Author: helong

When will the Chinese language replace the English language? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-9-8 23:36:32 |Display all floors
Maybe China should learn Chinese first!

My understanding (and I'm willing to be corrected) is there are at least a dozen spoken languages in China with Mandarin being the most common "second language" of the people. The nation of China is a collection of ancient boundaries brought together by force millenia ago. Through that time no one language has fully established itself as the Chinese language. Each region has maintained it's old identity and kept it's language intact despite the best efforts of emperors and communists to unify the land.

For Chinese to become the linga franca of the world, we must first determine what Chinese language is.
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Post time 2007-9-9 21:54:25 |Display all floors

to #42

Absolutely!

Mandarin Chinese began a long time ago as an artificial language through which court officials from different parts of the country could communicate. Though it is more widely used nowadays, there are still plenty of parts of China where you can go and not understand most of the words coming out of a person's mouth. A college professor of mine who is a specialist on Chinese linguistics/language said that if you were to count carefully, there are upwards of 200-300 "regionalects" in China--a regionalect being a language that is only spoken in a certain region of a country and is not necessarily intelligible to others with a similar linguistic background. The case you usually get is that area A can understand area B, area B can understand area C, and so on, but area A can't understand area G or what have you.

Just think about it--aside from Mandarin, there's Cantonese, Uigher, Mongolian, Tibetan, and other languages that really are very distinct other languages. Then there's Sichuanese, Shanghainese, Taiwanese... can a person from Beijing understand a person from Sichuan? Not very easily, I bet! This is very different from the idea of dialects (which imply mutual intelligibility) or accents (may cause some initial misunderstanding, but the language is still the same). Of 1.3 billion Chinese people, I would bet that maybe 500 million actually speak Mandarin.

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Post time 2007-9-10 19:14:05 |Display all floors
I am afraid never.It is so difficult to learn all these characters
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2007-9-12 01:53:15 |Display all floors
"can a person from Beijing understand a person from Sichuan? Not very easily, I bet! "

Generally Sichuanhua isn't too tough- it's counted as a 'northern dialect', and is similar enough to be reasonably comprehensible to northerners (they need to 'get used to it' rather than learn it).  Also, while the number of people who speak Mandarin well might not be that huge (though I'd expect most of the people who don't speak it to be quite old), the number who can understand it should be a large majority of the population- it is, after all, the language of TV...

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Post time 2007-9-13 16:00:09 |Display all floors

Reply #45 thepeop's post

Isn't it time to speak of Chinese of being (1) Northern, (2) Central province, (3) WEstern provinces and (4) Southern provinces?

There are distinct differences in each!
Example, in North China, They seem to like to eat (1) Shreaded meats, while those in Central provinces seems to eat (2) Minced Meats sauces. Those is the South and coastal seemed to like meat in slices or in large chunks. The Western people seems to (4) sliced their meats thinkly (think sichuan hotpot).

ha ha ha

We have rich variety of diversity in China. Make eating a real joy to all Chinese!

Soon, as Central Provinces developed in sophistication, we can expect to see HUGE HYPERMARKETs and large arcades of goods, durables and consumable at SUPER LOW PRICEs. IN Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, we might see a variety of stores including CONVENIENCE stores, department stores, hypermarket, malls, luxury arcades...IN Western region we might yet have another range of lifestyles!

and BEST OF ALL, we should be communicating with each other in Standard Putonghua, while still being able to speak indigeneous language plus English or other important foreign language like French, Russian, Hindi and Cantonese!


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Post time 2007-9-13 16:10:05 |Display all floors
i love my mother langrage

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Post time 2007-9-13 16:14:06 |Display all floors

Reply #47 windowsxp's post

and all of us LOVES our PUTONGHUA!


CHEERIOS!

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