Author: raymondusa

Just another practical choice, even when it comes to language choices [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-5-24 23:56:11 |Display all floors
Superkylin has it right. Classical Chinese, as it is written and spoken, is an artificially created language to overcome the differences between dialects at court. However, spoken language changes over time. For example, the term for snail (gua/wo, depending on where you are) was pronounced something like "kroi" around the time of the apocryphal Laozi. This is documented by scripts in other languages, which recorded in their own way how things were pronounced at the time in Chinese. There are similar examples in the West; for example, the name Caesar is pronounced with a hard "c" sound; we know this because the Greeks recorded his name with their letter for a hard "c" sound.

Anyway. So, languages change over time. Older versions of Chinese had more consonant clusters and could end with more letters than vowels or n and ng, much like Cantonese and other southern dialects. Standard modern Mandarin, sort of like simplified characters, is not an entirely natural progression of the language.

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Post time 2006-5-25 02:44:03 |Display all floors

"China" daily is for Chinese

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Post time 2006-5-25 03:02:23 |Display all floors

the thread is sth made out of nothing,

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Post time 2006-5-25 06:24:56 |Display all floors
Originally posted by sockmonkey at 2006-5-24 00:55
Mengzhi, did you know that the "harsher-sounding" Cantonese is closer to sounding like traditional Chinese than modern Mandarin is?


Interesting, Sock.
I'm reading a book about the Great Wall at the moment. From the descriptions of the history of various battles over the centuries, it seems that the original Chinese were forced further south as the "barbarians" from the north took over large parts of the country.

This would seem to accord with what some are saying here, that the dialects of southern China are more close to the original spoken Chinese.
There is also the implication that may dismay some of the more rabid members of the China lobby that the native Mandarin speakers are more closely related to what were called the Barbarians, and that the southern Chinese (Guangdong etc) are more closely related to the original Chinese nation.

Chinese_Yang (or should I say , Barbarian_Yang) suggests that Mandarin/Puthongua should be the only acceptable official language in China, at the expense of the other dialects.
While many wish to assert the rights of Mandarin to be given more weight and respect, internationally, they also appear to wish to quash the rights of other Chinese languages.

JB
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2006-5-25 06:52:25 |Display all floors

mandarin or dialects

Originally posted by emucentral at 2006-5-25 06:24


Interesting, Sock.
I'm reading a book about the Great Wall at the moment. From the descriptions of the history of various battles over the centuries, it seems that the original Chinese were fo ...

The government popularise putonghua or mandarin not to eliminate dialects. Most Chinese are bilingual speaking mandarin and their own dialect. For example I speak Henan dialect and my wife speaks minnan dialect supposed to be closer to traditional pronunciation. What a pity my baby can only be monolingual. The means of communication is mandarin between us, so my daughter can only speak mandarin. That is a loss of cultural experiences. But we can do nothing  about it.
In a word dialects will be used at home and between people with the same dialectal background. Dialects have their own value. We don't popularise putonghua in order to destroy dialects.

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Post time 2006-5-25 10:02:04 |Display all floors
I agree with emucentral who called Chinese Yang as Barbarian Yang. S/he is a furious youth (anyone can tell me the offical translation?), a furious youth than can speak english. since you've learnt english so well, you should've learnt the english-related culture so well, and should've learnt the nature of civilization of the english-speaking countries. English here, it is used for reasoning, not for scolding.
I'm astonished that s/he accused me as  jap leg, attacking China, furthering the your war crimes, terrorism, etc. with the intent to split China. and maybe you are right, if Chinese people like you constitute the majority of the population, I am really ashamed to be a Chinese.

[ Last edited by cantonboy at 2006-5-25 10:03 AM ]

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Post time 2006-5-25 11:18:55 |Display all floors

to zhaohanqing

Actually, in Shanghai, children are not allowed to speak Shanghainese in school--it's not allowed; only putonghua is. And that's just one city. While the older generations may know their local dialect plus putonghua, the government is slowly trying to erode these dialects so only putonghua is spoken.

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