Sunday, May 22, 2022
News

Local dialects declining as Xi Jinping bolsters uniform Chinese identity

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

Beijing | January 18, 2022 4:50:10 AM IST
The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity.

Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 per cent of China's population, up from 70 per cent a decade ago. Last month, China's State Council promised to increase the figure to 85 per cent within the next four years, reported Taipei Times.

However, Xi's initiative for a uniform Chinese identity is leading to fading of local dialects, including dialects of the Han majority, and ethnic languages such as Mongolian and Uyghur.

In Inner Mongolia, for example, local regulations in 2016 allowed ethnic schools to use their own language. The policy was aimed at developing students' linguistic skills and cultivating bilingualism, but it was reversed in 2020 to favour Mandarin, a move that sparked protests from the ethnic population, reported Taipei Times.

In 2017, a survey showed that among the 10 dialect groups, Wu Chinese, which includes the Shanghai dialect and is spoken by about 80 million people in eastern China, has the smallest number of users aged between six and 20. It prompted concern among linguists in the region.

In 2014, the TV program Shanghai Dialect Talk was taken off the air after the government insisted that standard Mandarin be used for the channel to broadcast nationally.

In 2000, China passed laws to standardize spoken and written language. In each province, a language committee monitors and polices the use of Mandarin. The strength of the implementation varies, but it is not difficult for a determined government to enforce its policy, reported Taipei Times.

In September, Sichuan Province banned civil servants and party cadres from using the local dialect in the workplace.

"The state has been telling people there are visible and tangible benefits from speaking standard Mandarin Chinese," said Fang Xu, an urban sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley. "Since then, many regional languages, including Shanghainese, have suffered the same fate."

A 2010 study by Beijing Union University found that nearly half of local Beijing residents born after 1980 prefer using Mandarin over the Beijing dialect, reported Taipei Times. (ANI)

 
  LATEST COMMENTS ()
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
 
 
MORE WORLD NEWS
Bangladesh Muktijoddha Mancha protests a...
Indian Ambassador to Japan hopes Quad me...
Pakistan: PTI senior leader Shireen Maza...
PM Modi in pre-Quad meet statement says ...
Pakistan: Punjab Police arrest senior As...
Quad to unveil 'eye in sky' to check Chi...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
3 bodies found at flat in Vasant Vihar; ...
'Stop these pretensions', Uddhav Thacker...
Meghalaya CM rejects demand to repeal ga...
Delhi Police requests Adhir Chowdhury to...
BJP accuses KCR of ignoring farmers' iss...
Rajasthan govt reduces VAT on petrol by ...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
As economic crisis spreads to South... 
6.0 magnitude earthquake jolts Japa... 
Indian community prepares to welcom... 
Environment Minister Bhupender Yada... 
Chhattisgarh CM performs bhumipujan... 
Delhi sees dip in COVID cases, repo... 
ISKCON devotees express joy in glor... 
Andhra Pradesh is ideal destination...