Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shared speech won't scratch local cultures

Eventually, China has to make a choice between free floating and pegging to a basket of currencies.
The Guangzhou city CPPCC recently suggested that Putonghua should be used as the broadcast language for the two main local TV channels covering the Asian Games, in order to create a better language environment for players and visitors.
The proposal is strongly opposed by locals. A well-known mass media professional called it the "fall of Cantonese," defending the right to broadcast in his own tongue.
Actually, the proposal for broadcasts in Putonghua applies only to the main programming of two channels. The locals are pretty much overreacting.
Additionally, there are dozens of different dialects in China but few have even been used in broadcasting. No local culture has ever perished because of the unified broadcasting in Putonghua.
What's more, at least two-fifths of Guangzhou citizens come from other parts of China.
Given the constant migration of population and the ongoing integration of different cultures, the so-called "fall of Cantonese" seems ridiculous when considered in a historical light.
Language mainly acts as a communication tool. In international conferences and activities, English is usually used as a second language only so people can communicate better. It has nothing to do with battles or conflicts.
With the Asian Games approaching, the city of Guangzhou should become more open-minded and tolerant.
Zhujiang Evening News

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