miconazole (miconazole) wrote in linguaphiles,
miconazole
miconazole
linguaphiles

Do Mandarin and Cantonese lie on a "spectrum" of mutual intelligibility?

Here's the thing, a few years ago I caught a little bit of a conversation in a movie where two characters were speaking, I think, Cantonese (I mean I have no way to go back and verify or anything) but a third was speaking what seemed to me like perfectly intelligible if heavily southern-accented Mandarin. There were no subtitles or anything, so either the directors expected their audience to be bilingual, or the Mandarin-speaker was supposed to be intelligible to Cantonese-speaking viewers... ? As an aside, she was telling them how to artificially inseminate their pig or something, I dunno.

I've NEVER read anything about this being the case, but can a native Cantonese speaker understand a sufficiently southern dialect of Mandarin, without separately knowing Mandarin?
Tags: cantonese, chinese, mandarin
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  • Are these symbols Korean or Japanese?

    This was in the garage of a house we moved into. The previous owner had been stationed in Korea and had visited Japan. Would anybody know what…

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