Linguaje (was Re: Peking/Beijing)

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sun Oct 10 1999 - 02:05:04 EDT

At 22:32 +0200 10/7/1999, Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
> >And of course, that several of the various languages of China are
> >called "dialects", which is like calling English and Castilian
> >(Spanish to the hoi polloi) "dialects" of Latin, or calling Catalan
> >and Portuguese "dialects' of Castilian.
>The principle difference between a dialect and a language is that a
>language has an army. Thus, Danish and Dutch are languages, Frisian and
>Schwabish are dialects.

An old joke with a good political point but not much accuracy. Look
at all the Spanish-, English-, French-, Chinese-, and Arabic-speaking
countries. That's why I put in Portuguese and Catalan together as
minimally contrasting examples.

Edward Cherlin
"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's
what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else
some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:53 EDT