China’s multiple languages

26 May

China has a multitude of languages and dialects besides Mandarin, with Cantonese and Shanghainese being the more well-known ones. However, the hardest language seems to be Wenzhounese, which is spoken in Wenzhou, a city in Zhejiang Province. So difficult, it’s been deemed a “devil language” and has even been mistaken as Korean, by a Korean
I’ve heard Zhejiang people speak before, and I swear it sounded a bit like Korean. It’s good to know my ears weren’t tricking me as I was probably overhearing Wenzhounese then. Amazingly, the writer of the second article, a Wenzhounese, says that people in Wenzhou, which together with its surrounding areas have a population 9 million, sometimes can’t even understand each other clearly.
And of course, other cities in Zhejiang also have dialects, which is similar to Shanghainese in a way, being part of the Wu group. I’ve even read that Zhejiang, due to its mountainous and coastal terrain, is said to have a different dialect in every village and district.

Wenzhou is famous for its intrepid entrepreneurs, though they have been going through some hard times, as well as where a tragic high-speed train crash happened in 2011.


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