Native Chinese Speakers -- Mandarin or Cantonese?

I am interested in learning Chinese. If I were to choose between Mandarin or Cantonese, which would be most beneficial to me; especially if I were to live/visit China?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you plan to live in Hong Kong (or Macau), then it's Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters you should learn and study. However, if you plan on living/traveling on Mainland China, then Mandarin and Simplified Chinese characters is what I recommend for you to study and learn. Mandarin is the vernacular language for all Chinese, while Cantonese is just a dialect spoken in Guangdong Province. However, people in Guangdong can also speak Mandarin. So, overall, I think you should learn Mandarin over Cantonese.

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  • Joe
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Mandarin is the official language of China. Cantonese is just a dialect... if you learn mandarin, you'll be able to read Cantonese, just as vice versa. However, if you speak Mandarin, most, if not all Cantonese speakers can understand you, but not the other way round... so I would learn Mandarin first.

    good luck

    Source(s): BA, MA SFSU Japanese, Chinese
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Mandarin is the official language in china. Cantonese is a dialect.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    of course Mandarin, This is a offical language.

    Most of chinese people can use this language except Tibet and Mongolia.

    Cantonese is local language, It still uses chinese characters to write.

    The number of people speaking cantonese is less than 30 millions

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Mandarin for sure; but i speak both languages

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  • 1 decade ago

    mandarin because thats what most people speak in china

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's Chinese and Cantonese...

    Chinese of course...

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