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Cantonese
廣東話

Official status

Kingdom-wide Official

Official in

Wiki Nicholasland
(all subdivisions)

Speakers
(2010 est.)

  • Native: 4 463 600 (62.0%)
  • L1 + L2: 6 335 200 (88.0%)

Rank in ILN

1

Language family

Sino-Tibetan (Yue)

Writing system

Traditional Chinese
(Simplified Chinese occasionally observed)

Regulated by

Cantonese (廣東話 / 廣州話) is a variation of Yue Chinese spoken natively in Guangdong Province of the People's Republic of China, in Hong Kong, and in Macau. Cantonese is also the native language and the co-official language of the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas, alongside with English. Cantonese is the most spoken Chinese variant, accounting for 90% of Chinese speakers in the kingdom (Mandarin trailing behind at 4.5%). Cantonese also has the longest history in the kingdom.

Cantonese is the largest language group in the kingdom. According to a recent census, an estimated 60 - 65% of the population speaks the language natively, with up to 90% of the population speaks some level of Cantonese. The Imaginary Lands of Nicholas thus has the third largest Cantonese-speaker group, after the People's Republic of China (Guangdong Province) and Hong Kong.

The Imaginary Lands of Nicholas follows Hong Kong and Macau's designation, in which the language is designated as "廣東話" in Chinese. The variation of Cantonese that's spoken in the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas is largely identical to the one spoken in Hong Kong.

As the co-official language of the kingdom, all autonomous countries and special regions within the kingdom must set Cantonese as the de facto official language. All public services are required to serve in Cantonese and English (the other co-official language of the kingdom), along with any language by-laws mandated by each autonomous country. For example, public transportation across the kingdom usually make the announcements first in Cantonese, then in English, then in a third local language as per the autonomous country. In Gravenhurst Region, for instance, these announcements are made in Cantonese, then in English, and finally in French.

The official script of Cantonese is in Traditional Chinese, the official script of the kingdom (along with English).

History of UseEdit

See also: T'Yu

Originally, when the initial settlers came from Xia Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 夏朝) in the 22nd century BCE, they spoke a dialect of ancient Chinese, a dialect that is quite similar to Cantonese. This dialect does not exist anymore in the kingdom, but have rather, transformed and became the current Cantonese spoken in the kingdom.

In the 200s BCE, when Qin Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: 秦朝) is invading much of the current China, many people were displaced. Cantonese formed during this time, as the ancient Chinese dialect "merged" with the local Yue dialect. Some of them had travelled in ships and floated to the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas, and settled in the area. They brought along the language with them, and this new language was believed to be Cantonese. It is also recorded that this Cantonese dialect that the migrants have brought with them are mutually intelligible with the local ancient Chinese dialect. As time went on, much of the native residents on the continent began to spoke the new variant of Cantonese. This dialect was spread across the continent during the First Kingdom.

Since then, Cantonese speakers have been the majority in the kingdom, accounting anywhere between 70 - 90% of the population. There are other migrants who spoke other languages, such as Japanese (which became the second largest language group by 1000 CE).

During the Western Division, the usage of Cantonese declined, due to the ever-incoming European immigrants who spoke other European languages, and European colonization of the continent which forced local residents to learn European languages. It is suggested that Cantonese was still able to remain as the largest language group, maintaining around 40 - 50% of the population. English usage began to rise beginning from this point.

In early 20th century, during the civil unrest and wars in China, many of the Cantonese speakers fled worldwide. One of the most popular destination was the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas. During this time, Cantonese regained prominence across the kingdom. This new group of immigrants also helped standardize Cantonese, so that the Cantonese spoken in the kingdom is on par with the ones spoken in Guangzhou (then Canton).

Through the National Transitional Period beginning in the 1950s, Cantonese was declared to be the co-official language of the kingdom, along with English, as these two are the most spoken languages in the kingdom.

After over three thousand years of isolation, the variant of Cantonese spoken on the continent is slightly different than Standard Cantonese. The variant is influenced by languages of colonial powers and other neighbouring countries, and this gave rise to a local creole called T'Yu. During the National Transitional Period, the language regulation agencies also standardized Cantonese and its education across the kingdom, to a standard the same as Hong Kong's spoken Cantonese.

In the Third Kingdom today, Cantonese continues to be the largest language group, and the most influential language of the kingdom.

StatusEdit

Cantonese is the official language of the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas. As aforementioned, Cantonese is mandated to be official in all of the autonomous countries and special regions of the kingdom. Chinese language courses taught in schools are typically taught in Cantonese, with the exception of Xiehe Autonomous Region, where it is taught in Mandarin.

The use, promotion, and education of Cantonese is regulated by three agencies, as mandated by the Official Languages Act, 1993. The Cultural Department is responsible for the promotion of the language, and ensure the use of the language is maintained in the kingdom. The Office of the Official Languages is a law enforcement agency, in which the office ensures all the official languages laws are observed, and that Cantonese is suitably used in the kingdom. The Institute of Education (Language Faculty) designs courses of the language to be taught kingdom-wide. This is done so to ensure proper Cantonese education throughout the kingdom.

Use of CantoneseEdit

Cantonese speakers are throughout the kingdom, and spoken in government offices. However, the concentration of Cantonese speakers are typically towards the south and the southwest portions of the kingdom, where most of the population is found.

See alsoEdit

  • T'Yu, the creole and local variant of Cantonese
  • English, the other kingdom-wide official language
Languages in the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas

Official writing systems: Traditional ChineseEnglish

Official Languages
(mandated in all autonomous countries)

Cantonese standardcreole (63%) • English (22%)

Regional Languages
(mandated in some autonomous countries)

French (8%) • Japanese (3%) • Putonghua (3%) • Arabic (< 1%) • Esperanto (< 1%) • Russian (< 1%) • Uyghur (< 1%)

Unrecognized Languages
(not official, but with significant number of speakers)

Korean (< 1%) • Portuguese (< 1%) • Spanish (< 1%) • Vietnamese (< 1%) • Dutch (< 1%)

Percentages in brackets denote the total number of mother tongues (2010 est.) of the specified language.

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