Protection of the Varieties of Chinese
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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 (Chinese: ?) refers to efforts to protect the continued existence of the varieties of Chinese (including Yue Chinese, Wu Chinese, Gan Chinese, Min Chinese, Xiang Chinese, Hakka Chinese, varieties of Mandarin, and others) in Mainland China and other places against pressure to abandon these languages and use Standard Chinese.[1][2][3][4][5] 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.[5] The Constitution of the People's Republic of China calls on the government to promote Putonghua as the common tongue of the nation,[6] but this policy does not necessarily conflict with plans to preserve local varieties of Chinese.[] Education and media programming in varieties of Chinese other than Mandarin have been discouraged by the governments of the People's Republic of China, Singapore, and Taiwan.[7][8]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.[9] 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-Yue" legislation (???? or ????).[10]

For forty years following 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-1990s.[11]

Min Dong

The native language of many inhabitants of the Matsu Islands (Lienchiang County), ROC (Taiwan) is the Matsu dialect, which is one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in the county.[12] It has been compulsory in primary schools in the area since 2017.

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 (Xiamen) 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.[13][14]

In an amendment to Article 14 of the Enforcement Rules of the Passport Act () 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.[15] Since 2017, Taiwanese language classes have been compulsory in all primary schools except those in predominantly Hakka or Aboriginal areas and the Matsu islands.

See also


  1. ^ a b Wang, Keju (2019-02-22). "Language diversity protection highlighted in UNESCO proclamation". China Daily. Retrieved 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. ^ [Guidelines of Dialect-Specific Character in the Chinese Language] (PDF). 2014. Retrieved 2019. "?"?"? ",, ,?,?,{...},? 10 ······
  3. ^ ? [Hunan Presenters Launches Local Language Protection Project]. The China Times (in Chinese). 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2019. ,?,1983?,20,,? (Xiang Chinese are mostly common in the western and southern parts of Hunan province, which some of them are endangered. Local linguists conduct a field research in rural parts of Huaihua on 1983, but 20 years later the team learns that local Xiang Chinese speakers in that part of the area were dwindled.)
  4. ^ "Race against time to save endangered languages and dialects". 5 October 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b Bai, Yun (2017). "THE STUDY ON LANGUAGE ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROTECTION OF DIALECTS". Retrieved 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.
  6. ^ "CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA". Retrieved 2019. The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua (common speech based on Beijing pronunciation).
  7. ^ "The Worrying Cross-Strait and Linguistic Messages of 'Crazy Rich Asians'". 2018-08-24. Retrieved 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.
  8. ^ Presse, Agence France. "China Is Forcing Its Biggest Cantonese-Speaking Region To Speak Mandarin". Business Insider. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "" [Full Text of Guangdong National Language Regulations]. Phoenix New Media. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 2012. ? (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language shall be in Putonghua and Simplified Chinese.)
  10. ^ [Guangdong's New Language Law "Will Not Limit Local Languages"] (in Chinese). 24 December 2011. Retrieved 2019. ?"?"(12?24?),3?,(Recent media reports claim the Guangdong National Language Regulations is a "Law that oppresses the Cantonse Language". This claim was debunked in a press conference by the Province of Guangdong in 24 December, where the province's spokesperson claim that the new legislation would not ban or limit the use of local languages.)
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy" 1810 [18 Primary Schools and 10 Nurseries Starts Teaching Hokkien in Fujian Province]. (in Chinese). 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "?" (Hokkien Day Opens in Xiamen/Amoy's Schools)
  15. ^ Jason Pan (16 August 2019). "NTU professors' language rule draws groups' ire". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2019.

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