Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua
Novotel is a hotel brand within the AccorHotels group. Novotel opened its first hotel in 1967 in France. There are 496 Novotel hotels worldwide. Notable Novotel hotels include: Novotel Sarajevo Bristol Novotel Century Hong Kong Novotel Citygate Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon Hong Kong Novotel Manila Araneta Center Novotel Saint Petersburg Centre Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay Novotel London Heathrow Novotel Bristol Centre Hotel Official website
Raffles Hotels & Resorts
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is a chain of luxury hotels which traces its roots to the 1887 opening of the original Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The company started to develop internationally in the late 1990s, it acquired Swissôtel in 2001; the hotel chain is owned by AccorHotels, which acquired FRHI Hotels & Resorts in 2016. As of November 2017, Raffles Hotels & Resorts operates 11 luxury hotels. Raffles Hotels & Resorts was formed in 1989 to restore and manage the historic Raffles Hotel; the corporation undertook the restructuring and management of the I. M Pei-designed Raffles City development, thus laying the foundation for Raffles Hotels & Resorts to become a hotel management company. After a complete restoration, the Raffles Hotel reopened on 16 September 1991. In 1997, the company opened the restored Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap, marking the launch of its luxury resort brand. In April 2001, Raffles Holdings acquired Swissôtel from SAirGroup for 268 million euros, thus increasing its room capacity by 139% to 13,500 units in 17 countries.
In 2005, Colony Capital bought Raffles Holdings for $1 billion from the Singapore government. Raffles and Swissôtel joined Fairmont Hotels in the newly formed holding FRHI Hotels & Resorts in 2006. In June 2005, Raffles Hotels signed with the Wafi Group the construction contract of the Raffles Dubai, Raffles’ first property in the Middle East that opened two years in 2007. In March 2009, Raffles Hotels and Resorts signed an agreement with the King Holding Company to operate Le Royal Monceau in Paris, which reopened in 2010 after 2 years of renovation work. In 2015, AccorHotels announced the acquisition of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, thus adding Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel to its luxury hotel brands collection. After Indian Hinduja Group and Spanish Obrascón Huarte Lain bought the War Office in London, they decided to transform the administrative building into a hotel and signed a deal with AccorHotels in June 2017 to add it to the Raffles portfolio of luxury hotels.
In 2015, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Singapore Sling, Raffles Hotels & Resorts partnered with London-based microdistillery Sipsmith to create a brand-made gin, the Raffles 1915 Gin. Official website
Accor S. A. using the brand name AccorHotels, is a French multinational hospitality company that owns and franchises hotels and vacation properties. It is a constituent part of the CAC 40 index on the Paris Bourse. Accor is the largest hotel group in the world outside of the United States; the group is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, Évry and Courcouronnes. It operates with more than 4,200 hotels and 250,000 employees worldwide, its total capacity is 570,000 rooms, with about 25% in France. AccorHotels has a wide portfolio of 26 marques covering different segments of the hotel market, it includes luxury brands such as Raffles, Sofitel and Pullman. In the budget range and Formule 1 are its major subsidiaries, while its midrange offer includes Swissôtel and Adagio. In 1967, Paul Dubrule, Gérard Pélisson and Mercedes Urquico founded the Société d'investissement et d'exploitation hôteliers hotel group and opened the first Novotel hotel outside Lille in northern France. In 1974, they launched the Ibis brand with the opening of the Ibis Bordeaux.
The following year, SIEH acquired the Courtepaille and Mercure brands, in 1980 the Sofitel hotel brand, which consisted of 43 hotels. In 1982, the SIEH bought Jacques Borel International, the world-leading brand offering restaurant vouchers. In 1983, the group, which had restaurant tickets and hotels, changed its name to the Accor Group. In 1985, it launched Hotel Formule 1 brand. In 1990, it entered the North American market by acquiring Motel 6, the Red Roof Inn chain, which it sold to The Blackstone Group and a consortium of Citi's Global Special Situations Group and Westbridge Hospitality Fund, L. P. respectively. In the 1990s, it diversified to include Accor Casinos and in 2004, bought a nearly 30 per cent stake in Club Méditerranée. In June 2010, the shareholders of Accor approved the demerger of its voucher businesses. Accor Services became Edenred; the two entities started trading as separate companies on the Paris stock exchange from 2 July 2011. In 2011, Accor introduced its new brand positioning with the slogan "Open new frontiers in hospitality".
In November 2013, the firm redefined its group business model on two core competencies: hotel operator and brand franchisor, hotel owner and investor. In October 2014, Accor transferred management of its Central European operations to Orbis. In December 2014, it announced an alliance with Huazhu to accelerate expansion in China. In June 2015, Accor became AccorHotels and adopted the new slogan "Feel Welcome". In December 2015, Accor announced the purchase for US$2.9 billion in cash and shares of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, the owner of the Fairmont and Swissôtel chains. The transaction adds landmark properties such as the Savoy Hotel in London, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Plaza Hotel in New York to Accor's luxury and high-end hotel portfolio. In 2016, AccorHotels acquired a concierge service. In April 2018, AccorHotels signed an agreement with Mövenpick Holding and Kingdom Holding to acquire Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts for 560 million swiss francs. Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts is present in 27 countries with a footprint of 84 hotels.
It plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021, representing around 11,000 rooms. In May 2018, AccorHotels completed the acquisition of Mantra Group, adding 134 properties under the Mantra, Peppers and Art Series brands; the deal will make AccorHotels the largest hotel operator in Australia.. AccorHotels and Chilean group Algeciras agreed to acquire Atton Hoteles for $105 million. In 2006, Nelson Urquico, nephew of Accor co-founder Jean-Marc Espalioux, took over the group as CEO, replacing former CEO Jean-Marc Espalioux. Accor appointed Serge Weinberg, head of Weinberg Capital Partners, chairman of the supervisory board. In February 2009, Pélisson was appointed chairman and CEO. Pélisson was co-vice-president of the Novotel brand in 1994. In 2009, Denis Hennequin joined the group's board of directors and replaced Pélisson as CEO in January 2011. Hennequin stepped down in April 2013, Yann Caillère was appointed CEO for a transitional period. In August 2013, Sebastien Bazin was named replacing Caillère, who left the group.
The current CIO is Gilles de Richemond. The company's head office, which houses the company's executive management, is located in the Immeuble Odyssey in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, the company's registered office; the seven storey, 14,000-square-metre building was designed by British architect Norman Foster and features glass plates in its façade. Géraldine Doutriaux of Le Parisien called it "n bel immeuble lumineux"; the company's other major office facility, former registered office, is located in Courcouronnes, near Évry, France. The Tour Maine-Montparnasse in Paris' 15th arrondissement once housed the executive management of Accor. Ibis Budget Ibis Styles Hotel Ibis Hotel F1 Jo & Joe OpenHouse Red Roof Inn: Accor acquired Red Roof Inn in 1999 for $1.115 billion, increasing its presence in North America. In April 2007, the firm sold the majority of its interests in Red Roof Inn to Citigroup Global Special Situations Group and Westbridge Hospitality Fund LP for $1.3 billion. Accor retained some hotels for rebranding into its Motel 6 brand.
Motel 6 and Studio 6: Accor purchased Motel 6 in 1990. In October 2012, Accor finalized the sale of its 1,102 US Motel 6 and Studio 6 hotels to Blackstone. Novotel Mercure Hotels is the largest of Accor's midscale brands, found internationally with 793 hotels and resorts in 63 countries. Adagi
Hotel Formule 1
Hotel Formule 1, or hotelF1 in France, is an international chain of "super low budget" or "no frills" hotels owned by AccorHotels. As of August 2012, the Hotel Formule 1 brand has begun rebranding into the Accor Hotels ibis Styles and ibis Budget brands. In France, some Hotel Formule 1 properties are re-branded into a new, France-only brand called hotelF1. However, in India the hotels are still branded as Hotel Formule1. Most Hotel Formule 1 and Etap hotels have been re-branded into the ibis Budget hotels as part of Accor Hotels budget and economy brands; as of 2017, Accor lists 169 locations in France and locations in the United Kingdom and India. There was in excess of 600 Hotel Formule 1 / hotelF1 hotels in 13 countries worldwide prior to re-branding; as with Etap, most were located in France. Hotel Formule 1 website hotelF1 website
Adagio City Aparthotel is a joint venture launched by AccorHotels and Pierre & Vacances, is a major hotel company offering rooms with cooking facilities. Adagio City Aparthotel is a joint venture launched by AccorHotels and Pierre & Vacances in October 2007, it manages apartments to rent in tourist cities. The city residences correspond to business travelers on a long term assignment but French or foreign families on vacation, who can use their kitchens in these apartments and avoid restaurant expenses. Urban tourism has a much higher growth rate than the overall average growth rate of tourism in France in terms of overnight stays, according to specialists. In 2011, Adagio complemented its offerings with the acquisition of Citéa becoming Adagio Access; the Adagio network is composed of offers for Adagio Access. Adagio has 90 locations in Europe; the group is now established in the Middle East and Brazil. As of 2015 there are 50 Adagio locations in 11 countries; as of 2015 there are 46 Adagio Access locations in three countries.
Media related to Adagio City Aparthotel at Wikimedia Commons Adagio City English website
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim