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Turbo
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Language question Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm from Europe and am wondering about wether or not i should learn chinese.

Well, it all comes down to; is it worth the huge effort, to learn chinese ?
To be more precise, do you as a native chinese speaker think that chinese will ever become a necessity, like the english language is now ? Or will the trend be towards an increase usage of english among chinese speakers ?
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ahaau
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a language is a language, I suppose you can answer your question yourself.

or, almost, something like, "I'm from China, and wondering about whether or not I should learn ????". whatever your native language is.

Chinese is always a necessity for us. More webpages in Chinese than in English, and more mobile phones in Chinese than in English, just because the population of China, and historic popularity, like in Japan, Korea, and south east Asia. Also for sure, more of us will be speaking your language and more of you will be speaking ours.
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Turbo
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is, i admit, somewhat of a strange question, i'll rephrase it, and make it two questions:

According to the cia factbook, these are the languages spoken in china:
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages.

What language, if there is any, is used (most) in communication between those groups ?

and second; Does every student in China get to learn a foreign language ? If so, whichone ?
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Fleta
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turbo wrote:
two questions:

What language, if there is any, is used (most) in communication between those groups ?

and second; Does every student in China get to learn a foreign language ? If so, whichone ?

1. Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect) is used in communication between all groups, that's why it's also called Putonghua (or common spoken Chinese).

2. Yes, English.
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Turbo
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, thank you both for answering, it is all much clearer to me now.
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EricHsu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Turbo, first of all, welcome!

I guess your questions have been properly answered by the previous posts :)

Here are my personal opinions:

  • As China is growing and playing an more and more important role in the world, her language is worth the learning ;)
  • It's really amazing that you know so much Chinese lanuages! If you'd like to start learning Chinese, please choose Mandarin (Putonghua). Almost every school in China teaches students in Mandarin (Putonghua). So, almost every Chinese at least speaks Mandarin (Putonghua).
  • Cantonese (Yue yu) is another Chinese lanuage you might want to learn. For example, if you're going to do business in Hong Kong/Guangdong, you probably may need it. (Although Hong Kong is pushing Putonghua now :) )


Please feel free to post if you have any other questions :)
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tecehux
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Turbo,
i'm in germany now, i have learnt german in 1 year. It's wonderful if one can learn another language and also it's culture.
Although learning chinese is mostly difficult for the west, but i do know some people around me, they can speak very good english. And I'm very supprised if a european talk chinese to me.
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ahaau
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder whether Cantonese is indeed another language or just a dialect? any expert explanation?

The fact, we only got one written language for all, and we Chinese chose to write differently from the way we speak, and this has changed due to the European influence (am I correct?).

For most european people, chinese is not simply another different language, because Chinese is not alphabetic like most most european languages, indeed, Chinese characters are not phonetic.
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Hauser
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahaau wrote:
I wonder whether Cantonese is indeed another language or just a dialect? any expert explanation?

It's a dialect.
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hiroki
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hauser wrote:
ahaau wrote:
I wonder whether Cantonese is indeed another language or just a dialect? any expert explanation?

It's a dialect.


a very nice dialect :lol:
i love the cantonese k/p-ending *-*

like in 国(國)
mandarin: gu
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akar
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

《林語堂當代漢英詞典》網絡版
Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary
of Modern Usage (Online Version)

http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Lindict/
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