Madarin and Cantonese are both spoken in China and they share the same base alphabet. However, Mandarin utilizes four tones but Cantonese has at least six and sometimes as many as nine tones. Each tone has different meaning even if the same word is used.
Mandarin also known as Putonghua is the official language of China, Taiwan and Singapore.
Cantonese is mostly used in the Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
Mandarin and Cantonese are similar because they both have their origins traced to China and both of the dialects are still spoken in the country. Mandarin is the main dialect of Chinese and is also the official language spoken in Taiwan and Singapore. The capital city of Beijing sees Mandarin as the official language. Cantonese is the official language that is spoken in Hong Kong and also sees it being mainly used in places such as Macau and is very big in the Guangdong province of the country.
It is widely stated that the reason that international Chinese communities throughout the world mainly speak Cantonese is that a vast amount of Chinese immigrants came from Guangdong. The major difference between Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese is that Mandarin is the official language of China and the most widely spoken. Cantonese is the native language of Hong Kong and one that sees it spoken a lot throughout other Chinese areas throughout the world.