Hundreds of people have staged a protest in Hong Kong against what they claim is a bid to replace the widely-used Cantonese with Mandarin, China’s national language. Protesters say protecting the dialect is crucial to the survival of Cantonese culture. Cantonese is one of 14 Chinese dialects and the third most popular with over 70 million speakers. Other dialects include Wu, Min and Hakka.
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SHANGHAI, March 25 (Xinhua) — Eloquent speakers of Shanghai dialect may have the privilege of having their voices recorded, as Chinese linguists move to the eastern economic hub to build a vocal database of local dialects and ethnic languages in China…the two-year project in Shanghai will be the third of its kind to complete a nationwide vocal database, an ambitious move of China to better preserve its linguistic diversity…China has more than 80 languages spoken by the people of its 56 nationalities and an unaccounted number of local dialects.
China plugging holes in ‘Great Firewall: BEIJING - China appears to be moving aggressively to plug holes in its “Great Firewall” censorship system, causing frustration for businesses, web users and foreign Internet companies…The problems have followed a call for subtle weekly “strolling” protests in China inspired by political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, and indicate the government is intent on nipping dissent in the bud
Dialects Endangered by Modernization: Despite government efforts to protect minority languages, they are still faced with the danger of disappearing due to modernization, top advisers have warned. There are 56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China and more than 100 of the country’s dialect languages are in danger of dying out, according to the United Nations.
China blocks access to LinkedIn:
The shutdown follows days of calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China, on the model of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. Access to Twitter and Facebook has been blocked throughout China for some time; Chinese internet users seeking to use Twitter have been forced to access the site through difficult-to-use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). However, Chinese dissidents have another way of accessing Twitter… LinkedIn.