The cantonese

Cantonese language, more properly called Yue language (粵語), commonly called 白話 by Cantonese people, is formally  defined as a Yue dialect (粵方言), and is one of the most famous Chinese dialects. Its fame is also due to the fact that is the dialect spoken in South China, therefore in the part of China that has historically been an important place of commercial contact with the rest of the world.

The areas where it is spoken are the whole Province of 廣東 and the South of 廣西: it is important to note that nowadays in these provinces live also many Chinese who are not Cantonese and that do not speak the language, or cannot speak it well.  As 粵語 we shall consider all those dialects, on the whole quite similar, spoken in South China and indicated as 廣府片, 四邑片, 羅廣片, 高陽片, 吳化片, 邕潯片, 梧州片, 勾漏片, 欽廉片.

The dictionary

The Italian-Cantonese/English-Cantonese Dictionary is the only dictionary in the world to present together characters, Yale romanization and explanation of the terms, listed in alphabetical order by pronunciation together with the index of Italian or English words, and search index by characters.

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諺語 - 俗語

sayings and aphorisms

The author

Marco Bosio studied Cantonese and Chinese writing at the prestigious Chinese University of Hong Kong, immersing himself in the local culture and becoming one of the leading experts of this language among Italian native speakers.

In Hong Kong he has been an interpreter in Cantonese, Italian and English, for a large and varied range of clients, among which we must remember the interview of Italian State TV RAI journalist Achille d'Amelia to the last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, before the Hong Kong handover, and Roberto Baggio's AC Milan Football Club interpreting services, which included the post-game press conference during which Marco Bosio translated (almost) simultaneously Cantonese, English and Italian to allow both Chinese and English journalists to understand the answers. Surprisingly, a sports journalist wrote the following day an article about the match talking also about him (see article and photo).

Photo gallery

Like all languages classified as "dialects", the Cantonese is also perceived as a mainly spoken language. The ease of writing Chinese characters with the aid of a computer, combined with the strong cultural identity of the Cantonese people gives life, instead, to a great variety of texts written in Cantonese, from articles in magazines and newspapers to advertisements, song lyrics, texts of the Cantonese Opera, food names, blogs. I propose here a collection of materials proving the use of written Cantonese in everyday life.

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