Mandarin, Guoyu or Putonghua? "Chinese" is a language known by many names, and China is a country home to many languages. Since the turn of the century linguists and politicians have been on a mission to create a common language for China. From the radical intellectuals of the May Fourth Movement, to leaders such as Chiang Kai-shek, and Mao Zedong, all fought to push the boundaries of language reform. Now, internet users take the Chinese language in new and unpredictable directions. David Moser tells the remarkable story of China’s language unification agenda and its controversial relationship with modern politics, challenging our ideas of what it means to speak Chinese.
About the Author
David Moser is Academic Director of CET Chinese Studies at Beijing Capital Normal University.