普通話是否與廣東話相同?

My sister’s older granddaughter is soon to be 14 and every year I come across the same hurdle…what to give her.

This year I actually know what I want but haven’t figured out how to refine it.

She’s been studying Mandarin at school (private NYC school) for several years already and this summer is taking an immersion course at a college in the northeast. Plus, she loves to cook. Sooooooooooooooo, I thought I’d buy her a series of classic Chinese written cookbooks, but here’s the glitch.

The books are in Cantonese.
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Is that like saying if a book is written in Sicilian Italian, a pure Italian speaker could not capisce? Can a person studying Mandarin read Cantonese?

In case what I’m asking is really stupid, I’ll end with an ancient Chinese proverb:
He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

Aaah so.

 

9 thoughts on “普通話是否與廣東話相同?

  1. My understanding, which is admittedly hearsay, is that Mandarin and Cantonese are so different, that even though they use the same character set, speakers of one can’t read newspapers of the other. Someone please correct me if this is incorrect. And either way, man is that a hard language. Not sure how understandable a cook book would be for a relative novice. Though it does sound like a nice idea. Maybe an english language one? Or maybe a gift certificate to a high end Chinese restaurant in NYC? I am too out of the loop to know them anymore.

    1. That’s what I’m worried about – that Mandarin and Cantonese are NOT interchangeable and that’s what I need to resolve before buying anything.

      She’s been taking Mandarin since the third grade, so she’s six years into the language. I don’t think she’s fluent, but she’s well past the novice stage. After the summer, when nothing is spoken except Chinese, I suspect she’ll be able to read a Chinese language newspaper or book easily.

  2. You might be better off getting her Chinese food cookbooks written in English. There are 4,000 characters in written Mandarin and her classes may not have covered all the ingredients in Chinese cooking. As far as I know, written Mandarin and written Cantonese are almost identical.
    What about giving her a gift of a Chinese cooking class? Or, a cool wok, a cleaver or bamboo steamers?

  3. Why not contact the Chinese embassy in NYC? They must have a cultural department that would love to help with suggestions. Bibi

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