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Say It Right Series

Mandarin in the south

Posted by simonpettersson October 3, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

So it's settled. I'm going to China for a year. Yay!

I'm going to live in Foshan, and I've got to ask: how much do people speak Mandarin down there? Cantonese is the traditional language, after all. So, two questions:

1: Does everyone speak and understand Mandarin in the south? Even the elderly in the countryside?

2: Do people habitually speak Mandarin with each other? If a Foshan resident walks into a Foshan shop, will she speak Cantonese? Of course I'll be an outsider, but will speaking Mandarin to people make me even more so, is what I'm getting at.

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