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# No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi

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Senior RC Moderator
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No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2019, 09:57
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No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than China, whose 1.3 billion inhabitants fall within eight major linguistic groups. Mainland academics may argue that all Chinese people are linked by the universal characters of written Chinese, but this assertion fails to address the simple fact that the eight localized spoken dialects, though related, are mutually incomprehensible.

Efforts to standardize spoken Chinese date back to 1913, when the Qing dynasty collapsed and the first Chinese republic was created. The delegates of this new representative government regarded a common language, or guoyu, as an ideological imperative, but regional loyalties threatened to scuttle the attempt from the start. Southern Chinese resented the thought that Mandarin, the language of the north and east that was spoken by the vast majority of Chinese, would be adopted as the official tongue at the expense of much of their own Cantonese terminology. In fact, it was the dialectic subtleties that helped widen the rift between the north and south when the northern Mandarin leader, Wang Zhao, attacked southern delegate Wang Rangbao after Zhao mistook a mundane utterance for an insult.

Further attempts to establish guoyu were revisited with rare fervor in the 1930s under the rule of Chiang Kai-shek, who went so far as to order that all literature not written in guoyu be confiscated and burned. When the Communists seized power in 1949, a common language fit perfectly with the party’s plans for universal ideology according to Stalin’s teachings. And still, the mutual enmity between the north and south persisted, as northerners rallied around the cry of “Force the south to follow the north!”

Modern China’s government has succeeded in bringing about a universal language, now referred to as putonghua, which is now the standardized version of modern Chinese language that is taught in universities and spoken by government members in official addresses. Putonghua has become the language of the urban and educated, but it has yet to permeate the more rural areas of the country, where local dialects predominate. Even those who can speak putonghua have such thick regional accents as to make it impossible for a Mandarin farmer in Beijing to understand his southern counterpart in Shanghai. Further, the Taiwanese and Cantonese languages have undergone a new resurgence as part of the counterculture at universities and along China’s southern coastline. Chinese have made laudable inroads toward unifying their lingua franca, but China’s size, coupled with its increasing growth rate, suggests that local tongues will persevere for a long time to come.

1. According to the passage, the most consistent obstacle that the prospect of a unified language has encountered is

A. political uncertainty
B. government censorship
D. regional pride
E. a lack of nationalized education

2. As a result of the events of the twentieth century in China as described in the second and third paragraphs of the passage, the author would probably agree with which of the following statements?

A. Putonghua will persist in Chinese culture because its characters are far more universal than those of guoyu ever were.
B. In very populous countries, government edict is not always strong enough to resist the will of the people.
C. The resurgence of counterculture is a constant phenomenon, but the individual events seldom have the staying power to become anything more than passing fads.
D. Mandarin may yet become China’s national language because most Chinese speak it already.
E. A government cannot call itself a representative democracy as long as it sanctions the destruction of literature.

3. According to the passage, each of the following has influenced the adoption of a universal language in China EXCEPT

A. Chiang Kai-shek
B. members of the Qing dynasty’s royal family
C. Communists
D. resistance from Cantonese speakers
E. the modern Chinese government

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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2019, 08:19
No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than China, whose 1.3 billion inhabitants fall within eight major linguistic groups. Mainland academics may argue that all Chinese people are linked by the universal characters of written Chinese, but this assertion fails to address the simple fact that the eight localized spoken dialects, though related, are mutually incomprehensible.

Efforts to standardize spoken Chinese date back to 1913, when the Qing dynasty collapsed and the first Chinese republic was created. The delegates of this new representative government regarded a common language, or guoyu, as an ideological imperative, but regional loyalties threatened to scuttle the attempt from the start. Southern Chinese resented the thought that Mandarin, the language of the north and east that was spoken by the vast majority of Chinese, would be adopted as the official tongue at the expense of much of their own Cantonese terminology. In fact, it was the dialectic subtleties that helped widen the rift between the north and south when the northern Mandarin leader, Wang Zhao, attacked southern delegate Wang Rangbao after Zhao mistook a mundane utterance for an insult.

Further attempts to establish guoyu were revisited with rare fervor in the 1930s under the rule of Chiang Kai-shek, who went so far as to order that all literature not written in guoyu be confiscated and burned. When the Communists seized power in 1949, a common language fit perfectly with the party’s plans for universal ideology according to Stalin’s teachings. And still, the mutual enmity between the north and south persisted, as northerners rallied around the cry of “Force the south to follow the north!”

Modern China’s government has succeeded in bringing about a universal language, now referred to as putonghua, which is now the standardized version of modern Chinese language that is taught in universities and spoken by government members in official addresses. Putonghua has become the language of the urban and educated, but it has yet to permeate the more rural areas of the country, where local dialects predominate. Even those who can speak putonghua have such thick regional accents as to make it impossible for a Mandarin farmer in Beijing to understand his southern counterpart in Shanghai. Further, the Taiwanese and Cantonese languages have undergone a new resurgence as part of the counterculture at universities and along China’s southern coastline. Chinese have made laudable inroads toward unifying their lingua franca, but China’s size, coupled with its increasing growth rate, suggests that local tongues will persevere for a long time to come.
1. According to the passage, the most consistent obstacle that the prospect of a unified language has encountered is

A. political uncertainty
B. government censorship
D. regional pride
E. a lack of nationalized education

2. As a result of the events of the twentieth century in China as described in the second and third paragraphs of the passage, the author would probably agree with which of the following statements?

A. Putonghua will persist in Chinese culture because its characters are far more universal than those of guoyu ever were.
B. In very populous countries, government edict is not always strong enough to resist the will of the people.
C. The resurgence of counterculture is a constant phenomenon, but the individual events seldom have the staying power to become anything more than passing fads.
D. Mandarin may yet become China’s national language because most Chinese speak it already.
E. A government cannot call itself a representative democracy as long as it sanctions the destruction of literature.

3. According to the passage, each of the following has influenced the adoption of a universal language in China EXCEPT

A. Chiang Kai-shek
B. members of the Qing dynasty’s royal family
C. Communists
D. resistance from Cantonese speakers
E. the modern Chinese government

Official Explanation

Question # 1

Answer: D The passage first mentions localized spoken dialects at the end of the first paragraph, and the theme persists throughout. Regional loyalties are mentioned in paragraph two (second sentence), and mutual enmity between the north and south occurred after the Communists arrived (last sentence of paragraph three).

Question # 2

Answer: B The passage talks about several government plans to impose a universal language on its 1.3 billion people—the first republic in 1913, Chiang Kaishek, and then the Communists. Even the modern government has tried (with a bit more success), but the new language hasn’t reached the rural counties, and other languages have become part of the counterculture (last two sentences of passage).

Question # 3

Answer: B Read carefully here. The Qing dynasty is mentioned in the second paragraph, but the first attempts to create a universal language didn’t happen until after the family had been overthrown. It’s possible that the new language was a reaction against dynastic rule, but we don’t know that for sure. Every other answer choice has had an influence, including D; Cantonese speakers have kept both guoyu and putonghua from becoming universal.

Hope it Helps
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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2019, 20:39
3
1. According to the passage, the most consistent obstacle that the prospect of a unified language has encountered is

A. political uncertainty -the dynasty,communists and modern Chinese govt,all have tried.So not a case of political uncertainty.
B. government censorship -out of scope
C. widespread ignorance --out of scope
D. regional pride
E. a lack of nationalized education -nationalized education is already in place as mentioned in 4'th para
Ans:D

2. As a result of the events of the twentieth century in China as described in the second and third paragraphs of the passage, the author would probably agree with which of the following statements?

A. Putonghua will persist in Chinese culture because its characters are far more universal than those of guoyu ever were.-out of scope
B. In very populous countries, government edict is not always strong enough to resist the will of the people. -Easy peasy
C. The resurgence of counterculture is a constant phenomenon, but the individual events seldom have the staying power to become anything more than passing fads.-out of scope
D. Mandarin may yet become China’s national language because most Chinese speak it already.-out of scope
E. A government cannot call itself a representative democracy as long as it sanctions the destruction of literature.-out of scope
Ans:B

3. According to the passage, each of the following has influenced the adoption of a universal language in China[/b] EXCEPT

A. Chiang Kai-shek -3'rd para
B. members of the Qing dynasty’s royal family -passage reference Qing dynasty’s but as means for timeline and not a influence.
C. Communists -When the Communists seized power in 1949 ,in the 3'rd para
D. resistance from Cantonese speakers -mentioned
E. the modern Chinese government -mentioned in last para
Ans:B
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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2019, 20:42

+1 kudos to all the posts containing proper explanations for all questions

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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2019, 22:45
4
1. According to the passage, the most consistent obstacle that the prospect of a unified language has encountered is
A. political uncertainty Out of scope
B. government censorship Opposite - this is working towards a unified language
C. widespread ignorance Not quite - but feel like a trap answer. The passage does not mention this
D. regional pride Perfect. The languages differ by region and the north resents the south and the reverse is also true.
E. a lack of nationalized education TRAP - even a nationalized education is unable to reach the rural parts, hence discard.

Second and third paragraphs summarize the efforts of various governments and rulers who have tried to bring about a common language (and failed up until now - when some partial success has been achieved)
2. As a result of the events of the twentieth century in China as described in the second and third paragraphs of the passage, the author would probably agree with which of the following statements?
A. Putonghua will persist in Chinese culture because its characters are far more universal than those of guoyu ever were. Too extreme - still the new language is not used in rural areas
B. In very populous countries, government edict is not always strong enough to resist the will of the people. The starting lines tell us how populous China is and the next few paragraphs depict the difficulty it has had over the years to bring about a common language by force (government order). Perfect.
C. The resurgence of counterculture is a constant phenomenon, but the individual events seldom have the staying power to become anything more than passing fads. Again, off-track and not likely that the author would agree with this as it is not mentioned.
D. Mandarin may yet become China’s national language because most Chinese speak it already. Wrong. Most Chinese do not speak it. Rural and remote areas are predominated by local languages.
E. A government cannot call itself a representative democracy as long as it sanctions the destruction of literature. Out of scope. Real-world trap.

Tricky one - influence could be both positive and negative influence. So we are looking for an option that has not affected the movement at all.
3. According to the passage, each of the following has influenced the adoption of a universal language in China EXCEPT
A. Chiang Kai-shek Mentioned in the passage.
B. members of the Qing dynasty’s royal family BINGO - the passage starts to mention them in the context "with the fall of the Quing dynasty" - hence they could not have affected the movement at all.
C. Communists Mentioned.

D. resistance from Cantonese speakers Mentioned. An affects in the opposite way as compared to others.
E. the modern Chinese government Mentioned.

Hope answers are useful.
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No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2019, 02:47
Took 5 min 31 sec and got all correct.
I think the questions were straightforward , but the size is appropriate practice wise.
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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2019, 08:24
1. According to the passage, the most consistent obstacle that the prospect of a unified language has encountered is

A. political uncertainty - the passage does not suggest anything about the relationship between political uncertainity and language, it just presents several attempts from several governments to enstablish a common language
B. government censorship - the passage talks about censorship only in one sentence, it is of little relevance for the argument
C. widespread ignorance - the passage does not talk about the relationship between language and instruction in the rural areas if not indirectly, but just nowadays
D. regional pride - correct. the passage suggests since the first paragraph that the main point of this dichotomy is the pride of the southern in their cantonese language, and furthers this in the second paragraph
E. a lack of nationalized education - the passage does not talk about this

A. Putonghua will persist in Chinese culture because its characters are far more universal than those of guoyu ever were. - No, Putonghua is recent but the events in the first two paragraph are past, so ruled out
B. In very populous countries, government edict is not always strong enough to resist the will of the people. - Correct: the passage suggest in the second, third and fourth paragraph that several attempts from government to unify the language failed even today, with a so numerous population
C. The resurgence of counterculture is a constant phenomenon, but the individual events seldom have the staying power to become anything more than passing fads. - No, the second part of this sentence is opposite to the main point: resurgence in china led to a widespread language pattern
D. Mandarin may yet become China’s national language because most Chinese speak it already. - No, it does not talks about the superiority of Mandarin over cantonese
E. A government cannot call itself a representative democracy as long as it sanctions the destruction of literature. - No, it talks about the destruction of book just in a sentence and it is a marginal situation

A. Chiang Kai-shek - No, he tried to unify the language
B. members of the Qing dynasty’s royal family - Correct. The passage suggest that the attempts of language unification started after the fall of thi family
C. Communists - No, Stalin tried to unify the language
D. resistance from Cantonese speakers - No, they tried to maintain their language
E. the modern Chinese government - No, it has been able to unify the language
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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi  [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2019, 15:58
Got 3/3 correct in total 6:44 min including 2:50 min to read the passage!

Passage Map:

1) Most langs —> China
2) Common lang: G. Efforts for an unified lang
3) More efforts for an unified lang
4) Efforts by modern govt
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Re: No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2019, 15:58
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# No other country on earth has more profound lingual diversity than Chi

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