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The Chinese Language & Mandarin & Dialects

    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 汉人) 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 普通话), 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.

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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 吴方言), the Xiang dialect (xiāng fāng yán 湘方言), the Gan dialect (gàn fāng yán 赣方言), the Hakka (kè jiā fāng yán 客家方言), the Min dialect (mǐn fāng yán 闽方言) and the Yue or Guangdong dialect (yuè yǔ 粤语).

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汉语●普通话●方言
     汉语即汉民族共同语,是世界主要语言之一,也是世界上使用人数最多的语言。世界上大约有1/5的人使用汉语作为母语。汉语也曾对其周边的国家的语言文字产生过重要影响。例如日语、韩语、越南语中都保留有大量的汉语借词以及汉语书写体系文字。

 

      汉语属汉藏语系,是这个语系里最主要的语言。除了中国大陆、香港特别行政区、澳门和台湾省以外,汉语还分布在新加坡、马来西亚等国。以汉语为母语的人大约有14亿(3000万人作为第二语言)。汉语是联合国的工作语言之一。

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      汉语的标准语是近几百年来以北方官话为基础、东北官话为辅助逐渐形成的。它的标准语是“普通话”。普通话是现代汉民族的共同语。它以北方话为基础方言,以典范的现代白话文著作为语法规范。

      由于中国地域辽阔,人口众多,因此有许多种方言。方言俗称地方话,是汉语在不同地域的分支,只通行于一定的地域。汉语目前有七大类方言:北方方言、吴方言、湘方言、赣方言、客家方言、闽方言、粤方言。
 

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