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Ncao

Hunan Dialect ?

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Ncao

Does anybody know if the Hunan dialect is a Mandarin dialect ?

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Mugi

Most people in Hunan speak a dialect belonging to the Xiang (湘) dialect group.

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ala

Xiang is divided into Old and New. New Xiang is pretty much just a Mandarin dialect, and is spoken in the capital Changsha and surrounding areas.

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Ncao

Thank you, so the Hunan dialect is related to Mandarin.

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liuzhou

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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carlo

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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Quest

Much like how 广东话 is a misnomer for Cantonese(广州话), many 广东 话s are unintelligible to speakers of Cantonese.

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Yuchi

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

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Mugi

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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Lu

Makes one wonder how Mao Zedong made himself understood... (Yeah, he had this one sectretary who could understand him, but that can hardly have been sufficient.)

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