U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-14-2018, 10:51 AM
 
1,011 posts, read 627,358 times
Reputation: 283

Advertisements

where is that term coming from? i think it is the only case where you have a national language called a completely different name in English
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-14-2018, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,309 posts, read 6,960,359 times
Reputation: 3502
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_Chinese#Name

Not a nice and simple answer, but I guess the term came about from the name given to the officials who spoke it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2018, 01:00 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,523 posts, read 70,430,585 times
Reputation: 76480
It's to differentiate it from the regional dialects (Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc.). Otherwise, people simply refer to it as "Chinese".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2018, 01:06 PM
 
1,011 posts, read 627,358 times
Reputation: 283
there are a lot of languages with local accents. but they are not called a completely different name. If you say Mandarin without any context, people will have difficulty understanding what it is refering to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
It's to differentiate it from the regional dialects (Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc.). Otherwise, people simply refer to it as "Chinese".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 06:56 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,104 posts, read 23,627,108 times
Reputation: 11599
The many regional dialects that are mutually unintelligible and the relatively high exposure to Chinese culture and peoples that make it possible that a random English speaker would know to make the distinction are probably it. It’s not a super unique situatuon. People say someone speaks Farsi instead of Persian or Iranian pretty often as there are many related dialects/languages in the country though Farsi is the standard. This happens in a lot of places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,309 posts, read 6,960,359 times
Reputation: 3502
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
The many regional dialects that are mutually unintelligible and the relatively high exposure to Chinese culture and peoples that make it possible that a random English speaker would know to make the distinction are probably it. Itís not a super unique situatuon. People say someone speaks Farsi instead of Persian or Iranian pretty often as there are many related dialects/languages in the country though Farsi is the standard. This happens in a lot of places.
I was even gonna mention Tagalog as an example until I looked it up and for the first time realized Filipino is an actual term for the broader language. Growing up around a lot of Filipinos I was always told the language is Tagalog.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 08:43 AM
 
6,464 posts, read 4,063,729 times
Reputation: 16667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
It's to differentiate it from the regional dialects (Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc.). Otherwise, people simply refer to it as "Chinese".
This is the correct answer. "Chinese" is not one language, but a group of mutually unintelligible dialects that share a writing system.

Mandarin is the official, standard dialect of Chinese which is used in the media and taught to all schoolchildren. But it is a second language for many millions of Chinese.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 01:47 PM
 
6,722 posts, read 6,597,578 times
Reputation: 2386
Many "languages" have mutually unintelligible "dialects", but Chinese is the most influential one with the most speakers, so it is convenient to use different terms.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Australia
889 posts, read 325,888 times
Reputation: 1639
Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
there are a lot of languages with local accents. but they are not called a completely different name. If you say Mandarin without any context, people will have difficulty understanding what it is refering to
People here commonly differentiate between Mandarin and Cantonese, being the most common Chinese languages spoken at least here. I rarely hear someone speak about just Chinese. Eg my grandson has a choice, at his school, of studying French or Mandarin. I never have to qualify that to say that Mandarin is a Chinese language. It is common knowledge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 05:11 PM
 
6,722 posts, read 6,597,578 times
Reputation: 2386
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
People here commonly differentiate between Mandarin and Cantonese, being the most common Chinese languages spoken at least here. I rarely hear someone speak about just Chinese. Eg my grandson has a choice, at his school, of studying French or Mandarin. I never have to qualify that to say that Mandarin is a Chinese language. It is common knowledge.
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top