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Old 12-17-2018, 01:52 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,802 posts, read 804,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
If you live in a region, where there's a lot of Chinese immigrants, there will be plenty of occasions to specify, if the topic comes up. For example, cable TV programming in the Bay Area has both Mandarin and Cantonese on separate schedules or channels. And I"m not sure, but there seems to be a 3rd dialect some of the time, which may be Shanghainese. Shopowners in Chinatown tend to be Cantonese-speaking, so people wanting to practice their Mandarin might have to search to find a Mandarin-speaker. Restaurant owners may be mainly Cantonese-speaking, but there are some mainland Chinese Mandarin restaurateurs, too.

But for the general public, unless they have an interest in Chinese language or culture, the occasion probably doesn't arise, that would require them to differentiate.
Shanghainese is rarely on cable TV/radio except for certain channels in Shanghai. Actually in Shanghai, Shanghainese has seen a sharp decline in the past decades. When I was a kid, locals speak Shanghainese at school, but kids today seem to speak Mandarin with each other.

A lot of Chinese in the food industry are from small towns near Fuzhou, Fujian. What do they speak? I'm not sure, probably Fuzhou dialect. Cantonese speaking restaurants are concentrated in Chinatown. But who goes to Chinatown to eat anymore? In the Bay area, the best Chinese restaurants are in Silicon Valley, most of them are not Cantonese.

There are other possibilities though. Part of Guangdong(Canton) speaks non-Cantonese dialects, like Hakka Chinese and a dialect similar to Southern Min.

There are not many immigrants from Shanghai, I'm sure it can't be Shanghainese.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:02 AM
 
501 posts, read 461,577 times
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The only Chinese languages that have a significant amount of media are Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien. There are some tv and radio channels in various other Chinese languages but they don't have the reach, or create as much content as the three above.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,642,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
Shanghainese is rarely on cable TV/radio except for certain channels in Shanghai. Actually in Shanghai, Shanghainese has seen a sharp decline in the past decades. When I was a kid, locals speak Shanghainese at school, but kids today seem to speak Mandarin with each other.

A lot of Chinese in the food industry are from small towns near Fuzhou, Fujian. What do they speak? I'm not sure, probably Fuzhou dialect. Cantonese speaking restaurants are concentrated in Chinatown. But who goes to Chinatown to eat anymore? In the Bay area, the best Chinese restaurants are in Silicon Valley, most of them are not Cantonese.

There are other possibilities though. Part of Guangdong(Canton) speaks non-Cantonese dialects, like Hakka Chinese and a dialect similar to Southern Min.

There are not many immigrants from Shanghai, I'm sure it can't be Shanghainese.
Yea, it's really distressing what the trajectory of Shanghainese and the Wu languages in general has been given its historic important and cultural distinctiveness. There's a pretty active Shanghainese community of sorts in NYC and I hear it on the streets in the Flushing neighborhood all the time.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:00 PM
 
1,011 posts, read 628,037 times
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No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
If you say "Mandarin" to whom? What "people" will have difficulty understanding what's being referred to? Chinese people? "Mandarin" is basically the Western word for what used to be called the "government language" or "official government language", back in the day. Way back.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,802 posts, read 804,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.
espanol o castellano?
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:14 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,668,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.

Yes, there are many such occasions when Chinese does not simply mean Mandarin. In Hong Kong and many Chinatowns in the US and Canada, Chinese refers to Cantonese. In places like Penang and Manila, Chinese can mean Hokkien.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,854 posts, read 3,417,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.
I clearly spell out the language dialects I speak on my resume or CV. I never agree with the notion that you should just say "Chinese" and if anyone asks if I speak Chinese, I always reply "which language?" or "which dialect?" It's like asking an Asian Indian if he/she spoke "Indian" upon which he/she will probably ask for more clarification. Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, or Assamese?
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,613 posts, read 19,947,296 times
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I think it all depends where you are from, your experience with China, and whether you live in an area with a large Chinese population.
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Old 12-18-2018, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
In China, "putonghua" (roughly equal to Mandarin) only refers to the spoken language. It is extremely rare to say someone reads or writes "Mandarin".
If you tell a Chinese person you are studying Mandarin instead of Chinese, it is a little odd. Usually we expect people from Hong Kong "learn Mandarin", and foreigners just learn Chinese.
I always say Cantonese or Mandarin....but being in Macau/Hong Kong...I guess it makes more sense. If I were to say 'speak Chinese' to a Cantonese person...it would feel odd to me.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:31 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,642,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
No one will ask you if you can speak Mandarin. They will just ask if you can speak Chinese. Also, in people's resume, they just mention they can speak Chinese, without having to specify they speak Mandarin or not.
That depends on the position you're applying for and the context of it--it's certainly the case that in many places where you're interpreting on the job, they will explicitly make the distinction because that's important. Have you actually ever interviewed for a job in the US where a specific spoken Chinese language/dialect is part of the workload rather than just a nice bonus?

Just out of curiosity, do you speak any Chinese languages aside from Mandarin?
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