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?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is political. The different so called Chinese dialects are unintelligible to each other. Others have mentioned the Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian example but something similar happened with Romanian. In Moldova they speak Moldovan and Erie it in the cyrillic alphabet. Why? Because when they became part of the USSR it wad decided they didn’t speak Romanian and they had to come up with grammar books for Moldovan using the cyrillic alphabet.

Other times it’s not so clear cut. Depending on who you ask galician is a dialect of Portuguese or a separate different language. For context, a galician and a Brazilian can have a conversation with each speaking their own tongue they just can’t speak each other’s tongue.

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