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Quotation of the Day

December 30, 2011

Mandarin Issue

I responded to an British friend's question. He asked if using 注音/ Zhu Ying is better than 拼音/ Ping Ying. Here is my answer.
Mandarin speakers from China sound much purer than those from Taiwan. That's for sure. However, Mandarin speakers in Taiwan use Traditional Chinese and some ancient cultures have also been preserved by Taiwanese. Taiwanese didn't go through Cultural Revolution, so they sound "softer" and "less revolutionized" when they speak and write in Mandarin Chinese. But, the downside to their usage in Chinese is that they are not used to rolling their tongues when they make "Zhi" and "Zi" , "Shi" and "Si", or "-eng" and "-en" sounds. These sounds seem very much alike to Taiwanese. Nothing wrong with "Zhu Ying" phonetic system because it does tell you how to pronounce them right. The truth is that most dialects in Southern China don't require people to roll their tongues. Tongue-rolling consider useless and time-wasting.

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