Local name: 粵語 (粤语) jyt9 jy5 or 廣東話 ( 广东话) gwong2 dung1 waa2
Language family: Sino-Tibetan > Sinitic > Chinese
Native speakers: ~ 66 millions (Ethnologue.com)
Script: Han script (i.e. Chinese characters)
Official in: Hong Kong and Macau (de facto official spoken language)
Spoken mostly in: China (esp. Guangdong and parts of Guangxi and Fujian), Hong Kong, Macau

Cantonese Chinese is probably the most known Chinese language in the world after Mandarin, and also one of the most spread ones. Since Cantonese has been the official spoken form of Chinese in the old colonies Macau and Hong Kong - and still are - Cantonese is the only Chinese language alongside with Mandarin to be an official language. It’s worth to be noted that written Chinese is based on Mandarin Chinese also in Hong Kong and Macau; the use of written Cantonese is mostly limited to tabloids, poetry, and private communication. When written, Cantonese makes use of some language-specific characters in addition to the common ones.

Traditionally, most Chinese emigrants originated in Guangdong and Fujian, the first of which has a Cantonese majority, leading to the spread of the Cantonese language to Southeast Asia and also elsewhere in the world. Cantonese is for example the third most spoken non-English language in the US.

Cantonese is, like the other Chinese languages, a tonal language. The tones are normally expressed with digits in transcriptions, like the one below.

Hong Kong Standard: “Bak fung tung taai joeng”
Speaker: Herman Age at recording: 25 (2007) Geographical reference: Hong Kong, HK (Google Map) Transciption scheme: Standard Cantonese Pinyin

有一日, 北風同太陽喺到嗌轇究竟邊個比較犀利。
輪到太陽出馬嘅時候,太陽猛力咁曬, 曬到路人流晒大汗,而且即刻將件褸剝咗落嚟。

jau5 jat7 jat9, bak7 fung1 tung4 taai3 joeng4 hai2 dou3 ngaai3 gaau1 gau3 ging2 bin1 go3 bei2 gaau3 sai1 lei6.
ni1 go3 si4 hau6, gam3 ngaam1 jau5 go3 dzoek8 dzy3 jat7 gin6 daai6 lau1 ge3 lou6 jan4 ging1 gwo3.
jy1 si6, hoey5 dei6 kyt8 ding6 bin1 go3 nang4 gau3 ling6 dou3 go2 go3 jan4 mok7 dzo2 hoey5 gin6 lau1 ge3 waa6, bin1 go3 dzau6 jeng4.
bak7 fung1 dzoen6 lik9 gam2 tsoey1, daan6 hai6 jyt9 tsoey1 dak7 daai6 lik9, lou6 jan4 faan2 ji4 dzoeng1 gin6 lau1 lau1 dak7 jyt9 gan2.
bak7 fung1 wai4 jau5 fong3 hei3.
loen4 dou3 taai3 joeng4 tsoet7 maa5 ge3 si4 hau6, taai3 joeng4 maang5 lik9 gam2 saai3, saai3 dou3 lou6 jan4 lau4 saai3 daai6 hon6, ji4 tse2 dzik7 haak7 dzoeng1 gin6 lau1 mok7 dzo2 lok9 lei4.
dzoey3 hau6, bak7 fung1 wai4 jau5 sing4 jing6 taai3 joeng4 bei2 hoey5 sai1 lei6.