Speak Like An Indonesian


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Lebay (le-bye) / exaggerated, over the top

The two words have their roots in thug-speech, although now widely used and understood by virtually everyone. Cewek is generally used to identify someone of a female gender, and cowok if male. Nongkrong basically means hanging out and chilling, getting together — not necessarily with a specific plan in mind. The whole point is to be around your friends; whether you talk about random things or do nothing together is of no importance.

You can invite your Indonesian friends to nongkrong anywhere, from a hip bar to random spots by a random street. When someone is being sotoy , it means he or she is acting like an obnoxious know-it-all. The word can also be used as an interjection when someone was imparting unaccountable knowledge or conjecture.

This word is light enough to be said rather playfully without implying disdain.


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While the origin cannot be confirmed for sure, BT is now used to describe almost any negative mood or emotion. Abbreviated from curahan hati , this word can roughly be translated as vent or rant. However, curhat implies trust and intimacy between the parties taking part in it. Curcol is a specific kind of curhat or rant. For example, a group of friends is talking about coffee and one of them suddenly turns the conversation into how he was once stood up in a coffee shop. No one knows how it sounds in real life and no one cares. Edira Putri. Save to wishlist. However, the words you hear exchanged in daily interactions may not be the ones listed in the dictionary.

Friendly conversation. Pair of friends having conversation. Snuggly bed. Hanging out with friends. Relaxed conversation. Honestly I was thinking about the presidential politics rather than regional. Indonesia is a large and diverse country. Similar population to the USA and arguably more diverse. Based on what? Based on what I know about Indonesian politics and American politics. I grew up in Indonesia for a while during the Soeharto regime, and have maintained an interest since. Hell, we can barely democratically govern Louisiana.

Not for nothing did A. Liebling dub it Lebanon. No disagreement from me on that. Inclusion of Louisiana, Alabama, etc. Try visiting an English-speaking country that's not America. I suggest that because the inverse was true for me: In , I Australian ended up in a hotel somewhere between Mobile, Alabama and Pascagoula, Mississippi on my way to Pascagoula to go sailing for work. First time in America. In the morning, I wanted breakfast, and saw a Waffle House at a truck stop over the highway from the hotel.

I knew them from films but I'd never been to one. I wandered in, and tried to order. The waitress could not understand my accent, and I could not understand hers. I ended up ordering by pointing at the menu. Then I ate waffles with bacon and maple syrup what a crazy mixture. Let me tell you, hearing Southern accents in movies or TV did not prepare me for a random, back-of-nowhere truck stop outside a small town in Mississippi. You might be able to get the same experience in a small town out back somewhere in Australia. Who knows. Try it :. As an American in Australia I found that I could communicate easily enough, but it was often a struggle with cashiers.

Katoomba was the smallest town I visited, and that didn't pose much of a challenge except for the food. Contrast that experience with London's east end where there were a number of accents I simply couldn't understand. The thing I've found with Australia, Canada, and the UK is that in major cities the dialect is similar enough that if you're somewhat familiar with British vocabulary you'll be fine. Bringing it back to Waffle House though, the only WHs I've visited were in areas where the southern accent wasn't particularly strong. We have local and big chain diners out here on the west coast e.

Denny's, IHOP , so a diner isn't a new experience. But visiting Waffle House was a bit of a culture shock to me. While I could understand the words, every single person was discussing football. Except for some expat restaurants, you really wouldn't find that style of situation. I remember ordering a burger in the South once and being asked "Do you want that all the way? It turns out she was asking whether I wanted all the toppings which in my dialect I would call "with the works" or with no or only a few toppings. As someone hailing from an apparently more "heterogeneous" country than the USA, I gotta ask: Death of what?

Death of culture. Death of variety. Death of everything that made America an interesting place to visit. Every city used to have its own local shops, brands, traditions, cultural events. Cleveland and Rochester were worlds apart despite being geographically close. Now it's the same stores, the same malls, the same cookie-cutter McMansions.

The only variety left is the color of the police cars and minor variations in the speed limit. This isn't progress, this is death by gentrification I don't know if gentrification is the right word. Maybe death by standardization. The big breakthrough that made McDonald's a successful company was coming up with processes and supply chains that allowed its food to be predictable. Before McDonald's, when you drove across the country and stopped at a burger joint, you never knew what the food would be like.

Today, if you see the golden arches, you know exactly that the food will look like, taste like, and for the most part, cost. This is also true on an international level. Even though there are regional items on McDonald's menus, when I buy fries in St. Petersburg, Florida, they taste exactly the same as the ones I get in St. Petersburg, Russia. There's a name for it in diplomatic circles, but the term escapes me.

Essentially, opening McDonald's restaurants in a new country introduces that country to supply chains, language, tastes, and other Western elements that help bridge the cultural gap between nations and brings a level of understanding to the masses that eventually leads to closer relations. It's the reason that when McDonald's first went into Europe, it used the slogan "The taste of America. A lot of people with no understanding of history laughed when it was brought up that opening a McDonald's in North Korea was an important part of the Trump-Kim summit. But diplomats saw it as a watershed moment.

One could even argue Qatar and Saudi Arabia at this point. Of course, it should be noted that the attitude of globalization preventing major war from breaking out isn't new--at the beginning of the 20th century, it was a quite common view that Europe was too economically intertwined for war to break out. Instead, three of the bloodiest and most destructive wars in history broke out. I'm an American currently living in Russia. McDonald's menu here is different. In fact, it's better and the ingredients are higher quality which is quite ironic.

Same for all American fast-food chains in Russia and Europe, for that matter. That's the first time I hear that correlation, and it's amazing. I could see that opening a McDonald's in NK would be symbolic, but not at that one-layer-deeper level. It's the kind of freakonomics insight I'll be able to drop at conversations for a long time! Well, I went to do a research on that. It's called "The Golden Arches Theory"[1], it was meant to be tone-in-cheek, but to rationalize on the idea that two countries who develop a middle-class and economic stability to make a McDonald's viable no longer have an interest on going into war to each other.

Of course, there are many exceptions, both before, immediately and long after that "theory" was written: - The United States invasion of Panama - In , India and Pakistan fought a war over Kashmir, known as the Kargil War. Both countries had and continue to have McDonald's restaurants. McDonald's franchises were established in Israel and Lebanon in and , respectively. However, the Lebanese Armed Forces were not a party to the fighting, the Israel Defense Forces action being taken instead against the paramilitary group Hezbollah.

And even more amazing, there's an improved version of the theory:[2] "The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain.

This is because of the economic interdependence between nations that arises when a large corporation such as Dell has supply chain operations in multiple global locations and when developing nations in which supply chain operations commonly take place are reluctant to give up their newfound wealth. But I doubt that updated version wouldn't fall short to prevent the exceptions listed above. An interesting thing is that despite all that, there is still a huge amount of diversity in the US, along many dimensions, based on what I've read in Wikipedia, for example, about regional US cuisines. The US might be a melting pot, but many of the ingredients in the pot are not quite melted - to coin a phrase : - and I hope they stay that way.

The more you travel, the more you encounter this. Chili in Cincinnati is not even remotely the same at chili in Houston. Key ingredients in Houston are meat, chili powder, and tomato paste. Key ingredients in Cincinnati are chocolate, allspice, cinnamon, spaghetti, and cheddar cheese. Breakfast meat in eastern Pennsylvania is scrapple.

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8 Tips To Speak Indonesian Like Locals Do

In New Jersey it's Taylor ham. In Kentucky it's sausage links. In Iowa, it's bacon. That would be unheard of in the rest of the country. There are a lot of people who sit on the internet and whine about how boring life is in America. Life in America is like most other countries — exactly as boring as you make it, or as exciting as you make it. And again, the more you travel, the more you see the diversity of the nation unfold. I dunno. This is a topic I'm pretty passionate about. I'm extremely well-traveled within the US and have a lot of good friends from different states, and the tiny regional differences that you're mentioning are frustratingly bland compared to, say, the cultural differences between northern and southern France.

And even there, the relentless pace of branded technology and products is increasing, to the point where in historic Aix-en-Provence, in a famously beautiful town square, there's an entire metallic-and-glass Apple store. It pains me to see the same restaurants, architecture, road signs, vehicles, etc- because they're all slowly becoming the same, when they used to be so different. Houston, where I live, is a desert of strip malls, and the only reason you can tell it's Texas is because it's hot and sunny. Take away the sky and I could be in the same parking lot in any state in the US.

Welcome to the modern world. This will eventually happen everywhere. It's easy for places to be different when they were separated by days or weeks of travel time. Now ideas can be transferred in seconds and the entire US can be traversed in days. Regional factories used to supply the area around them. Now one part made in China can be supplied anywhere on the planet. The past was like the past because of logistics. The future is looking much different. Conversely, technology also allows similar people to refine their ideas about what makes them similar.

Cultures will maintain their separate ideas and market strategies as long as there are enough people to pay for them. After all, Walmart is struggling in other markets as varied as China and Canada, because their model doesn't adapt very well outside the US. TulliusCicero on July 4, I think many tend to exaggerate the level of regional differences in America. Sure, there are some significant differences, but it's nowhere close to the level of difference of going to another country except Canada.

Regional accents are weak as hell in the states, on average. I've lived in several regions in the US and never really got a feeling of being out of place or alien that I get sometimes visiting other countries. Then you haven't talked to many real locals when you travel. When I talk to my relatives in New York City real native New Yorkers, not imported midwest poser hipsters , my wife from another part of the country can't understand a word we say.

Siri is tuned to some California nuanced accent that means she can't understand my wife at all. I don't know how it understand people from Boston. Again, real local people from Boston, not the imported flatlanders. A friend of mine from a major east coast city went through years of training to get rid of his accent. He says it was the key to becoming a success in the radio industry. I've been from east to west in the US, downeast, new york, boston - these are no problem whatsoever for any Californian or Midwesterner. More like a tossed salad!

Ha, great analogy :. It's a baseline. It's common that many places will have local offerings that exceed the baseline moreso in other categories like beer than potato chips , but it's nice to know that literally the worst possible thing that could happen is they only have Lay's. Americans used to ridicule people living in the Soviet Union because they had to buy the same sofa, the same car, the same beer, all manufactured by the state.

They lived in the same apartments, stamped out by decree, from Europe to the Pacific. Now having Lay's everywhere is a thing to be celebrated? Lay's are terrible. It's like what happens to a potato when you take all the fun out of them and make them into something even blander. I think they meant that you can find Lay's everywhere, not that you can only find Lay's everywhere. There's a huge difference between those two things. I'd take that any day over Soviet Union.

8 Tips To Speak Indonesian Like Locals Do - ASIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL

It's this kind of bland ubiquity that is what the Soviet Union was all about. I'm not saying the Soviet experience was great, but that the modern American experience of the same shit, the same stores, the same everything everywhere you go is bordering on absurd. America is a handful of mergers away from having one cable company, one telephone company, one media company, one film production company. That's not a good look.

Wow, your description of the US culture is very scary. Like an exaggeratedly dystopian future. We have many problems in Europe, but this senseless uniformization is, by far, not as complete as it seems to be in the U. The uniform experience of the US is why I roll my eyes at people who suggest "why would I travel elsewhere if I haven't even explored my own country? Although an awful lot of this difference is due to poverty and shouldn't be romanticized.

I was recently in Cambodia and the new thing there is that they've recently gotten smartphones. Yes, some of the people I was with bemoaned this fact as it meant that things were becoming "less authentic", but the thing is, due to the lack of computers, the smartphone revolution is also the Internet revolution there.

It is an wonderful thing from the Cambodian perspective. There is no senseless uniformity. It really makes complete sense when you look at it from a logistics prospective. Why have 5 regional factories making things slightly different when you can make one large factory and exploit the efficiencies of scale and the countries transportation networks.

It is very easy for goods to travel through states. Europe, as a whole has not, though the formation of the EU has helped. Agnosticism, last I saw, was the fastest growing belief. When Americans were more religious, there was a lot of conflict over that. Weird how I never really noticed that. The US does have its fair share of local dialects, but they are usually still very easy to understand, even for non-native English speakers. It's one of the reasons why I prefer US English to British English, with some British dialects I have a really hard time understanding what's being said.

Do Brits struggle with understanding some British dialects? As a native German speaker, I know for a fact that some German dialects just sound like incomprehensible gibberish to me. Must be really confusing for any of the US servicemembers stationed there who are trying to learn German, trying to understand German that not even most Germans would be able to understand. Glad you asked, as this article reminded me of that. Outside of Northern China, where Mandarin is original dialect, the answer is no, Mandarin is not understood throughout the country on a level that English is in the US.

It's a kind of second language for many, with younger generations generally being more fluent than their elders. Like the Indonesian dialect, it's somewhat forced by recent government mandate except for the North where it's from. The frequency of overhearing people asking each other for more clarification showed me that language barriers existed, even among university students. English by contrast is much more consistent and far less ambiguous among accents and dialects across the globe.

At first when people complimented me on my English, I didn't really understand why until I realized most Chinese are not fluent in Mandarin in the way I am fluent in English. It seemed they thought the same fluency disparity would exist among US natives with English. I experienced the same in India a few month ago, when I traveled the length of the west coast with an Indian friend of mine. Coming from the US, I never appreciated how diverse the country is, especially with language. In the south especially, he often struggled just as much as me to communicate with people from his own country, despite being fluent in both Hindi and English.

It blew my mind a little bit, especially realizing the administrative nightmare it must be to run a country of over 1. If you look at any Indian currency bill Rupee , you'd see the denomination written in words in 22 languages, though in a smaller font. Those are the official languages of India. The official languages of the central government are Hindi and English. All government communications between the central government and state governments or between state governments commonly happen in English because India does not have one language identified as a "national language".

Administrative nightmares are avoided by the use of English, which then gets translated to local languages as required. What your Indian friend experienced could be because of an assumption that many people in the north make about Hindi being the lingua franca around the country. The truth is that while Bollywood has made Hindi more widespread than it otherwise would be, every section of the country its non-Hindi languages, be it west, east, north east or the south, resists the imposition of Hindi by governments.

People in many states, not just in the south, may not even understand Hindi or speak it even if their languages are closer to Hindi. Among Indians, only someone from some of the northern states where Hindi is the official language would mistakenly think of Hindi as a "national language" or a bridge language. Can attest to this as someone who has Indian parents but not born in India. You can get further with English than you would with Hindi in some parts.

You still have huge language barriers. I am impressed by the diversity of the world. Good for them. But when one learns other languages, you begin to realize how broken and inconsistent English is. If English would be a programming language, it would be PHP. Every language has its ups and downs. English is broken and inconsistent, but compared to, say, German which I'm learning now , at least the core grammar is less complicated, it's more flexible, and most importantly there are no noun genders goddamn I hate those so much. I visited a Hyderabad office that used English with each other, not just with me, because half were locals who knew Telugu and half were recent arrivals who knew Hindi.

I knew 4 languages before I went to school. My parents know 2 additional languages they grew up in a different state than me. I can't read, speak or write these languages. So, if I travel to the place where they grew up - I'm a tourist. The more you try to put India in a box to simplify things, the more complex it gets.

Joan Robison, a Cambridge Economist once said "whatever you can rightly say about India, the opposite is also true. The languages [1] of the 4 southern states of India are somewhat different from Hindi and other northern, central, western and eastern Indian languages not too sure about the north-eastern states like Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, etc. I say "somewhat different" because, some of the the southern languages do have some Sanskrit influence and Sanskrit or Sanskrit-derived words, like the other ones do. I think the others are supposed to have much more Sanskrit influence.

For example if you understand Sanskrit you can understand a lot of Hindi, and vice versa. Studied both in school for some years. The amount of variety and diversity on many fronts in India is amazing. For example, I did not know for a long time that Modi script was an alternative script earlier used to write the Marathi language. Think of Mandarin like English. Many regions only have it as second language, with not everyone speaking it well and just like with English, younger generations do better on average.

In regions where it is the first language, it is usually a dialect differing from Standard Mandarin. Canton guangzhou speaks Cantonese, Shanghai speaks Shanghainese, and so it goes, with none of these languages having much at all to do with Mandarin The Shanghainese use of tones is closer to Scandinavian languages than other Chinese languages! In Hong Kong, Mandarin would be your third language in school, unused in public except to communicate with visiting mainlanders.

Writing is basically isolated from the spoken language, so there the primary concern is that some areas use traditional Chinese, whereas others use simplified. Previously most Hong-Kong movies were in Mandarin under the Shaw Brothers , but since the eighties they switched back to Cantonese. Only the state sponsored, politically correct Peking-film school movies and TV is mandarin, the popular movies are all in Cantonese. To add to this as a Hong Kong native : Hong Kong is definitely a weird, special case, having belonged to Britain until and basically most people growing up there on some level despise the mainland, communism, and the language.

To this day there's a certain level of disdain and judgment against you if you speak Mandarin there, almost like you're branded as "the others". It's also true that provinces with rich cultures far away from Beijing continue to have their local dialects thrive. Yunnan also is quite noted for having many minorities and dialects still being preserved. The same cannot be said for Shanghai, where the younger generation have been eager to adopt to just speaking Mandarin as the mainstream thing to do. I had a girlfriend from Wuhan, and she grew up listening to the dialect there but her parents never encouraged her to converse in it, so she only speaks Mandarin.

My wife is from Shanghai, but spent the later half of her life in Hong Kong, so she speaks Shanghainese, Cantonese, Mandarin, English fluently and now also Danish and Swedish intermediate. As I am Scandinavian, I am mostly just conveying her knowledge and my brief observations, all while she makes me feel horribly inadequate in the language department.

I recall a trip to Shanghai a while back where my wife mentioned that her Shanghainese was rusty, which she felt resulted in her being considered foreign. It would appear to me that people were still preferring Shanghainese, although she did mention that Mandarin words were used at random. Are you talking about a younger generation yet, or might I have been misunderstanding something very probable? I'd ask her myself, but she's in Mainland doing research right now, and The Great Firewall makes communication patchy at best.

I've spent 2 years in Shanghai as an exchange student, and I think whether you get the impression that the "younger generation" no longer speaks Shanghainese depends a lot on whether you focus on people born in Shanghai to parents both speaking Shanghainese, or all inhabitants of Shanghai in that age group. The former are likely to speak at least a little Shanghainese, but limited due to only using it at home and with some of their friends. The latter don't really have a need to learn Shanghainese, because Mandarin is the language used in school and for all kinds of business.

Personally, I only know one native Shanghainese speaker. Because my friends are university students from all over the country, the actual proportions are likely not as extreme, but I still think that Shanghainese speakers are a minority by now. Accacin on July 5, Similar to my wife, she's from Shantou and speaks her local dialect Teochew pretty much used by everyone in her hometown , Mandarin and also Cantonese fluently.

According to her though, everyone in her city speaks the local dialect, and they only speak Mandarin if needed. That's exaggerated, outside of Cantonese-speaking areas Mandarin is the native language of the younger generations. That isn't true. Many people will speak their local dialect as a native language, even outside of cantonese speaking areas.

My wife is from a town in Hunan, her mandarin is native, but that's because her mom and dad were from different places in Hunan. But there are still many kids in that area who speak Mandarin with a heavy accent Cantonese isn't very special as Chinese dialects go; e. I disagree, but I'd like to add that just like everywhere else in the world, the younger generations have a higher average level of education and linguistic skill, thus being better at both second and third languages than the previous generations.

Mandarin words are also adopted in local languages to fill gaps by the younger generations, just like English words are often put to use in the west. Not as fully incorporated loan-words, but just as a Mandarin word randomly injected into a foreign language sentence Those speaking Cantonese use English words instead. However, the native tongue of the younger generations is not Mandarin, at least not in any of the areas I have knowledge of. Source: Married to a native Shanghainese who is in the range who spend half her life in Hong Kong, and thus spoke Cantonese, Shanghainese, Mandarin and English fluently out of necessity more western languages have been added to the list later on.

Mandarin is about as pervasive in China as English is in Europe. The USA is definitely more linguistically homogeneous.

About Indonesian

Depends on the area. You'll find speakers of lots of foreign languages all over in NYC or coastal California. What might be unusual in the US though is that it's a big country in both population and geographic size, and yet the amount of regional variation in the primary tongue is quite limited.

I think the UK and Germany have considerably more variation, even though they're smaller countries. Yes, but it exists alongside other dialects spoken locally which are sort of mutually intelligible, but in some cases only when written cf. It's analogous to large parts of the US outside the Northeast Corridor using various dialects of American Sign Language, which is written the exact same as American English, but only among people from their home city, and also having varying degrees of command over spoken English.

Your sentence is equivalent to saying that because a person speaks Cantonese but writes English, Cantonese is the same as English.

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But these are codes for spoken or written language, not languages themselves. It is a common misconception, because English speaking people are generally taught Signed Exact English and see it used for real time translation, but that has no grammatical crossover with ASL. Oliver Sacks wrote a fabulous book on the subject: Seeing Voices. Written, mostly, but spoken, not so much. Well, isn't it a wonder more than a billion people can understand each other's writings even if they speak different dialects. It depends.

I've been in the middle of Sichuan in Tibetan counties , many of the older people don't understand mandarin while the younger people do. The same applies to rural Xinjiang. Definitely Mandarin will get you farther in China than English, but it isn't quite universal yet. It makes sense that the language is too young to have evolved to be a means of communication.

I remember being surprised that the phenomenon of colonial rulers of a country imposing their own language on the population occurred with the British wherever they went was not true for Indonesia. The Dutch seemed to have kept their language out of reach for most of the local population. There being no translation for a lot of words, especially legal terms, from Dutch to local languages, a lot of Dutch words ended up being part of Bahasa Indonesia.

This could be more cause for it to feel like a foreign language. It's always seemed wild to me that Indonesia doesn't come up more in general in the west. It seems like the only time I hear about it in the news is when there's a natural disaster. Indonesia is poor, far away, not particularly significant geopolitically, and there's no large Indonesian diaspora in the West outside of the Netherlands.

A large portion of Indonesian-Americans are actually ethnically Chinese. Apocryphon on July 4, It's a huge country in terms of both population and land, and with abundant natural resources including oil. It's the largest Muslim nation in the world, and also has significant numbers of religious minorities. It's adjacent to many other eastern and southeastern Asian markets. There's definitely interest to be had there. Rapzid on July 4, Largest Muslim-majority nation. However, they are on a frightening trajectory towards becoming a Muslim nation. Their democracy is on increasingly thinning ice.

Islamisation of Indonesian politics has happened and faded away before, in the early s. The current wave is worrisome, but there is no reason to believe it will rise indefinitely. Rapzid on July 5, The growth in fundamentalist groups since has not faded. The foundation for Islamic identity politics is much sturdier in It is democracy and free speech that is enabling Islamic politics in Indonesia. The alternative is a strongman who imposes secularism.

Indonesia already tried that, it is not so good for minorities. Indonesia doesn't have free speech. Look what happened to Ahok. The FPI, who wants to institute sharia law, managed to get him jailed for two years on a BS blasphemy charge. Where is the "atheism" option for the KTP? I'm afraid the concept of separation of Church and state in the Indonesian constitution and principles is not nearly strong enough.

It's trying to have the cake and eat it too. I don't believe the legal constructs and government checks are strong enough to resist what's coming. Don't worry, it's improving : We used to only be recognized as "the country which has Bali" or even sometimes falsely as "located in Bali". Indonesia does seem to have more than its fair share of natural calamities, but anyone who looks at a map cannot help but wonder at how much the country is spread across latitudes and longitudes, while not being extremely large in terms of land area compared to say, the five largest countries in the world by land area.

Such a country having one language as the lingua franca is a big deal, despite the difficulties and inconsistencies pointed out in this article. AmericanChopper on July 4, This article is hyperbolic and opinionated at best, and ignorant at worst. A vast majority of the country speaks Bahasa Indonesia as either a first or second language.

People will generally know their own particular ethnic language, and may choose to speak it when they are only around others who speak it too, in the home for instance. Bahasa Indonesia is used very widely, partly because the opportunity to use local languages is quite restricted, especially in cities, where the populations are much more diverse. Old not fake news: the difference between a dialect and a language is an army and a navy. HumanDrivenDev on July 4, I've never liked that witticism.

For one thing it breaks down really quickly - ie by that logic Welsh is a dialect of English, and Walloon French is a dialect of Flemish. It's also fairly irrelevant to me what a government thinks is a dialect when I want to discuss languages. IE ethnic chinese can call languages that are mutually unintelligable 'dialects' all they want, it doesn't change reality.

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