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Succesfully Multi-lingual Nations

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Keirador, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Dann

    Dann Green bug

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    China counts as one too.

    China uses 5 written languages - Han Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, Uighur and Tibetan. Written Han Chinese can be read into who knows how many dialects there are here (sometimes two villages side by side will speak a different dialect :eek: ). Basically one major grouping for each province, with Hokkien (native language of Fujian and Taiwan) the furthest sounding from Mandarin, and Cantonese a close second.
     
  2. Flak

    Flak vBülletin Förum

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    Malaysia has four major languages (dialects inclusive) and manages pretty well: Bahasa Melayu (official), Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil. They also speak English overall to communicate with each other.
     
  3. M37

    M37 Warlord

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    Little known fact: unitll the 1960's Canada was officaly uniligual English. Then the prime minster at the time declared Canada biligual adding French as another offical language.
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Mmmh. Czech republic? The people in prague have a very... special variety of Czech ;)

    (BTW for those who were in Prague, didn't you notice the men there speak like they were a gays? :lol: )
     
  5. Mathilda

    Mathilda Queen

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    My version is 5,5%.
    I thought it was 6 %, so I've done a search on it and came up with 5,5 from couple of different sources.

    I would have thought that discrimmination against Russian speakers in Estonia and Latvia would be more due to the Soviet time treatment of Estonian and Latvian people than just percentages of speakers of different languages.
     
  6. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    Switzerland springs to mind as the best example. I see it has been mentioned several times. I found that when I was in Lucerne the locals all seemed to speak English rather well to, but this is a popular tourist destination and we mostly talked to waiters/waitress's/shop workers.
     
  7. SonicX

    SonicX Emperor

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    Don't they all know Mandarin or Beijing Chinese ?
    Because I'm planning to learn either Chinese, Japanese or Arabic, but I want to have the most useful ofcourse.
     
  8. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    Can't forget Switzerland. They've been multi-lingual for 700 years.

    The US is, in a sense, a multi-lingual nation that is successful. There is no official language but English is the de facto official language.
     
  9. Cuivienen

    Cuivienen Deity

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    IIRC about 20% of the US speaks Spanish as their native language, so it qualifies as bilingual under this thread's definition despite having no official language.
     
  10. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

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    Any nation in Southeast Asia. Add Mandarin Chinese and English to any native or local language.
     
  11. Jeff Yu

    Jeff Yu Prince

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    Yes, but I wouldn't say China (or Chinese as a whole) really hold multi-lingualism as an ideal. Minorities get to keep their own languages, for for Chinese, the overall goal seems to be unity of all dialects under the banner of Mandarin. This has been the goal of all political parties since the start of the twenieth century.

    In China and Taiwan, Mandarin has been promoted as the main language, and Singapore has been having the "Speak Mandarin campaign" to discourage dialects. Chinese schools in Malaysia and Indonesia teach Mandarin instead of in mother dialect, and Mandarin is becoming required in Hong Kong as well. The writing system of all the dialects is unified, and I believe the only place where dialectal vernacular exists is Hong Kong and Shanghai. Although it's de-facto multilingual, that's been happening despite government policies, not because of it. Among my Singaporean and mainland Chinese friends, many of them see dialect speaking as backwards and prefer Mandarin only. And it seems that among many, including dialect speaking populations, there seems to be a pervasive drive towards language unity instead of multilingualism.
     
  12. Desertsnow

    Desertsnow πr²

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    I wasn't sure about the Rumantsch, that's why I said 'at least' three. :) I was sure that it was at least semiofficial.

    It's probably more successfully so than most of the countries under discussion here.

    Of course, I could say the United States--with dialects like New York actually being problematic for persons who learned English as a foreign language :D
     
  13. Dann

    Dann Green bug

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    Not everyone. The poorer, more remote and more backwards the place, the less chance the natives know how to speak Mandarin. Jeff Yu is right about the elitist effect of learning the official tongue of the land, to the point where nouveau riche people try to hide their origins by deliberately forgetting their native dialect.

    Exception being Guangdong and Fujian provinces, which are not poor but whose people are fiercely independent about their own dialects. Guangzhou people for example look down upon outsiders who can't speak Cantonese.
     
  14. SonicX

    SonicX Emperor

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    Oh well, that one minus point to choosing Chinese as a fourth language for me :)
     
  15. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Does anyone speak Manchu these days?
     
  16. Stapel

    Stapel FIAT 850 coupé

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    Switzerland!


    Belgium......
    I would be really surprised if it still exists in 25 years. Quite serious on that! The only problem is Brussel / The Brussel Region.
     
  17. SonicX

    SonicX Emperor

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    A Dutchman who knows about the Belgian problem ... must be one of the first I've seen. :goodjob:
    Usually they all think the language is the only difference :D
     
  18. Stapel

    Stapel FIAT 850 coupé

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    Well, I'm quite interested in the subject. Mainly because I wanted to understand why the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain, was started by calvinists in todays Belgium.

    Why did the Lowlands split over its current border? Well, history answers that question!
    But why did the southern part of the Dutch speaking lands unite with the Wallonians?
    Not clear to me at all.

    One only has to watch a cycling classic (not per se in Belgium!) to notice 486.927 Flemmish flags and only 2 or 3 Belgian flags....
     
  19. Gladi

    Gladi The ignored thread killer

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    We are bilingual :mischief:, the people in Brno have a very special variety of German :p. And they speak like they are really dimwitted :lol:.
     
  20. SonicX

    SonicX Emperor

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    Well, the answers are simple actually

    Why did the Dutch and French speakers unite ?
    Because the Flemish people were poor at the time, because it lacked resources (Limburgian coal was not yet discover), while the French had a rich coal and iron industry going on. They pretty much dominated the area and Flanders was nothing at time... after all, the only official nation at the time was French, so it says enough about the lack of power in the poor north. Flemish unemployed poor people were a perfect source of cheap labor for the rich Walloons at the time. Needless to say, the situation has changed :D

    Why do you see all those Flemish flags at cycling events ?
    A group of Flemish seperatists, closely linked to the N-VA (New Flemish Alliance) and Vlaams Belang political parties, just wave the flags at cycling events. They actually don't go there to see the race, but only to show the Flemish independence flags (black claws and tongue instead of red).
    Those races are shown all across Europe and many people tune it close to the finishline ... a perfect way to get attention to your cause and convince foreigners that Flanders should be independant, without causing trouble.
    You might want to look it up, the organisation is called "VL²" or "Vlaanderen Vlagt"
     

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