Mandarin vs. Cantonese

Which Chinese Language to Learn?

When first hearing about Chinese, probably the most confusing part is the wide variety of languages available for communication!  So, let’s make it simple by breaking all the languages or dialects into two main categories:

  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese

When considering these two languages, how do you know which to choose?  Thankfully, the governing bodies have made it simpler by making Mandarin the primary language of both China and Taiwan.  If you visit these places, you will find that classes and most television programs are conducted in Mandarin.

Cantonese is very popular in Hong Kong and also the province of GuangDong, or the Canton province.  When I visited the capital city of this province, I found that speaking in Mandarin allowed me to communicate freely, even though I was often given a reply in Cantonese.

Which Chinese Language Should I Learn?

Of course, there are actually thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dialects between China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.  Basically, each province—or even each city—can have their own dialect.  Even though you can communicate in Mandarin (& others will understand what you’re saying), they probably won’t respond, at first, in Mandarin!

Once people realize that you don’t understand their dialect, they will try to answer in Mandarin. And, while moving through the streets of most cities, you will probably only hear the local dialect unless someone is directly addressing you.  That is, of course, unless you are in a very large city where a large percentage of the population prefers to speak Mandarin.

Reasons to Learn Mandarin Chinese

Hopefully, that gives you a general overview of where the two main languages that are spoken and how useful each can be as you travel in China or to Taiwan.  There are, however, an abundance of reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese specifically.

  • official language
  • main language for conducting business
  • ease of learning (in comparison to the other languages)
  • ease of being understood no matter your location

You can also check out some of the other reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese if your curiosity so dictates!  🙂

Common Questions When Learning Chinese

Now that you have all of these reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese and have figured out which Chinese language to learn, there are probably still many lingering questions in your mind as to how to go about learning the language.  Some common questions include

Unfortunately, all of these questions can’t be answered here, but you can follow the links above to find what you’re looking for.  You really can learn to speak Mandarin Chinese, but you will probably need to get these important questions answered first!

Learn to Speak Mandarin Chinese

Good luck on your journey to learn Chinese!  With the right guidance, you will learn Chinese more efficiently and effectively than the average person.

Learn to speak Chinese easily using convenient eBooks and an effective system for learning Mandarin. Congratulations on figuring out which Chinese language to learn and taking your first step to an easier, quicker way of learning Mandarin Chinese!

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