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Old 10-23-2017, 09:57 AM
 
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How well understood/spoken is Mandarin in Boston's Chinatown? Or can the locals only speak Cantonese?
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:45 AM
 
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There's a mix of people who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. In terms of restaurants it really depends. China Pearl for example, has many who can only speak Cantonese.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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I believe it's mostly Cantonese.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:04 PM
 
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Also are there a lot of Fuzhou immigrants like in NYC?
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Pawtucket, RI
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I was just in Chinatown yesterday. My wife is not Chinese but speaks Mandarin and likes to practice by speaking it to Chinese people. We didn't meet anyone yesterday who didn't speak Mandarin, including people from Guangzhou and Fujian. We also met some younger people from near Shanghai.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:59 AM
 
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Most Cantonese speakers will be able to speak Mandarin as well. You would have no problem using Mandarin in Chinatown.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstrom View Post
Most Cantonese speakers will be able to speak Mandarin as well. You would have no problem using Mandarin in Chinatown.
Some older generation Cantonese in Boston may have a harder time speaking Mandarin or at least speaking it with ease. Some Cantonese, both young and old may understand some Mandarin but cannot converse fluently in it. Conversely, some Mandarin and Fukienese speakers in our Chinatown can speak or at least some Cantonese but not all. Still I do agree that most if not all servers at Chinatown's restaurants, bake shops, and grocery stores can speak Mandarin but if you were to ask an elderly lady for directions out on the street, she might not understand you or reply in a very awkward manner. Mandarin has become a de facto requirement for serving the public in Chinatown the past 10-15 years due to the huge influx of non-Cantonese Chinese.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
Also are there a lot of Fuzhou immigrants like in NYC?
Not as many as NYC, I mean Flushing, Queens has got to be little Fuzhou in America, but there is a sizable number. Fukienese are southern Chinese like the Cantonese and so may look similar although they may be a tad bit taller than the Cantonese. You'd have to wait until they speak to know that they are Fukienese. A small but growing number of Fukienese in Boston's Chinatown can speak Cantonese too though perhaps out of necessity.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:07 AM
 
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Mandarin is compulsory in all schools of China. So younger Chinese who grew up in China are all fluent in Mandarin, even if their accent is inaccurate.
Older Cantonese people often understand Mandarin quite well, but struggle when speaking. It's not like they don't know how to speak at all, but just process the utterances very slowly with heavy accent.
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