Linguists have long-established English as a West Germanic language, but a group of Chinese scholars doesn't think so.
Scholars from the World Civilisation Research Association, a Chinese scholarly group, claim that the English language is a Mandarin dialect—and that all European languages were derived from a Mandarin root.
Vice president and secretary-general of the group Zhai Guiyun said words such as "yellow" and "heart" were based on the Mandarin words "yeluo" and "hede," respectively. Zhai added the English pronunciation for "shop" was also similar to the Chinese word for it, The Independent reported.
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"Of course, the pronunciation will be a little different, which is caused by the variations in pronunciation over hundreds or even thousands of years in different regions," the vice president told Sina Online News, as translated by Vice. "Think about how significant the differences are in our regional dialects… so it can be said that English is like a ‘dialect’ in our country."
It's true that both Mandarin Chinese and English hold loan words that were picked up through interaction and trade. For instance, the word "ketchup" originated in Malay before traveling into English through the Chinese.
Zhai also argued that Western civilization also originated in China. The Chinese group said the work of professor Zhai Du Gangjian supports this claim. Du Gangjian's supposed 20 years worth of research indicates how the first English-speaking civilizations came from the Indus River Valley during the rule of China's Yellow Emperor.
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Perhaps the most controversial statement from the scholarly group is that Europe had falsified the accounts on ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations based on Chinese history.
"Before the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe had no history, only myths and legends," Zhai said at the first China International Frontier Education Summit in Beijing. "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."