As a country boasting a vast territory and encompassing a large population, people in many places of China speak their own dialects. Dialects vary greatly in pronunciation but slightly in vocabulary and grammar. Some dialects, especially those from the north and the south, are so different that their speakers often have trouble understanding each other. Although dialects are considered as an integral part of the local culture, the number of people who can speak them has been undergoing a continuous decline in recent years. In order to encourage people to speak local dialects more often, some local governments have taken measures such as setting up dialect courses and broadcasting dialect programs on radio and TV, with a hope to preserve the local cultural heritage.