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Efforts required so that dialects do not go extinct

China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-17 07:31

A 10,000-WORD ESSAY, co-written by four senior middle school students in Chongqing, has been widely praised for its call to protect the local Chongqing dialect and slang. West China Metropolis Daily commented on Friday:

Local dialects and slang are fading away, and many are beginning to lament their passing.

That explains why Beijing and Shanghai are introducing dialect education in schools, where students are often encouraged to learn and speak Mandarin. Dialects are not just a distinctive local way of speaking; they are connected to the local culture, such as the local forms of Chinese opera. These performances do not work if delivered in other dialects or Mandarin.

That said, it is difficult to protect local dialects, not least in the metropolises where residents come from different areas.

However, there is no reason to let the time-honored local cultures disappear, and local governments may be able to help preserve the local dialects by protecting the local culture. And they can keep the names of communities and streets in their local dialects, and fund projects aimed at preserving local cultural heritage.

It is also important to reduce the discrimination against dialects. The promotion of Mandarin should not come at the cost of local dialects and linguistic art forms, which should be treated with respect.

More and more people are realizing the importance of preserving local dialects and culture and started making efforts to keep them from extinction. Their awareness and contribution matter a great deal to the cultural bonds between the past and the future.

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