Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

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Bamaman
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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Bamaman »

I went another way on the cats in the dark. I tried to think of something related to cats being able to see well in the dark and never got anywhere.

The explanation about a cat in gloves makes sense, but a rather clunky way to get your point across about that.

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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Vanya »

There is a song about it:


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marpocky
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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by marpocky »

Leander wrote:
Only a few negs too, one of which was the apparently easy Mandarin question. I said Cantonese because I never considered Mandarin a dialect - I just assumed that /was/ the official language. And everyone I know speaks Cantonese so of course I thought it was very common
I had this wrong too, for exactly the same reason, and gave Cantonese as the answer. I'm no linguist, but I thought a dialect was derived from a mother language. What is Mandarin a dialect of?
Mandarin is a dialect of Chinese, as are Cantonese, Wu, and many others. This is very complicated as the word dialect is really a misnomer here. There is, indeed, no single language called "Chinese," but the several families of languages spoken in the PRC are often grouped under this single umbrella. Each of these families have varieties which can reasonably be called dialects. The different language groups are not mutually intelligible, but for various reasons they are all sometimes referred to as dialects. To complicate things further, many Chinese languages share a common system of writing.

To Leander's post, Mandarin *is* the official language(/dialect) of China (also Taiwan, and it has co-official status in Singapore). Cantonese (aka Yue, common in areas around Guangdong province, including Hong Kong) is the 3rd most widely spoken (within China) after Mandarin and Wu (aka Shanghainese, common in areas around, well, Shanghai). The reason Cantonese seems to be so much more common is that most of the Chinese immigrants to North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries came from Cantonese-speaking regions.

One further thing I can add, is that typically around China, the word "dialect" is often used (without clarifying which, because context makes it obvious) to refer to the local language as a way to contrast it with Mandarin (the national language, also the local language of Beijing and some other northern areas). And of course, these are all imperfect translations of words like 话,语,and 方言 anyway.

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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by dhkendall »

marpocky wrote:
Leander wrote:
Only a few negs too, one of which was the apparently easy Mandarin question. I said Cantonese because I never considered Mandarin a dialect - I just assumed that /was/ the official language. And everyone I know speaks Cantonese so of course I thought it was very common
I had this wrong too, for exactly the same reason, and gave Cantonese as the answer. I'm no linguist, but I thought a dialect was derived from a mother language. What is Mandarin a dialect of?
Mandarin is a dialect of Chinese, as are Cantonese, Wu, and many others. This is very complicated as the word dialect is really a misnomer here. There is, indeed, no single language called "Chinese," but the several families of languages spoken in the PRC are often grouped under this single umbrella. Each of these families have varieties which can reasonably be called dialects. The different language groups are not mutually intelligible, but for various reasons they are all sometimes referred to as dialects. To complicate things further, many Chinese languages share a common system of writing.

To Leander's post, Mandarin *is* the official language(/dialect) of China (also Taiwan, and it has co-official status in Singapore). Cantonese (aka Yue, common in areas around Guangdong province, including Hong Kong) is the 3rd most widely spoken (within China) after Mandarin and Wu (aka Shanghainese, common in areas around, well, Shanghai). The reason Cantonese seems to be so much more common is that most of the Chinese immigrants to North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries came from Cantonese-speaking regions.

One further thing I can add, is that typically around China, the word "dialect" is often used (without clarifying which, because context makes it obvious) to refer to the local language as a way to contrast it with Mandarin (the national language, also the local language of Beijing and some other northern areas). And of course, these are all imperfect translations of words like 话,语,and 方言 anyway.
Are Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, etc. "dialects" in the same way that British English, American Southern English and New England English are "dialects"? Or are those "regional accents"? (If so, what's the difference?)
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Woof
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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Woof »

dhkendall wrote: Are Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, etc. "dialects" in the same way that British English, American Southern English and New England English are "dialects"? Or are those "regional accents"? (If so, what's the difference?)
Marpocky addressed this in his post. They are mutually unintelligible, so they are not equivalent to dialects of English (I have been able to understand all spoken dialects of English that I've encountered with the sole exception of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver speaking Glaswegian to me). I had two co-workers, one from Kowloon who spoke Cantonese, the other from Beijing who spoke Mandarin, who could communicate in English and in written Chinese ideographs, but not in spoken Chinese.

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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by opusthepenguin »

dhkendall wrote:Are Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, etc. "dialects" in the same way that British English, American Southern English and New England English are "dialects"? Or are those "regional accents"? (If so, what's the difference?)
As marpocky mentions, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu are not even mutually intelligible. If you think of them as English, German, and French, that'll get you closer to the right ballpark. I'm not sure how close, but definitely closer than if you think of a New Yorker conversing with a Liverpudlian.

I believe written Chinese bridges the gaps somewhat with its pictographic writing system. Marpocky may be able to correct me here or flesh out the details if my impression is correct.

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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by skullturf »

And one thing all of this shows is that words like "dialect" aren't always used in real life the same way that they are used by linguists.

Perhaps Cantonese, Mandarin, and Wu "shouldn't" be called different dialects of the same language, since there isn't enough mutual intelligibility. But the fact remains, whether or not it's consistent with how linguists understand the word "dialect", those various Chinese languages are nevertheless called "dialects" in practice.

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Re: Monday, June 3, 2013 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

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