Yue (粤语 / yuhtyúh)

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.

Varieties of Yue include:

Recommended books

Books about Chinese characters and calligraphy
Cantonese learning materials


Information about Yue
http://zh-yue.wikipedia.org/wiki/粵語 (in Cantonese)
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/粤语 (in Standard Chinese)

Sinitic (Chinese) languages

Dungan, Cantonese, Fuzhounese, Gan, Hakka, Jian'ou, Mandarin, Puxian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Taiwanese Hakka, Teochew, Weitou, Wenzhounese, Xiang

Chinese pages

Written Chinese: Oracle Bone Script, Simplified characters, Bopomofo, Types of characters, Structure of written Chinese, Evolution of characters, How the Chinese script works, Xiao'erjing, General Chinese

Spoken Chinese: Mandarin, Dungan, Wu, Shanghainese, Wenzhounese, Yue, Cantonese, Weitou, Min, Jian'ou, Taiwanese, Teochew, Fuzhounese, Puxian, Hakka, Xiang, Gan, How many people speak Chinese?

Other Chinese pages: Chinese numbers (數碼) | Chinese classifiers (量詞) | Electronic dictionaries | Chinese links | Books: Chinese characters and calligraphy | Cantonese | Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien and Taiwanese

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Akkadian Cuneiform, Ancient Egyptian (Demotic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieratic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieroglyphs), Chinese, Chữ-nôm, Cuneiform, Japanese, Jurchen, Khitan, Linear B, Luwian, Mayan, Naxi, Sawndip (Old Zhuang), Sui, Sumerian Cuneiform, Tangut (Hsihsia)

Other writing systems

Page last modified: 15.03.23


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:



If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)