Standard Cantonese is a variant of Cantonese (Yue) Chinese. It is spoken natively in and around the cities of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau in Southern China. Standard Cantonese is the de facto official Chinese spoken language of Hong Kong and Macau, and a lingua franca of Guangdong province and some neighbouring areas.

It is also spoken by many overseas Chinese of Guangdong, Hong Kong or Macau origin in Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Australia, Europe and elsewhere. Historically, Cantonese was the most common form of Chinese spoken by overseas Chinese communities in the Western world. That situation has changed however, with the increasing importance of Mandarin in the Chinese-speaking world as well as immigration to the West from other countries as well as other parts of China.

In popular speech, Standard Cantonese is often known simply as Cantonese, though in academic linguistics the name can also refer to the broader category to which it belongs.

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See also: Profile - Hong Kong

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