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                      Home History and Culture The Chinese Language & Mandarin & Dialects
                      The Chinese Language & Mandarin & Dialects
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                      ? ??Please Speak Mandarin
                      Chinese is a language family consisting of languages mutually unintelligible to varying degrees. Originally it is the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese (hàn rén 漢人) in China, it forms one of the two branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world’s population, or over one billion people, speak some form of Chinese as their native language. Besides Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao SAR, Taiwan Province and the mainland of China, there are people in Singapore, Malaysia and some other countries speak Chinese as their mother tone.

                      Chinese DictionaryThe standard language of Chinese is Putonghua (pǔ tōng huà 普通話), or Mandarin. It has the Beijing pronunciation as its standard pronunciation, the northern dialect as its basic dialect, and the typical modern vernacular Chinese as its grammatical standard. Mandarin offers convenience for communication between people in different areas or of different ethnic groups in China.

                      Due to the vast territory and a large population of China, there forms various kinds of dialects (fāng yán 方言). Dialects, generally called local languages, are branches of the Chinese language and are only used in certain area. At present there are seven dialects: the northern dialect (běi fāng fāng yán 北方方言), the Wu dialect (wú fāng yán 吳方言), the Xiang dialect (xiāng fāng yán 湘方言), the Gan dialect (gàn fāng yán 贛方言), the Hakka (kè jiā fāng yán 客家方言), the Min dialect (mǐn fāng yán 閩方言) and the Yue or Guangdong dialect (yuè yǔ 粵語).

                      ???? 漢語即漢民族共同語,是世界主要語言之一,也是世界上使用人數最多的語言。世界上大約有1/5的人使用漢語作為母語。漢語也曾對其周邊的國家的語言文字產生過重要影響。例如日語、韓語、越南語中都保留有大量的漢語借詞以及漢語書寫體系文字。

                      ????? 漢語屬漢藏語系,是這個語系里最主要的語言。除了中國大陸、香港特別行政區、澳門和臺灣省以外,漢語還分布在新加坡、馬來西亞等國。以漢語為母語的人大約有14億(3000萬人作為第二語言)。漢語是聯合國的工作語言之一。

                      ????? 漢語的標準語是近幾百年來以北方官話為基礎、東北官話為輔助逐漸形成的。它的標準語是“普通話”。普通話是現代漢民族的共同語。它以北方話為基礎方言,以典范的現代白話文著作為語法規范。

                      ????? 由于中國地域遼闊,人口眾多,因此有許多種方言。方言俗稱地方話,是漢語在不同地域的分支,只通行于一定的地域。漢語目前有七大類方言:北方方言、吳方言、湘方言、贛方言、客家方言、閩方言、粵方言。


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