lThe language of Japan has many dialects, and speakers of one dialect do not always understand everything a speaker of another dialect might say. But almost everyone in Japan uses standard Japanese as well as the dialect of his or her home area. Standard Japanese, originally the dialect spoken by the educated people of Tokyo, is now taught and understood throughout the country. Television, radio, and the Japanese educational system played prominent roles in standardizing the speech patterns of the population.
lThere are two elements to the Chinese language: the written language, based on individual symbols called characters, each of
which represents an idea
or thing; and the spoken
language, which includes a number of different
dialects. The written language originally
had no alphabet, but it was easily understood
by literate people no matter what dialect they spoke