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Without Mandarin, communication is difficult Such as Dengtian

Whether there was Putonghua commonly used in the country in the Xia Dynasty and Shang Dynasty is basically untestable. But by the time of the Zhou Dynasty, there were a lot of data at once. For example, such a story was told in”Shangshu Da Biography“. After the death of King Zhou Wu, Zhou Gong was regent. In the sixth year of his regency, at that time, the Viet Chang clan (in today’s Vietnam region) sent someone to send some special white chickens to show friendship. But the problem also came. At that time, the Vietnamese language was not compatible with the language used by the Zhou royal family, and no one understood Vietnamese at all. Therefore, Yue Chang’s family looked for a”Sanxiang” translator, that is, three translators in each of the three languages. These nine people first converted Vietnamese into Zhuyue (the language used in ancient Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong today), then from Zhuyue to the dialect of the southern princes, and finally from the dialect of the southern princes to the dialect of the Zhou Dynasty royal family Gyeonggi term.

Look, just send a few chickens, and it costs such a big setback.

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In addition, spring and autumn The Wu Yue language of the period was also unclear. The State of Wu is in today’s southern Jiangsu, and the State of Yue is in today’s northern Zhejiang. Although they are adjacent to each other, they have different sounds for ten miles. People on the borders of the two countries often struggle with trivial matters because of language barriers.

Slowly, the central officials of the Zhou Dynasty discovered that whether it was a tribute issue, a war issue, or other issues, many times it was just because of language barriers. Caused. So they created a kind of Mandarin Chinese-Yayan.

In 770 BC, the Zhou Dynasty moved its capital to Luoyi, and Luoyang dialect was officially designated as the basic pronunciation of Yayan. At that time, almost all nobles would learn this kind of elegant language, the purpose is to distinguish from the common people. Just like in modern Europe, the upper-class aristocrats in the UK spoke French and the lower-class civilians spoke English; the German aristocrats spoke with a small tongue, and the common people spoke with a big tongue. Confucius used this kind of elegant language in his lectures to promote his aristocratic status.

Later, the language of Yayan continued throughout the dynasties. Among them, Luoyang dialect, Jinling (Nanjing) dialect, and Dadu (Beijing) dialect are the most commonly selected standard sounds.

How to phoneticize before pinyin appeared?

In the Han Dynasty, the Chinese had not yet invented Hanyu Pinyin. In order to promote a unified Mandarin, the court invented three ways to learn Yayan. The first is called”Zhiyin”, the second is called”Reading Ruo”, and the third is called”Fanqie”. Zhiyin directly tells the pronunciation of a certain word and which word is exactly the same. This is suitable for people who already know some words, but it is basically useless for people who speak dialects. Reading Ruo means imitating its phonetic notation, which is mostly used as an exegetical term for onomatopoeia. Because the first two pronunciations are too difficult to master, people created”Fanqi”, which uses two Chinese characters to spell out a word, cut the upper word to get the initials, and cut the word to get the finals and tones. Simply put, it means to read two characters quickly, and the sound that is read out is the new character to be learned. It is said that this was invented by Buddhists based on Sanskrit’s phonetic notation.

Fanqie pronunciation has flourished in China for nearly 2000 years, but it also has two problems:First, if you recognize a word incorrectly, you will never spell it right. Correct pronunciation; second, if a person cannot distinguish the initials and vowels of a word, the word will definitely not be pronounced correctly.

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《The Yan Family”Xun” records that in the Northern Wei Dynasty, there was a big official who was presbyopic and made a lot of jokes. This person especially likes fanqie. When reading ancient books, he reads the characters with fanqie. When he is readable, he often mistakes the words because he can’t see clearly. For example, once he read”Historical Records” and found that”Xu Lufan” was written under”顼” (xū) of”Zhuan Xu”, but he dazzled and regarded”green” as”fate”. As a result,”Zhuan Xu” It became”Piao” (the ancient pronunciation of Xu, Lu, and Yuan is different from the current pronunciation).

This mistake does not matter. He thought he had discovered the New World and found the fault of the ancients, so he publicized it and asked the people around him to correct it with him. Although everyone knew he had read it wrong, they didn’t dare to compete with the high officials, so they all read it wrong. Until one day, another more serious official argued with him for three days and three nights, and finally let him understand that it was him who was wrong.

During the Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, the”Six Codes of the Tang Dynasty·Volume Four Rituals Department” stipulated that in order to prevent the ministers from talking or being inaccurate, they must first learn etiquette. The names of these etiquettes are collectively referred to as”Jia Li”. Before performing various ceremonial ceremonies, you must go to the Ministry of Ritual to learn a few days in advance. Of course, this also includes the messengers from foreign countries, they do not know the language or etiquette, so it is best to prepare before speaking. I can’t speak elegantly, but I was raised to this height.

The dialect in your hometown was once the”Mandarin” commonly used in the world?

In a blink of an eye came the Ming Dynasty, at that time Yayan had been changed to”Mandarin”, take Zhongyuan Yayin as positive. Before the Ming Dynasty, the Central Plains region was integrated by many northern peoples. The”Tone of the Central Plains” in the Jianghuai region was relatively pure. The Mandarin was based on Nanjing Mandarin and the Nanjing dialect was the national standard Chinese pronunciation. During the Yongle period, the Ming Dynasty moved its capital to Beijing and immigrated to Beijing from various places. Among them, Nanjing immigrants accounted for about 400,000 people, accounting for half of Beijing’s population. Nanjing tone became the basis of Beijing pronunciation at that time, while Nanjing Mandarin prevailed throughout the Ming Dynasty. Even in the early stage of the Qing Dynasty, Nanjing Mandarin was still the official Mandarin spoken nationwide.

In the eighth year of Yongzheng, the Qing Dynasty set up Zhengyinguan to promote Beijing Mandarin based on Beijing accent. And the Mandarin we are talking about today, which is based on Beijing dialect, gradually laid the foundation in the middle and late Qing Dynasty.

In the twenty-fourth year of Guangxu (1898), Emperor Guangxu first met with Kang Youwei When the two people talked for two and a half hours, it was quite the meaning of seeing each other late. But is this really the case? According to Zhang Yuanji, another important minister of the Reform Movement of 1898 and later chairman of the Commercial Press, Kang Youwei came out after only a quarter of a chat with Emperor Guangxu, and Kang Youwei looked blank when he came out.

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Later, everyone analyzes , Because Kang Youwei is a native of Nanhai, Guangdong, and he has not been in Beijing for a long time. What he is best at is Cantonese, while Guangxu grew up in the courtyard of the palace and speaks the official language of the palace. The two actually have communication barriers. . In addition, Kang Youwei’s first face to face, it is inevitable to be nervous, a Cantonese is very likely to make the second monk of Emperor Guangxu confused, communication is still a problem, let alone a very happy conversation. In this way, you can imagine how embarrassing the situation was.

In the beginning, Emperor Guangxu only gave Kang Youwei a sixth-rank official. Maybe it was for this reason. Some people believe that the failure of the last Reform Movement of 1898 was probably different from the dialect, which caused a certain relationship between the chicken and the duck.

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New China is established Later, in order to unify the local dialects, in 1953, Beijing and Luanping County, Chengde City, Hebei Province were used as the main collection sites for standard pronunciation of Putonghua. After the standard was formulated, it was promoted nationwide in 1955. Today, we speak Mandarin from this point. In 2000, the”Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Standard Spoken and Written Language” established the legal status of Putonghua and standardized Chinese characters as the national standard language.


Excerpt from |”Leadership Collection” December 2019 Part 2

Manuscript source|”Integrity Outlook”

Author of this article | Li Nan