Mandarin on the rise?

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Maybe learning Mandarin really is the way to go . . .

I came across two news stories recently that highlighted the perceived importance of learning Mandarin -- in the USA, at least.

The first, from the LA Times, is about the shift towards Mandarin being used in Chinese communities in the LA area. It's also good for highlighting some of the quirks that make Cantonese so entertaining and infuriating.

And this BBC story reports a fad in NYC for hiring Mandarin-speaking nannies.

Mandarin & Cantonese

Yeah, I saw that article in the LA Times last week. Well, it makes sense, because the demographic is changing - more immigrants coming who speak Mandarin. In Boston's Chinatown many years ago, not just Cantonese but *Toisan* (Sze yup?) was a major language. Not any more.

But I really don't see Mandarin and Cantonese as antagonists. I love learning Mandarin and it's certainly easier than Cantonese, but Cantonese is funky and fun.

Cantonese is hardly a dying language. According to Ethnologue, worldwide about 71 million people speak Cantonese. Compare that to how many speak Swedish (9 million), or Italian (62,000,000).