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  #1  
Old October 29, 2008, 12:53 AM
Catyjane Catyjane is offline
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Spoken Chinese

Spoken Chinese is a dialect continuum. Differences between the spoken language generally become more pronounced as distances increase. However, the degree of intelligibility varies immensely depending on region. For example, the Mandarin spoken in all three northeastern Chinese provinces is mutually intelligible, but in the small province of Zhejiang a person from one valley may be completely unable to comprehend the language from the next valley, even though both are considered dialects of Wu Chinese. This unevenness of mutual intelligibility makes classification difficult.
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  #2  
Old October 29, 2008, 03:56 AM
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I disagree, differences are not that great, I lived just north of zhejiang for 3 years and everybody would understand putonghua. What they speak is something else, but they understand standard, most of them.
I don't think you need to classify dialects, China is such a thriving community...chinese every day do more domestic tourism.
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Old October 29, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Most Chinese speak Mandarin. There are many ethnic groups, however ....
my mom can speak "Suzhou" hua and she can speak Putonghua too.
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Old October 29, 2008, 07:35 AM
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I'm no expert on Chinese, but I have a good friend who speaks Hokkien fluently, but is unable to understand other "dialects" of Chinese. So I believe that some of what the now banned user wrote is right.
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Old October 29, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Jessica, does your mum cook pork ribs in sweet sauce? It's a classic there in suzhou.
If she does, you gotta treat me for a dinner, definitely worth the plane ticket.
Gosh, I'm always talking about food, it's lunch time here.
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Old October 29, 2008, 02:49 PM
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my mom cooks Chinese food, yes, but I don't think she cooked pork ribs in sweet sauce. She was born in Suzhou, though. I have to ask her.
lol you should always come here for dinner. My mom is a fabulous Chinese cooker. Some Chinese food I don't like (don't ask me why ^^) but you should taste her dumplings!! We call them huan tun but some people call them jiao zi. The dumplings she make are better than other people's who make them
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Old March 30, 2009, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchen View Post
Most Chinese speak Mandarin. There are many ethnic groups, however ....
my mom can speak "Suzhou" hua and she can speak Putonghua too.
You're suzhounese? Me too! (Well half, my dad is Hong-Kongnese).
Yeah, I can understand Suzhounese, but not too well, and can barely speak it at all. I'm fluent in Mandarin though (Don't even get me started on Cantonese).

Anyways, I think the "now banned user" was talking about "dialects" of Chinese, not dialects of Mandarin, as Mandarin itself is a dialect of Chinese. If that is what she was talking about, yes, it is very hard to mutually understand different Chinese "dialects". In the North, "dialects" are relatively similar, but in the South, the closest two you would get are probably Suzhounese and Shanghainese, which are almost identical but still have subtle differences. Apart from that, most southern dialects are radically different.
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Old March 30, 2009, 08:31 PM
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oooo another Chinese person like me you can help me teach others Chinese (I have a thread)! ^_^

Well, I'm not exactly Suzhounese, because I don't know how to speak it. My mom does, and my dad is from Binhai. I'm okay with Mandarin, though (like you).

Last edited by Jessica; March 30, 2009 at 08:34 PM.
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