The CHINESE Language:
Chinese is the mother tongue of over 1 billion people. Spoken Chinese has varied regional dialects. The two most common dialects are Mandarin and Cantonese. The pronunciation of the two are totally different.
The two are both tonal languages (different tones have different meanings for the same sound.) and they also have different vowels and consonants too. Mandarin has four tones while Cantonese has more than six. People who can understand only either Mandarin or Cantonese can communicate with each other by writing because they use the same written characters with a few exceptions.
Mardarin is the official language in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. The Mandarin dialect is used by most of the Chinese schools, colleges and universities and in most TV programs, movies and radio stations all over the country (even in Guangzhou or Canton where people speak Cantonese in their daily lives.) Mandarin is one of the five official languages in the United Nations.
Cantonese is mainly spoken in Hong Kong, Guangdong (where Guangzhou/Canton is the capital) and Guangxi provinces and most of the overseas Chinese communities including Australia, Europe, North America and other parts of the world.