1

In Hong Kong, Cantonese is used for speaking and Traditional Chinese is used for writing. However, Cantonese does indeed have it's own writing system (which I've seen in Whatsapp chats, lyrics of music videos, etc;). This tends to cause confusion, because the characters used are treated differently than standard written Chinese.

For example: 啲 Di = 'some'

My questions are:

  1. I've always wondered, wouldn't it be simpler if Hong Kong adapted the written version of Cantonese in place of Traditional Chinese?

or:

  1. Incorporate spoken Cantonese characters in the Master list of all Traditional Chinese characters?

or:

  1. Eliminate the use of Cantonese characters and instead use just Jyuntping/ Yale Romanization (as in Mainland China, Pinyin input is used)
  • Can you explain how the characters used are treated differently than standard written Chinese? I don't believe they are - the only difference is, someone not familiar with written Cantonese would less likely to be able to grasp the full meaning of the text. – droooze Jul 14 at 11:39
  • Incorporate spoken Cantonese characters in the Master list of all Traditional Chinese characters what do you mean? You could type character 啲 on a computer. Doesn't that already mean that the character is in the list of recognized Chinese characters? (I suspect, mainlanders just don't use it because they don't have that word in Mandarin.) – Andriy Makukha Jul 14 at 13:55
  • For #1, i thought HK is already using the written version of Cantonese now? For #3, why eliminate the Cantonese characters? As a speaking language that has its own written characters is indeed should be proud of. – sel Jul 15 at 3:49
2

Hong Kong using Standard Written Chinese instead of Written Cantonese because Standard Written Chinese (SWC) is the national standard. Most non-Cantonese speakers might not understand Written Cantonese

Some example:

English: "I hate him very much"

Standard Written Chinese: "我很討厭他"

Written Cantonese: "我好憎佢"

~

English: "who ate my apple?"

Standard Written Chinese: "誰吃了我的萍果?"

Written Cantonese: "邊個食咗我個萍果?"

I think Mandarin speaker would have hard time understanding the meaning of '邊個'

Actually, some less formal publications like comic and gossip column do allow the use of written Cantonese

As for eliminate the use of Written Cantonese, it is a unreasonable suggestion. Spoken and written Cantonese are important parts of our heritage. They will not be abandoned as long as there are still Cantonese alive

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