Nowadays, most of Chinese people communicate with each other in Mandarin and the government also encourages speak Mandarin in public places. However, in my opinion, dialects still play an important role in some occasions and they are just as acceptable in public places. First of all, dialects are more than languages but culture of China. For example, along with the popularity of the double-people twist, their dialect is also very popular.
The humor expression helps it widely known in China.
Secondly, dialects make two people, who come from the same town but meet at a different place, closer and communicate more convenient. Suppose that on this condition, one of them do not know how to go to his destination because of his poor Mandarin. The other happened to know that and helps him. In addition, dialects are also the only way of communication to some uneducated local people.
Moreover, dialects are also good for communication with people who come from different areas.
Most people are interested in a new language. They prefer to know the different pronunciation in dialect of one word. That would be a heat topic on tables. Last but not least, dialects are more useful than Mandarin. Some Mandarin expressions are not as precise or vivid as dialect equivalents. Sometimes, one may finds that it is more difficult to express a feeling in Mandarin than in dialect.
That is also the reason why Mandarin is pushed forward by various dialects invisibly.
To sum up, dialects should be accepted in some public places for its unique role which Mandarin can not substitute. It is necessary to guarantee its existence and treated it correctly. As far as I am concerned, though dialects play some important roles, they do not and will not shake the dominant position of Mandarin. They are just as acceptable in public places.
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