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Comment: Re:Make it easier (Score 2) 562

by PhamNguyen (#44786851) Attached to: 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin
Most Chinese I have spoken to on the issue say that Chinese characters are necessary otherwise they wouldn't be able to understand the old texts that form China's cultural heritage. Note this is not the same as keeping your own writing system for the sake of being different from other countires. A related reason is that characters give clues to the etymology of words, just like English spelling does. Just as changing English spelling to be phonetic would break the link with Latin, other Eurpoean languages, and Shakespeare, so would using pinyin break the link with Classical Chinese.

Comment: Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (Score 1) 562

by PhamNguyen (#44786683) Attached to: 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

You are not really comparing like with like.

When you learn a foreign language, you learn the standard pronunciation. All of your training is done in this standard dialect.

Your description (I think) is is of living with people who speak a certain accent, then interacting with someone who speaks a much stronger or different variation of that accent. If you were to live in the hometown of those people you could not understand for a few weeks, I think you would have no trouble understanding them.

The difference between their speach and standard English is still much smaller than between, for example, German and English. But because you were rarely exposed to that particular version, you found it hard to understand.

Comment: Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (Score 2) 562

by PhamNguyen (#44786419) Attached to: 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin
While there might be cases where the accent can't be understood, this is fairly rare. And I think you would learn to understand the accent a lot faster than you imagine. China on the other hand has five main groups of dialects (and this isn't counting "ethnic minorities") none of which are mutually intelligible at all.

Comment: Re:Well, yes. (Score 1) 562

by PhamNguyen (#44786319) Attached to: 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin
This article is addressing a slightly different issue, since it is talking about people who cannot speak Mandarin, not people who can speak it but choose to use their local dialect in public. E.g. all university educated people can speak Mandarin. As the summary states, this is mainly an issue relating to people in rural areas with less education.

Comment: Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (Score 1) 562

by PhamNguyen (#44786277) Attached to: 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

Funny how people who are bigoted against Chinese always project their biggotry.

Hokkien is not Mandarin with an accent, it's more comarable with Pennsylvania Dutch. A native English speaker can understand a strong Southern accent with effort. Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien (and Taiwanese and Shanghaiese for that matter) are not mutually intelligible at all. I would suggest you work on improving your tiny knowledge of China if you are going to speak on this issue, and examine your own prejudices rather than accuse other people.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 110

by PhamNguyen (#44721969) Attached to: Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service

No, you were making threats under the guise of warning him, which is a really pathetic thing to do (and you do it again later in the thread). If someone had started a thread saying "I am going to Oaxaca, what should I call the natives" your reply would have been totally appropriate. Given that the actual post referred to Oaxacan's as Mexicans in passing, your post was stupid and irrelevant. Also, my original reply was (A) worded exactly the same as yours and (B) clearly a parody of what you wrote, although you seem to dense to grasp this.

If you think calling Oaxacan Mexicans is offensive, just say so.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 110

by PhamNguyen (#44721761) Attached to: Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service

Perhaps you are not a liberal, but what you share in common with them is making implicit threats, of the form "if you don't hold X opinion, SOMEONE is going to do violence to your for it. Not me, I'm not violent, but you would still deserve it".

You should cut that out because it's really pathetic, and also if you really thought that "might makes right", you should support the colonization of the Americas by Europeans.

Comment: Re:Single stream is part of the problem (Score 1) 427

by PhamNguyen (#44637459) Attached to: US States Banned From Exporting Trash To China Are Drowning In Plastic
You should read this article, The truth about recycling. In particular

...the trend is toward co-mingled or “single stream” collection... But the switch can make people suspicious: if there is no longer any need to separate different materials, people may conclude that the waste is simply being buried or burned. In fact, the switch towards single-stream collection is being driven by new technologies that can identify and sort the various materials with little or no human intervention.

I think you may be basing your beliefs about single stream recycling on outdated information.

Comment: PC Mania (Score 1) 41

by PhamNguyen (#44597863) Attached to: Data Visualization: Too Easy To Be Too Slick?
I like the way they consider the fact that a particular graphic was used by "White supremacists" to argue for a particular viewpoint, to prove that that graphic must be unscientific. I wonder if they would consider such graphics to be unscientific if they were used to argue that America was becoming more diverse, rather than that it was being 'swamped'.

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