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Old 12-23-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,856 posts, read 3,417,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
In Hong Kong, generally when you refer to the spoken language as "Chinese", it's usually Cantonese. They'll specifically refer to Putonghua when they refer to Mandarin.
Yes, that was the case when I studied a semester in Hong Kong over a decade and a half ago. My mother still refers to Chinese as Cantonese and Putonghua as Mandarin. Some people over there, especially among the older generation, will still understand you if you said "Guoyue" or National Language, a term which I still occasionally use.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:07 AM
 
9,859 posts, read 10,110,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
where is that term coming from? i think it is the only case where you have a national language called a completely different name in English
It's from the Old Portuguese verb mandar which is a cognate to the English word mandate. Both words mean official, and it is the word the Portuguese explorers gave to the dialect spoken by the officials when they began exploration

In 1517 the Portuguese merchant Fernão Pires de Andrade establishes the first European trade post on the Chinese coast at Tamão in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary and then in Canton (Guangzhou).
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,611,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Yes, that was the case when I studied a semester in Hong Kong over a decade and a half ago. My mother still refers to Chinese as Cantonese and Putonghua as Mandarin. Some people over there, especially among the older generation, will still understand you if you said "Guoyue" or National Language, a term which I still occasionally use.
Yes. Guoyu (or Gwok-you as pronounced in Cantonese) is another term for Mandarin. In Taiwan they use that term to refer to Mandarin.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,856 posts, read 3,417,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
It's from the Old Portuguese verb mandar which is a cognate to the English word mandate. Both words mean official, and it is the word the Portuguese explorers gave to the dialect spoken by the officials when they began exploration

In 1517 the Portuguese merchant Fernão Pires de Andrade establishes the first European trade post on the Chinese coast at Tamão in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary and then in Canton (Guangzhou).
Good point there! On a side note, the word "Canton" and subsequently Cantonese reportedly derived from the Portuguese cantao, which was their transliteration of either Guangdong or Guangzhou. I also believe the French, who were also trading in the Pearl River Delta around that time, could not pronounce the local names and thenceforth also referred to the land as Canton and the people as le Cantonais.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,603 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.
Not true in many resumes. It depends on the job applied for, the location of the job or overseas partners the job involves, and so forth. People do specify, depending.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,675 posts, read 6,277,227 times
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What gets me are those who claim that I'm wrong when I don't specify. I'm correct when I say Chinese to refer to Mandarin.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:09 AM
 
14 posts, read 5,750 times
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People right here generally differentiate between Mandarin and Cantonese, is the maximum common Chinese languages spoken at least right here. I rarely hear someone communicate about just Chinese. Eg my grandson has a desire, at his college, of studying French or Mandarin. I in no way need to qualify that to mention that Mandarin is the Chinese language. It is common expertise.
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:45 AM
 
1,011 posts, read 628,037 times
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Only when you apply for a restaurant job in Chinatown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Not true in many resumes. It depends on the job applied for, the location of the job or overseas partners the job involves, and so forth. People do specify, depending.
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:47 AM
 
1,011 posts, read 628,037 times
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Even in New York city, where there is a large concentration of Cantonese speakers, they don't specify in public schools. people just speak Chinese, meaning Putonghua.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:56 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,130 posts, read 23,642,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
Only when you apply for a restaurant job in Chinatown.
Those kinds of postings are using in written Chinese, but your topic is about the use of the term "Mandarin" in the English language. When it comes to jobs that has some level of interpreting and/or translating which can be higher-paying jobs, then yes, it's very important to make that distinction because that distinction has semantic value and you're communicating in the job posting that you need a specific skillset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
Even in New York city, where there is a large concentration of Cantonese speakers, they don't specify in public schools. people just speak Chinese, meaning Putonghua.
This is really simple--it depends on context.

Again, this isn't something specific to Chinese/Mandarin as there are other parts of the world that are nation-states with different and often related languages and there is no real hard cut-off for when something is a dialect versus a closely related language.

People have patiently explained all of the above to you, but you seem to be really stuck. What exactly is your difficulty here? Is it possibly stemming from being on an English language forum, but not being a proficient English speaker?

Do you speak any Chinese languages aside from Putonghua?
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