I found another post very similar to this one and i'm going to quote one of the authors which i thought he explained it very well
Just a couple points to raise here. Sorry it’s on an old post, but hey, what’s a couple of months vs. thousands of years of linguistic change?
A fact that applies to all languages is that they change over time. There’s a truckload of reasons for why this happens, and it’s really unfortunate that people tend to highlight ‘foreign contamination’ as THE red light signaling change, or worse, as a corruption of some idealized, pure, ‘correct' original language. Many nations across the world and throughout history have tried to standardize their official languages through governmental intervention, educational programs and so on, but these attempts have always failed. Languages just change (with or without contact with barbarians) and there's no real way to stop that. Also, something like the extremely thought-provoking theory that modern Mandarin pronunciation originates from the accents of native speakers of ‘Manchu’ as they read the characters, if true, doesn’t change the fact that it’s still ‘Mandarin,’ but it does give you an idea of the extent to which languages, and all other social inventions, are hardly eternal and unchangeable.
Really simple examples from relatively recent changes: Who here can use the word ‘whom’ without feeling like a dork? When you say "better than" does it sound more like "better then?" Or, (and I don’t know how this applies outside of the PRC- let me know, thanks!) in relaxed conversation, how do you personally pronounce 谁? How do you pronounce 의 in 존재의 이유? Same example, is it easier to say 재 or 제?I’m glad to see that people on this board refer to Hakka and Cantonese as languages as opposed to dialects. The classification of languages into families or dialectical branches, while usually a blast, can never be definite or even ‘scientific.’ All languages are made up by their speakers over time- end of story. Think of how you learn languages- you’re born, you hear people around you talking, you start imitating what you hear, and after a while you pick it up. Things change and you pass that on to the people you come into contact with. Language, like culture, depends purely on context. Nobody speaks Mandarin because they’re Han by ‘ethnicity,’ or even because they happened to be born within certain borders. This of course applies to all languages everywhere.
All the so-called ‘differences’ and our neat little categories for organizing them, are usually politically derived. A frequently quoted example comes from northern Europe, where speakers of Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, which we’d assume are all separate languages since, hey, that’s three different countries, are easily able to communicate with each other. Going slightly south to Germany, which we might be tempted to view as a unified nation and a single ‘ethnicity,’ it turns out that speakers of ‘German’ in certain areas of this pretty small country (at least when compared to the PRC) are completely unable to understand each other. The ‘German Language’ is just a political label. Obviously in the PRC (and pretty much every other country where ‘cultural heritage’ helps to keep the government in power, which unfortunately in the modern world is just about every country), it’s the same deal, and you can’t refer to Wu or Yue as separate languages because apparently that threatens national security and the disrupts the unity of the motherland.
Also, while it’s always tempting to play around with ‘identity’ and pride, just keep in mind that Fuzhou Hua, Hokkien, Cantonese, the Canadian Frenches, Cheju Island Korean, Galician, Sibe, the Scottish dialects, so on and so on, all have histories as rich, varied and full of changes as Mandarin’s, or any other ‘official’ language.
And real quick… a Quote from above:
"Both ancient Chinese and Mandarin may have four tones, but some Chinese dialects have evolved more than four. This includes Cantonese, which has about nine, and Hokkien, which has seven."
The general consensus appears to be that modern Mandarin has been simplified down to four tones, as opposed to a situation where it has been left behind while the other languages have evolved to become more tonally complex. It's also a simplification process that explains why Mandarin has a smaller phonological inventory- less available 'syllables'- than most of these other languages.
very well said and this is the link to the other post...http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=226
i especially love the part where he explains that language and dialects are twisted and intrepreted different for every country because they want to keep the unity of the country and so they would boradly name it chinese language ... which infact they are separate... that is the point i am trying ot make too but i couldn't put it to words ... this was a great post.