What is the language "British"?
jdow at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 1 07:27:55 UTC 2006
From: "Ed Greshko" <Ed.Greshko at greshko.com>
> Chong Yu Meng wrote:
>> Whoa ! Any comment I make on this will no doubt insult some segment of
>> Chinese people everywhere. I'm going to be very unpopular or be rebutted
>> quite robustly before this thread is ended.
>> But here goes, anyway... ;)
>> Well, Mandarin does not lend itself as easily as English to tongue
>> twisters, because, as you are probably aware, Chinese is composed of
>> ideograms, and the pronunciation of each character is very discrete.
>> There is no "liaison" as there is in French, and no concept of
>> syllables. I suppose there are tongue twisters -- I have not heard any,
>> but my grasp of Mandarin is not as good as it should be (my family has
>> been away from the "Old Country" for several generations now).
> Trust me.... I am living here in Taiwan. My wife is "Chinese". Her
> family is originally from mainland China. My wife was born and raised
> in Korea so she also speaks/reads Korean as well as Chinese and English.
> She doesn't speak the local Taiwanese dialect.
> I asked her about Tongue Twisters and gave her the example of "She sells
> sea shells by the sea shore to sea sick sailors and shell shocked
> solders" and asked about tongue twisters.
> She assured me that they also have tongue twisters. If you want, I can
> have her tell them to me and write them out for you...but they will be
> in "Chinese" Big5 charset.
>> But Mandarin is the "common language", the ISO standard, if you will.
>> With dialects, things are different: I have heard some tongue twisters
>> and puns and general linguistic cleverness in Hokkien and Cantonese
>> (some of them are unprintable and would not translate well anyway). In
>> fact, the Cantonese are famed for their cleverness in language.
> Ahh...there is so much more to all of this....Mandarin is not an ISO
> standard....but never mind.
>> The thing is, dialects are spoken differently, with a loose form of
>> liaison/syllables, so tongue twisters are possible and common in some if
>> not all dialects. I can only speak for Hokkien and Cantonese, though. A
>> friend in Hong Kong tells me that actually there are over a hundred
>> dialects in China itself, so I have only a very small representative
>> sample here.
>> So that's my 2 cents. Time to put on my asbestos suit and wait for
>> replies ! ;)
> No need.... You are really getting into a very complex area. More than
> mere mortals normally treed.
Thanks both of you. It's fun. And it humanizes people who are somewhat
different from me. Humor is a wonderful tool for getting to know people.
More information about the users