(TMU) — A group of Chinese academics is making the fantastic claim that the English language is actually an offshoot of Mandarin Chinese.
The group of scholars from the World Civilization Research Association, an organization comprised of professors from across Chinese academia, are arguing that not only English but all European languages share a common Mandarin root, reports Taiwan News.
The group’s vice president and secretary-general, Zhai Guiyun, presented the argument to a reporter from Sina Online, noting that common English words clearly derive from Mandarin. Offering examples, he noted that “yellow” resembles the Mandarin word for “falling leaves”—noting the color of autumn—while “heart” sounds similar to “core.”
For Zhai, such coincidences prove that English is a mere “dialect” of Mandarin, the report added.
Zhu Xuanshi, member of the World Civilization Research Association, has argued that Western civilization as a whole is a “sub-civilization” of Chinese culture.
Yet while the Chinese nation as a political and cultural entity does indeed predate the concept of Europe and “the West” as an integral unit by thousands of years, Zhu’s group takes the concept to absurd lengths.
Zhu said that the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations were “fabricated” and essentially patched together from existing Chinese history because Europeans “felt ashamed” that they lacked a history prior to the 15th century.
Zhai is also quoted as having said:
“Before the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe had no history, only myths and legends.
The West has been swaying in the face of a long history of splendid Chinese history, and it took nearly 500 years to falsify Western history.”
Association founder Du Gangjian said that his group has established branches in North America, the U.K., Asia, and Africa to “restore” the alleged truth of world history.
Du was quoted as saying:
“Do not let fake, Western-centered history hinder the great Sino-Renaissance.”
As the Independent notes, Mandarin Chinese and English do share some loan words thanks to trade and cultural diffusion, with one example being “ketchup”—a word that originated in Malay before folding into the English language via Chinese.
Yet English has been determined by linguists to be a West Germanic tongue that reached the shores of Britain through Anglo Saxon settlers. Linguists see the root of all Eurasian languages, including Mandarin Chinese, as coming from the common core that is dubbed Proto-Indo-European.
No doubt, conventional historiography, linguistics, social sciences, and even science have suffered from various biases in academia, influenced by such factors as colonialism, political in-fighting, religion and the global economy, entailing Eurocentric distortions of world history, among other problems. However, many accuse the World Civilization Research Association of bending the truth too far in the opposite direction.
Chinese netizens have mocked members of the association by referring to them as the “Wolf Warrior Scholars”—a reference to the very patriotic and over-the-top Rambo-style action movie.
According to Asia Times, one Chinese commenter sarcastically said:
“Thanks, we can no longer laugh at the Koreans who claimed Confucius and Genghis Khan are Korean.”