I'm looking at travelling to Shenzhen for a month. Which dialect(s) should I study? For speaking with factory managers, workers, and for day to day life?
closed as too localized by NS.X., dda, 杨以轩, Claw, deutschZuid May 6 '13 at 0:38
This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
Shenzhen is the United Nation of China -- take the subway and in any car you will hear a dozen languages and dialects. The whole of China is represented there -- from Guangdong people, of course (not all of them being fluent in Cantonese, there's a whole bunch of Guangdong-born Hakka and Chaozhou people in Shenzhen) to neighboring Guangxi (lots of them in Shenzhen and Dongguan; they were the first to settle down in Shenzhen when the FEZ was opened. They speak a moderately intelligible dialect of Cantonese, good luck with that) to Fujian, Hunan, way up north (always funny to hear a taxi driver asking 去儿哪儿里儿?) and even Uyghur people... Nobody speaks Mandarin but everybody think they do :-)
Besides, how long do you have before your trip? A couple of years?
Shenzhen is in mainland China, so you should study Mandarin. However, it is so close to Hong Kong, and there is a lot of business between Hong Kong and Shenzhen if you know a bit of Cantonese, it will suffice also.