Want to publicize lesser-known Chinese?

Deerawn asked, in the “learning Chinese” article linked to yesterday:

Why does it seem to be completely taboo to teach a language like Wu, Hakka, Min?

Maybe it was rhetorical. But Kellen takes it beyond rhetoric in Annals of Wu :

I was poking around my long-dormant CouchSurfing profile last week when I realised Wu isn’t an option for languages on one’s profile, though Cantonese is and of course Mandarin as well. So I sent them an email. They asked for the ISO code (”wuu” in this case), a link to the Wikipedia article on the missing language and maybe an explanation beyond that. So I sent it all in, and sure enough a few days later, Wu is now available.

There you have it. Spread the word, drop-down box by drop-down box.

2 responses to “Want to publicize lesser-known Chinese?”

  1. Ty Eng Lim says:

    My question is, what language does “Wu” mean? Is it Shanghainese, Suzhounese, Wenzhounese, or all of the above. That was the problem of Teochew with Wikipedia. The online Teochew community has struggled with become clumped together with Hokkien because both are in the Minnan family and the fact that there is only one ISO for Minnan, and Wikipedia does not accept anything that does not have an ISO code. So the community went to ISO, but was rejected. Apparently ISO wanted us to define and create standards for all the different types of Minnan just to have Teochew – daunting! Here’s the discussion on Wikipedia: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Teochew

    This issue has prevented Teochew from being considered as its own category in a host on online tools/applications/services.

  2. Ty Eng Lim,
    Sorry I just now am seeing your comment.

    Wu is all of the above. Shanghainese is the largest family of Wu dialects, and often Wu is just called Shanghainese (see tatoeba.org for an example). Wu basically is the language of the Jiangnan 江南 area.

    I’d probably side against ISO on that one, since Teochew has a much larger group identity than other dialects. Part of me doesn’t like Wu being called Shanghainese, but there’s obviously some use to it.


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