Thanks again, Terry. My knowledge of Chinese is so limited that I would never dare to propose to say that I agree or disagree with you on any point.
My understanding is that the languages that we English speakers commonly refer to as Mandarin and Cantonese are mutually unintelligible when spoken, but are mostly the same when written, as Chinese characters reflect ideas but not pronunciation.
When I was young, Beijing was always spelled "Peking" and Mao Zedong was always "Mao Tse-Tung". I'm tempted to believe that the earlier spellings reflected British colonialism (as exemplified by their occupation of Hong Kong), and that newer spellings, which I think more accurately reflect standard pinyin, have resulted from increased dialogue between China and the western world, which were partly stimulated by our president Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972.
When I see actual pinyin romanization, I think it always reflects the so-called "Mandarin" pronunciation rather than the Cantonese. What do "Guangdong" and "Beijing" sound like in Cantonese?
I welcome any corrections you may have to offer me. I am here on this forum not only to teach, but also to learn.