Mandarin is not my mother tongue (part one)

Posted on 28 January 2011

Lim Teng Leong believes that it was the Communist dogs who pushed for the adoption of Mandarin as the common language of China.

A banner in front of a Chinese school asks readers to speak only the Beijing dialect. The words can be translated as: “Speak Mandarin. Use polite language to express sincerity”.

FOR THOSE who are not familiar with the history of Chinese dialects, I should say from the outset that Mandarin (as it is historically known), or more accurately, the Beijing dialect, has never been a dialect of national importance or universal acceptance in China before the 20th century.

Confucius was known to have spoken one of the Southern dialects which he himself referred to as “elegant language”. Some have said that he probably spoke an ancient form of Cantonese, but I have reason to believe that it was more probably the precursor of our present-day Hokkien.

True, he did not speak the coarse language of the Hokkien peasants but he spoke a refined form of Hokkien, akin to the Hokkien spoken today in the island of Penang.

From ancient times to the 19th century, many other dialects held sway over the lingua franca of the land we know as China today. Of note is the Nanjing dialect which was the official and most popular dialect used in China right up to the early 20th century.

It was only in 1909 when the dying Manchu Dynasty, which wasn’t even Chinese, ruled that the Beijing dialect be the “guoyi” or national language of China. But the Beijing dialect continued to be sidelined by the literati and the movers and shakers of China.

How can this foreign dialect be forced down my throat as my mother tongue when my mother does not speak a word of it and neither did her mother or her mother’s mother?

It was only after Communism, that noxious poison that destroyed the soul and dignity of the Chinese people and infected the whole of China, that the Beijing dialect, under the edict of the Communist Party of China, became the “putonghua” or “common language” of China.

The Communist Government has since 1949 discouraged the use of non-Beijing dialects in China. Of course we all know what it means when the Communists discourage something – they ban it with an iron fist. They have no qualms about sending in the tanks if necessary as the world has seen them do in the late 1980s to quash peaceful student protests in Tiananmen Square.

Anyone who has lived in China knows that the Communist Government has ensured that “polite language” or “civilized language” is synonymous with “putonghua” or universal language, referring to no other dialect but the Beijing dialect.

It is also a fact of Chinese history that anyone, even before the Boxer Rebellion, who had the courage to enter a Chinese village in the South speaking the Beijing dialect would be lynched and killed by angry mobs and accused of being a Northern infiltrator.

How can I, whose ancestors hail from one of the Southern states of China, accept Mandarin as my mother tongue when I would have been killed for speaking it in my native village just barely 150 years ago?

How can this foreign dialect be forced down my throat as my mother tongue when my mother does not speak a word of it and neither did her mother or her mother’s mother? You can trace that line all the way to Eve and not one of them spoke a word of the Beijing dialect.

So, is the Beijing dialect inherently attractive or superior, such that we can recommend it as a more suitable dialect to represent the entire Chinese people apart from the fact that the Communist politburo in 1949 all spoke it?

In part two, we will compare the Beijing dialect with Hokkien to find out which is more suited as a ‘national language’.

This article was first published by the author in his blog.

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  • Fox

    This article is full of nonsense. Here are some essential facts:

    1. Mandarin and dialectal variants are spoken by roughly 70 percent of Han Chinese in China as their mother tongues.

    2. Mandarin is just the Beijing dialect. It is the spoken Chinese language in most of Northern and Southwestern China.

    3. Confucius did not speak a South Chinese dialect. He spoke Old Chinese out of which later evolved into Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin, etc. Hokkien is no closer to Old Chinese than Mandarin is. Note that Shandong, where Confucius lived, is Mandarin-speaking. They speak Jilu Mandarin (冀魯官話) in Qufu, Confucius’ hometown.

    4. Many of the nationalist and communist leaders did not speak Mandarin as their first language. Examples include Mao Zedong (Hunanese), Sun Zhongshan (Cantonese), Jiang Jieshi (Wu), Wang Jingwei (Cantonese), etc. Mandarin was simply chosen because most of the vernacular literature was written in it and it would have understandable to maximum number of people people in China then.

    5. From a linguistic point of view, a person’s mother tongue is simply his/her first language, not the language spoken by his/her ancestors or where he or she lives. If you are Tan Ah Kow living in Moscow but speak Tagalog at home, your mother tongue is Tagalog, not Hokkien or Russian. Take Jackie Chan as an example. His first language and mother tongue is Cantonese because that was the language he grew up speaking even though his father was from Shandong and his mother from Anhui, both of which are Mandarin-speaking areas of China. In his early years in show business, his Mandarin was marked with a strong Cantonese accent and he obviously did not feel comfortable speaking it.

  • Fox

    Correction to point 2.

    2. Mandarin is NOT just the Beijing dialect. It is the spoken Chinese language in most of Northern and Southwestern China.

  • Xin

    @Lim Teng Leong

    you are a joke. writing something which you have little knowledge of and didn’t bother to do a proper research. as rightly commented by Fox, it is full of nonsense.

    and NewNation has also failed in its editorial duty by publishing such rubbish. your credibility is gone.

  • Xin

    here’s how Mandarin is defined in Wikipedia:

    The phonology is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin Chinese, a large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern, central and southwestern China. The vocabulary is largely drawn from this group of dialects. The grammar is standardized to the body of modern literary works that define Vernacular Chinese, the colloquial Mandarin alternative to Classical Chinese.

  • hahaha

    somehow I got the feeling this article originates from one’s refusal to master a language properly (be it English, which happens to be a much easier language to achieve basic proficiency, or Mandarin, or any other language).

  • terence

    wow Xin, I feel soooo guilty.

  • Andy Loh

    Mandarin is the language spoken by the people in the Northern part of China where Beijing is. So one cannot say it is a foreign language. Of course, since it is spoken by the people in the North, people outside China also use it.

  • Andy Loh

    Confucius may have spoken a language that is not Mandarin, but he lived long before China became one country, which is more than 2000 years ago. When Chin Ser Huang came to power, he united China, started the Chin Dynasty and abolished all the languages used in the government service of the previous smaller kingdoms. He introduced Mandarin as the official language to be used officially in China and discouraged the use of the other languages. He also introduced a standard form of writing for the Chinese language, which was in used for 2000 years until recently when “Jian Ti Zi” was introduced.

  • sh

    @ Xin: And I’m supposed to take your wikipedia quote as gospel truth?

    @ Fox: Might help if your ‘essential facts’ came with some ‘essential citations’ too. Just so clueless people like us wouldn’t mistakenly think that the Chinese spoke different dialects at each point in history, with Mandarin being a very modern variant.

    Btw, mother tongue is synonymous with ‘native language’, not ‘first language’. Is your mother tongue British English Sir Fox?

  • terence

    @Fox wait till you see part 2. haha.

    • Fox

      Do you have a humour section in New Nation? I think that is where this article belongs. Obviously, the facts in part one are totally off. It is either that or you’ve made a very poor judgement in picking this article to be published as a current affairs piece.

      I think New Nation can do better than this.

      • terence

        @Fox

        new nation is not like TOC, TR, or even the mainstream press. we don’t take ourselves too seriously. besides, i believe teng leong and ernest have made it clear this article is meant to be take with a pinch of salt.

        • Fox

          Even if the article was meant to be lighthearted, does it mean that one can play fast and loose with the facts?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Ho Ho Ho!!! My dear folksies!!!

    I totally disagree with Fox (why are my detractors afraid of displaying their real names?). He gives his personal opinions without references. Now, let me give you a little lesson on the Master’s teachings. Oh, I’m so sorry. Confucian scholars usually refer to Confucius as “the Master” and I should have made myself clearer since most folks can’t even spell “Analects”. Haha.

    It’s absolutely incorrect to say that the Master came from a Mandarin-speaking province. We must always remember that a province may today be Mandarin-speaking (we all know how brutally determined the Communist regime is in ramming Mandarin down everyone’s throats whatever province one may come from) but at the time of the Master, a Southern dialect could very well have been the only language spoken. This is probably true of the Master’s hometown.

    But what dialect might the Master have spoken? I accept that this is a question that is never free of dispute but there are some clues that may shed some light on what dialect the Master probably spoke in those glorious days when the Master walked the surface of our planet.

    In the Analects, there is a discourse between Mang Wu and the Master on filial piety. There are some serious textual problems in rendering some of the verses into Mandarin because the idioms, rhyme and general linguistic flow do not fit properly. However, one may read the Analects in its entirety in Hokkien (notably, Penang Hokkien) without the slightest hitch. What does that tell us?

    Let me end with an ancient Hokkien blessing: May your lychees ripen in Spring and may the Spirits of the Min River cast their blessings upon you and yours!

    • Fox

      Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, is part of the Mandarin-speaking regions in North China and has been so even before the Qing dynasty collapsed. Do you dispute this fact?

  • William Lee

    @Lim Teng Leong

    stop being a fool and tell us:

    1. who are the “some” who said that Confucius “probably spoke an ancient form of Cantonese.”

    2. what is the “reason” that make you believe it “was more probably the precursor of our present-day Hokkien.”

    @Terence, yes man, can’t wait to see Part II.

  • Fox

    Shandong, as with most of North China, was Mandarin-speaking for a long long time even before the communists took over.

    Confucius did not speak Mandarin or Hokkien or Cantonese or any other modern Chinese language simply because those languages did not exist during his time. He spoke Old Chinese, the Chinese language of his time. Old Chinese in Shandong probably evolved into Middle Chinese, then proto-Mandarin and then Mandarin. Phonologically, Mandarin is less conservative than other Sinitic languages. It has lost the endings -t -p -k plus a lot of other sounds. This is not to say that other Sinitic languages such as Hokkien and Cantonese have preserved the phonology perfectly. They have lost the retroflex consonants and other sounds.

    Hokkien is very different. Old Chinese in the Min area probably evolved into a sister language of Middle Chinese before evolving into the Min languages (Minnan, Minbei, Mindong, etc). The Min languages diverged from the main body of Sinitic languages very early on in history.

  • Fox

    “In the Analects, there is a discourse between Mang Wu and the Master on filial piety. There are some serious textual problems in rendering some of the verses into Mandarin because the idioms, rhyme and general linguistic flow do not fit properly. However, one may read the Analects in its entirety in Hokkien (notably, Penang Hokkien) without the slightest hitch. What does that tell us?”

    It tells us that Mandarin is phonologically less conservative than Hokkien. Japanese Kanbun pronunciation of Chinese characters is also quite conservative phonologically but this doesn’t mean that Japanese is more closely related to Old Chinese than Mandarin is.

  • Fox

    @Andy Loh,

    Qinshihuang did not introduce Mandarin. There was no Mandarin during his time. Qinshihuang probably spoke Old Chinese or some dialectal variant of it. Mandarin simply evolved from of the Middle Chinese dialects spoken in North China.

  • Fox

    @sh,

    “Might help if your ‘essential facts’ came with some ‘essential citations’ too. Just so clueless people like us wouldn’t mistakenly think that the Chinese spoke different dialects at each point in history, with Mandarin being a very modern variant.”

    The point to realize is that Mandarin is as modern as Hokkien. It is a daughter language of Old Chinese like Hokkien. Languages evolved but they can be more/less conservative in certain aspects. Mandarin is less conservative in its certain aspects of its phonology.

    Btw, mother tongue is synonymous with ‘native language’, not ‘first language’. Is your mother tongue British English Sir Fox?

    No. My mother tongue is Singlish and Mandarin. My father’s mother tongue is Hokkien and Mandarin. In other words, I grew up speaking Singlish and Mandarin but my father grew up speaking Hokkien and Mandarin. My grandfather’s mother tongue is Hokkien because he grew up speaking Hokkien.

    Ancestry has absolutely nothing to do with your mother tongue. It is quite common for people to switch mother tongues in a few generations. Most 2nd generation British Asians speak English as their mother tongue. Richard Li (Li Ka Shing’s son) speaks Cantonese as his mother tongue even though his father hails from Shantou. Many Malay-Singaporeans speak Malay as their mother tongue even if they are of Javanese descent. Zinedine Zidane’s mother tongue is French even though his parents came from Morocco.

  • Ernest Beamers

    Yo! I have read Teng’s original article in his very entertaining blog (see http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ ) and I must say it’s extremely humorous and is the sort of article that will grace top newspapers but it’s wrongly classified here as “Current Affairs”. If you read the full article (without having it split into Parts 1 and 2), you will see that it’s meant to be lighthearted and playful and indeed it is. It had me roaring with laughter and my English teacher who was quite impressed with the article will be using some of Teng’s articles including this when he teaches literary style, subject of course to copyright, etc. Mind, my school is the top school in England. Anyone who fails to see the humour of the article and who asks for research to be done on the subject is obviously a moron. You need to go back to school and read more English books.

    Like Teng, I’m suspicious of people who are too ashamed of themselves to give their full names. They need to go for therapy to help them accept themselves for what they are. If you’re Chinese, you ought to give your full Chinese name. I know many who pluck some Christian name and fix it to their family name so nobody will really know who they are because there are probably a million John Wangs. Be sane, folks, accept yourselves and learn to laugh a little and you’ll find yourselves liberated.

    • ahkow

      @Ernest Beamer: As much as it is lighthearted and playful, and expresses pride in a language that is very often marginalized, Lim’s article presents certain claims that are not backed up as facts. That’s what the commenters above are trying to say. All the more so if you took time to look at Part 2 (http://newnation.sg/2011/02/mandarin-is-not-my-mother-tongue-part-two/), where he makes several claims about Hokkien and Mandarin that are puzzling.

      Let us examine one of the claims
      “For example, “tang” can be sugar or soup, depending on how you voice it. True, Southern dialects too are tonal but because we have an adequate supply of consonants that can begin and end a syllable, our tones add more to the melody of our speech. The tone is more like a flavour enhancer in Hokkien.”

      In an earlier claim Lim argues that Mandarin developed tones to compensate for what would otherwise be homophony (e.g. if there were no tones, you wouldn’t be able to tell what “tang” was referring to outside of the context). In the above claim, he admits that Southern dialects are tonal, but says that tones are mainly superficial, for “flavour”. But that’s not quite true: tones in Southern dialects are necessary for disambiguation — you still can’t muck up the tones to express anger or joy, for instance.

      He also suggests, in all sincerity, that Confucius probably spoke a form of Hokkien. Not to deny him the right to have his own opinion, but that’s probably like saying that the Buddha spoke a kind of Hindi (to pick another figure from a similar era) — probably not quite the case. Most linguists specializing in historical Chinese phonology tend to adopt a version of tonogenesis as a result of lost final consonants, and that there were probably no tones in the variety of Chinese spoken by Confucius. (Of course, they could be wrong, since no one has a recording of Confucius.) (see http://xiang.free.fr/leiden-en.pdf for a detailed discussion of the sound systems in ancient Chinese, and see p. 29 for a reconstruction of how a poem in Confucius’ time might have sounded.)

      Ernest, I appreciate your telling us to lighten up, but there have been so many myths and accusations made about language and culture in Singapore, and we don’t need more misguided portrayals of language, no matter how well-intentioned they are.

      • ahkow

        Sorry for getting your last name wrong. Should have proof-read more carefully.

  • Pingback: Mandarin is not my mother tongue (part two) « New Nation

  • Ernest Beamers

    ahkow, you miss the point totally. This article and Part 2 are taken from Lim’s original article in his blog here: http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/2011/01/mandarin-is-not-my-mother-tongue.html

    If you look at the blog in its totality, you’ll see that it’s not meant to be an academic discourse on the Chinese languages. What he says about Confuscius is obviously not to be taken seriously. You just know when you read the article that this is a humorous take on the language dispute in the Far East. I’ve read how Hong Kong citizens resisted the use of Mandarin when Hong Kong left our rule for China’s. The poem at the end of the article doesn’t mean much to me but I bet that those who know more about Chinese culture and Chinese cakes will know it’s fake – I can just tell from the tenor that it’s probably so. If it’s clear to me as someone alien to Chinese culture and language that this article is humorous and should not be read like an academic article, how is it that people who share his culture are unable to notice this and you guys go into great detail to show the article is wrong factually? Are the people in your country so lacking in humour?

    • Fox

      Of course, we know that the second part of the article was meant to be taken tongue in cheek but the first part could easily pass itself off as a serious article written by a very misinformed individual. The claim of Mandarin being imposed by communist does not appear to be part of the satire and yet it does appear that the author takes the claim seriously.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Hi Ernest,

    There are a lot of people in my country who can be objective and can see the humour in the article but there is a segment here who view the Mandarin language with a great deal of reverence. These are people who probably grew up in humourless homes and had to say the San Zi Jing with clasped hands before a meal.

    One of our Government chaps once remarked that the weightage for Mandarin in the national examinations for children aged 12 would be lowered and that was enough for him to be brought low, so sacred is Mandarin held in the esteem of that segment of Singapore society. As I have said in my article, it’s hilarious because these very same people would be slaughtered in their ancestral village if they were to speak Mandarin there as recently as the 19th century. They have adopted as their mother tongue that which their ancestors regarded with so much loathing and contempt that they were prepared to kill the speakers of such a dialect. Don’t you think it’s funny? They worship Mandarin today but if they were to speak it in the home of their ancestors just slightly more than a hundred years ago, they’d be killed as traitors. Don’t you think it’s idiotic to consider Mandarin one’s mother tongue under such circumstances and to worship it as if one’s ethnicity depends on it?

    • Fox

      Teng Leong,

      Humour, if appropriately done, is always good but the point was that you were throwing supposed facts around and adding to the fog of confusion that surrounds this issue. You know perfectly well that people are touchy about the role of Chinese in our school system. What people need is edification, not senseless humour that adds to the confusion in the debate.

      There will be a segment of Singapore society who will be prepared to accept your article at face value and then go out and promulgate the idea that Mandarin was something imposed by the communists. Inevitably, at some point in the debate, they will lose the debate and be discredited simply because they are not in full possession of the facts.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox, they won’t be defeated in the debate. That’s because if you strip away the humour my point still holds – there is no earthly reason why Mandarin should be forced down their throats. It’s amazing what docile creatures we are when a dialect that is so hated by our ancestors that we’d be lynched in our ancestral villages had we spoken it 150 years ago should be deemed our mother tongue today. Do you see the idiocy of this? Do you see why we should have the liberty to say no to Mandarin?

    That is the part I’m serious about. Forget what language Confucius spoke in. Ignore the humour about sand storm and the origin of Mandarin in the Gobi desert. The fact remains that Mandarin is not a dialect that you should force people to speak just because they’re Chinese. There is some truth that Communism facilitated the spread of Mandarin. Without Communism, I very much doubt that the Southern provinces would have been cowed into accepting the Northern dialect. See how tenaciously Hong Kong held on to its Cantonese right up to 1997. Since Communist China took over the island, it’s slowly giving in to Mandarin and not without a struggle.

    It’s not senseless humour. I think people should be free to reject Mandarin. Mandarin is not just an alien language to our ancestors. It’s a hated language – the language of enemies and traitors.

    On this first day of the Chinese New Year, let’s all honour our ancestors by saying NO to Mandarin! :)

    • Fox

      1. 150 years is the equivalent of roughly 6 generations which means that your had 64 ancestors 150 years. Are you sure all 64 ancestors of yours from 6 generations ago spoke Hokkien? No Cantonese, no Hakka, no Hockchew, no Teochew, no Ningbohua, no Mandarin, etc?

      2. Can you give me the source of your claim that 150 years ago people were lynched in the south for speaking Mandarin?

      3. If Mandarin was imposed by the communists, then why is Mandarin the most commonly spoken language in Taiwan?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox, I’m pretty sure that whatever dialect my ancestors spoke, they didn’t speak a word of the Beijing dialect. The Beijing dialect was a despised and hated dialect in the Southern provinces where my ancestors (and yours too) came from.

    I do know for a fact that there were various rebellions that started from Southern China against the Manchu emperor. Of particular importance is the Taiping Rebellion. In all these rebellions, Mandarin-speakers would be killed because quite naturally, they would be regarded as traitors from the North. I have many sources for this but the one that immediately comes to mind at this moment is C.Y. Hsu’s _The Rise of Modern China_.

    Looks like I’m the only one who gives the source for my comments. I note that you have not given a single source to many of your wild claims despite being asked to do so by various people on this thread. Ultimately, we have to confront the truth that’s staring us in the face – Mandarin is a dialect our ancestors hated with all their hearts as the language of traitors from the North. To consider Mandarin our mother tongue is not only erroneous, it’s outrageous. And what is more, it’s a grave dishonour to our ancestors. This is something no true Chinese person who has the slightest respect for Confucius would ever do.

  • Fox

    What wild claims did I make? That Confucius spoke Old Chinese? That Mandarin is spoken in North and SW China and the first language of 70 percent Han Chinese in China?

    These are well-known facts about Chinese linguistics. You can find them in tomes such Ramsey’s The Languages of China.

    Also, it is erroneous to say that Mandarin is not native to South China. There are parts of South China where Mandarin dialects are spoken as native tongues: parts of Hunan, parts of Jiangxi, most of Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, etc. It is also erroneous to say that Mandarin is the Beijing dialect. Mandarin is the native language of over 70 percent of China. Mandarin was decided as the national language of China by the KMT, long before the Communist took over China, because Mandarin was the most widely spoken language even in South China. There are approximately 200 million SW Mandarin speakers.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox, I’m sorry I cannot accept your claim that Mandarin is the first language to 70% of all Han Chinese. You must be specific. At which point in time are you talking about? Of course with Communist rule, they have changed the first language of most Chinese people in China. That’s precisely what I was talking about in my blog. Show me your source – be specific and show me what time period you are talking about – before or after Commie rule? Show me your source that Mandarin was decided by the KMT to be the national language of China. Even if it were so, it doesn’t alter the fact that it’s an alien language to most of us and not just an alien language but a despised and hated language to our ancestors.

    • Fox

      Claims:

      1. Mandarin is the first language of Chinese people in more than 70 percent of Han Chinese population by the end of the Qing dynasty.

      Sources: Ramsey’s The Languages of China, Kurpaska’s Chinese Languages, Wikipedia page on Mandarin Chinese, etc.

      2. Mandarin was picked as the national language of China before 1949.

      Sources: See sources for claim 1.

      Also refer to http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/DeFr1950.html

    • Fox

      Here is an excerpt from Kurpaska’s The Chinese Languages:


      In 1936, in his work entitled Zhongguo Yinyunxue27 (Wang Li
      1936), Wang Li introduced a new classification of the Chinese dialects. On the basis of phonetic criteria he divided the Chinese dialects into 5 groups, similar to the ones in The Christian Occupation of China (see Chapter 5.2.3.). Not only does he give a detailed description, but he also lists the characteristics of each group and selects cities, each with its phonetic system
      regarded as representative for each of the groups. Wang himself states,that “until scientific research has been carried out throughout the country, we are not able to say exactly how many dialects of Chinese there are; however, the dialects can be roughly divided into five big phonetic groups”
      (Wang Li 1982: 563) in the following way:28
      1. Mandarin group

      • Fox

        This Chinese characters messed up the formatting of the last post. It should read:

        Here is an excerpt from Kurpaska’s The Chinese Languages:

        In 1936, in his work entitled Zhongguo Yinyunxue27 (Wang Li
        1936), Wang Li introduced a new classification of the Chinese dialects. On the basis of phonetic criteria he divided the Chinese dialects into 5 groups, similar to the ones in The Christian Occupation of China (see Chapter 5.2.3.). Not only does he give a detailed description, but he also lists the characteristics of each group and selects cities, each with its phonetic system regarded as representative for each of the groups. Wang himself states,that “until scientific research has been carried out throughout the country, we are not able to say exactly how many dialects of Chinese there are; however, the dialects can be roughly divided into five big phonetic groups”
        (Wang Li 1982: 563) in the following way:28
        1. Mandarin group including Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Anhui Provinces, as well as the northern part of Jiangsu, the northern part of Jiangxi and the northern part of Guangxi Provinces.

        Note that Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Guangxi are all in South China (south of the Yangtze river).

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    My dear Fox (I wish you would use your full name and I do mean your full Chinese name and not hide behind a pseudonym),

    Your argument is totally flawed. In the first place, the provinces you listed are not truly Southern China. Next, you are talking about someone’s groupings of the dialect. He divides the dialects into broadly 5 groupings. He chooses to call a GROUP of dialects as the Mandarin group. That does not mean Mandarin. Without a full explanation of what dialects the “Mandarin” group comprises, it’s impossible to pursue your argument further. I’ve been to Sichuan and some of the other places you claim to be Southern China and their native dialects are certainly not Mandarin even if the person you quote chooses to group them together as the “Mandarin” group.

    Anyone can group dialects together in any way he pleases but ultimately, Fox (oh, do use your real name; we should all be proud of our Chinese names that have their roots in antiquity, shouldn’t we?), if you were to enter a time machine and go to your ancestral village 150 years ago, you would be killed as a traitor if you were to speak in Mandarin. An academic can go so far as to group your dialect as a “Mandarin” group for all I care but that doesn’t alter the fact that you’d be lynched if you spoke Mandarin in your ancestral village 150 years ago.

    • Fox

      Hunan is not in South China? Sichuan is not in South China? Guizhou is not in South China? Yunnan is not in South China? Jiangxi is not in South China? Guangxi is not in South China?

      You seriously need to go read a book on Chinese linguistics. You have no idea what are the definitions used in academia. That you do not even accept the fact that Mandarin has been spoken over vast swaths of North and South China for centuries betrays your ignorance of the linguistic history and landscape of China.

      There is a department of Chinese language and literature in NUS. Please feel free to ask any one of the academics there how extent Mandarin (官话) was before the fall of the Qing dynasty. By the way, please also ask them for the commonly accepted historical definition of South China (南方).

      There’s really no point for me to keep arguing this point with you.

      Also, I’ve never claimed that my ancestors spoke Mandarin.

    • Fox

      Please look at this fricking map:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:China_ling_90.jpg

      Notice the yellow parts go all the way down south to Yunnan.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox (again, can we be proud of our wonderful ancient names? Can you use a real name that hails from the Tang Dynasty or older?), the map doesn’t mean a thing. Of course today, Mandarin can spread as much as the Commies want it to spread but I’m talking about the original dialect of a particular region. Again, you have ignored what I’ve said about the groupings of dialects. You mentioned “Mandarin” group and incorporated an unspecified number of dialects within the group. You don’t even seem to know how many dialects the Mandarin group is supposed to consist of. Your argument is now verging on the preposterous. You are effectively saying that Mandarin is an original Southern dialect as much as it is the Northern dialect. That is absolutely incorrect.

    The Commies have been very successful in making us Chinese accept the Northern tongue as if it were our own language when it is in fact an alien tongue. That is the reason why many Chinese folks are willing to fight tooth and nail to defend the Northern dialect even if it means coming up with preposterous arguments. I’m sorry if it sounds abrasive but to say that Mandarin is indigenously Southern is pure nonsense.

    Mandarin is precisely what we must reject if we want to remain true to our ancestors.

    As we Hokkiens used to say in the 19th century, “The sword to my throat if I should so much as utter a word of the Northern dialect”.

    • Fox

      Mandarin is a group of closely related dialects. Standard Mandarin, which is the one we learn in school, is one of those dialects. Beijinghua is related but not identical to Standard Mandarin. Standard Mandarin is a ‘designed’ language whose pronunciation, grammar and lexicon are based on ALL Mandarin dialects.

      Mandarin is indigenous to parts of South China. It is indigenous to Yunnan, Sichuan, northern Hunan, northern Jiangxi, etc. In other words, the people living in those places speak a variant of Mandarin as their first language. Their grandparents also spoke it as their first language. Dialectology surveys in China carried out at the beginning of the 20th century BEFORE 1949 have shown that to be so. Southwestern Mandarin had and has MORE speakers than Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, etc.

      You’re being utterly dishonest with the facts. As if using one’s real name would change the facts.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox old chap (now, using your real name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym would help improve your credibility but I think you have need to hide your real identity because you are simply talking rot here), you persistently refuse to see the truth. Why is that so? Are you flagrantly dishonest? I don’t think so. I think you’re just trapped in the web of deceit spun by the Commies from Red China who are constantly marching and shaking the Little Red Book at anyone they meet.

    Let me try to set you free from this Commie nonsense. Let me accept the Commie lies just for the sake of argument – let’s assume it’s true that the Mandarin GROUP extends to South China as the Commies will have you believe. We all know it’s very easy to do that – just name some South China dialects as a part of the Mandarin group but pick Mandarin Mandarin as the national language and all the unwashed masses will view this as perfectly acceptable. But let me go along with the unwashed masses just for the sake of argument. As you have rightly acknowledged, your ancestors didn’t speak Mandarin. Neither did mine. Neither did the ancestors of all our wonderful countrymen in Singapore and Malaysia. That’s enough for all of us to say that Mandarin is NOT our language.

    Mandarin is not just NOT our language. It’s the despised and hated language of TRAITORS AND CRIMINALS. At least that is as far as our ancestors are concerned. Our ancestors would rather have us speaking Urdu than this abominable Northern tongue.

    You’ve got to deal with it, Fox (sheesh, I wish I could address a real person and not an animal persona). You’ve got to accept this whether you like it or not. You may wish to continue the Commie untruth and pretend that Mandarin is indigenous to the South. You may refuse to see what deception this whole thing is and how dishonest it is to incorporate some Southern dialects into the “Mandarin group” and yet these dialects are marginalised and discarded and the Northern dialect is adopted. It’s disingenuous of the Commies to mislead you into believing that the Beijing dialect isn’t Mandarin.

    Scholastic books on Chinese don’t agree with you. For simplicity, I’ll just quote wikipedia:

    “The name “Mandarin” originally referred to the language of the imperial court in Beijing, as thus was a synonym for Modern Standard Chinese, but it became ambiguous as use was extended to the various NORTHERN dialects of Chinese.” (emphasis mine).

    Now, what you have done to add to the ambiguity and fog of confusion is to extend Mandarin to South China as well. Do you see how wrong you are and how much you have fallen into the Commie lies?

    • Fox

      You have a particular fixation on the notion that Hokkien-speaking people were anti-Northern in the 19th century. This is not true. The Taiping rebellion was divided along class, not linguistic lines. The scholarly gentry and the merchant class in Fujian and other provinces of South China were dead against the Taiping rebellion.

      Also, the Taiping rebellion begin in Guangxi, a province in parts of which Mandarin was spoken as an indigenous language. The capital of the Taiping kingdom was Nanjing, a Mandarin-speaking city.

    • Fox

      Classification of the languages of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guangxi as being part of the Mandarin group was done, LONG BEFORE the communists took over, by dialectologists, some of whom were from the WEST (Germany, France, US). The similarity of the common language in Yunnan with the languages in the northern provinces was noticed by Chinese-speaking WESTERN missionaries in the EARLY 20th century.

    • Fox

      “Scholastic books on Chinese don’t agree with you.”

      They don’t agree with me that Mandarin is the indigenous language of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, etc? Please cite me your source. Kurpaska’s Chinese Languages classifies those languages as Mandarin. So does Ramsey’s The Languages of China.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    I’m sorry but you are totally wrong again. Nanjing is NOT Mandarin. In fact, if you have read my article carefully (I hear they are going to make my article required reading for 1st Year students in the Chinese Department of NUS; haha!), you will see that the Nanjing dialect was a fierce contender for the national language. I argued that the Nanjing dialect was in fact the language that held sway over the top officials and literati of China up to the early 20th century.

    Of course if you throw the Nanjing dialect into the category of your “Mandarin group”, you will have a different story. Do you see what you are doing? When it suits your purpose, you consider other dialects including some Southern dialects and the Nanjing dialect as dialects within the “Mandarin group”. But are these dialects accorded the same recognition as the guoyi (national language)? No, they are not. So what you are doing is to consider them a part of Mandarin when it pleases you so that you can claim that 70% of Han Chinese speak “Mandarin” and then when it comes to choosing the guoyi, you agree with the Commies that only the Beijing hua will be the guoyi and they make some small insignificant changes to the guoyi and claim that it’s not identical to the Beijing hua. Can you see that? Can you see how dishonest that is? Can you distance yourself from the Commies who are unscrupulous knaves to whom truth does not mean a thing and the end always justifies the means?

    • Fox

      The Nanjing dialect is classified as a Mandarin dialect in virtually every book on the linguistic landscape of China, books written by Western linguists. Nanjinghua is very closely related to Beijinghua in terms of lexis, grammar and pronunciation. Nanjinghua is mutually intelligible with Beijinghua.

      Jackie Chan’s father was raised in pre-WW2 Nanjing and had only two years of primary school education. You can listen to him talking in Nanjinghua in this Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O54kF3nQZYM

      Any idiot can tell that he is speaking Mandarin.

      • Fox

        You can listen to Jackie Chan’s father speech 3:35 minutes into the above video. Anyone here thinks he is NOT speaking Mandarin?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    What does that prove? Nothing. Even if the Nanjing dialect is close enough to Beijing hua, it does not alter the fact that Mandarin is an alien language to ALL the Chinese people of Singapore and Malaysia. Mandarin is as alien to us as it is to the Tibetans.

    That’s all that matters to us. We should join hands with the Tibetans and say NO to Mandarin.

    As we used to say in Hokkien, I’d sooner speak 10 words in Manchurian than utter a single word of the Northern tongue.

    • Fox

      It proves that you know nothing about Chinese linguistics, nothing at all.

      The best part is you feel qualified to pontificate to your fellow Singaporeans about what one’s mother tongue should be, without knowing all the necessary facts.

      Win already lor.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    What outrageous foxy nerve you have! Claiming victory when you have been ignominiously defeated. It’s amazing how you can ignore the truth that you yourself have admitted – Mandarin is not your mother tongue just as it is not mine and neither is it the mother tongue of all Chinese people in Singapore and Malaysia. Mandarin is as alien to you, me and the rest of our countrymen as Urdu is. Of course that is a point you refuse to acknowledge even though you have admitted in an earlier post that your grandfather could only speak Hokkien.

    Look at the title of this article (which is the same as the original article in my blog): Mandarin is not my mother tongue. I have shown all the evidence that this is so and you yourself have admitted it. The only problem is you have spun a web of nonsense about Mandarin and OTHER Chinese people which is totally irrelevant to the subject matter at hand.

    Not only have you been thoroughly defeated, you have also led your readers up the garden path only to show them that everything you have so far posted is nothing more than irrelevant dross. As far as this debate goes, I have skinned the fox, skewered it and barbecued it. But I’m not going to eat it – its flesh is tough with the fibrous warts of error and ignorance.

    I have wasted my time arguing with a puny first-year student from the Chinese Dept of NUS.

    • Fox

      I’m pretty sure Mandarin is not alien to my ancestors because proficiency in Guanhua was required of the scholar gentry and I have at least one distant ancestor in the 18th century who passed the provincial exam.

      Furthermore, internal and external migration occurs all the time in China and I don’t believe that I am the only person in my family history who speaks a first language different from that of his/her grandfather. Unlike you, I do not hold on to the notion that everyone in the same family spoke the same language. To see how ridiculous that notion, just imagine what the situation was like 300 years or 12 generations ago. You would have had 2048 male and 2048 female ancestors. It is very likely that NOT all of them spoken Hokkien. Some of them could have spoken Cantonese, Hockchew , Hakka, Wu, etc, languages every bit as alien to Hokkien as Mandarin is.

      If some of them could have descendants that chose to use Hokkien as their monther tongue, then why is it so grave a sin for others to use Mandarin as their mother tongues?

    • Fox

      What I learned from Teng Leong:

      1. Mandarin is as alien as Urdu. (Except that Mandarin is in the same language family as Hokkien, not Urdu.)
      2. Nanjinghua is not closely related to Beijinghua. (Both are essentially the same according to most Sinolinguistic experts who are bereft of Teng Leong’s folksy wisdom)
      3. The Taiping rebellion was made up entirely of non-Mandarin speakers. (Except that it started in Guangxi, a province with native Mandarin speakers and had its capital in Nanjing, another Mandarin speaking city.)
      4. The Taiping rebellion was inspired along linguistic lines. (See the previous point.)
      5. You would have been lynched as a Mandarin speaker during the Taiping rebellion. (If you had been the Hokkien-speaking pro-government magistrate, you would have been lynched too. Strangely enough, Nanjing residents were not lynched en masse.)
      6. Mandarin is not spoken in South China indigenously. (Except by the 200 million people living in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, etc.)
      7. Mandarin was imposed on China by the Communists. (And in Communist-ruled Taiwan too and early 20th century Republic of China under the presidencies of Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek.)
      8. Mandarin was not spoken by our ancestors in Singapore. (The people who learned it in the various Chinese-medium schools at the turn of the century obviously left no descendants in Singapore.)

    • Fox

      Teng Leong,

      Whoever said that Mandarin wasn’t my mother tongue? Like most middle-class HDB-dwelling Chinese Singaporeans of my generation, I grew up speaking Singlish and Mandarin as my first language. I am also conversant in Hokkien and some Cantonese. Mandarin is not alien to me at all. Because I am settled in the States, someday my children will have English as their mother tongue.

      I’ve pointed out this before: from a linguistic point of view, a person’s mother tongue has *nothing* to do with his or her ancestry. It is the language/s that he/she grew up speaking which is almost always a consequence of their social environment. Insisting a person’s mother tongue is Mandarin when he grew up speaking English is as erroneous as insisting his mother tongue is Hokkien when he grew up speaking Mandarin.

      If you didn’t grow up speaking Mandarin, yeah, then Mandarin is not your mother tongue. No one is disputing that. I don’t want to shove it down your throat. But many people in Singapore/Malaysia did grow up speaking Mandarin as their first language and it is their mother tongue.

      I’ve always found this use of Hokkien as an excuse to avoid learning Mandarin despicable. Not the avoidance of learning Mandarin but the use of Hokkien as an excuse. Most Singaporeans that I know who speak both Hokkien and Mandarin don’t think that there is any antagonistic relationship between the two. It is almost rare to find born and bred Singaporeans under 40 who are conversant in Hokkien but not in Mandarin. Those who speak Hokkien fluently almost always perfectly conversant in Mandarin.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Fox, I don’t want to waste my time talking to some half-baked student who’s not familiar with Chinese history, language and culture. You are trying to change history but most of the readers here are too knowledgeable to fall prey to your nonsense.

    Just look at Hong Kong. Up to the end of the 20th century, nobody knew Mandarin. Everyone studied Cantonese in schools, etc. Even today, they are struggling with broken Mandarin.

    I’m tired of your rubbish and I’m not going to continue discussing with an ignoramus like you. After all, you are a troll with a ridiculous animal persona. Fox, you just run into some bushes where you belong and hide there and leave this cultivated Chinese gentleman to read Hokkien poetry which is probably Greek to you, you foolish peasant. Don’t make up stories about scholars in your ancestry – you don’t even dare to reveal your identity and from what I know of you, I’m sure you come from a long line of ignoramuses. Since you are too ashamed of your real name and take on this animal persona, I suggest you scamper into some foxhole and stay there.

    • Fox

      Name me one factual claim in this exchange that I have been proven wrong.

    • Fox

      Whoever said that HK was Mandarin-speaking? Everyone knows that it is Cantonese-speaking. Just as you had mentioned, everyone in HK studied Cantonese, regardless of their ancestry. Li Ka-Shing’s sons were made to study Cantonese even though their father came from Shantou. Jackie Chan studied Cantonese even though his father was born in Shandong. Tung Chee Hwa studied Cantonese even though he was born in Shanghai. Raymond Lam, the actor, studied Cantonese in school even though he was born in Xiamen.

      Can you see the similarity in the Chinese language policies of HK and Singapore?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    By the same token, Singapore should have used Hokkien instead of Mandarin just as Hong Kong schools taught in Cantonese. You seem to get your analogy all wrong.

    Like I’ve said, there’s no point talking to you. Your arguments are totally irrelevant. You have admitted that Mandarin is not the language of all of us in Singapore and Malaysia and that’s all that matters. In an argument, you must always be relevant. The trouble with you is you don’t know the meaning of relevance and you go on and on in a manner that is so tiresome.

    Mandarin is not the language of Singaporean Chinese. Neither is it the language of Hong Kongers. Hong Kong schools taught Cantonese. Singaporean schools should teach Hokkien instead of Mandarin. If Jackie Chan comes to Singapore, his child should study Hokkien too. So, stop being ridiculous by giving examples that do not support your argument. In other words, don’t give examples just to show your skimpy knowledge. Be relevant! I really don’t know why I continue to talk to a troll with an animal persona.

    • Fox

      “Singaporean schools should teach Hokkien instead of Mandarin.”

      NOW it’s okay with you to make people study Hokkien even if their ancestors did not speak it but it is not okay for people to study Mandarin even though their ancestors spoke Hokkien?

      • Fox

        Corrections:

        NOW it’s okay with you to make people study Hokkien even if their ancestors did not speak it but it is not okay for people to study Mandarin if their ancestors spoke Hokkien?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    No, that’s not what I meant although in my haste, it does seem as if I meant to force the language of the majority on a minority.

    I meant to show you how ridiculous your analogies and examples are. They don’t support your argument at all. I wanted to show you that your example of Hong Kong if applied to Singapore could only mean that the medium of instruction in our schools should be Hokkien. Whatever it may be, having Mandarin as our mother tongue is totally wrong.

    • Fox

      The last time I checked, people of Hokkien-speaking ancestry don’t constitute the ‘majority’ in Malaysia/Singapore Chinese population.

      Also, Mandarin has been the medium of instruction in Chinese schools since the early 20th century in Malaya and Singapore. Your connecting of Mandarin-based Chinese education to the Communist Party of China simply holds no water.

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Obviously your checking is as flawed as your arguments. Hokkiens constitute 41% of the Chinese population in Singapore. See the info from the National Library Board about the 2000 census: http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_1498_2009-04-09.html

    What is your source that Mandarin was taught in Singaporean schools before 1949? No source again?

    • Fox

      I think your understanding of the meaning of ‘majority’, which is commonly taken to mean more than 50 percent, is at variance with most people’s.

      Taken from: http://countrystudies.us/singapore/20.htm

      “The promotion of Mandarin as a common Chinese language dates back to the early years of the century, when it was associated with the rise of Chinese nationalism and the foundation of Chinese schools. Learning Mandarin would, it was argued, permit all Chinese to communicate in their “mother tongue,” be useful for doing business with China, and, perhaps most important, promote traditional Chinese values.”

      Maybe the dreaded Chinese Communists took over Singapore in the early twentieth century?

  • http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/ Lim Teng Leong

    Are you being wilfully stupid? This is what the passage says:
    “The Hokkien community is the largest Chinese dialect group in Singapore. According to the 2000 Singapore census, Hokkiens constituted 41% of the Chinese population in the country.”

    With Hokkiens constituting 41% of the Chinese population, they are the largest group within the Chinese community. Are you suggesting that there is another group that is more than 41%? You know perfectly well that but you are just being obstinate in your stupidity and you are playing childish games. You can afford to do so because you are anonymous, you dastardly knave! You can go on posting your moronic rubbish on this thread but I’m not going to give you the courtesy of a reply. I’m sick and tired of your imbecility and you can afford to do so because you are an anonymous fool. Goodbye Fox for good!

    • Fox

      41 percent does not constitute a majority. I was very precise in my assertion that they did not and still do not constitute the majority.

      Furthermore, my reference was to the combined Malaysia/Singapore Chinese population. In Malaysia, Hokkiens only make up 1.8 out of 8 million according to the 2000 census. If you include the Singaporean Chinese population, there would be about 2.8 million people of Hokkien ancestry out of a total of 10.5 million people.

      Hokkiens make up less than 30 percent of the combined population. They may be the largest group but they faaaaaaar from being the majority, even in Singapore.

  • Ernest Beamers

    Hey Teng, you are absolutely right. You’re engaging in an argument with an anonymous troll. I mean you’re obviously honest and arguing in good faith but the anonymous troll is precisely that – a cowardly troll who goes by the name of an animal. Obviously he calls himself “fox” for a reason. He’s deceptive; he’s foxy. And there you are honestly showing a pic of yourself and displaying your full honest name. Fox can afford to be stupid in his arguments. He’s hiding behind his fake name. You can’t. We can literally see you from head to toes and we know your name! So, just ignore that troll. But he will still try to bait you. Just ignore him. I’ll patrol this thread and give him a piece of my mind every time he tries to say something. What an obnoxious coward he is – afraid to reveal his real name and yet he makes really stupid comments. Begone troll!

    • Fox

      I’ve issued the challenge to Teng Leong to disprove any single one of my claims. I’ve repeatedly shown that many of Teng Leong’s claims (Mandarin not being indigenous to South China, Mandarin being imposed by the Communists in China, Mandarin not being the native language of 70 percent of Han Chinese in China, Nanjinghua not being a Mandarin dialect, etc) to be false.

      Please address the arguments rather than resorting to ad hominems.

      Please show us one single claim that I have made to be factually inaccurate. Just one. Shouldn’t be too difficult to show me up if I were just making stuff up.

    • Fox

      I suspect this Ernest Beamers to be an internet sock puppet. I request the administrators of this site to publish the IP address where this comment was posted.

  • Ernest Beamers

    Fox, you shameless coward! I didn’t see that you had the cheek to respond. Teng is not going to respond to you unless you come out in the open and reveal your cowardly name. If you remain anonymous, you are a troll and people should ignore you and call you names. Just be like me or Teng. Teng is even better. He gives his full name and even a photo of himself from head to toes. He can’t reveal more short of streaking! Haha. Whereas you are a disgraceful anonymous coward. Stop hiding, fox. Be honest. Reveal who you are so we can all know who this idiot is.

  • Ernest Beamers

    Fox, you idiotic coward, you may not understand English. After all, your grandfather speaks only Hokkien as you’ve said so yourself. But if you don’t know the meaning of an English word, you must look up Oxford. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, “majority” means “the greater number or part”. You must have looked up a Mandarin dictionary to get your definition of “more than 50%”. No, idiotic fool, look up an ENGLISH dictionary if you want to know the meaning of a simple English word.

    You do a great disservice to Mandarin-speaking people by defending Mandarin. I’m led to think all Mandarins are idiots, just like you, you disgraceful coward!

    • Fox

      You are joking, right? The *greater* part of something means “more than 50 percent”.

    • Fox

      Maybe you can read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority

      “A majority, also known as a simple majority in the U.S., is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of the group.”

      Or try reading this http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/majority

      “… most of the people or things in a group”

      You are confusing majority with plurality.

  • Ernest Beamers

    You are not very intelligent but I will endeavour to be patient. It may be that since English is not your native tongue, in your own language, there is a different word altogether which you think is the same as “majority” but isn’t really so.

    The greater part of 2 items must of course be more than 50%. I’ll illustrate with an example. Supposing we are talking about votes for a political party. If there are two parties contesting, the party with the majority votes will of course have more than 50% of the votes. If there are three parties contesting, the party with the majority votes need only have more than 33.333%. If there are 4 parties contesting, the majority votes are lowered to more than 25%.

    I don’t know about Chinese languages but from what you have said yourself, there must be many Chinese languages. If Hokkens are 41% of the population, they would be the majority even if there are only 3 different Chinese languages. Presumably, from what you have said, there are more than 6 or even 7 languages. That would make Hokkens a HUGE majority.

    Like Teng, I’m quite tired myself. I don’t think I want to respond to you any more. Goodbye, Fox. You do right not to disclose your real name. Must be pretty embarrassing just to be you.

  • Lim Teng Leong

    I can’t write very much as I’m typing this from my phone but I ask you, Fox, to disclose your full name. When filling in the form in order to post your comment, you have told a despicable lie. One of the required fields is your name. Fox is not your name. I am asking the administrators to stop you from posting further here. YOU are a contemptible troll. I have asked you repeatedly to reveal yourself but in true cowardly fashion, you have failed to do so. I will not debate with a coward. As long as you do a guerilla hit-and-run and refuse to use your real name, I will not engage with you. Can you gather enough courage and use your REAL name with your FULL Chinese name? Aren’t you ashamed of being called a coward?

    • Fox

      Why should I be ashamed to be called a coward, especially by someone like you? I’m simply here to comment on the claims made in the article, many of which are factually incorrect. There is no stated comment policy which requires the provision of real names.

      I’ve shown, with sources given, repeatedly that the claims you make are factually incorrect and misleading. On the other hand, you’ve avoided the facts and resorted to ad hominems, calling me a coward. I don’t think it is particularly courageous to behave like this. So what if I am a coward? Call me a coward if you wish; it doesn’t make your claims any less factually incorrect. As if my real name has anything to do with the factual accuracy of my arguments.

      Since when do the facts depend on who is giving them?

    • Lam Teng Leong

      you are such a c*nt, you’re probably some American Chinese who bought a pocket history book from the airport and decided that from henceforth you are an expert in the Chinese language

  • I support FOX

    I find it stupid to have this argument. anyway i am for fox. I find the stance not to speak mandarin is just stupid. I do not give a shit whether my mother tongue is not teochew.(i am a teochew by the way) I speak Chinese because China is rising and it will soon be one of the most commonly used language. FACE IT DUDES.

  • Mysticsaviour

    Fuck the tattar. No wonder they ban our ancestors from going back.