China’s Linguistic Landscape is Changing Rapidly

PRI’s The World reports on the growth of Mandarin as a common language in China, as increasing numbers of migrant and minority children are being taught it:

While the government insists Mandarin is necessary for social cohesion, some of China’s ethnic minorities have pushed back. Tibetan students, for example, have protested plans to shift nearly all their classes into Mandarin — a policy they say represents a larger campaign by Beijing to dilute Tibetan culture and assert political control.

There have been protests in Cantonese-speaking parts of China, too. People there are worried their native dialect is being forced out of public places and into the home.

But the general trend points in the opposite direction. Despite protests and lagging investment in rural education, not to mention the prevalence of regional dialects, Mandarin usage is growing at a breakneck pace. [Source]