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? asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Chinese buffets in the USA; What language do the staff speak? Do most Chinese restaurant staff in America speak Mandarin or Cantonese?

When I go to my local Chinese buffet here in Cincinnati, Ohio, I am curious as to what language the staff are speaking to each other. Is it Mandarin? Is it Cantonese? Is it some other Chinese language that I left out? What is the best way to tell?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago


  • 1 month ago

    Why not just ask them? In a friendly, "just curious" kind of way, maybe while you're paying the bill and they have no choice but to pay attention to you.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Mandarin and Cantonese would be the most common in the USA but there are many more languages. You’ll just have to ask. Each province of China is about the size of a European country and has at least one language in it usually more. Mandarin is the language of the Han people who dominate China - but not all Chinese are Han. For example if the Roman Empire were still together and controlling Europe the countries today would speak their own language and then Latin as a second language. So that is how you can think of Mandarin - many learn it as a second language. 

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