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Dialect Translation


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Dialect Translation is a big industry in Mainland China:





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方言 fangyan was origionally used as just a general term towards any local speech of a region, Chinese-related or not.

Western linguists influenced a kind of restructuring, they changed "fangyan" to mean dialect and "yuyan" to mean "language" but all these mutually-unintelligible languages spoken in China continued to be called fangyan - "dialects"... now dialects of a single Chinese yuyan "language".

dialect implies intelligibility.

A better term would be closer to the origional definition of 方言 - "topolect" or "regionalect"

some have suggested 通言 tong1yan2 - the tong1 matching the Greek-derived morpheme "dia" used in the English word.

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