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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
(Mandarin Xiānggǎng), “Fragrant
Kong, a commercial powerhouse
in which Cantonese culture accommodates the
demands of the 21st century—mainstay
Cantonese language with influences far beyond ...
Will return to China weaken Cantonese power?
Used in Hong Kong, Macau and throughout Guangdong province in China,
Cantonese is a particularly widespread language among long-established Chinese
communities in Southeast Asia, Australia, the Americas, Europe, New Zealand
and parts of Africa. Many Cantonese speakers, though outnumbered
speakers, are among more recent immigrants in overseas locations. In Hong Kong,
most speakers of other Chinese varieties (such as Shanghainese
and other Wu varieties, as well as Hakka) and also some non-Chinese residents
use Cantonese as a second language. Similarly, in Guangdong province, native
non-Cantonese Chinese varieties (such as Hakka varieties and Teochew Minnan)
and native speakers of non-Chinese
languages (such as Miao, She, Yao and Zhuang) tend to be able to
in Cantonese (and these days in Mandarin as well). In Southeast Asia and in
Overseas Chinese communities in which Cantonese is predominant or prestigeous,
speakers of other Chinese varieties are usually conversant
in Cantonese. Virtually all long-established Chinese communities of Europe
female military general—
Cantonese ”opera” (Yuhtkehk)
used to be
important in promoting and standardizing
the Cantonese language. The tradition is
still alive in China, Singapore and
Malaysia, also in the San Francisco
Bay Area, USA.
Kong and Macau from the rest of China in conjunction with the commercial power
of Hong Kong as a tax-free port has afforded Cantonese to excert influence far
beyond that of any other Chinese language other than Mandarin. It is to be seen
strong position can be maintained now that
Kong and Macau have been passed from British and Portuguese power back to China.
Their special states within China favors continuation of Cantonese domination,
but already the study of Mandarin as a second or third language is on the increase,
while before the poltical
change few Hong Kong citizens were interested in it.
languages tend to be relegated to non-public and non-official function in Mainland
Cantonese predominates in all spheres in Hong Kong and in Cantonese-dominated
Overseas Chinese communities. This includes Cantonese predominance in education
and in the electronic
The written media tend to use the usual Mandarin-based Standard Written Chinese,
but Cantonese speakers pronounce the texts in Cantonese.
Cantonese can be
written. Numerous Latin-script-based orthographies (some of which we are displaying
created for learners and researchers. Cantonese-specific
writing with the Chinese
of Cantonese-specific characters have been created, are mostly used in direct
literature, traditionally also for Cantonese stage
plays (including Chinese “opera”). However, this sort of writing is in most circles
considered inferior. As a result, people speak Cantonese but write
in a Mandarin-based fashion (unless they use Classical Chinese), though
they pronounce the texts in Cantonese rather than in Mandarin.
Cantonese is phonologically more conservative than is Mandarin. For example,
it retains the final (unreleased) stops -p,
-t and -k, which in Mandarin have disappeared (in a few of them retained as
a glottal stop). Cantonese has seven tones (as shown in our transliterations),
some “only” six, such as the Hong Kong dialect in which the high even tone
(¯) and the high falling tone (`) have become one. Hong Kong’s far-reaching influences tend to cause Hong Kong Cantonese features (or features
that are common to Hong Kong Cantonese and related dialects) to spread farther
afield. The merging of the above-mentioned two tones is a phonological example;
of l- and n- to l- is another one. In our presentation, for instance, the words néih ‘you’ and léih ‘care’ are pronounced identically as léih. Many Cantonese speakers carry this feature over to their pronunciation of English
(e.g. Chila‘China’). In the area of idiom, the spread of casual Cantonese (“Cantonese slang”) expressions
is mostly due to
the influences of the Hong Kong
entertainment industry with its common fare of action movies about martial
arts and gangster warfare.