Why is it that Mandarin and Cantonese are considered dialects of Chinese but Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French are considered separate languages and not dialects of Latin?

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Why is it that Mandarin and Cantonese are considered dialects of Chinese but Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French are considered separate languages and not dialects of Latin?

In: Culture

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

So, other excellent answers have highlighted that there is no hard distinction between dialects and languages, but I wanted to add one thing in.

I am really not sure that Mandarin and Cantonese are considered dialects. Yes, a lot of people in the west would refer to a person as ‘speaking chineese’, but wouldn’t think of mandarin and cantoneese as the same language, rather were just being imprecise with their word choice earlier.

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