- Language Tips
An Internet survey among more than one thousand people shows that fewer Chinese speak dialects, China Youth Daily reported Thursday.
The joint investigation, conducted by major portal sina.com and china.com.cn among 1,045 Internet users, showed that 39 percent of people said they often use dialects, whereas 10 percent of them never use or could not speak dialects at all.
Qian Nairong, a professor at the College of Liberal Arts at Shanghai University, said the Shanghai dialect may not last long as many young people born after 1985 cannot speak the language.
"Many people use dialects to contrast with mandarin, which is required and popularized in primary and middle schools in some urban areas," Qian said.
As many as 64 percent of the interviewees said they avoid speaking dialects due to their "rustic pronunciation", according to the survey.
Some experts are calling for the preservation of dialects along with the spread of mandarin.
Dialects have a large amount of vocabulary and vivid descriptions of life, said Qian.
"Many local operas may also die out as they are developed from dialects," Ding Chongming, a professor with the College of Chinese Language and Culture of Beijing Normal University said.