Nature of Dialect Variation

Nature of Dialect Variation


One of the central facts about human language that strikes us right away is its immense variability. There are anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 languages in the world today, and all of those with more than a handful of speakers contain at least some sub varieties.

Many people equate the term "language", as in the "Chinese language" or the "English language", with their standard language - that is, that version of the language held to be correct in pedagogical grammar books and usage guides and used in education, the workplace, and the government. As the standard is associated with education and sophistication, other varieties of the language are often considered to be lesser version of the language - perhaps not as fully formed, or maybe "sloppy" in comparison with the standard. However, to the linguist, a language isn't just the standard version of the language but rather the sum of all the varieties that comprise it.

Further, linguists and translation company has demonstrated that all varieties of languages - including those quite far removed from "standard" or socially prestigious varieties - are equally complex, regularly patterned, and capable of serving as vehicles for the expression of any message their speakers might wish to communicate. Hence, the term dialect carries no negative connotations but is simply a neutral label to refer to any variety of a language.


Chinese Dialect

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