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Old 04-28-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Actually, Cantonese is not even the most spoken dialect in China. Wu (shanghainese is one variation of Wu) is spoken by more people than Cantonese. Cantonese is more well known to westerners is just because the large number of immigrants from Canton, which was traditionally a poor area in China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
not to mention English is not the "ancestral language" for all the Italians, Greeks, Germans, Russians, anc Dutch in America.

If you are in a country, you adopt this country's official language as your first language. Simple as that.

The influence of Cantonese is weakening every day overseas. In the US and Canada, Mandarin speakers are quicking replacing Cantonese speakers. 50 years ago, most westerners thought Cantonese is "Chinese". Now they realise it is just one of those Chinese dialects.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
Actually, Cantonese is not even the most spoken dialect in China. Wu (shanghainese is one variation of Wu) is spoken by more people than Cantonese. Cantonese is more well known to westerners is just because the large number of immigrants from Canton, which was traditionally a poor area in China.
Agree.
Usually people from the poorest region want to immigrate the most (many illegally).
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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So you think China should have more than 100 official language with each regional dialect as one official language. What is the logic?

I don't know what is special with Minnan. Each of china's local dialect has rich history. Minnan area has not been a prominant area in chinese recent history. It is only an isolated region outside the mainstream Chinese culture.



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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I just take issue to them calling it a 'mother' tongue, and downgrading the other Chinese languages to 'dialects' as both the PRC and Singaporean government did. It sort of tries to invalidate Minnan, a language with a rich history, which preserves many archaic Middle Chinese features as well as some features of the Austroasiatic and Austronesian native peoples who lived in the region, including Baiyue, before the mass migration of Han Chinese south.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:13 AM
 
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It is interesting that just a few decades ago, maybe even today, it was fashionable to speak Shanghainese among the upper class in HK.

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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Agree.
Usually people from the poorest region want to immigrate the most (many illegally).
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,252,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
So you think China should have more than 100 official language with each regional dialect as one official language. What is the logic?

I don't know what is special with Minnan. Each of china's local dialect has rich history. Minnan area has not been a prominant area in chinese recent history. It is only an isolated region outside the mainstream Chinese culture.
Well no, obviously in many countries one language has been made standard, but there just seems little interest in preserving this rich language. And the attitude in Singapore too. Fujian is one of the most important provinces from the point of view of the Chinese diaspora, most 'Overseas Chinese' come from Fujian (along with Guangdong), and Quanzhou was the largest port during the Ming dynasty.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
Actually, Cantonese is not even the most spoken dialect in China. Wu (shanghainese is one variation of Wu) is spoken by more people than Cantonese. Cantonese is more well known to westerners is just because the large number of immigrants from Canton, which was traditionally a poor area in China.
Well now it's one of the richest provinces. I think Yue has more speakers than Wu, Wu is only spoken around the Shanghai region while Yue is spoken in much of Guangdong, HK, Macau, and outside China.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:57 AM
 
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Wu region was much much more prosperous than Yue region in history. It consists of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai, with more than 100 million speakers. In Qing dynasty, Suzhou (including Songjiang, which is now shanghai) alone accounts for more than 10% revenue of the entire dynasty.

Even today, Wu region is as developed if not more, as the Yue region (HK and Macau excluded, as they are different economy). In Wu region, it has several prominent universities, at least 4 out of the top 10 in China. In canton province, the number is 0.



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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well now it's one of the richest provinces. I think Yue has more speakers than Wu, Wu is only spoken around the Shanghai region while Yue is spoken in much of Guangdong, HK, Macau, and outside China.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:01 AM
 
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List of languages by number of native speakers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According the wiki, Wu has 80 million native speakers, while cantonese has only 59 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well now it's one of the richest provinces. I think Yue has more speakers than Wu, Wu is only spoken around the Shanghai region while Yue is spoken in much of Guangdong, HK, Macau, and outside China.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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Fujian has never been an important region in chinese history. It is a very marginalized province, whose language or culture is little known to other parts of China.

The fact that there are a lot of immigrants from this area does not mean it is an important area from the perspective of the chinese.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well no, obviously in many countries one language has been made standard, but there just seems little interest in preserving this rich language. And the attitude in Singapore too. Fujian is one of the most important provinces from the point of view of the Chinese diaspora, most 'Overseas Chinese' come from Fujian (along with Guangdong), and Quanzhou was the largest port during the Ming dynasty.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
Wu region was much much more prosperous than Yue region in history. It consists of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai, with more than 100 million speakers. In Qing dynasty, Suzhou (including Songjiang, which is now shanghai) alone accounts for more than 10% revenue of the entire dynasty.

Even today, Wu region is as developed if not more, as the Yue region (HK and Macau excluded, as they are different economy). In Wu region, it has several prominent universities, at least 4 out of the top 10 in China. In canton province, the number is 0.
That many?

Well yeah, Guangdong was never an educational centre, it was more where commerce developed. Many of those who emigrated overseas, if not poor labourers, were of the merchant class.
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