Similarities Between Igbo And Chinese Languages

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Chinese and Igbo languages share some similarities between them,though belonging to different families from two continents. While Chinese is a member of the Sino_Tibetan language family, Igbo language belongs to the Niger_Congo family. 1.Both languages are tonal languages. 2.Both possess hundreds of dialects spread over a wide region. Chinese has its numerous dialects grouped into varieties _Mandarin, Wu,Yue,Hakka,Jin,Gan,Ping,Xiang,Min,Huizhou. Igbo language has many dialects even within one state among the five Igbo speaking states. Eg In Anambra,there is Nibo dialect(My home town),Umuawulu dialect,Mgbakwu dialect,Awka dialect,Obosi dialect, Idemili dialect cluster,Onitsha dialect etc. These constitute Anambra dialect cluster. Same goes for Ebonyi state which has an even more diverse dialect cluster. Hundreds of dialects abound outside the five Igbo speaking states in other parts of Igboland,and often in clusters. This means groups of dialects so similar but with differences like Anambra cluster. 3. Chinese language has a standard form(Standard Mandarin) based on the Beijing dialect,used in official capacity for administration, education, business etc. Igbo language has equally a standard form (Standard Igbo) used for official purposes. This is the unifying form of Igbo among the various Igbo dialects. Chinese has its written form in symbols called Chinese characters, used for thousands of years till present. Igbo language has its own logographic writing called Nsinbidi also used for millennia, but which later fell out of widespread use during British colonial era. But surprisingly Nsinbidi is still used in Igbo writing by Igbo diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America.

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