The dialects in China sounds so different, almost like different languages. But they are in the same written characters. (Thanks to the King of Ching dynastics, about 2000 year ago, who was the one unified the chinese characters.) In south china, especially near Canton and FuChou, two valliges seperated by a mountain could speak total differently, one can't understand another.....guess it had something to do with the poor transportation within the country. ppl hardly move from one place to another....But now with more developed economic env, ppl can move around the country, so the maderine gets more popular. Although Maderine had been claimed to the official language in china (mainland) since 1950. All school student are suppose to speak maderine in school, but how could you inforce the rule when the teachers (in country side) can't speak themselves?Originally Posted by attyfan
It's the transportation and motivation of survive. Mordern transportation brought ppl from country side to the city, and good econoimcs in city also attracted workers from country side (for example, a house keeper in big city, shanghai/pejing/canton, can make more than those hold a government job country side or remote earea) to big city. To survive in big cities, you have to speak Maderine.
For me, for all my life I can't understand the Cantonese. But I have to understand English to be able to survive.