putonghua

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9

    putonghua

    Do most people in mainland China refer to Mandarin as "putonghua" or "guoyu"? I know they are the same thing but I want to know which term is used more to refer to the language. What about the same question but for HK? Thanks for any insight.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    1,419

    putonghua in mainland china, guoyu in taiwan


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    126

    From late 1950s on, most mainland Chinese use term "putonghua". I speak it Singapore-style with a little Cantonese accent because living some years there and other places -before back here to Hong Kong.

    Heard of Wiki? Refer to their entry:

    After the Republic of China was established in 1912, there was more success in promoting a common national language ... At first there was an attempt to introduce a standard pronunciation with elements from regional dialects. But this was deemed too difficult to promote, and in 1924 this attempt was abandoned and the Beijing dialect became the major source of standard national pronunciation ... Elements from other dialects continue to exist in the standard language, but as exceptions rather than the rule.

    The People's Republic of China, established in 1949, continued the effort. In 1955, the name guóyǔ was replaced by pǔtōnghuà (普通话), or "common speech".
    More on "Guoyu" on same Wiki page:

    For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language". The former was a national prestige dialect or language, while the latter was the legal standard. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different. Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, which is close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called the "the common speech of the modern man", which is the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage.
    In Hong Kong, again it is "putonghua". Also think most locals do not refer to it as "Mandarin" in English but by its pinyin "poh tung wa" in cantonese??

    Why are you asking about it on here?
    Last edited by via; 21-06-2008 at 12:29 AM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9

    Because I can't read/write Chinese (can speak Cantonese) so these english-speaking boards is the perfect place to ask.

    Thanks guys.