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Dialects in Guangxi
I read your questions on the Hakka Forum and i want to answer your questions
You are 100% right that there is no "Guangxi Dialect". Likewise, there is
also no "Guangdong dialect". The term "Guangdonghua" (or Gwongdungwaa in
Cantonese), is also not a scientific term but a pure invention by some
linguistic imperialists. Here are the linguistic data of the Guangxi
province quoted from Fangyan Magazine, 1985 (3): 181-190 (published by the
Chinese Academy of Social Science):
Population of Gunagxi: ca 36 Million
Chinese dialect speakers: ca 22.5 Million (The rest are Minority language
speakers), regrouped as following:
1. Cantonese speakers: about 12 M, around the whole southwestern part of
the province. Most of the people in the province capital (since 1949),
Nanning, speak Cantonese as their first language.
2. Southwest Mandarin speakers: about 5M, distributed in the Northern part,
including the famous sceneric city Guilin.
3. Hakka speakers: about 3.5M, the area of distribution is very wide
butmostly concentrated near the border of Guangdong.
4. Pinghua speaker: >2M. Pinghua is a very special dialect of Guangxi which
was classified a Mandarin in the past, but quite different from both
Mandarin and Cantonese. It is believed to be the oldest Chinese dialect in
5. Xiang speakers: ca 1.2M. They are decendants of Hunan immigrants speaking
their homeland dialect.
6. Min speakers: ca 0.15M. Most belong to the Minnan dialect of Zhangzhou
Guangxi is the Homeland of the Zhuang Minority, which counts to be the
biggest minority group in China. Chinese dialects of Guangxi are believed to
be not indigenous there, but they are brought by immigrants in the past
milennium. The oldest should be Pinghua, followed by Mandarin, Cantonese,
Xiang, Min and Hakka. Therefore, if one speaks of the Guangxi dialect, the
traditional way of thinking is the Souhtwest Mandarin dialect, because
Guilin was the province capital before 1949. Nowadays, Cantonese is
dominating Guangxi, but I don't know if Cantonese speakers also want to
refer their dialect as Guangxihua (Gwongsaiwaa). However, I think at the
time of Li Zongren, Cantonese did not have a standing high enough to
The concept of "one province, one dialect" is a total misunderstanding or an
illusion. We have usually more than five dialects groups in a province in
Southern China, and we hakka people do not have a province to stand. I think
we should think about this problem.
I can give you similar figures in Guangdong if you like.