Yue is a variety of Chinese spoken mainly in Guangdong (廣東), Guangxi (廣西), Hong Kong (香港) and Macau (澳門). There are also substantial Yue-speaking communities overseas in Southeast Asia, Canada, Australia, the UK and USA.
Yue is also known as Cantonese, which can refer to the Yue varieties of Chinese as a whole, or to Cantonese (廣東話 gwóngdùngwá), the variety of Yue spoken in Guangzhou (Canton), Hong Kong and Macau. In Guangdong and Guanxi people generally call their language 粵語 (yuhtyúh) or 白話 (baahkwá), which refers specifically to the Guangzhou variety.
Yue pronunciation is thought to be closer to that of older forms of Chinese, particularly that of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), than Mandarin, as is some of its grammar. For example, many old poems that do rhyme when read with Yue pronunciation do not rhyme in Mandarin pronunciation. It is believed that officials and others who were exiled or migrated to southern China during the Tang Dynasty brought their variety of Chinese with them to Guangdong. Due to the southern region's relative remoteness and the lack of efficient communications and transport, the Tang variety survived relatively unchanged.
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Page last modified: 26.05.21
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