Moving to Guangzhou

July 23, 2010, 10:40 PM posted in General Discussion

Hello everyone!

In one month (end of August) I'm moving to Guangzhou, China to teach English. I just signed up with Chinesepod. I know that city speaks Cantonese, so I'm hoping I'm making the right choice my choosing to learn Mandarin seeing that it is the official language of China. Any thoughts on that? Should I focus on Cantonese instead?

Also, any fluent Chinese speakers want to get together and help me practice would be most welcome!

Take care,

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July 26, 2010, 02:44 AM

Hey Omar! I believe that the vast majority of people in Guangzhou also speak Mandarin in addition to Cantonese, so you should be good with learning Mandarin. Albeit, Cantonese is also a useful language.

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July 26, 2010, 08:37 AM

Hey, my girlfriend is from Guangzhou :-) So I asked her what she thought. Her response:



Oh I see, what a good choice, congratulations on choosing guang zhou one of the best cities in the world, lol. (only saying that because I grew up there)

Well first of all GZ is city full of people from all over the country, something like 40% of the population is non-permanent guang zhou people so a lot people speak mandarin and nearly everyone understands mandarin.

Secondly it is useful to be able understand Cantonese at some point because you will understand it if people are talking about you.

Thirdly depends on what the person want to do in the future, if they want to go to other parts of china mandarin is more useful. But if just staying in GZ for a certain period of time can learn Cantonese?


So there you go, from the mouth of a 广州人 :-)

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July 26, 2010, 09:57 AM

There was a big march yesterday about the possibility of less Cantonese and more Mandarin on TV.

In the SCMP this morning.  I'll find the link if your interested.