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I have noticed that people speaking Cantonese use the term「唐人」. I am unsure about the definition of「唐人」in Cantonese. Does「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly the same thing as「漢人」, or are there subtle differences?

From my knowledge,「漢人」refers to people of the Han ethnic group. Do Cantonese people use this term too?

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漢人 only refers to people of the Han ethnic group

It is correct、漢民族 is the major ethnic group in China, but 漢人 do not equal 中國人

唐 and 漢 are both great dynasty in Chinese history

  • Cantonese speakers prefer 唐 over 漢 as the representative word for "Chinese" . We have terms like 唐人,唐餐,唐裝,唐話,唐字 in Cantonese

  • Mandarin speakers prefer 漢 over 唐 as the representative word for "Chinese" . We have terms like 漢文,漢字,漢語,漢化 in Mandarin

Does「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly the same thing as「漢人」

No, 「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly 「華人」 or 「中國人」

  • Both Cantonese and Mandarin speakers use「華人」 or 「中國人」for "Chinese people"

It is believed that 華夏 period culture was the beginning of Chinese culture

華夏最初是指史前黃河流域中下游一带分佈的若干部落或政治共同體,这些部落被后世视为漢文化及中华文明的起源之一

《左傳》“裔不謀夏,夷不亂華”一語,華、夏同義反復,華即是夏 (夏即是華)

  • Isn't 夏 the first dynasty? – Flux Jan 18 at 6:02
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ABC Cantonese has the following information in their entry for 唐人:

NOUN
Chinese man, Chinese person; Chinese people, especially those living in overseas Chinese communities in Europe, North America, and Australia, also known as 華僑 waa4 kiu4
Notes: 唐 tong4 refers to Tang dynasty (618 - 907 Common Era) which has been traditionally regarded by Cantonese speakers as the apex and hence a supreme symbol of Chinese civilization; colloquial

So, yes, in a broad sense 唐人 can be used in a similar manner as 漢人, but you should pay attention to the context for subtleties.

  • So, 唐人 is not the same as 漢人? – Flux Jan 18 at 5:22
  • @Flux in a broad sense it can be used in the same way, but you would need to look at the context. – user3306356 Jan 18 at 5:24
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Cantonese and Mandarin people have same idea about these words and characters.

From my knowledge,「漢人」refers to people of the Han ethnic group.

That's right.

唐人 means Chinese people, including ethnic folks other than Han.

Usually 唐人 is those Chinese people who live in western country. In China people won't use the word 唐人 to describe them self.

  • There are far more 唐人 in non-western countries. Think of Malaysia, Singapore, etc. – Flux Mar 13 at 6:23

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