18 September 2012
Speaking is people’s one of basic functions. Without speaking, we cannot communicate with others. Of course, there are many languages in the world and even a number of dialects in one country. Those dialects may more and less effect people’s lives and people can gradually know the areas’ backgrounds and cultures throughout the dialects. In China, because its 5000-year history, from east to west or north to south, there are so many different ways to speak in this 9,600,000 km2 magic land.
An old Chinese poetry said: “I left home young. I return old; speaking as then, but with hair grown thin”. The area where we lived when we were young, the way they spoke always affected our future. In the movie “American Tongues”, you can hear more or less different between the elder gap and the younger one. Though I was not born in Beijing, I have been living in Beijing since I was very young. Because my parents and surrounding people were not native Pekingese, I didn’t think I could speak Beijing Dialect. First I noticed there was a difference between Beijing and other city in China. When I came back to my hometown-Leshan, Sichuan Province, which is the southwest part of China about 8 years old, my grandmother always said: “You are a Pekingese, not a Sichuanese because of your pronunciation.” Those words made me feel a little uncomfortable as I lived with my dear grandma before I was five years old and I did not thought there were different pronunciations between her and me. Just after 3 years, I realized I could not speak Sichuan dialect at all. As well, it had differences between Beijing and Sichuan. Hereafter, I grew up, I came to the US. Here, there were a number of Chinese people from all parts of China. Lots of people ask me: “Are you Pekingese?” when we first encounter. I can’t help thinking: Is my personal dialect so strong?
In China, we could find so many dialects. The way they speak is definitely...