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It seems that the "language" descriptor on a movie, tv show, or comic is always listed using 语 instead of 文. (国语, 英语, 德语, etc) instead of 英文. This is common even when listing the subtitles (although with subtitles I also see 文).

Why is it that 语 is used so much in this context?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think 语 refers more specifically to spoken language, which is what you find in a movie, as opposed to written language, 文

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Technically 'X语' refers to the spoken language and 'X文' refers to the written form, but in everyday life people do not normally make such fine distinction. The two forms can often be used interchangeably. I think 'X语' is more common in mainland China, and 'X文' is more common in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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