Tag Archives: dialects

Why Study a Chinese Dialect?

By  Grace

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To celebrate 2016 International Mother Language Day, this blog post is dedicated to the beautiful languages and dialects of China!

When I mention an interest in learning Chinese dialects, I am almost always met with the same response: What’s the point? Their reasoning is clear: Mandarin Chinese is the lingua-franca in China and the importance of dialects is decreasing, so there seems little point in struggling to learn a Chinese dialect. I, however, argue that there are huge economic, cultural and social benefits of learning a Chinese dialect both inside and outside China. The value of Mandarin as a lingua-franca is clear, however, a brief look below the surface illuminates a plethora of reasons why someone may pursue the study of a Chinese dialect.

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Feb 16