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Cantonese or Standard Cantonese is a language spoken in and around the city of Canton (now Guangzhou) in southern China, by the majority population of Hong Kong and Macau, and as a lingua franca of Guangdong province, eastern Guangxi province, and some neighboring areas. It is used in Hong Kong and Macau as the de facto official spoken language of government and instruction in schools. It is spoken by overseas Chinese communities in Canada, Peru, Panama, the United States and Australia, as well as throughout Europe and Southeast Asia, being the most widely spoken Chinese language and a lingua franca in many of these communities. While the same "Cantonese" generally refers narrowly to the Hong Kong-Guangzhou dialect, it is also used in a broader sense for the Yue branch of Chinese, which includes related dialects such as Taishanese.

The Cantonese language is also viewed as part of the cultural identity for the native speakers across large swathes of southern China. Although Cantonese shares much vocabulary and grammatical structure with Mandarin Chinese, the two languages are not mutually intelligible, in large part because of pronunciation differences.[1][2]


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