北方话，Vs. 普通话，Who will emerge victorious?
I'm curious to know if anyone here has studied 中国的方言，(local dialects of China). My wife is from 辽宁省，（Liao Ning Provine) in Northeast China, and it seems to me right now 北方话(the dialect of Northeast China, a variation of Mandarin) is getting pretty popular.
Of course I'm most interested to know if anyone here has studied or knows a few phrases of 北方话， but I'd also like to know if anyone has actively studied other Chinese dialects besides standard Mandarin (ie 四川话，广东话，上海话, 山东话 等等）and if you feel it's worthwhile to learn it, or a waste of time.
Do you feel knowing the dialect gives you an edge over the competion in the job search in China (ie people teaching English in China, do you think it will help you get a better teaching job, perhaps upgrade from teaching at an Elementary School to a prestigious University?)
Can you say more than just a few phrases in a local dialect?
Is anyone here fluent in a local dialect?
Does anyone here feel that at some point in the future another chinese dialect might surpass 普通话 (standard Mandarin)？
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