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Thread: Learning different chineses

  1. #1
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    Learning different chineses

    How difficult would it be for a Mandarin speaker to communicate to a Wu or Cantanese speaker?

    Do all of the different Chineses use the same characters?

    what is the difference between , Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu?

    What is China`s official language?

  2. #2
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Mandarin is the official language in China and Taiwan.

    Chinese only has one written language with Traditional and Simplied characters,in Japanese is KANJI.

    Mandarin is a northern dialect,it can be broken down in 4 regions before modern time.

    Local Shanghai dialect belong to the Wu sub-group of Chinese language family.

    Cantonese is the standard dialect spoken in Canton and Kwangxi provinces,plus Hong Kong.
    Last edited by ricecake; Jun 26, 2006 at 12:38.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricecake
    Chinese only has one written language,in Japanese is KANJI.
    Yeah, PRC never simplified the characters... In fact, Mao is just a legend...
    これからも絶対頑張る〜

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian
    Yeah, PRC never simplified the characters... In fact, Mao is just a legend...
    Oooops ... you just " ding'ed " me on the head.

    I was brought up on Traditional Chinese,I still find Simplified characters somewhat " eyesore ".

    PRC implemented the use of Simplified characters for the peasant contituency since 1949.

    Many Chinese wished he was just a legend,otherwise mainland wouldn't have gone through those nightmare events during his reign.
    Last edited by ricecake; Jun 27, 2006 at 02:46.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    How difficult would it be for a Mandarin speaker to communicate to a Wu or Cantanese speaker?
    Do all of the different Chineses use the same characters?
    what is the difference between , Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu?
    What is China`s official language?
    The spoken language is mutually unintelligible in all pairings of Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese (Wu). Thus, a pure speaker of one dialect would find it very difficult to comprehend what a speaker of another is saying.

    However, in reality, it's likely that Cantonese and Shanghainese speakers will understand at least some Mandarin considering that it's the 'official language' in China.

    Phonetically, they each sound very different (though they have occasional similarities here and there). Mandarin has four tones; Cantonese has anywhere from six to nine tones (different sources categorize the tones differently); and Shanghainese has five tones. Furthermore, in terms of grammatical structure, unlike Mandarin and Cantonese which are SVO dialects, Shanghainese is SOV like Japanese. A very rough analogy of each dialect compared to the other would be spoken English to spoken French. Practically, the so-called dialects qualify as different languages in reality when spoken.

    Nonetheless, the written language is identical amongst the three dialects, disregarding geographical considerations and the resulting difference between traditional and simplified characters.

  6. #6
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Superb in-depth explanation.

  7. #7
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin
    The spoken language is mutually unintelligible in all pairings of Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese (Wu). Thus, a pure speaker of one dialect would find it very difficult to comprehend what a speaker of another is saying.
    What do you mean by very difficult?
    they will be able to get the meaning of what another is saying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin
    Phonetically, they each sound very different (though they have occasional similarities here and there). Mandarin has four tones; Cantonese has anywhere from six to nine tones (different sources categorize the tones differently); and Shanghainese has five tones.
    If they all have different tones, then how can they communicate at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin
    Furthermore, in terms of grammatical structure, unlike Mandarin and Cantonese which are SVO dialects, Shanghainese is SOV like Japanese. A very rough analogy of each dialect compared to the other would be spoken English to spoken French. Practically, the so-called dialects qualify as different languages in reality when spoken.
    So SVO is they way english is spoken???

    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin
    Nonetheless, the written language is identical amongst the three dialects, disregarding geographical considerations and the resulting difference between traditional and simplified characters.
    If Cantonese has six to nine tones wouldnt they need more characters than mandarin and wu???

  8. #8
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    What do you mean by very difficult? they will be able to get the meaning of what another is saying?
    Not without an understanding of how the other dialect works. If they only understand their own dialect, communication is only possible through writing.
    If they all have different tones, then how can they communicate at all?
    The tones are not the only difference; the key words in Supervin's statement are "mutually unintelligible"
    So SVO is they way english is spoken???
    yes, SVO means subject-verb-object sentence structure.
    If Cantonese has six to nine tones wouldnt they need more characters than mandarin and wu???
    No, the characters mean the same thing, they are just pronounced differently.
    Last edited by nice gaijin; Jun 27, 2006 at 21:28. Reason: (thx for pointing that out glenn)

  9. #9
    修行中
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    *ahem* SVO -> subject-verb-object

  10. #10
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    lol temporary dyslexia

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