Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cantonese is a language

Sent to the Hong Kong Free Press, May 2

Re: “Cantonese a dialect, not a mother tongue, says Hong Kong Education Bureau supporting material on Mandarin.” (May 2, 2018)

Song Yinqiao has stated that Cantonese is a dialect of Chinese and therefore cannot be considered to be a mother tongue. If so, Mandarin is also a Chinese dialect and cannot be considered to be a mother tongue. 

Stephen Krashen (Ph.D, Linguistics, UCLA)
Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California 


  1. Thank you for this. If we insist that Mandarin is its own language, than Cantonese must also be. If Mandarin is a dialect of Chinese, than so is Cantonese. Thank you for pointing this out and sending this in.

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