41.1. Cantonese (广东话)

Spoken in Guangdong Province (广东省, Canton) unsurprisingly.

Interintelligibility of written text with Mandarin:

They don’t have a standardized pinyin/romanization/transliteration, it is quite insane:

but most schemes are quite similar it seems.

6 tones, though average speakers themselves can’t tell the tone of each character because it is not taught in school: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cantonese-tones-explained-nicholas-angiers/.

They actually have two different rising and three different level tones, which is completely insane, how can you differentiate that??

Some people count 9 due to syllables that end in p, t or k and which can only have 3 of the previous 6, but better just group those three with the corresponding of the other 6.

No "turn around the middle" tones though. So a common notation is start point to end point:

  • 55 high level

  • 35 mid rising

  • 33 mid level

  • 21 low falling

  • 22 low level

  • 23 low rising

There was also a high falling 52/53 but it merged with 55 in Hong Kong, so it is not normally noted anymore.