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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/wo...?ref=asia&_r=0

More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language, Mandarin, and large numbers in the rest of the country speak it badly, state news media said Thursday as the government began another push for linguistic unity. China’s governing Communist Party has promoted Mandarin for decades to unite a nation with thousands of dialects and numerous minority languages, but that campaign has been hampered by resistance that has sometimes led to violent unrest as well as by the country’s size and lack of investment in education, especially in poor rural areas.

A Ministry of Education spokeswoman, Xu Mei, said that only 70 percent of the nation could speak Mandarin. Yet many who do speak it do so poorly, and the remaining 30 percent, or 400 million people, cannot not speak it at all, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 05:13 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

Not surprising considering they keep invading other territories.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 06:35 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

How many dialects do they have? Which do they mainly use?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 07:10 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

Mandarin
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 07:59 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

Most of the US can't speak english either


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POLITICALLY INCORRECT View Post
Most of the US can't speak english either
When I saw this thread earlier I decided that it would be about 10 posts in before someone said it lol Over acheiver over here

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:15 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
Mandarin
That's the official language, but what are 400 million speaking if they cant speak Mandarin? There must be another dialect that is being used more than Mandarin, anyone know what it is?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:29 PM
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Thousands of dialects. That seems so crazy.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:30 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

There are various languages in China, such as Hakka, Uighur, Tibetan etc, most of which belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family. (Note: These are separate languages, not merely dialects of Mandarin.) It's not surprising at all to me that many citizens of the PRC don't speak Mandarin - historically, China hasn't been a nation-state, but rather a multi-ethnic empire comprised of sometimes rather isolated provinces, while the Communist party gave varying (in some cases rather extensive) degrees of cultural autonomy to non-Han Chinese ethnic groups. Combine this with the fact that a good chunk of the rural areas in China tend to be rather under-developed in infrastructure and means of communication, and there you have it.

This is, however, not in itself problematic - after all, China has multiple official languages, and it could be argued that China should embrace its multi-ethnic character rather than marginalizing the minority cultures in favor of establishing the linguistic dominance of Mandarin.

Last edited by CupofCoffee; 09-06-2013 at 08:33 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:50 PM
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Re: More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language

Ya gotta be careful when you interpret stuff like this. For example, there are quite a few people in the south of China that speak Mandarin but have a southern accent. It's a very noticable difference from the standard Beijing Mandarin, even though they can read write and be understood just fine. There is political motivation for the Ministry of Educate to claim they're illiterate to try and keep pushing the Northern Dialetc and Accent



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