Although Mandarin is important to all Chinese people, you won't hear any Chinese saying that it is their mother tongue.
We say instead that we are Hokkien, Cantonese, Khek, Teochew, Hainanese or any one of the other dialectic groups.
We don't say that we are Mandarin, unless you are a mandarin perhaps and, even then, you don't want to say it unless you want to be mocked.
But most of us, however, whatever our dialectical group, can speak Mandarin unless you are a banana (no offence meant - a "banana" here refers to a Chinese who can't speak Mandarin, yellow on the outside, white inside)
Most Chinese here in Malaysia though, can speak (if not at least understand) dialects other than their own.
In the Federal Capital of Kuala Lumpur and in the northern states especially Perak, Cantonese is widely spoken among the Chinese and Hokkein in the southern states.
And in East Malaysia, especially in Sarawak, the Foo Chow dialect.
Penang is exceptionally Hokkien.
But like I said, most of us can speak Mandarin, whatever our dialectical group.
Is Cantonese harder to learn than Mandarin?
Or Hokkien or Hainanese or Khek?
I am no linguist, but phonetically or is it tonally? Cantonese seems easier to pick up from just watching Hong Kong Cantonese movies and soap operas.
That's how most of us who are not Cantonese ourselves learn to speak it.
Because Malay is the national language, most of us can also read, speak and write Malay except perhaps for the older generation.
Fortunately, Malay is a relatively easy language to learn.
Not so, Mandarin.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Are You A Mandarin?
Posted by ordinary malaysian at Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Labels: Chinese Malaysian Chinese Mandarin Mother Tongue Dialects National Language Malay Language