RE: Talk about it

Subject: RE: Talk about it
From: "technical writing plus" <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "'Sandy Harris'" <sandyinchina -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 19:39:20 -0600

My response is inline below. Jim Jones

-----Original Message-----
Kevin McLauchlan wrote:

Two of our software engineers were conversing, one a tall, lanky
Chinese-Canadian immigrant, the other a short, stocky Chinese-Canadian
immigrant. ... They were using English because they didn't have a suitable
common dialect between them from the old country.

Then Sandy Harris said:

That is odd. Standard or Mandarin Chinese has been the only language
used in education on the mainland since the 1950s, so it now functions
very well as a common dialect. In fact its Chinese name 'putong hua'
literally means 'common speech'.

My guess would be one was from Hong Kong. Their education was in
Cantonese until 1997, not sure what they use now, Or Taiwan;
Mandarin is used there but I don't know details and there is a
Taiwanese language as well.

To which Jim Jones says:

That could be. And it could be that one or both were ethnic Chinese from a
place other than China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. And maybe one of them knows the
main language, Mandarin Chinese, for whatever reason, and the other one does

As far as Taiwan is concerned, the statistic used to be that about 15
percent spoke Mandarin Chinese in the home and 85 % (about; there were
language other groups too) spoke Taiwanese Chinese in the home. It still is
the case (it has been since the late 1940s) that Mandarin Chinese is the
official language there and is taught in the schools.


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Re: Talk about it: From: Sandy Harris

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