dialect, not Cantonese language. I agree that 'Yue' is not a common word in English, but then the concept of Yue is not something which most English speakers are familiar with. Why don't I play devil's advocate: I object to replacing 'Canton' with 'Guangzhou', because 'Guangzhou' is not a common name in English. It's just a Mandarin romanization which is synonymous with Canton, and it is only used by a few people. Therefore Guangzhou dialect should be moved to Canton dialect ... ... this kind of debate is getting us nowhere. It's not enough to object to the current name, you also need to provide a workable alternative. And so far all of your objections apply equally well to "Guangzhou dialect", which was your own idea, so they aren't very convincing. kwami (talk) 10:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I had explained why I object "Yue" while I do not object "Guangzhou". I think I do not need to repeat again. --Newzebras (talk) 09:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Guangzhou dialect can stay. I would not have agreed to it before. But after all this debating, Newzebras user do make sense. It is the most direct English translation afterall. Yue Chinese/Yue Cantonese meanwhile is more of a dialect than a full language. This has been brought up before. For traditional or political reason even Cantonese speakers don't really treat Written Cantonese as fully official. I do not know if Hakka and Wu has this same problem. Which is why "dialect" will not mislead anyone. Benjwong (talk) 04:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I was only playing devil's advocate. I have no objection to the title "Guangzhou dialect". Normally I would want the English name, but "Canton" is ambiguous between the city and the province, and so "Canton dialect" would be a bad choice. My point is that "Cantonese" is a bad choice for exactly this reason.
Linguistically, Newzebras is right. Yue is not a dialect of Chinese, but a Chinese language. Sociolinguistically, of course, you are right, as it is considered a dialect by most Chinese. There is no solution to this; therefore both terms need to be avoided. kwami (talk) 06:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
What about the eclectic proposal "Cantonese (language/dialects)"? If with either single "language" or "dialect" is considered non-NPOV, then what about with both "language" and "dialect"? "Cantonese (language/dialects)" may satisfy our demands. First of all, it is unambiguous, because here we use the tag "language/dialects" meaning a bigger linguistic set (plural "dialects"), contrasting from "Guangzhou dialect" which is only a single dialect. Secondly, it's NPOV, as we put both "language" and "dialect" in the tag. Thirdly, it's English name, not a pinyin romanization of Mandarin spelling. Lastly, it's a common name, familiar enough to normal English speaksers. --Newzebras (talk) 09:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Answered at Guangzhou dialect. BTW, why is it so important to you that it not be a pinyin spelling? You don't mind that "Guangzhou dialect" is a pinyin spelling. Your argument falls apart if you use it against names you dislike but not against names you like. kwami (talk) 10:18, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
1)To your answer at Guangzhou dialect: Your suggested "Cantonese dialects" does not contain "language". As you said, it is non-NPOV. Certainly it should be rejected, just like my proposal "Cantonese language" being objected by you. "Cantonese (language/dialects)" is a compromise. It is unambiguous; it is NPOV; it is an English name; and, it is a common English name. It is quite different from either "Cantonese dialects" or "Cantonese language". You just said it is awkward, but how it is awkward? It seems you just dislike it only because you prefer "Yue Chinese". It seems you are trying to object any different proposals other than your preferred "Yue Chinese".
2)About pinyin: I've said many many times why I object "Yue" while I do not object "Guangzhou". It has nothing to do with my personal preference. I thought I did not need to repeat. But this time I find it really necessary to repeat once again. "Guangzhou" is the name officially designated by Chinese government, although it is Mandarin pinyin spelling. However, "Yue/Yueyu" is neither an officially designated name by Chinese government nor a common English name that is familiar to normal English speakers. BTW, why you insist in using Mandarin pinyin spelling? (Mandarincentrism?) According to the principle of "giving a name after its master", you should use Cantonese spelling, not Mandarin spelling. In English wikipedia, we should use English name rather than this spelling or that spelling. --Newzebras (talk) 13:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Per 'Use English', we should use Mandarin pinyin. *Of course* it's Mandarin-centric: China is Mandarin centric, and we follow Chinese usage. You're being inconsistant: if you want Cantonese spellings, you should be arguing for Guangzhou to have a Cantonese spelling as well. As for English, not only do we use Mandarin as the basis for transcription, but "Yue" is an established English term, as I've demonstrated more than once. (This is why we use Hakka instead of Kejia: it's the established form in English.) Anyway, we're arguing in circles. We've both repeated ourselves numerous times, and I don't see any point in continuing. I have yet to see a proposal that works as well as "Yue Chinese", except possibly "Cantonese (Yue)", which IMO is second best. kwami (talk) 19:28, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry your above parry still can not give any cogent reason to object the compromise, "Cantonese (language/dialects)". It seems you are doing your utmost to quibble and defend your preferred name. But your arguments are far from cogent. I can not see any point in continuing the discussion, because I feel that you are trying to object any different proposals other than your preferred "Yue Chinese". Till now, we can see that most people object your preferred name, "Yue Chinese", or at least dislike it. The article should be moved to "Cantonese (language/dialects)", the compromise. --Newzebras (talk) 09:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey Newzebras if someone was using toishan-hua. Would you feel comfortable saying they use cantonese? I wouldn't. Benjwong (talk) 04:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I will, if when using the general term is enough. It a bit like "I speak Cantonese, but I don't mind if you say I speak Chinese, as Cantonese belongs to the Chinese languages family." --Newzebras (talk) 09:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
In existing wikipedia articles, we contrast Cantonese with Taishanese. Imprecise, perhaps, but it follows from the basic English meaning of Cantonese being guangzhouhua (as attested by the foremost English dictionaries: OED, Merriam Webster's, Random House, etc.) kwami (talk) 10:18, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
You should have read how Taishan citizens think about their local dialect in existing wikipedia articles. Most Taishan citizens "often regard their own tongue as merely differently accented mainstream Cantonese". This is the fact. --Newzebras (talk) 13:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Right, "Yue Chinese" is really an ambiguous name. But I think "Yue (linguistics)" is not a good proposal, too. Different Chinese language branches have different names, we do not have to make their names look the same. We should use the most common English name for each of them. --Newzebras (talk) 12:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Reluctant support. At the risk of repeating long-dead discussions, this article should be at Cantonese language, just as the English language is at English language, with the Cantonese dialect also moved, to Cantonese dialect, and Cantonese remaining as a disambiguation page as it is currently. The use of these technical terms as article names has no basis in WP:NC when these other unambiguous and universally understood titles are available. The proposed move would be an improvement, but is still not good. Andrewa (talk) 09:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
If we're going to do that, I think we should take it up at Chinese naming conventions, to keep all the articles in line. kwami (talk) 10:23, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
It can work either way. But consistency in article naming is not a policy, surprising as this seems to many. English is not consistent, so naming conventions based on descriptive rather than prescriptive linguistics (such as ours) tend to be equally inconsistent. Andrewa (talk) 03:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Andrewa. "Cantonese language" IS the best name. And "Cantonese (language/dialects)", the compromise, is the second best. --Newzebras (talk) 12:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Support move to a name involving the word "Cantonese". When I saw the term Yue Chinese, I thought it was referring to the people. Among English speakers who are not experts in Chinese linguistics, "Cantonese" is by far the more common term. You can stop anyone on the street, and there's a not half bad chance they'll have some conception of what "Cantonese" is, but not a clue what Yue refers to. We have policies that say Use English, and where there is a common English term, use it. This should be pretty straightforward I should think. LordAmeth (talk) 21:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Except that by "Cantonese" they normally mean Guangzhou dialect. Also, can you think of a Cantonese-based name that does not involve "language" or "dialect"? (I changed the tag at the top of the page. Not even NZ is arguing for that title anymore.) kwami (talk) 21:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Disagree and irrelevant. Cantonese should remain a disambiguation page, surely. And ideally, Guangzou dialect should be Cantonese dialect. This page should move from Yue Chinese to Cantonese language. Why bother to look for names that do not involve "language" or "dialect"? Andrewa (talk) 02:57, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I recommend that those editors advocating "Cantonese language" should read up on varieties of Chinese. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:15, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I am not in favor of "language", though that is what's currently listed at the Cantonese disambig page currently. Benjwong (talk) 16:40, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I support Andrewa's proposal: Cantonese language and Cantonese dialect seem the wisest choices. Srnec (talk) 03:16, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose any proposal to move this article to Cantonese language. If some consider five days to move this article to the current name as "premature", it is equally premature, if not more so, to consider calling this article a "language" after years of negotiations in which it has been decided that no branches of the Chinese language family shall be formally called a "language" even if they may be treated as one. By calling this article "Yue Chinese", we follow the convention already used by all but one of other other Chinese linguistic branches. While I acknowledge that "Cantonese" would be the preferred term in terms of common usage (just as Mandarin is used), it has also been found that the term "Cantonese" is highly contentious. I would thus support the decision to keep "Cantonese" as a disambiguation page, and to either keep this article where it is, or rename it with another appriopriate name which does not refer to it as a "language".--Huaiwei (talk) 12:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong agree. ¨Yue Chinese¨ is a strange thing that I´ve never seen it before. Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Government call it Cantonese. Unlike Wu, Gan, Xiang etc, Cantonese is a word that entered the English world a long long time ago. PRC government only changed the Canton as a name of place to Guangzhou, but have not told that Cantonese to be renamed to something else. The problem in Wikipedia should adhere to whether this topic is to be called ¨Cantonese language¨, ¨Cantonese dialect¨, ¨Cantonese (linguistic)¨, or ¨Cantonese (something)¨. BTW Guangzhou dialect can be renamed as ¨Guangzhou Cantonese¨ (an analogy to British English), or remain unchanged.-- Hello World! 17:37, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Naming dispute

Per the above debate, we should not change the wording of the article from "Yue" to "Cantonese" unless people agree to move it from Yue to Cantonese. kwami (talk) 17:50, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be too many users above against "Yue Chinese" or "Yue". This page looks like it will get moved to something else. Benjwong (talk) 05:12, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll be happy to support a move to a non-Yue title that is both unambiguous and not awkward or OR. BTW, some of these people had previously even edit warred to delete Yue as an alternate name for Cantonese within the text before the move, showing that the problem is one of angry POV, and may not be solved by merely moving the page. kwami (talk) 22:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
What about Cantonese Chinese, in line with Mandarin Chinese? Srnec (talk) 02:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Having one -ese word modify another sounds quite awkward to me. I think that's why it was never suggested in the naming conventions discussion. kwami (talk) 21:01, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I am Cantonese Chinese. I am Yue Chinese. He is Hakka Chinese. Faint.... --Newzebras (talk) 06:39, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

There seems consensus above that Yue is not common English, and that Cantonese is to be preferred. The problem appears to be that Cantonese describes both a language and a prominent dialect of it, each with their own articles. But why these articles should not then simply be called Cantonese language (similarly to English language) and Cantonese dialect (similarly to Warsaw dialect and rather than the present name Guangzhou dialect, which the article lead itself says is the less common name) frankly puzzles me. Andrewa (talk) 20:08, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't say consensus. Two people strongly object (there is in addition a third who came here because he was angry about me for warning him about vandalism), and the one who most vociferously objects that Yue is not "proper" English does not know English all that well. In addition, the very concept of a Cantonese language as distinct from the Cantonese dialect is not well known. You could make the same argument about Wu Chinese vs. Shanghai dialect—Wu is simply not a common concept among English speakers, and therefore is a rare term. However, when the distinction is made, the names Wu and Yue are the norm. There is potential confusion with the ancient Yue peoples, which is why we have a dab, but they weren't Chinese, so there isn't any actual ambiguity.
Yes, for most languages, 'language' vs. 'dialect' would work. However, this does not work when the languages are themselves considered to be dialects. Several Arabic 'dialects', for example, are distinct languages. However, it is culturally important for Arabic to be considered a single language. If we tried moving Hassānīya Arabic to Hassānīya language, we'd be accused of having an agenda to oppress Arabs etc etc etc. Similarly, most Chinese consider Yue, Wu, Mandarin, etc. to be dialects of Chinese. Naming them 'languages' will result in accusations of trying to destroy Chinese culture. People are very sensitive about these things.
Note that "Yue Chinese" parallels the solution used for Hassānīya Arabic: the name of the language (Yue, Hassānīya) followed by the name of the macrolanguage, using the transliteration of the standard register of the language (Mandarin for Yue and Classical Arabic for Hassānīya) and the English name for the macrolanguage (Arabic and Chinese). The only difference is that diacritics are used for Arabic but not for Chinese. kwami (talk) 21:01, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
That example will not work. They use "Arabic" for the language, and "Arab" for the people. Benjwong (talk) 16:46, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
The example is fine. And "Yue Chinese" is not used for people. kwami (talk) 20:25, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
No, but Yue Chinese appeaers to parallel Han Chinese - as I mentioned before, when I saw the name I thought it was about Yue peoples. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:21, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry if people feel threatened by English usage, but I don't think we should join a campaign to change English to suit them however much we might sympathise with them. That's very much something Wikipedia is not. Agree that the differences between a language and a dialect can be tricky, with Arabic a good example. But we don't need to resolve that here, thankfully. I think there's consensus to consider the subject of this article as a language and the subject of the Guangzhou dialect article a dialect. So, what's the problem with naming the articles accordingly?
So far as the consensus I was claiming above, OK, maybe the second part is still controversial. But I think there's consensus that "Yue" is not common English. Agreed? Andrewa (talk) 07:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Because the concept is not common. In Hindu theology we have lots of articles with titles that most English speakers will not recognize, because they cover topics that are rare in English. That isn't a good argument for trying to translate guna into English. You could make a similar argument that Wu Chinese should be moved to Shanghainese language (as opposed to Shanghainese dialect), but that's problematic on several levels. I'd be happy to go along with a move to a more intuitive title that does not involve Yue, but so far no-one has come up with one that does not cause even greater problems.
I am making no such suggestions. There are many issues with other articles, and no system is perfect. But there are good reasons for WP:NC reading as it does, and in this particular case, the claims of greater problems are only caused by trying to achieve a consistency with other authorities and language groups which we have not found possible in other cases. So while WP:NC is not perfect, the onus of proof is on those who wish to depart from it.
Oh, and no, there is no agreement that Yueyu is a language as opposed to a dialect. Far from it: Most Chinese insist that the language is Chinese, and all varieties of Chinese are dialects, not separate languages. That's why we didn't follow the normal language naming conventions to begin with! kwami (talk) 08:38, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, but this is English Wikipedia, not Chinese, and once again I'm making no claims about what most Chinese might think. In English usage, Mandarin and Cantonese, at least, are called languages. Are we agreed on that? Andrewa (talk) 20:54, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
No, we're not. First, most Chinese think that even when speaking English, but that's irrelevant. By the standard of mutual intelligibility, they are separate languages. However, sociolinguistically they are dialects of one language. We can't consider languages apart from the people who speak them—they have no independent existence. This is a bit like arguing whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable—it depends on who your audience is. kwami (talk) 22:43, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm, are you really seriously suggesting they are dialects of the same language? It seems to me that on the evidence you offer at best it's ambiguous, and I think you're on very shaky ground even there. I know many people who speak both Mandarin and Cantonese; Not one of them seems to think that the two are the same language, and several have described them to me as different languages that share a common script. There is certainly a politically motivated view that all Chinese languages should be regarded as one, but it has no sociolinguistic basis despite the best efforts of some to find one.
My main training in sociolinguistics consists of the SIL International Language Survey workers 3-week intensive (I did of course need some prerequisite studies as well), and by their criteria Mandarin and Cantonese are different languages, on many grounds: Mutual intelligibility; What the speakers call their their language; Who they regard as speaking the same language; What they regard as the prestige dialect. There is no ambiguity. The Ethnologue agrees with me, see and (and yes, they do call the Cantonese language Yue and list Cantonese as an alternative name, but I think we've dealt with that point several times already). Andrewa (talk) 23:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey, if you can get people to agree on using 'language' for the main Chinese lects, go for it! I have no theoretical objection. My opposition is practical: I've seen interminable objections to doing that, which is why people came up with that silly (linguistics) tag. If we move this page to Cantonese language, we should really move all of the main lects, which is why we need to discuss it at Chinese naming conventions rather than here.
Disagree with most of this. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Language/dialect NPOV states the primary branches of Chinese should be treated as de facto separate languages, for the purposes of classification, listing, categorization, and terminology and later Top-level divisions of Chinese (Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Hakka, Min, etc) should be listed separately as top-level languages in lists or categories by language (my emphasis).
As to the claim we should really move all of the main lects, that's a big step. Maybe this sort of consistency isn't possible, in view of the controversial nature of the subject. Maybe it is. Either way, let's agree on the easier cases first, and by far the clearest distinction in English is between Mandarin and Cantonese, which most English speakers refer to as two different languages.
As for Ethnologue, besides the fact that they are notoriously unreliable (unfortunately!), they have an inherent bias for Bible translation. A principal, or perhaps the principal, criterion for what constitutes a language is whether speakers would be satisfied with scripture written in a particular lect. This is problematic for taxononmy: If SIL were working with English speakers, Usonians would certainly want a Bible written in American English, but that doesn't mean we should consider "American" and "British" to be separate languages. kwami (talk) 02:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry you think that the Ethnologue is notoriously unreliable, and admit that many linguists and even more anthropologists agree with you. But I think this is a bit unfair, having worked for the organisation. It's not just the Christians who have POVs, and SIL is enormously concerned to keep their linguistics etc untainted by theirs. Many secular organisations have no such quibbles. We're all human and fallible, but the attacks on SIL often reek of the pot calling the kettle black. And within the organisation, claims of unreliability of the Ethnologue in particular are often the source of much justified amusement. Always assess the assessor is my advice.
But the point is simply that you claimed that sociolinguistically, Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects rather than languages. This isn't what our naming conventions say (see above), nor the Ethnologue, nor my quick assessment based on personal contacts over the years. What's your evidence? Andrewa (talk) 10:28, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I think we ought to be agreed on that. Which is why this ought to be super simple and straightforward - in English, people have heard of Mandarin and Cantonese, and if they're a bit more familiar with the subject, Fukienese and Shanghainese as well. I would wager that most Chinese Studies majors whose focus is on art or history or something else other than linguistics would agree. Whatever "Yue" and "Wu" refer to, if they are the same as what we commonly know in English as Mandarin or Cantonese or Shanghainese or Fukienese, then we should call them by those names - the ones we are familiar with. I have been studying East Asian Studies for something like 6 years now, and in speaking to Chinese friends and Chinese Studies friends, I have never ever heard Mandarin or Cantonese referred to in English as Yue or Wu or any other such name. LordAmeth (talk) 22:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think we have a rough consensus on that point and several others. We're not unanimous, admittedly. But we move on. Andrewa (talk) 23:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
You can't substitute Shanghainese and Fukienese for Wu and Min. They're not synonyms.
Anyway, such a drastic change would affect all Chinese lects, and needs to be taken up at Chinese naming conventions. All we should be discussing here is a new name for Yueyu that conforms to the Chinese naming conventions. kwami (talk) 22:46, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
See above for what the conventions actually say - they seem to me to strongly support calling this article Cantonese language.
Disagree that it would necessarily affect all Chinese lects. Perhaps this wider issue is the reason we're having such trouble here. Andrewa (talk) 10:28, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
You're misreading the naming conventions. They say that the primary branches of Chinese should be treated as de facto languages, but not called languages in the article titles. The only reason for emphasizing that they should be treated as languages was the recognition that they would not be called languages.
If Cantonese is a "language", then people will argue it's only fair for Mandarin, Wu, and Minnan to be "languages". So yes, this issue does affect all Chinese lects.
No, people will argue that black is white. That doesn't make white black. That's one reason that rough consensus doesn't and can't demand that we be completely unanimous.
BTW, several years ago I tried moving all the primary Chinese lects to "language", and ended up in a protracted argument. Maybe it would turn out differently this time, but I expect that if we do this, people will be "outraged" and we'll get in a big fight, and just end up moving it back. That's why I think we need to come to an agreement at naming conventions first. However, if the move only affects this article--such as moving to Yue (Cantonese), then discussion here is sufficient. kwami (talk) 11:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
(Sigh) see below. Andrewa (talk) 16:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions (Chinese)

Several times above, it's been suggested that we can't resolve this here because we need to discuss it at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese).

There has already been much discussion there, and it is ongoing. (At the risk of repeating what I said above, which was already a quote from that page...) But for now, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Language/dialect NPOV states the primary branches of Chinese should be treated as de facto separate languages, for the purposes of classification, listing, categorization, and terminology and later Top-level divisions of Chinese (Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Hakka, Min, etc) should be listed separately as top-level languages in lists or categories by language (my emphasis).

So that's what the relevant convention already explicitly states... Cantonese is explicitly given as one of the top-level languages. Can't be much plainer than that, can it? And this is exactly the conclusion we'd come to if we just considered the fundamental policy at WP:NC.

So why all the discussion? Ah, but it goes on ...for NPOV purposes, avoid explicitly naming them either languages or dialects. Simply use the name itself if there is no ambiguity. If there is, then use "xxx Chinese" or "xxx Min" when there's dispute over whether to call it a language or dialect—this includes all first-level divisions and the second-level divisions of Min. For lower-level varieties, use "xxx dialect" or "xxx Mandarin" etc.:. A bet each way, if you like.

And, some of those who don't want to move this page to Cantonese language are also involved in ongoing discussions at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese), aimed at resolving this contrariness in the convention and enforcing consistency across all articles on Chinese language(s).

This consistency is something that the academic community has tried and failed to achieve. I guess it's flattering to think that Wikipedia might succeed where they have failed, but it's not what Wikipedia is here for.

Our article names are just there as navigation devices. We try to avoid cluttering them and the discussions concerning them with such controversies. The fundamental principles that underly this attempt are at Wikipedia:naming conventions.

That's not to say that there's no place for these discussions on talk pages. But please, we must move on eventually. The case for Cantonese language is overwhelming. Let's take that small step, and see where it leads.

There might next be a proposal to move Mandarin Chinese, for example. IMO the case is not nearly so strong there, but let's deal with that in turn if we must. If that discussion produces a move (which it might) then we'd have a case for updating the rather unhelpful detailed naming convention.

In any case this will certainly not be the last word. But unless there's a fundamental change in Wikipedia policy, we'll come back to this name eventually. So perhaps, some at least of those who persist in moving this page away from Cantonese language might reflect on whether, long term, they are achieving anything towards building the encyclopedia. End of sermon. Andrewa (talk) 16:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Do not read too much into that. The only reason why the Naming conventions used "Cantonese" was because the article was named as such at that time. Since then, there has been countless debates over the inaccuracies of that term, an issue which also plagues other articles related to the Chinese language but most of which has been addressed.--Huaiwei (talk) 19:07, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
There are no inaccuracies of that term with respect to the article name Cantonese language. This seems to be the same error we've seen in much of the discussion above. We use common English for article names unless there are compelling reasons of ambiguity. So for example we call an article on black pudding that even though we know that technically, it's neither black nor a pudding.
It's a shame that the naming convention wasn't updated before moving the article away from Cantonese language. I'm tempted to guess it was done this way because there was no consensus likely to change the naming convention. But frankly it's a mess anyway on this particular issue. I'm also guessing that some interpret the parts I'm quoting as terminology guidelines applying to the article text, not the article name. But the naming conventions aren't about the text. They're purely about the name.
How would you change the naming convention? Would you just leave Cantonese out of the list of top-level divisions of Chinese, or would you delete this section entirely? Or would you change Cantonese to Yue, but keep it listed as one of the top-level divisions of Chinese? Andrewa (talk) 03:14, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The case for calling it a "language" is not overwhelming. For political and linguistic reasons, these dialect branches are not complete enough to be singularly called a language. I am at the point of wanting to go back to calling it "Cantonese dialects" because there is nothing left. Benjwong (talk) 05:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
But that's the very issue we are not trying to decide here, even if we could. Wikipedia is not the place to try to correct English usage. The issue is simply, is this what English speakers do call the subject of this article? Unless there are reasons of ambiguity (not of some notion of correctness, however well argued) then that's what we should go with. Andrewa (talk) 06:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
English speakers call both Yueyu and Guangzhouhua "Cantonese". If we're going by common usage, then Yue Chinese, Guangzhou dialect, and Cantonese people should all be merged into a single article, Cantonese. ... which is why we often do not go by common English usage. The question to ask, IMO, is: In the few cases where English speakers do distinguish these concepts, which terminology do they use? For Yueyu, the answers are Yue, Yue Chinese, and Cantonese dialects. Of the three, Yue is ambiguous, and Cantonese dialects has been objected to in the past because of the word "dialect". kwami (talk) 08:33, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, certainly the use of dialect in the title has been objected to in the past, similarly to language and for the same reasons. Major issue. And I'm afraid those objections will continue, and I'm sorry to bring it up again as I said right at the outset. My hope is that we can form a rough consensus that these objections are not as important as their proponents may think.
No, there's no justification for merging these three articles. Red herring IMO. It would certainly make the naming easier, but the resulting articles would be too long.
Not true that we often do not go by common English usage, and only marginally relevant in any case. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Interesting argument concerning concepts. This line of argument hasn't been used anywhere in the naming conventions so far as I know.
My first reaction is that it's pointlessly complicating things. Andrewa (talk) 19:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Things are complicated, because it reflects realities of the real world. While common usage is to be used in the vast majority of cases, exceptions has been and can be made where technical accuracy is important. We will soon be changing "Mandarin" to just "Chinese" if you are going to apply the same principles there too.--Huaiwei (talk) 05:12, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I can agree that this article should be called "Yue Chinese" because it's referring to the Yue language group. But it's ridiculous that the article for Cantonese is sitting at "Guangzhou dialect". It completely ignores the common usage rule. If there is a problem of clarity of meaning from the naming, that is something to be explained in the article content, not in the article name. See Spotted dick. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:45, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree about Guangzhou dialect versus Cantonese dialect. Very well put.
The current situation remainds me of Henry Higgins line: ...And so rather than do either you'll do something else that neither likes at all. But if we fix this article name (the current discussion is Yue Chinese vs Cantonese language vs Cantonese (various other suggestions), hopefully we can then apply that consensus to fix the other one too with relatively little discussion. There has been plenty, and it's already rather repetitive. Andrewa (talk) 19:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The two should probably be discussed together, lest when we get to Guangzhou dialect, people insist that we revisit this article. Since the choice there is more straightforward than here, I added a section for people's votes (not that consensus is decided by a straight vote). kwami (talk) 20:11, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree that the issues there are more straightforward, but not that we should wait for a resolution there. This discussion has gone around in quite enough circles, and no doubt all the same issues we have discussed above will now be redebated. We have rough consensus on several issues here, including renaming this article, so we should do it. Andrewa (talk) 20:53, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not saying we should wait for that article, just that we shouldn't make that article wait for this one.
As for the consensus on renaming this article, besides Hong Qi Gong and myself liking it where it is, where would we move it to? Everyone seems to have their own incompatible preference. Should we move it to Cantonese dialect, which it looks like we might also move Guangzhou dialect to? Or to Cantonese dialects, to make it distinct? Or to Cantonese language, despite the years of consensus at naming conventions that this is inappropriate, and the resulting conflict with the names of all the other branches of Chinese, which will expand the debate and possibly result in the move being reverted? Or to Yue (Cantonese)? Or maybe Cantonese (Yue)? Or maybe one of those really awkward titles like "Cantonese (language/dialect)"? I haven't seen any linear progression to this discussion. kwami (talk) 21:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
As I have said all along, we should move it to Cantonese language. As I have pointed out above, the naming convention is inconsistent on this very point, which doesn't bear witness to any sort of consensus. Andrewa (talk) 01:52, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Huh? The naming convention is perfectly consistent: we should avoid the term "language" for all primary branches of Chinese. If Cantonese language is the title you want, then you really need to bring it up for discussion at the naming convention talk page, not here. kwami (talk) 03:18, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Disagree with almost all of this. In one place it does say that, but in another, it's quite different. As I have said above. Andrewa (talk) 04:10, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
You are avoiding facts, Andrewa. The Chinese naming convention has been the result of consensus from plenty of editors after years of debate, so to rubbish it this way is completely unjustifiable. Any attempt to call any of the Chinese linguistic branches as "languages" will be quickly met with fierce opposition, and I will be one of them. I say keep this article where it is now until a suitable alternative can be proposed and agreed upon.--Huaiwei (talk) 05:17, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way, but please no personal attacks. Yes, there is enormous opposition to calling any of the Chinese linguistic branches as "languages". But for my part, I must call them as I see them fall. See below. Andrewa (talk) 06:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry if you take the above comment personally, but trying to dismiss a naming convention for being inconsistent and non-subjected to the consensus-building process is clearly dismissing the facts.--Huaiwei (talk) 07:06, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah we agreed long ago that "Language" cannot be used for mandarin, cantonese or anyone of the dialects individually for too many reasons. Benjwong (talk) 03:39, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that there ever was a consensus for that, but in any case consensus can change. Andrewa (talk) 00:33, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the way I feel. No personal attacks is a long standing and fundamental policy. Andrewa (talk) 00:33, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

A recap

I entered this discussion somewhat reluctantly, and I think with good reason. But I don't think there is anything to be gained by running away. Above I am accused of avoiding facts. Here are the facts that I consider relevant:

  1. There is a division of the Chinese language/language family, which I will call A.
  2. In English, A is commonly called Cantonese.
  3. The Wikipedia article on A cannot be simply called Cantonese owing to ambiguity.
  4. In English, A is commonly called a language rather than a dialect, and particularly contrasted to Mandarin. That is, in English, these are commonly referred to as two distinct languages.
  5. The phrase Cantonese language would be understood by all English speakers to refer to A, without ambiguity.

Here are some other facts which I do not consider relevant:

  • There is a dialect of A sometimes referred to as Cantonese. Everyone agrees that this is a dialect, not everyone agrees that it should be called Cantonese, and in any case it's not the only other topic that could be called Cantonese in Wikipedia.
  • There is well-organised and articulate opposition to ever referring to A as a language. There are various motives for this, some of them political, others scholarly.
  • There is as a result a much-debated and inconsistent detailed naming convention, which has from time to time explictly banned the use of language in article names, while at the same time itself referring to some major divisions including Cantonese as languages.

It's not going to make Wikipedia a laughing-stock if we continue with the current name. But it would be better if we stuck to our principles. I think we will eventually decide to stick to them, and that there's some hope that now will be the time for it. I could be wrong. We do seem to be going around in the same well-worn circles. Sorry to waste everyone's time if so. Andrewa (talk) 06:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

You merely need to read Varieties of Chinese to realise why half the points you consider "facts" are irrelevant in this discussion. It remains an established fact that "owing to China's sociopolitical and cultural situation, whether these variants should be known as languages or dialects is a subject of ongoing debate", so wikipedia must acknowledge this by not lending weight to either argument (hence, it is not Cantonese language nor Cantonese dialect). As is the reason why the People's Republic of China article is not at China, adherence to WP:NPOV takes precedence over WP:COMMONNAMES.--Huaiwei (talk) 07:01, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I accept this fact, it's pretty much the same as my second bullet point above in fact, which I also claim to be a fact.
China is an interesting and even more complex case, see China (disambiguation), and would be a good example even so if the proposal was to use simply Cantonese as the article name... but it's not.
I've read the article in question, several times now. Exactly which half of my five points are irrelevant? (;-> I'm fascinated.
As to the appeal to WP:NPOV, the reason that is invalid is that Wikipedia has a policy of using common names. So, if we use a common name, by this we're lending no particular support to the POV that this is the proper or correct nomenclature, we're just following our naming conventions. On the other hand, if we use other names, particularly but not only ones contrived to support a particular POV, then we do have a POV problem. Andrewa (talk) 03:11, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Your list of five are claims, not facts. AFAIK, 4 and 5 are incorrect. kwami (talk) 08:27, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the claims/facts question is unproductive wordplay rather than a real issue, so have it your way. Regarding 4 and 5, this is an important difference of opinion. How can we resolve it, do you think?
And I'm also going to be bold enough to ask, if 4 and 5 did turn out to be true, would that justify the name Cantonese language, in your opinion? If not, what else would I need to show? Andrewa (talk) 02:49, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
If you could show that, I'd be pretty convinced (subject of course to being later convinced by the other side). However, what we'd then have is two Sinitic languages, Chinese and Cantonese, which I find problematic: I've never heard of "Chinese" as a language exclusive of Cantonese. Unless you mean that all primary branches of Chinese should be called "languages"? In which case, once again, this discussion belongs at Chinese naming conventions, not here. kwami (talk) 03:02, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
OK. Let's deal with my point (5) first, as I think that will be easier. I claim that The phrase Cantonese language would be understood by all English speakers to refer to A, without ambiguity. You say this is false. So, you claim that there are English speakers who would find the article name Cantonese language confusing, perhaps ambiguous. Is that correct so far?
As to your question, at least Cantonese and Mandarin are commonly called languages in my experience. But I don't see any problem with also having an article called Chinese language. The situation is complicated, and it does nobody any good to pretend otherwise. For that matter, the Dutch language and German language are mutually intelligible in many regions, even identical in some (the dialects in the border regions for example), a classical language continuum. But there's no justification for calling Dutch and German dialects. Andrewa (talk) 03:34, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
It should be called a dialect of some sort only. We should move them all back to Mandarin (linguistics), Cantonese (linguistics) which is where it all first started before. I am out of ideas. Benjwong (talk) 03:45, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
(Sigh) Likewise. The disambiguator linguistics was rejected for good reasons; The show-stopper I think was a rough consensus that Cantonese (linguistics) is ambiguous. Anyone have anything new to add? Andrewa (talk) 05:30, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
"Cantonese (linguistics)" was in fact the best title and the current title is extremely bad. Badagnani (talk) 06:37, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I think there is a rough consensus that the current title Yue Chinese is bad and needs changing. See below for comments regarding your suggestion. Andrewa (talk) 18:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
99% of the article is about the linguistic aspect. Same for mandarin (linguistics), hakka (linguistics) etc. The language thing is incomplete for the many reasons listed above. Mostly "written" aspect makes each dialect a little too incomplete to be called a language. Benjwong (talk) 07:26, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I think there's consensus that one expert view is that Cantonese is not to be regarded as a language, and that other experts disagree. So our personal views on this particular issue aren't all that relevant, frankly. Andrewa (talk) 18:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Cantonese (linguistics) as an article name

Badagni above proposes Cantonese (linguistics) as the best title. I thought this had already been dismissed as ambiguous by a rough but comfortable consensus, but I could be wrong. Issues as I see them:

  • Are we just going in circles here? Anyone else feel that this is an old and discredited proposal? Consensus can change of course but do we really need to go over this again? Perhaps a link to specific archived discussion would be helpful.
  • Is Cantonese (linguistics) ambiguous? The concern, of course, is that it's claimed that Guangzhou dialect is also known as Cantonese.

I'm hoping we can keep this section short, and without personal attacks, but I also think it's appropriate for me to say that I think repeating this particular suggestion was a complete waste of everyone's time, and an excellent example of what to avoid. Andrewa (talk) 18:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Support. Restore to original titles as soon as possible. Cantonese is a more practical title. — HenryLi (Talk) 03:10, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It might be helpful if you were explicit as to what titles you regard as original. Andrewa (talk) 08:01, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

It's also I think worth noting that at least one editor considers Cantonese (linguistics) a good title for the article currently at Guangzhou dialect, see this edit. Andrewa (talk) 08:01, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I support this article staying at its current name, but I would not be opposed to a name in the form of "Cantonese (XXX)" either. Much more importantly, I would like to see Guangzhou dialect moved back to an article name that has the word "Cantonese" in it. I say this with the assumption that "Cantonese" is the most common translation of "廣東話". And despite its name, "廣東話" refers to specifically the Guangzhou dialect, not the entire Yue language group. People do not refer to, for example, the Taishan dialect, as "廣東話" - they refer to 台山話 and 廣東話 as two different dialects. But granted, I am saying this from personal knowledge - I have friends who are actually from Taishan and speak the dialect, and part of my family originate from the region also and speak it. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:00, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmmmm... none of which is even remotely relevant. At the risk of repeating myself, this is English Wikipedia. There may be a good correspondence between English and written Chinese, in which case we go with the English. Or there may not be, in which case we go with the English. I know you don't agree with this policy, but you can't just ignore it.
And speaking of which, have you any more thoughts on my proposition 5 above?
The question I was raising is that you proposed Cantonese (linguistics) as a name for this other article. If this proposal has any credibility at all, then it must disqualify the current article from using the same name, surely? Andrewa (talk) 22:57, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Use your imagination, maybe? If we don't call this article "Cantonese (linguistics)", we could call it "Cantonese (language group)" or "Cantonese (dialect group)" or "Cantonese (dialect branch)" or any number of things we can agree on that makes sense. Regarding what you claim is "irrelevant" - I obviously disagree. We know that the Guangzhou dialect is referred to as Cantonese. But this article is about the entire dialect/language group that Cantonese belongs to. Do we really know what is actually the more common term used in English to refer to this dialect group? Is it Cantonese, or is it actually Yue? Regardless, I only have a weak preference for the current name - as I am going by "廣東話" being the translation of "Cantonese", which would make it a term that is used seperately from other dialects in the Yue dialect group - I honestly don't know if "Yue" or "Cantonese" is the more commonly used terminology for the entire dialect branch. The more important thing I would like to see is that we move Guangzhou dialect away from its currently tragic name. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 14:59, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Assuming that Standard Cantonese is unambiguous, t works well IMO. I'll add it to the relevant discussion. Andrewa (talk) 20:56, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Except that it's misleading. It implies that Guangzhouhua is a standard language like Standard Mandarin, when it is not. kwami (talk) 00:13, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - Standard Cantonese is standardized, otherwise it would not be called "Standard Cantonese." Badagnani (talk) 00:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if an article title is "misleading" or that it doesn't make sense. When there is a common English name for the subject, that's what we use. That's why spotted dick is not called steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit. Hell, that's why Hong Kong is not called Xianggang. Obviously you agree that "Cantonese" is a common name for the dialect, since you made the edit yourself to state so in the article[4]. If that's the case, Guangzhou dialect should be moved to a name with the word "Cantonese" in it. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 17:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I have no objection to moving Guangzhou dialect to Cantonese dialect, but it's not true that rationality is irrelevant. When a thing is known by a certain name, as with spotted dick, then of course we use that name. However, when there are two common names, and one is misleading, then we prefer the more precise name, even if it's less common. So for example horned lizard is preferred over "horned toad", even though "horned toad" is the more common name, because the animal is a lizard, not a toad. Here also we need titles that disambiguate the two levels Yueyu and Guangzhouhua without being misleading. (That was the original objection to "Standard Cantonese", BTW: it's not a standard language, but a prestige dialect, and so is no more appropriate than the title "horned toad".) kwami (talk) 19:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that Kwami makes an important point about precision, but this case is very complex. For an English article about a foreign language, it is more important to follow the English conceptualization about that language, because most people will be searching for that concept. Precision is no longer useful if it misdirects the audience. Personally (though I know very little about Chinese languages), I find "Guangzhou dialect" to be a very rare term; "Cantonese" seems much more common (at least among English speakers), and is unambiguous to most. If we are to follow the native name of the language, then this needs to be reflected across Wikipedia; so therefore French language should be renamed Français (language) (or langue français), and Arabic should change to al-ʿarabiyyah. I certainly agree that a thorough disambiguation page is required. On the disamb page for Cantonese, it should explicitly state that "Cantonese language" is properly known as Yue Chinese.
For this page, I would prefer keeping it at the current name"Yue Chinese", with the present description, which seems clear and works nicely. Cantonese (linguistics) seems somewhat awkward. Any Cantonese (linguistics) article in my opinion should be about the various conceptions about the meaning of "Cantonese", as have been so wonderfully demonstrated in this discussion! The Fiddly Leprechaun (talk) 03:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
"Yue Chinese" is not even the autonym of Cantonese. Mandarin users call Cantonese "Yue yu", but "yu" only means "language" or "dialect" in Mandarin. "Yue" is a Mandarin pronunciation of "粵". I don't see the point to use a Mandarin naming for Cantonese in English Wikipedia. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 00:44, 24 November 2008 (UTC).
The preferred case is going to be "Cantonese Yue" and "Guangzhou dialect". That gives you the best of all world. Benjwong (talk) 03:32, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
"Cantonese Yue" would not mean Yueyu, but Guangzhouhua. The phrasing implies it's the Cantonese dialect of Yue, analogous to Taiwanese Mandarin, Penang Hokkien, etc. kwami (talk) 06:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The goal is to have at least 1 article be called Cantonese. The current scenario of Yue Chinese and Guangzhou dialect just practically erased the most commonly used term "Cantonese" off the encyclopedia. It is best to figure out a scheme to put it back. Benjwong (talk) 06:17, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree. IMO it should be Guangzhouhua, because that is what people normally mean by 'Cantonese'. kwami (talk) 07:00, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... IMO it should not be called Guangzhouhua, because that would violate WP:NC. See below. Andrewa (talk) 09:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that wasn't very clear. I meant that it should be Guangzhouhua rather than Yueyu that we should move to "Cantonese". kwami (talk) 09:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Well put. We'll get there.
There seem to be no valid arguments as to why Cantonese should have been erased from the list of article names, yet there is determined resistance to using it as an article name. I don't think we can continue to simply assume good faith in the face of evidence such as that to the contrary. We eventually need to draw the discussion to some sort of conclusion. Andrewa (talk) 09:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I haven't seen any resistance to using it, only for where we use it. Those who want to keep "Guangzhou dialect" want Yueyu to be "Cantonese language" or "Cantonese dialect", and those who want to keep "Yue Chinese" want Guangzhouhua to be "Cantonese dialect" or "Standard Cantonese". Each objects to using 'Cantonese' at the other article, except for one or two who want "Cantonese language" vs. "Cantonese dialect". kwami (talk) 09:31, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
After reading even more of the discussion, I've managed to acquire a decent understanding of the debate. IMO, we should vote on returning both this page and Guangzhou dialect to their original names, over here where Hong Qi Gong has set up a poll. Hopefully that will create some progress in the discussion, which is currently running around in circles. After that, we need to have a community vote as to which article should be named "Cantonese" - for this I would suggest a list of the possible titles for each article, under each of which people can state their support/opposition. The Fiddly Leprechaun (talk) 23:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The spoken form used in Guangzhou is used as the standard form of Cantonese, just as the pronunciation of Beijing is chosen as the standard form of Putonghua. So the word ¨Cantonese¨ does not mean Guangzhou dialect or Guangzhou hua, just as Putonghua does not equal to Beijing spoken language. Cantonese comprises several dialects (see zh:粵語方言, Guangzhou Cantonese being one of them), just as Mandarin Chinese comprises 8 dialects. After 1949, many people from Guangzhou moved to Hong Kong. People from Guangzhou dominated the radio and education industries, so Hong Kong people mainly speak Guangzhou Cantonese. The origin people (for example at Kam Tin) uses a dialect of Cantonese called 圍頭話 (weitou hua). Some other Cantonese dialects you can here from older people in Hong Kong include Zhongshan hua, Dongguan hua and Panyu hua. -- Hello World! 18:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I state my opinion now, Cantonese is my mother tongue, and I don't see any use of "Yue Chinese" thing in my life except those standard defined by Mandarin people, some think Cantonese is a dialect but I do think it is a language. I resist the use of "Yue" in anywhere to name our language, our people or our culture. Please, I don't speak Mandarin and don't want to speak it. I don't care you change "China" to "Zhong Guo" if you want, but don't do anything to my mother tongue, did I make my point clear? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chenglap (talkcontribs) 18:26, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's clear, but you do not get to dictate the English language. 粵 is "Yue" in normal English usage, so "Yue" is what we need to use. kwami (talk) 00:44, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
No, we do not "need to use" it. Putonghua is a Chinese word, yet we do not directly translate it into English, instead calling it Standard Mandarin for our WP title. Badagnani (talk) 00:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I think we agree, actually. We should not translate directly, and several editors have insisted that we follow Chinese wording in English. My point here is that Chenglap is forbidding us from following normal English usage. If we use the term, "Yue" is the form we should use, since that's what's used in English. kwami (talk) 01:06, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
No, we do not agree, as "Yue" is not the most commonly used term in English. Badagnani (talk) 01:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"粵 is "Yue" in normal English usage" this is a ridiculous lie. Let try to search "Yue" and "Cantonese" in a common English dictionary, see which you can get?
(Another way: In google, "Yue" gives 9 560 000 results, and most of them are not related to Cantonese, "Cantonese" gives 11 500 000. One can tell which is the most used term by simply result counts.)
In Cantonese, we could say that kwami is "Lie without a blink"(講大話唔眨眼).--Fongyun (talk) 02:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Another possibility:思覺失調(Early Psychosis)--Syaoranli李小狼 13:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Hillgentleman has pinpointed the problem. Wikipedia (and other encyclopedia of any kinds) is for recording the current facts, instead of creating new idea. That's why citing references is needed here. If someone wants to suggest new or correct the exisiting naming or categorizing system for the language, I would suggest he or she writing an academic paper for the academic community to review. Here is not a good place for arguing these stuff. -- (talk) 10:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


  • 我係廣東話用戶,我嘅母語就係廣東話,我用返廣東話發言。既然而家係討論廣東話,我希望你哋係用「尊重廣東話」嘅態度。講廣東話嘅人,會叫呢種語言做「廣東話」、「廣府話」、「廣州話」或者「粵語」。「廣東、廣府、廣州、粵」都係指地方,可以對應「Canton」,「話、語」都係語言,對應「-ese」,怕有歧義可以加個「language」。任何一個講廣東話嘅人,都只會知道廣東話嘅英文係「Cantonese」。
  • 至於呢個「Yue Chinese」,對廣東話母語嘅人嚟講,係根本由頭到尾都冇聽過冇講過嘅詞彙。你要喺某啲圈子咁用,可以,但絕對唔尊重講廣東話嘅人、唔尊重廣東話。首先,Chinese係「中文」,但係廣東話作為一種語言,一種language,我哋從來唔會有人講「廣東中文」、「粵中文」呢啲咁嘅詞語,呢啲係夾硬砌出嚟嘅,現實上唔存在嘅詞彙。其次,就算攞個「粵」字,佢嘅讀音係「Jyut」,而唔係「Yue」。你可以叫「Jyut language」,頂晒籠畀你叫「Jyut Chinese」,都冇可能叫「Yue Chinese」。「Yue」只係用普通話角度去強姦廣東話嘅結果。你要做電腦coding,一早編左zh-yue代表粵語,我人微言輕,吹你唔漲。但係一個面向世界嘅「自由百科」,堅持要咁樣去強姦廣東話,哦,你哋示範咗乜嘢叫「自由」囉。
  • 註:上述我批評緊嘅「你哋」,只係包括堅持要強姦廣東話嘅「西」人。
  • Strongly Oppose to "Yue Chinese"!!!!!

-- (talk) 17:09, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

This user is saying "Yue Chinese" does not really exist because the term basically translates to 「粵中文」. There is no such thing. 啱 Agreed! Benjwong (talk) 00:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
But that's completely irrelevant. We should not translate literally from Chinese, because the result will generally be bad English. kwami (talk) 00:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that user is acknowledging the fact that "Yue Chinese" is some wiki-created term that doesn't really exist. And if exist, it is coming from a very putonghua/mandarin angle. If it upsets that many people, I would hesistate to continue with any usage of "Yue". Benjwong (talk) 01:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
If kwami said that "We should not translate literally from Chinese", then please don't "translate literally from Mandarin" either. You do not know how to respect: 1. other's language; 2. the convenience of users.--Fongyun (talk) 02:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


NZ, you say that 白話 is a synonym for Yue. However, at Guangzhou dialect we say that it's a synonym for Guangzhouhua. Which is correct? kwami (talk) 19:42, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

"白話" (pinyin: Baihua, Jyutping: Baak Waa) is a synonym for the whole Cantonese language (or Yueyu), it is certain. People of Guangdong and Guangxi usually call all kinds of Cantonese dialects "白話", including Taishanese. Sometimes some mainstream Cantonese (Guangzhou-Hong Kong dialect of Cantonese) speakers demean some locally accented Cantonese dialects as "土白话". Here "土" means "vulgar" or "not standard". Guangzhou dialect is a kind of Baihua (Cantonese language), but it is the prestige dialect of Baihua, and has been being accepted as social standard of all kinds of Baihua dialects. For convenience reason, some people directly call it Baihua, as people of Hong Kong usually directly call it Guangdonghua or Cantonese, which is also the name of bigger language set including all kinds of Cantonese dialects. Any kind of Cantonese (Yue) dialects can bee called Baihua or Yueyu. This phenomenon also exists in the English language. London English is usually directly called English, using the bigger language set name of English language, although the English language includes many other accents and dialects. This is similar to the situation of Cantonese (or being called Baihua, or being called Yueyu, or being called Guangdonghua).--Newzebras (talk) 08:33, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. That was probably left over from when the two articles were not very well differentiated. kwami (talk) 08:59, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Gosh, and here's me thinking Baihua just means Vernacular Chinese. Non worldwide view much? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:16, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

You're right, of course. (hit self in head) I didn't even catch that. kwami (talk) 08:01, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Baihua is by no means specific to this dialect. Newzebras isn't exactly wrong though. Is at the point of... if it isn't "formal" is "baihua". Benjwong (talk) 16:38, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Baihua is just a term used by people from Western part of Guangdong to mean the standard Cantonese. Vernacular Chinese is a term means spoken Chinese and it uses a similar name. BTW two decades ago I´ve heard people of Hong Kong using Baihua to mean spoken Cantonese, but now seems few Hong Kong people still use this term. -- Hello World! 17:20, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion and Poll

I've made a suggestion and started a poll to see what your opinions are for moving both of the articles back to their long-standing names before we engage in further discussions to provide possibly better names. Both of the original names had stood for a long time without much of any dispute. As soon as the page moves were made, long discussions sprung up. So obviously a longer time to seek concensus was necessary before getting rid of their original names. Please see the Talk page at other the article for the poll - [5]. Thanks. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:43, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Everyone please vote. Benjwong (talk) 00:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Can someone explain to us that why you don't put "language" on the name? Who and when it was decided? May I have a reference/link about it? Because as I know, there are no "Chinese language" but "Chinese languages" with at least 6 language family inside (talk) 06:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)