Protection of the Varieties of Chinese

A school in Guangdong with writing "Please speak Standard Chinese. Please write standard characters" on the wall.

Protection of the varieties of Chinese (保护方言) refers to efforts to protect the continued existence of the varieties of Chinese (the major subdivisions of which include Yue Chinese, Gan Chinese, Min Chinese, Hakka Chinese among others, as well as the varieties of Mandarin) in Mainland China and other places against pressure to abandon these languages and use Standard Chinese.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China has been taking active measures to protect ten varieties of Chinese.[1] A majority of the citizens of China speak a dialect of Mandarin Chinese, a standardized form of which has been promoted by the government of China for the last sixty years.[7] The Constitution of the People's Republic of China calls on the government to promote Putonghua as the common tongue of the nation,[8] but this policy does not necessarily conflict with plans to preserve local varieties of Chinese.[2] Education and media programming in varieties of Chinese other than Mandarin have been discouraged by the governments of China, Singapore and Taiwan.[9][10] Teaching the varieties of Chinese to non-native speakers is discouraged by the laws of the People's Republic of China in favor of Putonghua.[11] The Guangdong National Language Regulations are a set of laws enacted by the Guangdong provincial government in the People's Republic of China in 2012 to promote the use of Standard Mandarin Chinese in broadcast and print media at the expense of the local standard Cantonese and other related dialects. It has also been labelled a "pro-Mandarin, anti-Cantonese" legislation ( or ).[12]

For forty years after the arrival of the Republic of China government in Taiwan, the Taiwanese, Hakka and Taiwan aboriginal languages were suppressed by the government in favor of Mandarin Chinese, ending in the mid-1990's.[13]

Min Dong

The native language many of the inhabitants of the Matsu Islands (Lienchiang County), ROC (Taiwan) is Matsu dialect, which is one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in the county.[14]

Min Nan

In June 2007, China created a zone for the protection of Min Nan culture, the first of its kind in mainland China. In March 2010, eighteen elementary schools and ten kindergartens in Amoy became Min Nan study centers, complete with Min Nan educational materials, including training in pronunciation, colloquialisms and history. On March 5, 2011, the Xiamen Experimental Elementary School implemented the "Min Nan Day" activity, encouraging students to study Min Nan culture.[15][16]

In an amendment to Article 14 of the Enforcement Rules of the Passport Act (護照條例施行細則) passed on August 9, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Taiwan) announced that Taiwanese can use the romanized spellings of their names in Hoklo, Hakka and Aboriginal languages for their passports. Previously, only Mandarin Chinese names could be romanized.[17]

See also


  1. ^ a b Wang Keju (2019-02-22). "Language diversity protection highlighted in UNESCO proclamation". China Daily. Retrieved 23 July 2019. According to the Ministry of Education, China-as a country with more than 130 ethnic minority languages and 10 major Chinese dialects, has been taking active measures for the protection of languages resources.
  2. ^ a b Zhang Yiqian (2017-06-22). "Locals, foreigners try to keep Chinese dialects alive despite Putonghua dominance". Retrieved 22 July 2019. Reviving tradition Hu started taking an interest in preserving the Suzhou dialect when she went on an exchange program abroad during college. Feeling homesick, she started looking up her hometown on the Internet and stumbled across a forum where people were exchanging views and information on the Suzhou dialect, and started getting involved. In 2012, she went back to Suzhou to teach Spanish and spent all her spare time researching the local dialect. She spent years writing a textbook that spells out its words phonetically, so people can learn it in an easier way. In 2015, Hu started a WeChat public account that focuses on teaching the dialect. The account releases lessons daily and advertises the offline activities Hu and her team hold. She holds open lessons, both about China's dialects and about traditions and lifestyles that are long lost. The lessons have attracted many people, both local residents and tourists.{...}"The popularization of Putonghua is a national policy written in the Constitution. It's important but it doesn't conflict with the preservation of dialects," Zhuang said.
  3. ^ 中国语言资源保护工程汉语方言用字规范 (PDF). 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2019. 目前各省区正在进行“中国语言资源保护工程”或“中国语言资源有声数据 库建设”,在汉字记录各地方言的时候,可以拿各分区《方言字表》和《全国汉 语方言用字总表》作为参考,决定取舍,斟酌使用,以减少失误。{...}根据这些资料,分别编制官话、晋语、吴语、闽语、粤语、湘语、赣语、客家话、徽语、平话土话等 10 类方言的分区《方言字表》,
  4. ^ 芒果台主持人 推方言保护行动. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 22 July 2019. 在湖南,湘南、湘西集中了比较多的濒危方言,会说的人越来越少。1983年,湖南师大一位教授曾去怀化沅陵县调查过当地的方言。过了20多年,当这位教授的博士生再去调查时,有些字词已经找不到人发音。
  5. ^ Wang Wenwen (2011-12-27). "Protection of other dialects". Retrieved 22 July 2019. Peng Zerun, a professor from Hunan Normal University and a member of the Hunan provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in 2010 that promoting Putonghua is part of modernization. However, it should be done in an orderly way and allow the balanced development with other dialects. He suggested a law should be issued to promote the Hunan dialect. The dialect should also be set as a school subject.{...}In 2008, a pilot audio database program was set up in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. This program helps preserve local dialects in Jiangsu and will provide resources for language researchers.
  6. ^ "Race against time to save endangered languages and dialects". 2018-10-05. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b Bai Yun (2017). "THE STUDY ON LANGUAGE ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROTECTION OF DIALECTS". Retrieved 22 July 2019. The research will be conducted on the relationship between people's language attitude (LA) and the protection of dialects in China, where a great variety of dialects and Standard Chinese (SC) used by the speakers from 56 minorities co-exist and implement each other. With Standard Chinese promoted for 60 years, migration led by the development of social economy after the adoption of reform and opening-up policy, urbanization further promoted since 21st century, the status of Standard Chinese is rising while that of dialects is on the decline, and to some extent regional dialects in some ethnic minorities are dying out, resulting in the disappearance of their unique cultures and cultural forms, such as operas.{...}Although SC plays a significant role in China's economic development and urbanization, dialects are heritage of regional cultures; therefore, with the promotion of SC, dialects must be sustained and further developed.
  8. ^ "CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA". Retrieved 22 July 2019. The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua (common speech based on Beijing pronunciation).
  9. ^ "The Worrying Cross-Strait and Linguistic Messages of 'Crazy Rich Asians'". 2018-08-24. Retrieved 22 July 2019. Repressive government initiatives to solidify Mandarin as the region’s common tongue have been so successful in Singapore, Taiwan, and China that Hokkien and Cantonese are now routinely mistaken in popular culture as mere dialects of Mandarin. Mandarin thus functions in the movie just as it does in government policies: as an artificial marker of class and sophistication. Cantonese, and especially Hokkien, are used as signifiers of marginality and lower status.
  10. ^ Presse, Agence France. "China Is Forcing Its Biggest Cantonese-Speaking Region To Speak Mandarin". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  11. ^ "《广东省国家通用语言文字规定》全文_资讯频道_凤凰网". News.ifeng.com. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 对外汉语教学应当教授普通话和规范汉字。
  12. ^ 廣東出臺通用語言文字規定 無任何條款限制方言播出 (in Chinese). 24 December 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2019. 最近個別媒體又在炒作所謂的“推普廢粵”之類的報道。記者從今天(12月24日)下午召開的省政府新聞發布會獲悉,我省將于明年3月起實施《廣東省國家通用語言文字規定》,沒有任何限制使用方言的條款。
  13. ^ "LOCAL DIALECTS REGAIN RECOGNITION AFTER LONG SUPPRESSION IN TAIWAN". Dialects including Taiwanese and Hakka are regaining status in Taiwan after 40 years of suppression by the government in favor of Mandarin Chinese.{...}"Taiwan should follow the multilingual Swiss model and declare Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and Ami aboriginal languages as national languages," he said.
  14. ^ 大眾運輸工具播音語言平等保障法
  15. ^ 我省18所小学10所幼儿园试点闽南语教学. 厦门网 (in Chinese). 8 March 2010.
  16. ^ 廈門實驗小學開設“閩南語日”活動
  17. ^ Jason Pan (16 August 2019). "NTU professors' language rule draws groups' ire". Taipei Times. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

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