Link roundup — 21 Feb 2011

The first two entries today illustrate the constant tug of language preservation and dominance in China. On the one hand, there’s a proposal that Mandarin should be renamed 中国语, Zhōngguó yǔ (a Danwei translation by Joel Martinsen) and given more “strategic” prominence than the “equal footing” it has with other languages these days. On the other, the People’s Daily publicizes a proposal by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC) “to promote the use of [Zhuang language / Vahcuengh], which, unlike many languages belonging to ethnic groups, is still in wide currency.” H/T to Liuzhou Laowai, who acerbically notes that “almost no Zhuang speakers know the written form” and that Zhuang language includes “mutually unintelligible groups known as Northern and Southern Zhuang”.


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