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Cantonese is more recondite than Mandarin

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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By Ling Tang, 8th November, 2016


"Cantonese is more recondite than Mandarin,” said Dai Tien, a Hong Kong author and poet.


Speaking at SYU assembly on Tuesday, Tien said, Cantonese has nine tone, while Mandarin has four tone. Cantonese has preserved the phonology, rhyme of the poet could only be found in Cantonese. Tien took “The Eight Formations” , the work of Tong Dynasty Poet Du Fu, as a example, to show that Cantonese has more variation and more recondite than Mandarin.


“I will not compare the Chinese level with different generations.” said Tien. He said, the Chinese level of current generation may be not as good as the past generations, however, the current generation can accepting new thought easily. Therefore, different generations has there own strengths and weaknesses.


“Reciting the Chinese model essay cannot improve the Chinese attainment,” said Tien. Tien said people should use a appreciate angle to read the article, reciting the article and essay are useless.

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Dai Tien, a prominent HK writer and poet, waded into the debate about the merits and demerits of Cantonese and Putonghua, saying Cantonese was better.

The debate was raised again after Ng Wing-tung, a candidate contesting a seat as representative in the HKADC said in his platform Mandarin was universally adopted whereas Cantonese was only a dialect in southern China.

speaking at xxxx, Dai said Cantonese has nine tones, whereas Putonghua only has four. He demonstrated their differences by reading out a Chinese poem, XXXX, written by Du Fu, a poet in Tang Dynasty, in Cantonese and Putonghua separately.

The Cantonese version, he said, has prserved the phonology, rhyme of the poem, no the Putonhua version.

Asked about the standard of Chinese language of students nowadays, Dai said he did not want to make comparison. He agreed the level of Chinese of the present generation might not be as good as those in the previous generations, but they were more receptive to new ideas.

'Different generations have different strengths and weaknesses.'

(You have to give background of the 12 articles being added to the Chinese language curriculum to give background to the last point. Otherwise, readers don't know what it is about)

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