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Chinese language - take home final exam ( Reading comprehension in English) - Coursework Example

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Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have a history of domination by other powers before gaining independence and this had effect on language policy. The Sino-Japanese war (1894-95) and…
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Download file to see previous pages Language policy was also part of government projects such as nation building and democratization. Ideology also had great role in shaping policy as the countries emphasized on unity. For example, Mainland China used Herderian ideology of “one language, one nation” whereas Taiwan used both herderian and Chinaisation ideology. Hong Kong adopted monolingualism and lingusitic purism. All the three countries adopted Modern Standard Chinese language (PTH), whose standard pronunciation is Beijing Mandarin or dialect.
The two conferences on script reform in 1955 simplified Chinese character writing system, promulgated spoken PTH, and developed phonetic alphabet for unification of China (Cheng, 22). The phonetics formed the basis for language policy in all the countries. In 1958, the National People’s Congress approved Hanyu Pinyin Fangan ‘scheme for the phonetic alphabet of Chinese’ leading to emergence of a phonetic script. This pinyin offered standard pronunciation for Chinese characters and did not replace logographic Chinese script (Zhang, 567). Taiwan and Hong Kong use the traditional complex Chinese character script as the official written script.
In PRC, Putonghua is medium of instruction in school, official language in workplaces and broadcasting. Prior to adopting Putonghua in 1949, PRC promoted Guoyu as the national language (Cheng, 16-22). In Hong Kong, English was the official language until 1974 when the official languages ordinance was passed giving Chinese (Modern standard Chinese,) co-official status with English. English occupied a higher status until 1987 when Chinese acquired equal status with English as working official language through an Amendment to the language ordinance (Zhang, 573). The difference from PRC policy is that Hong Kong used PTH in written form and Cantonese as the spoken form whereas PRC promoted PTH in written and spoken form (Cheng, 156). Since 1997, Hong Kong uses English and Chinese as medium of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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