Chinese not a language

From the Mountain View Whisman School District [Mountain View, CA] Home Language Survey [in connection with applications for kindergarten]:

*If you have indicated Chinese above, please specify as to Cantonese or Mandarin, as Chinese is not a language.

(Hat tip to Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky.)

You see what they were trying to get at: Chinese is not the name of a single language. But this isn’t a good way to say that.

2 Responses to “Chinese not a language”

  1. James Says:

    Especially weird: You don’t really need anything after the comma for that request to work.

  2. The Ridger Says:

    Indeed. Stopping at the comma would have avoided the whole problem.

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