Minority Languages, Education and Communities in China by L. Tsung

By L. Tsung

The book outlines the evolution and position of minority languages in the community and nationally; it investigates present academic language rules in minority components; and it assesses the social and financial results of language switch for groups in modern China.

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Additional resources for Minority Languages, Education and Communities in China (Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities)

Example text

Prior to 1957 there was an indigenous Zhuang written language, Gu Zhuangzi, composed of Zhuang logograms based on Chinese characters. However, this script was replaced by one based on the Latin alphabet and created in 1957. Although the Zhuang script is currently the only one of the 16 created scripts that is officially approved of by the State Council, it has achieved only limited success among the Zhuang community. Today most Zhuang are bilingual in Chinese and Zhuang with Zhuang spoken in most social and public activities, including media and broadcasting and Chinese used as the medium of instruction in schools and tertiary institutions.

Nearly half of all Kazaks were killed during the Russian Civil War of the 1920s and 1930s and the surviving Kazaks found themselves dispersed among many countries, including China, where they are spread over a vast territory from the Tian Shan mountain to the Ural mountain. Despite being widely separated Kazak communities have preserved their language and culture under centralized administrations, such as in the Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in XUAR and the small Kazak community in the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

It also continued the approach of transforming non-Han peoples into Han by setting up many schools in non-Han areas to spread the culture of the central plain. For example, upper class children from Tubo (Tibet) were sent to the Han Capital, Chang’an, to study Chinese and, at the same time, Han Chinese were invited to take charge of the official dispatch services of the Tubo government. In the Tang Dynasty (618–907), further refinements were made to the examination system. Three degrees could now be awarded to students based on examination results.

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