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Hunan Dialect ?


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10 years ago, I taught in a university in Western Hunan. New students (all Hunanese) would routinely have to communicate by passing each other notes. It usually took then a month or so to work each other's tongues out!

They often accompanied me to the local market where they were totally unable to understand the locals. I ended up translating for them! And every one of them struggled with the Changsha dialect.

So, please don't think there is just one Hunan dialect!

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Absolutely. I have a couple of close friends from Hunan, and I remember witnessing a family gathering once in which some of their relatives could hardly understand each other... and they were all from different areas of Changsha! That was a valuable lesson in 'intercultural communication' for me.

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It won't be an issue as long as one of the language groups doesn't invent another script.

The other language groups already have their own common script (i.e. hanzi), they just don't have the same tradition of expressing their oral language in characters as Mandarin does.

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