Beyond Putonghua (Mandarin): The Charm of Chinese Dialects

Thursday 26 January 2023
Auditorium, McClay Library

Sijie MOU, a second-year PhD student working on linguistics based in the School of Arts, English and Languages, QUB, is interested in sociolinguistics and Chinese dialectology. Her current research focuses on the Beijing dialect.

Do you know why Cantonese is so different from Putonghua (Mandarin)?
Do you know why Chinese tea was translated to tea or chai?
Do you know why some places call taking medicine to drink tea?

Language is charming, the same as the various dialects we use. This talk aims to introduce Chinese dialects in an interactive and fun way, combining the dialect backgrounds of the audience and from the Chinese Family Name and Dialects Survey. Based on the Language Atlas of China, I would like to explain the classification of Chinese dialects, and the relationship between dialects and culture.

Finally, I would like to discuss the issue on keeping using the dialects that we have spoken for centuries and how to align them with the promotion of Putonghua (Mandarin) nationwide as the official language in a harmonious way.

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