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Thread: 一天整夜

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    一天整夜

    A Chinese who grew up in Beijing told me that “一天整夜 is neither grammatical nor idiomatic in standard Chinese. Mandarin speakers won't understand it.” Is it true that the use of 一天整夜 in the following sentences is ungrammatical and that “Mandarin” speakers won’t understand it?


    一个个为本身的便宜杀红了眼, 一天整夜地连续挥刀(http://www.feixingqi.info/zuobiqi/20110705/1415.html).
    他照旧没日没有夜的玩着, 事件也不让在心上了, 利落索性不劳动, 一天整夜的玩 (http://www.princegallery.net/jjdoudi...01208/840.html).
    这里那些以渡客, 打船为生的人们, 穿着破旧的衣服, 一天整夜等候, 等候 (http://hi.baidu.com/vlinvling/item/6...aaf0bf623aff7c).
    其它的人都回各自的帐篷里去休息, 这都忙了一天整夜,经过了那样多的事, 苏征邪还意外的阵亡”, 大家都需要做些调整, 等后天清晨的攻山拔寨. (http://www.woduba.com/files/article/...3876337.html)

    Obviously, 一天整夜 in the above uses means “Full day whole night”, where means “full” as in 一屋子烟. It is a parallel construction in which “full” echoes “whole”, and “day” contrasts with “night”. Phrasemes of this type are common in Chinese, for instance, 惊天动地, 一呼百应,一心一意 and 一国同心. Such constructions are open for innovation (e.g., 一國兩治), especially in literature. The claim that it is not “Standard Chinese” or “Mandarin” leads me to ponder what exactly their definitions are. Is Taiwanese considered “Standard Chinese” in the eyes of most Beijing residents (a real question, not a rhetorical one)?
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 27th January 2013 at 2:07 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    He's right. 一天整夜 is wrong at least in Mandarin. You can say either 一天一夜 (one day and one night) or 整日整夜 (days and nights).

    I don't know if people in other dialects say this, probably they do.


    For your question about 国语, I think that's pretty standard compared to most dialects (as north as 河北、山东、山西). But I can still figure out the differences immediately. The tones sound more "flat" (not flat, I can't describe) in Taiwan, some words (和, 垃圾, etc.) are pronounced in a different way, and the vocabulary is slightly different. Moreover Taiwanese don't do 儿化音 as frequently as people in Beijing.

    According to wikipedia, "Mandarin Chinese" means "official Chinese". So it means 普通话 in the mainland while 国语 in Taiwan. According to my understanding, 普通话 is a language invented based on the accents in Beijing and 东北 and do not really exist naturally. There are even some differences between the language in Beijing and 普通话.
    Last edited by tarlou; 27th January 2013 at 2:58 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    一天整夜 is wrong at least in Mandarin. You can say either 一天一夜 (one day and one night) or 整日整夜 (days and nights).
    Can you explain the reasons from the perspective of syntax? I mean: What grammatical rule does 一天整夜 violate?
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    一天整夜 is wrong at least in Mandarin....I don't know if people in other dialects say this, probably they do.
    If some people do say it in their regional dialects (say, Taiwanese dialect), do you consider them speaking "wrong" Mandarin?
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    普通话 is a language invented based on the accents in Beijing...
    According to Wikipedia, "the phonology of Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, but its vocabulary is drawn from the large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern, central and southwestern China." In other words, the standardization is about accents or phonology, not about vocabulary or phrases. If so, how can one claim 一天整夜, if spoken in some dialects, is "wrong" Mandarin?
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 27th January 2013 at 3:25 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    We donnot say 一天整夜 in mandarin, niether in my dialect (Shandong province )

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by sesame_fr View Post
    We donnot say 一天整夜 in mandarin, niether in my dialect (Shandong province )
    Thank you, sesame. I agree it is not a common expression in China. My curiosity is: Are you able to figure out the meanings of those sentences I cited? If a writer invents that expression, will you, as a reader, still be able to understand it?
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 27th January 2013 at 3:59 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    Can you explain the reasons from the perspective of syntax? I mean: What grammatical rule does 一天整夜 violate?
    I don't think the correctness of a word is determined by grammar, especially in Chinese languages. For this specific word, it is quite confusing to me. I didn't know what it means actually (一天一夜、整天整夜、没日没夜 are all different). I'd simply consider it as a typo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc
    If some people do say it in their regional dialects (say, Taiwanese dialect), do you consider them speaking "wrong" Mandarin?
    Yes. But that's my personal opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc
    According to Wikipedia, "the phonology of Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, but its vocabulary is drawn from the large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern, central and southwestern China." In other words, the standardization is about accents or phonology, not about vocabulary or phrases. If so, how can one claim 一天整夜, if spoken in some dialects, is "wrong" Mandarin?
    I don't think the vocabulary is the "union" of all dialects. It's actually restricted and is smaller than any dialect (personal opinion again). I'd like to give an example to explain this. I was born in Hebei and in my hometown people may say "夜了个我喝的薄的". (夜了个=昨天, 薄的=soup) Can you figure out what it is even if pronounced in the Mandarin's accent? There are also many words that are not considered standard, like 别介、zhai歪 (these are also used in Beijing). These words were considered non-Mandarin in my school educations, so I don't think the standardization is only on phonology. But people can have different opinions about this.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    I don't think the vocabulary is the "union" of all dialects. It's actually restricted and is smaller than any dialect (personal opinion again). I'd like to give an example to explain this. I was born in Hebei and in my hometown people may say "夜了个我喝的薄的". (夜了个=昨天, 薄的=soup) Can you figure out what it is even if pronounced in the Mandarin's accent? There are also many words that are not considered standard, like 别介、zhai歪 (these are also used in Beijing). These words were considered non-Mandarin in my school educations, so I don't think the standardization is only on phonology. But people can have different opinions about this.
    I agree with you. I think I failed to express my thoughts correctly. What I tried to say is: In Standard Chinese, phonology is more standardized, but vocabulary and phrases are more subject to regional innovations.
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    I don't think the correctness of a word is determined by grammar, especially in Chinese languages. For this specific word, it is quite confusing to me. I didn't know what it means actually (一天一夜、整天整夜、没日没夜 are all different). I'd simply consider it as a typo.
    I can totally relate to your feelings, Tarbou. I'd never heard 一天整觉 (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2567112) until the other day (What a surprise!). I was confused and didn't know what it meant.
    一天整夜 is not 一天一夜 because 整 doesn't mean "one", and certainly not 没日没夜 because neither 一 nor 整 means "no". The context and syntax lead to only one possibility, that is, "整天整夜", and indeed they are synonymous.
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 27th January 2013 at 6:48 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    I agree with you. I think I failed to express my thoughts correctly. What I tried to say is: Phonology is more standardized, but vocabulary and phrases are more subject to regional innovations.
    Well, that's about the definition of "Mandarin Chinese". I don't really know exactly what it is so I can't answer your question. In daily life I simply judge the correctness by my feelings. I accept some regional words even if they are not used in north China. I'd think 捷运, 奇异果 in Taiwan as correct Mandarin, but 一天整夜 sounds strange. That's possibly my prejudice and other people may have different thoughts.

    I can totally relate to your feelings, Tarbou. I'd never heard 一天整觉 (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2567112) until the other day (What a surprise!http://forum.wordreference.com/image...es/biggrin.png). I was confused and didn't know what it meant.
    一天整夜 is not 一天一夜 because 整 doesn't mean "one", and certainly not 没日没夜 because neither 一 nor 整 means "no". The context and syntax leads to only one possibility "整天整夜" and indeed they are synonymous.

    Chinese is so complicated and different in regions. I learned a new word 一天整夜 today.
    Last edited by tarlou; 27th January 2013 at 5:13 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    That's possibly my prejudice and other people may have different thoughts.
    I have my prejudice as well (I thought I was open-minded until the other day I encountered the expression 一天整觉). It is simply a human nature to dislike something unfamiliar and strange.
    I think the philosophy behind General American (GA) or Standard American English (SAE) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American) can apply to "Standard Mandarin", that is, a language without any clear regional dialect markers. In other words, what I think "standard" is a language that can be easily understood or accepted by Mandarin speakers of all regions. By this definition, 一天整夜 is not Standard Mandarin, nor is 一天整觉.
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    I'd think 捷运, 奇异果 in Taiwan as correct Mandarin
    They are proper nouns and therefore their regional features are more readily tolerated.
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 27th January 2013 at 6:41 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    I think "一天整夜" is totally acceptable in daily speech. We often say things more unregular than that.
    If you talk it in depth on grammar or idiom, that would be the beginning of an endless argument. because people got opinions.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    A Chinese who grew up in Beijing told me that “一天整夜 is neither grammatical nor idiomatic in standard Chinese. Mandarin speakers won't understand it.” Is it true that the use of 一天整夜 in the following sentences is ungrammatical and that “Mandarin” speakers won’t understand it?


    一个个为本身的便宜杀红了眼, 一天整夜地连续挥刀(http://www.feixingqi.info/zuobiqi/20110705/1415.html).
    他照旧没日没有夜的玩着, 事件也不让在心上了, 利落索性不劳动, 一天整夜的玩 (http://www.princegallery.net/jjdoudi...01208/840.html).
    这里那些以渡客, 打船为生的人们, 穿着破旧的衣服, 一天整夜等候, 等候 (http://hi.baidu.com/vlinvling/item/6...aaf0bf623aff7c).
    其它的人都回各自的帐篷里去休息, 这都忙了一天整夜,经过了那样多的事, 苏征邪还意外的阵亡”, 大家都需要做些调整, 等后天清晨的攻山拔寨. (http://www.woduba.com/files/article/...3876337.html)

    Obviously, 一天整夜 in the above uses means “Full day whole night”, where means “full” as in 一屋子烟. It is a parallel construction in which “full” echoes “whole”, and “day” contrasts with “night”. Phrasemes of this type are common in Chinese, for instance, 惊天动地, 一呼百应,一心一意 and 一国同心. Such constructions are open for innovation (e.g., 一國兩治), especially in literature. The claim that it is not “Standard Chinese” or “Mandarin” leads me to ponder what exactly their definitions are. Is Taiwanese considered “Standard Chinese” in the eyes of most Beijing residents (a real question, not a rhetorical one)?
    Well, when I said "standard Chinese" and "Mandarin", I didn't think about Taiwanese Mandarin, of which I have no knowledge.
    Sorry about this. I think it's understandable to have this kind of bias, just like when a Hongkonger say "Chinese", he might mean "Cantonese", and when an American say "English", he might mean "US English". That's why we always have a "location" label at the upper right corner.

    In the Mainland standard there's no 一x整x format. If you want to know if there's an idiom 一天整夜 in Taiwan, better ask a Taiwanese.
    About 没睡过一天整觉, I think we've been through this... Its structure totally different to your 一天整夜... Compare 没睡过(一天的)(完整的觉) / (一天整夜)地玩...
    verb+period+整+noun exists in Northern dialects...
    While you try to use 一+time+整+time for no necessary reason...others are using either 一x一x or 整x整x...
    That's why it's not as widely acceptable as 睡一天整觉.

    I also have some doubt about your source, some of these are obviously questionable.
    2. 他照旧没日没夜的玩着, 事件也不在心上了, 利落索性不劳动, 一天整夜的玩
    3.这里那些以(?)渡客, 打船(?)为生的人们, 穿着破旧的衣服, 一天整夜等候, 等候
    Last edited by SuperXW; 28th January 2013 at 3:26 AM.
    Correct my Chinglish please!

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperXW View Post
    I also have some doubt about your source.
    Do you mean you have trouble locating the web pages I cited? If so, do a google search with "利落索性不劳动, 一天整夜的玩", and you shall be able to find the article titled "热血江湖游戏专区". The language used is not 語. It appears to have a strong regional favor, somewhere in Mainland, I guess. And you can do another search with "穿着破旧的衣服, 一天整夜等候". The article's title is "竹海,过去, 妄想的季节"
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperXW View Post
    这里那些以(?)渡客, 打船(?)为生的人们, 穿着破旧的衣服, 一天整夜等候, 等候
    以渡客为生
    打船为生
    以渡客,打船为生 = 以 (渡客 and 打船)为生.
    It is a very well-written sentence, in my opinion, especially the repetition of 等候, unusual but effective in creating a mood.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    以渡客为生
    打船为生
    以渡客,打船为生 = 以 (渡客 and 打船)为生.
    It is a very well-written sentence, in my opinion, especially the repetition of 等候, unusual but effective in creating a mood.
    Oh that's more clear, but I failed to understand the sentence also because I don't know what is 打船... Now considering what you've explained, I think it means 用桨划船, for I know words like 打浆 and 打舵...This is another topic.
    I don't know about the background of the prose, but it seems beautiful. The author has picked some unique words to form his/her own style. People will get it when reading the whole article. But that's also the exact reason for not being "the (modern, northern, Mainland Chinese, gosh...) standard"...
    Correct my Chinglish please!

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    Re: 一天整夜

    I forgot to ask this question. Is 一天整夜 really used in Taiwan or anywhere in mainland? I've assumed this, but can anyone confirm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperXW View Post
    About 没睡过一天整觉, I think we've been through this... Its structure totally different to your 一天整夜...
    Of course, they're different, not only in meaning but also in structure. We've been through this, but somehow I failed to get my point through. Let me try another example then: According to 中華民國教育部國語辭典, "湊合" can be used as a verb only(http://dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/index.html). Thus "你考得如何? 还凑合" (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2568535) is a grammatically wrong sentence in the minds of speakers. I dare not to point that out for fear of "confusing the original poster" or "being unhelpful". There seems to be an unspoken definition regarding "Standard Mandarin" here in this forum, that is, 普通话. The position of is marginalized or minimized, seen as a regional, non-standard, and sometimes even "wrong" variant of Mandarin. Personally, I think "Standard Mandarin" should be seen as one that can be easily understood or accepted by Mandarin speakers of ALL regions. Both 一天整觉 and 一天整夜 fail to meet this criteria. The use of 湊合 as a verb is shared by all Mandarin speakers and therefore such uses are "standard".



    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    I forgot to ask this question. Is 一天整夜 really used in Taiwan or anywhere in mainland? I've assumed this, but can anyone confirm?
    In casual conversation, yes, you will hear that in Taiwan, occasionally but not often.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperXW View Post
    I don't know what is 打船... Now considering what you've explained, I think it means 用桨划船, for I know words like 打浆 and 打舵...
    清袁枚《随园随笔·俗用字不知所始》:“打,击也。而造船曰打船
    The use of 打船 evokes a sense of archaism.
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 28th January 2013 at 7:00 PM. Reason: 3 posts merged. If you need to add info, please use "Edit".

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    There seems to be an unspoken definition regarding "Standard Mandarin" here in this forum, that is, 普通话. The position of is marginalized or minimized, seen as a regional, non-standard, and sometimes even "wrong" variant of Mandarin.
    I think this forum is about all dialects of Chinese. The reason that you found is marginalized may be because many people here speak 普通话, and many questions are about 普通话. Personally I simply thought 普通话 and are the same before this post. It is interesting at least to me to know the differences. The exact definition of "standard mandarin" is up to personal preference to some extent and I don't think it really matters.

    For 还凑合 and 整觉, personally I was actually (a little bit) aware that those words may be used only in north China. Possibly other people were also aware. So those questions can be classified as 普通话 or dialects of north China. All dialects are discussed here -- there are even Cantonese that I have no clue to figure out even with a dictionary .

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    Re: 一天整夜

    I see why you bring up 一天整觉 now. I don't think 一天整觉 is "standard Chinese" either. Most people here regard it as regional colloquial usage.
    If you are sure that 一天整夜 is used in Taiwan, just tell us. Everyone here will be happy to learn that...
    But since it's a question, what we do was trying to judge it according to our best knowledge. We could be wrong or inaccurate though. Of course there will be bias. What you do, taking a few examples to think the whole forum is biased, is also biased... But we'll try to minimize bias. After all, the meaning of language is communication.
    Correct my Chinglish please!

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    A Chinese who grew up in Beijing told me that “一天整夜 is neither grammatical nor idiomatic in standard Chinese. Mandarin speakers won't understand it.” Is it true that the use of 一天整夜 in the following sentences is ungrammatical and that “Mandarin” speakers won’t understand it?
    I've to admit I haven't a clue what it means just by looking at the words "一天整夜". More so after reading the thread on "一天整觉" (adequate quality sleep in a day). But the context you supplied were clear enough or should I say the meaning is 呼之欲出。

    I'm not in the position to say if the subject is grammatical/idiomatic or otherwise. It is uncommon, to say the least, even if it is in Singapore. But I'm (and I believe most of our country folks) are more open-minded and will readily embrace the term with open-arms. I've a question in return for you. Would you, then, accept these new expressions like "" or "" or ""? I mean these words actually streamline with your arguments. No?

    Lastly, I think you should just get over it even it is a fact that the term (and a zillion more others) is deemed non-standard by Mainland China. I mean if 一天整夜 is readily accepted and widely use from where you are, so be it. I don't think there is a need to ask for (or enforce) an endorsement from anyone else.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
    I think you should just get over it even it is a fact that the term (and a zillion more others) is deemed non-standard by Mainland China. I mean if 一天整夜 is readily accepted and widely use from where you are, so be it. I don't think there is a need to ask for (or enforce) an endorsement from anyone else.
    I'm not seeking endorsement for 一天整夜. Instead, I am seeking the permission to say: "一天整觉 (and more others like 还凑合) is deemed non-standard by some Mandarin speakers. If 一天整觉 is readily accepted and widely used in some regions, so be it. I don't think there is a need to discourage me from expressing my shock and confusion by that term."
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    many questions [on this forum] are about 普通话.
    Most questions here are about Mandarin (unspecified), which includes as well, a Standard Mandarin. People learning Mandarin come with the expectation that it will enable them to communicate with Mandarin speakers, including those that do not live in the northern provinces. I think it is helpful when a poster points out that a certain expression will not be understood in some regions, just as it is helpful when one points out that "We're revising for the test tomorrow" (meaning "We're studying for the test tomorrow" in British) will confuse most Americans.
    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    All dialects are discussed here -- there are even Cantonese that I have no clue to figure out even with a dictionary
    "All dialects [of Mandarin] are discussed here"--May I ask "where"? After browsing through so many threads, comments like "We don't say that in the South" are extremely rare as if everyone is following an unspoken "standard". Yet, if you visit the Englsh Only forum, comments like that are common, and nobody complaints that they will confuse the English learners. Cantonese is a 方言 (a different language from the perspective of linguistics), not Mandarin like 語. If we compare to 方言, it reflects that we subconsciously minimize 's Standard Mandarin status. If we believe that mentioning the incomprehension of a 普通话 term in will confuse learners of Chinese, we've already subconsciously predetermined that only one of them is "the standard' and all others are nuisances to those learners. If I'm asked to create a separate thread so that I can discuss the difference between 普通话 and , the position of is already marginalized as "non-standard".
    Last edited by Skatinginbc; 29th January 2013 at 3:10 AM.

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    Re: 一天整夜

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc View Post
    I'm not seeking endorsement for 一天整夜. Instead, I am seeking the permission to say: "一天整觉 (and more others like 还凑合) is deemed non-standard by some Mandarin speakers. If 一天整觉 is readily accepted and widely used in some regions, so be it. I don't think there is a need to discourage me from expressing my shock and confusion by that term."
    No one has said 一天整觉/还凑合 are standard and must be used by all Chinese speakers. Learners have the right to ask questions about north dialects, and we have the right to answer. You definitely have the right to comment that those are strange to you. That's what I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc;
    Most questions here are about Mandarin (unspecified), which includes as well, a Standard Mandarin. People learning Mandarin come with the expectation that it will enable them to communicate with Mandarin speakers, including those that do not live in the northern provinces. I think it is helpful when a poster points out that a certain expression will not be understood in some regions, just as it is helpful when someone points out that "revise" in the British sentence "We're revising for the test tomorrow" (meaning "We're studying for the test tomorrow") will confuse most Americans.
    This is not what I meant. What I wanted to say is that there are more 普通话 learners and speakers than 国语 speakers on this forum. The fact that there are few posts concentrated on 国语 is just natural and not because of prejudice.
    For your point, I think it is a good idea and should be encouraged to point differences out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skatinginbc;
    "All dialects [of Mandarin] are discussed here"--May I ask "where"? After browsing through so many threads, comments like "We don't say that in the South" are extremely rare as if everyone is following an unspoken "standard". Yet, if you visit the Englsh Only forum, comments like that are common, and nobody complaints that they will confuse the English learners. Cantonese is a 方言 (a different language from the perspective of linguistics), not Mandarin like 語. If we compare to 方言, it reflects that we subconsciously minimize 's Standard Mandarin status. If we believe that mentioning the incomprehension of a 普通话 term in will confuse learners of Chinese, we've already subconsciously predetermined that only one of them is "the standard' and all others are nuisances to those learners. If I'm asked to create a separate thread so that I can discuss the difference between 普通话 and , the position of is already marginalized as "non-standard".
    I don't agree that anything is the standard and is "higher" than other dialects. Mandarin is just a dialect that is parallel to Cantonese. Both Mandarin and Cantonese were branched from 中古汉语, and there are even things like 闽南语 that are brothers of 中古汉语. There is nothing on this planet called "standard". It is true that both Taiwan and mainland have set up some "official languages" by policy (not sure about Taiwan, but it seems so). But that was not to say something is the standard and everyone must follow. In mainland, I'm quite sure that at least 99% of the population don't speak 普通话 at home.
    I don't think on this forum there should be a "standard language". There are few people answering questions as far as I know and that should be the reason of lack of diversity.

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