Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spoken Chinese

I've heard many say that in the future, learning Chinese will be as common as learning English is today. But most who say that, know nothing about Chinese culture. The Chinese term 方言 litteraly means "regional speach" and in English it is commonly translated into dialect. Although the Chinese share the same writen language (文), the pronunciation of identical characters (the spoken language, 语/語) differs from region to region and variations are such that they are generally mutually unintellegible.
Can we talk about a Chinese language? Read here.
But maybe those saying about Chinese being almost compulsory in the future, are refering only to
普通话 (Pǔtōnghuà), or Standard Mandarin, as we'd called it.
But today, I found this article. China has certainly a huge task ahead.
And for those saying that learning Chinese is the future, there are some who are already there. Read a BBC article.

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