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Encyclopedia > Chinese dialects
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Spoken Chinese

The Chinese spoken language(s) comprise(s) many regional variants. Although the English word A dialect (from the The word Greek has a number of meanings relating to Greece, including: Architecture of Ancient Greece Art in Ancient Greece Greek alphabet Greek colonies Cuisine of Greece Ethnic Greek Greco-Turkish relations Greece Hellenes History of Greece History of Mycenaean Greece History of Ancient Greece History... dialect is often used to translate the Chinese term fangyan (方言), the differences between the major spoken variations of Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Although Chinese... Chinese are such that they are mutually unintelligible.


See Is Chinese a language or a family of languages? for the debate on whether the variations of spoken Chinese should be considered "dialects" or "languages".

Contents

Classification

Chinese makes a very strong distinction between written language (文 wén) and spoken language (语[語] ), and Chinese tend to conceptualize the variations of Chinese as different spoken languages sharing a common written standard and literary and cultural tradition. Within Chinese, there is a collective term for the The Chinese written language consists of a writing system stretching back nearly 4000 years. Its logographic writing system employs a large number of symbols, known as characters, to represent individual words or morphemes. The writing system is considered to have also been a unifying force for much of Chinese history... Chinese written language (中文 zhōngwén), while there is no collective term that encompasses all of the variations of the spoken language. Terms used to describe spoken Chinese, such as 汉语 hànyǔ or 国语 guóyǔ refer only to one specific variation of spoken Chinese.


When forced to conceptualize these variations in terms of language and dialect common in the West, most Chinese do not think of these variations as separate languages because they share a common written standard and literary and cultural tradition, and perhaps just as importantly, is the basis for a single political identity. However, the linguistic distance between different Chinese dialects is often much greater than forms of speech which in other parts of the world would unquestionably be considered distinct languages.


List of Linguists ... Linguists divide the variations in spoken Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Although Chinese... Chinese language into seven to ten groups. However, because two people are speaking dialects within the same category does not mean that they can necessarily completely understand each other. The converse is also true in that the two people speaking dialects in different groups can sometimes understand each other. The general situation is one of A dialect continuum is a range of dialects spoken across a large geographical area, differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligibility as the distances become greater. Dialects separated by great geographical distances may not be mutually comprehensible. According to the Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache... dialect continuum where one can understand perfectly people speaking the local dialect and that the intelligibility decreases as the speaker comes from more and more distant regions. This results in the common situation where A can understand B, B can understand C, but A cannot understand C.


The linguistic diversity is particularly pronounced in southern variations such as Min can be: 闽 Mǐn, an abbreviation for the Chinese province of Fujian Min, a category of spoken Chinese found in Fujian and elsewhere Min, a kingdom in modern-day Fujian during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period Min River (Fujian) 岷 Mín, a place name... Min in which two towns which are five kilometers from each other can speak completely unintelligible types of speech. By contrast, in northern China, there are areas of several hundred kilometers apart which have intelligible forms of This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. For the standardized official spoken Chinese language (Putonghua/ Guoyu), see Standard Mandarin. Mandarin (北方话) Spoken in: China (the PRC and the ROC), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Chinese communities around the world Region: Most of northern and southwestern... Mandarin.


In addition, the categories that speakers use to self-classify the variety they are speaking may not correspond at all to a classification based strictly on linguistic features. For example, two speakers of Cantonese from different cities (say Not to be confused with the unrelated Mount Taishan Taishan (台山 pinyin: Táishān; Cantonese: Toisan; local: Hoisan ) is a coastal city in Guangdong Province, China. The city is located southwest of Jiangmen, 140 kilometers west of Hong Kong, in the Pearl River delta, and it is... Taishan and Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: [hœːŋ1kɔːŋ2]; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. (The... Hong Kong) tend to think of themselves as speaking the same dialect, whereas speaker of Wu from Hangzhou (Chinese: 杭州; pinyin: Hángzhōu; Wade-Giles: Hang-chou) is a sub-provincial city in China, and the capital of Zhejiang province. Located 180 km southwest of Shanghai, the population in the city proper is now 1.75 million. In China, the city is well known... Hangzhou and one from Alternate meanings: See Shanghai (disambiguation) Shànghǎi Shì 上海市 Abbreviations: 沪 or 申 (pinyin: Hù or Shēn) Origin of Name 上 shàng - up 海 hǎi - sea see text for explanation Administration Type Municipality CPC Shanghai Committee Secretary Chen Liangyu Mayor Han... Shanghai would tend to think of themselves as speaking the different dialects. Furthermore, a person speaking Sichuanese or Hunanese will think of themselves as speaking a variety of Chinese that is distinct from the national standard Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Putonghua, notwithstanding the fact that linguists place these forms of Chinese in the same linguistic category.


The various forms of Spoken Chinese are usually classfied into the following broad groups. (See The following is a list of major Chinese dialects. In addition to the dialects given below, it is customary to speak informally of dialects belonging to each province, e.g. Sichuan dialect, Henan dialect. These designations do not always correspond to classifications used by linguists, but each nevertheless has approximate... List of Chinese dialects for a comprehensive listing of individual dialects.)

  • This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. For the standardized official spoken Chinese language (Putonghua/ Guoyu), see Standard Mandarin. Mandarin (北方话) Spoken in: China (the PRC and the ROC), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Chinese communities around the world Region: Most of northern and southwestern... Mandarin 北方話/北方话: This is the mother dialect of Chinese living in northern and southwestern China. It is the basis for Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Standard Mandarin, the official spoken language of Chinese.
One distinctive feature of Mandarin is the partial loss of tones in comparison to Middle Chinese (中古漢語, pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). The term Middle Chinese is... Middle Chinese and the other dialects. Another is the loss of consonants on the ends of syllables, so that while Middle Chinese had an inventory of "-p, -t, -k, -m, -n, ng", Mandarin only has "-n, -ng". (A few dialects, such as that of 南京市 Nánjīng Shì Abbreviation: 宁 (pinyin: Níng) Origin of Name 南 nán - South 京 jīng - Capital Put together - Southern Capital Administration Type Sub-provincial city CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary Luo Zhijun Mayor Jiang Hongshen Area 6421 km² (xth) Population (200?)  ... Nanjing, also have /-?/, the IPA - Unicode ʔ IPA - image X-SAMPA ? Kirshenbaum ? Sound sample The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʔ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ?. The glottal... glottal stop.) In addition, Mandarin underwent fewer tone splits than the other dialects. As a result, many words which sound different in dialects such as Cantonese are homophones in Mandarin. Mandarin has adjusted by developing compound words in order to make up for the development of homophones. The use of compounds is less frequent in other dialects.
  • Wu (吳方言 pinyin wú fāng yán; 吳語 pinyin wú yǔ) is one of the major divisions of the Chinese language. It is spoken in most of Zhejiang province, the municipality of Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, as well as smaller parts of Anhui, Jiangxi... Wu 吳語/吴语: spoken in the provinces of 江苏省 Jiāngsū Shěng Abbreviation: 苏 (pinyin: Sū) Origin of Name 江 jiāng - Jiangning (now Nanjing) 苏 sū - Suzhou Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Nanjing CPC Jiangsu Committee Secretary Li Yuanchao Governor Liang Baohua Area 102,600 km... Jiangsu and 浙江省 Zhèjiāng Shěng Abbreviation: 浙 (pinyin: Zhè) Origin of Name Old name of Qiantang River Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Hangzhou CPC Zhejiang Committee Secretary Xi Jinping Governor Lu Zushan Area 101,800 km² (25th) Population (2002)  - Density 46,470... Zhejiang. Wu includes Shanghainese (上海話; pinyin: Shànghǎihuà, Shanghainese in SAMPA: [ zA~ hE hE wo ]) is a dialect of Wu Chinese spoken in the city of Shanghai. Wu has 87 million speakers as of 1991, and is the second largest form of Chinese after Mandarin (which has some... Shanghai dialect. Wu dialect is notable among Chinese dialects in having kept voiced consonants, such as /b/, /d/, /g/, /z/, /v/, etc. (These may in fact be better described as voiceless consonants that create a voiced breathy element across the syllable: i.e. /p/, /t/, etc.)
  • Hakka is one language in the family of languages known as Chinese. The majority of its speakers are known Hakka people. Hak 客 (Mandarin: kè) means guest, and ka 家 (Mandarin: jia) means family. Amongst themselves, Hakka people variously called their language Hak-ka-fa/-va 客家語, Hak... Hakka/Kejia 客家話/客家话: spoken by the Hakka (Chinese: 客家; pinyin: kèjiā, literal meaning guest families) are a Han Chinese people whose ancestors are said to originate from around Henan and Shanxi in northern China over 2700 years ago. Their ancestors migrated southwards because of social unrest, upheaval, or by invasion of foreign conquerors... Hakka people in several provinces across southern China. The term "Hakka" itself translates as "guest families", and the Hakka people are descended from immigrants from North China in ancient times. Hakka has kept many features of northern Middle Chinese that have been lost in the North. It also has a full complement of nasal endings, -m -n ŋ and occlusive endings -p -t -k, maintaining the four categories of tonal types, with splitting in the ping and ru tones, giving six tones. Some dialects of Hakka have seven tones, due to a splitting in the qu tone. One of the distinguishing features of Hakka phonology is that Middle Chinese voiced initials are transformed into Hakka voiceless aspirated initials.
  • Min (閩方言) Spoken in: Chinese province of Fujian, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, Zhejiang Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo and Taiwan Region: Total speakers: ? Ranking: ? Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese   Min Official status Official language of: ? Regulated by: ? Language codes ISO 639... Min 閩語/闽语: spoken in 福建省 Fújiàn Shěng This infobox describes the PRC-administered Fujian province Abbreviation: 闽 (pinyin: Mǐn) Origin of Name 福 fú - Fuzhou 建 jiàn - Jianou Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Fuzhou CPC Fujian Committee Secretary Lu Zhangong Governor Huang... Fujian, For the political entity commonly known as Taiwan, see Republic of China. Map of Taiwan The island of Taiwan (Traditional: 臺灣, Simplified: 台湾, Pinyin: Táiwān, Wade-Giles: Tai-wan, Taiwanese: Tâi-oân) is located off the coast of mainland China in the... Taiwan, the The Republic of the Philippines is an island nation consisting of an archipelago of 7,107 islands, lying in the tropical western Pacific Ocean about 100 kilometers southeast of mainland Asia. Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1898-1946), colonized the country and have been the largest influences on... Philippines, and Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. The name for the region was first coined in the 20th century. The subregion has 11 countries and the countries can be divided into the mainland and the archipelago. The mainland countries include: Cambodia Laos Myanmar (Burma) Thailand Vietnam... Southeast Asia. Min is the only group of Chinese dialects that cannot be directly derived from Middle Chinese. Due to its great internal disparity, Min can be divided into seven groups of dialects: Mǐn N n (Chinese: 閩南語), also spelt as Minnan or Min-nan; native name B ; literally means Southern Min or Southern Fujian and refers to the local language/dialect of southern Fujian province, China. It is often known simply as Hokkien (i.e. Fujian(ese)) or... Min Nan (which includes Hokkien can refer to: Hokkien (dialect): a Chinese dialect, a member of the Min dialect branch, similar to Taiwanese An old transliteration of the name of the Fujian province of China This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... Hokkien, The Teochew dialect (Diō-jiu-oē, Chinese:潮州话, Hanyu Pinyin: Cháozhōuhuà, Teochiu or Tiuchiu), is a Chinese language and dialect of Minnan spoken in a region of eastern Guangdong refered to as Chaoshan. Teochew (Diō-jiu-oē 潮州话) Spoken... Teochew (Chaozhou), and See alternative meanings for other possible definitions. Taiwanese (台語; Hō-ló-oē) Spoken in: Taiwan Region: Asia Total speakers: about 15 million in Taiwan; 49 million (Min-nan as a group) Ranking: 21 (Min-nan as a group) Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan  Chinese   Min... Taiwanese), Min Dong, Min Bei, Min Zhong, Pu Xian, Qiong Wen, and Shao Jiang.
  • This article is on all of the Yue dialects. For the dialect of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, see Standard Cantonese. Cantonese (廣東話/广东话, lit. Guangdong speech, colloquial; 粵語/粤语, lit. Yuè dialect, formal) is one of the major dialects of the Chinese language. It... Yue 粵語/粤语: spoken in 广东省 Guǎngdōng Shěng Abbreviation: 粤 (pinyin: Yuè) Origin of Name 广 guǎng - region name 东 dōng- east eastern Guang Administration Type Province Capital Guangzhou CPC Guangdong Committee Secretary Zhang Dejiang Governor Huang Huahua Area 177,900 km² (15th... Guangdong province, Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: [hœːŋ1kɔːŋ2]; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. (The... Hong Kong, 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區 Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China (In Detail) (Full size) National motto: none Official languages Cantonese and Portuguese Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah Area  - Total  - % water (Not... Macau, Taiwan, all over Southeast Asia and by Overseas Chinese. Used by linguistics, "Cantonese" covers all the Yue dialects, such as Not to be confused with the unrelated Mount Taishan Taishan (台山 pinyin: Táishān; Cantonese: Toisan; local: Hoisan ) is a coastal city in Guangdong Province, China. The city is located southwest of Jiangmen, 140 kilometers west of Hong Kong, in the Pearl River delta, and it is... Toishanese, though the term is also used to refer to just the Standard Cantonese refers to the most prominent dialect of Cantonese (Yue), a subdivision of spoken Chinese. It is spoken in and around the cities of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau, in China. Standard Cantonese is the official Chinese spoken language of Hong Kong and Macau. It is casually known as... Standard Cantonese of Guangzhou (Traditional Chinese: 廣州; Simplified Chinese: 广州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuang-chou; Jyutping: Gwong2zau1; Yale: Gwóngjaū) is the capital of the Guangdong Province in southern China. Its international name was formerly Canton, after a French language corruption of Guangdong. As of... Guangzhou and Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: [hœːŋ1kɔːŋ2]; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. (The... Hong Kong. Some dialects of Yue have intricate sets of tone compared to other Chinese dialects—with varieties having up to nine or ten tones. Yue keeps a full complement of ancient Chinese word-final consonants (p, t, k, m, n, ng)
  • Xiang 湘語/湘语: spoken in Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Hainan and Henan 湖南省 Húnán Shěng Abbreviation: 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) Origin of Name 湖 hú - lake 南 nán - south south of Lake Dongting Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Changsha CPC... Hunan province. Xiang is usually divided into the "old" and "new" types, with the new type being significantly closer to Mandarin.
  • Gan (赣) Spoken in: China Region: Jiangxi Province Total speakers: 20 million Ranking: 45 Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese language   Gan Official status Official language of: - Regulated by: - Language codes ISO 639-1 zh ISO 639-2 chi (B) / zho (T) SIL KNN Gan (赣) is... Gan 贛語/赣语: spoken in 江西省 Jiāngxī Shěng Abbreviation: 赣 (pinyin: Gàn) Origin of Name Contraction of: 江 jiāng - Yangtze 南 nán - south 西 xī - west The west of the south of the Yangtze Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Nanchang CPC... Jiangxi province. In the past, it was viewed as closely related to Hakka is one language in the family of languages known as Chinese. The majority of its speakers are known Hakka people. Hak 客 (Mandarin: kè) means guest, and ka 家 (Mandarin: jia) means family. Amongst themselves, Hakka people variously called their language Hak-ka-fa/-va 客家語, Hak... Hakka dialects, because of the way Middle Chinese voiced initials have become voiceless aspirated initials, as those in Hakka. Thus, they were called Hakka-Gan dialects.

(The following three dialect groups are not always classified separately.)

  • The Hui (徽) dialects are unrelated to the Hui (回) ethnic group of China. Hui, or Hui-yu (Simplified Chinese: 徽语; Traditional Chinese: 徽語; Hanyu Pinyin: Huīyǔ), or Huizhou-hua (Simplified Chinese: 徽州话; Traditional Chinese: 徽州話; Hanyu Pinyin: Huīzh... Hui 徽語/徽语: spoken in the southern parts of 安徽省 Ānhuī Shěng Abbreviation: 皖 (pinyin: Wăn) Origin of Name 安 ān _ Anqing 徽 huī - Huizhou (now Huangshan city) Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Hefei CPC Anhui Committee Secretary Guo Jinlong Governor Wang Jinshan Area 139,400... Anhui province—usually classified as a sub-branch of Gan.
  • Jin (simplified: 晋语; traditional: 晉語; pinyin: jìnyǔ), or Jin-yu, is a subdivision of spoken Chinese. Its exact status is disputed among linguists; some prefer to classify it under Mandarin, while others set it apart as an independent branch. Jin is spoken over most of Shanxi... Jin 晉語/晋语: spoken in Not to be confused with the neighboring province of Shaanxi 山西省 Shānxī Shěng Abbreviation: 晋 (pinyin: Jìn) Origin of Name 山 shān - mountain 西 xī - west west of the Taihang Mountains Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Taiyuan... Shanxi province, as well as parts of Not to be confused with the neighboring province of Shanxi 陕西省 Shǎnxī Shěng Abbreviations: 陕 or 秦 (pinyin: Shǎn or Qín) Origin of Name 陕 shǎn - Shan County 西 xī - west west of Shan County, Henan Administration... Shaanxi, Not to be confused with the unrelated province of Hubei 河北省 Héběi Shěng Abbreviation: 冀 (pinyin: Jì) Origin of Name 河 hé - (Yellow) River 北 běi - north north of the Yellow River Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Shijiazhuang CPC... Hebei, Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Hainan and Hunan 河南省 Hénán Shěng Abbreviation: 豫 (pinyin: Yù) Origin of Name 河 hé - (Yellow) River 南 nán - south south of the Yellow River Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Zhengzhou CPC... Henan, and 内蒙古自治区 i Měnggǔ Z qū ᠥᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠨᠺᠤᠯᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠺᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠤ ᠣᠷᠤᠨ r Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu... Inner Mongolia. It is often classified together with Mandarin.
  • Pinghua 平話/平话: spoken in parts of the 广西壮族自治区 Guǎngxī Zhuàngzú Zìzhìqū Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigi Abbreviation: 桂 (pinyin: Guì) Origin of Name 广 guǎng - region name 西 xī - west western Guang Administration Type Autonomous region Capital and Largest City Nanning CPC Guangxi... Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is sometimes classified together with Cantonese.

Some varieties remain unclassified. These include:

  • Danzhou dialect 儋州話/儋州话: spoken in Danzhou, Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Henan and Hunan 海南省 Hǎinán Shěng Abbreviation: 琼 (pinyin: Qióng) Origin of Name 海 hǎi - sea 南 nán - south south of the sea Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City... Hainan, this is a dialect that has not yet been put into any category.
  • Xianghua 鄉話/乡话: spoken in a small strip of land in western Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Hainan and Henan 湖南省 Húnán Shěng Abbreviation: 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) Origin of Name 湖 hú - lake 南 nán - south south of Lake Dongting Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Changsha CPC... Hunan, this is a group of dialects that have not been conclusively classified.
  • Shaozhou Tuhua 韶州土話/韶州土话: spoken at the border regions of 广东省 Guǎngdōng Shěng Abbreviation: 粤 (pinyin: Yuè) Origin of Name 广 guǎng - region name 东 dōng- east eastern Guang Administration Type Province Capital Guangzhou CPC Guangdong Committee Secretary Zhang Dejiang Governor Huang Huahua Area 177,900 km² (15th... Guangdong, Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Hainan and Henan 湖南省 Húnán Shěng Abbreviation: 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) Origin of Name 湖 hú - lake 南 nán - south south of Lake Dongting Administration Type Province Capital and Largest City Changsha CPC... Hunan, and 广西壮族自治区 Guǎngxī Zhuàngzú Zìzhìqū Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigi Abbreviation: 桂 (pinyin: Guì) Origin of Name 广 guǎng - region name 西 xī - west western Guang Administration Type Autonomous region Capital and Largest City Nanning CPC Guangxi... Guangxi, this is an area of great linguistic diversity, and has not yet been conclusively described or classified.

In addition, the The Dungan language (东干语 [東干語] in Chinese) is a language spoken by the Dungan of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. The language is unique in that it is the only variation of the Chinese language which is not normally written using Chinese characters. Originally... Dungan language (東干語/东干语) is a language descended from Chinese spoken in Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан) is a country in Central Asia. It borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Its capital is Bishkek (formerly Frunze.) Кыргыз Республикасы (Kyrgyz... Kyrgyzstan, and is akin to northwestern dialects of This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. For the standardized official spoken Chinese language (Putonghua/ Guoyu), see Standard Mandarin. Mandarin (北方话) Spoken in: China (the PRC and the ROC), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Chinese communities around the world Region: Most of northern and southwestern... Mandarin. However, it is written in the The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first letters) is an alphabet used to write six natural Slavic languages (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. Letters of the Cyrillic alphabet А A... Cyrillic alphabet and may not be considered by all to be part of spoken Chinese.


Sociolinguistics of spoken variations of Chinese

In southern China where the difference between Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Standard Mandarin and the local dialect is particularly pronounced, well-educated Chinese are generally fluent in Mandarin, and most people have at least a good passive knowledge of it, in addition to being native speakers of the local dialect. The choice of dialect varies based on the social situation. Standard Mandarin is usually considered more formal and is required when speaking to a person who does not understand the local dialect. The local dialect (be it nonstandard Mandarin or non-Mandarin altogether) is generally considered more intimate and is used among close family members and friends and in everyday conversation within the local area. Chinese speakers will frequently Code-switching is a term in linguistics referring to alternation between one or more languages, dialects, or language registers in the course of discourse between people who have more than one language in common. Sometimes the switch lasts only for a few sentences, or even for a single phrase. The... code switch between Standard Mandarin and the local dialect. Parents will generally speak to their children in dialect, and the relationship between dialect and Mandarin appears to be mostly stable.


Knowing the local dialect is of considerable social benefit and most Chinese who permanently move to a new area will attempt to pick up the local dialect. Learning a new dialect is usually done informally through a process of immersion and recognizing sound shifts. Typically, a speaker of one dialect of Chinese will need about a year of immersion to understand the local dialect and about three to five years to become fluent in speaking it. Because of the variety of dialects spoken, there are usually few formal methods for learning a local dialect.


Within the The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) comprises most of the cultural, historic, and geographic area known as This article is on the geographic and cultural entity. For other meanings, see ... China (disambiguation). ... ... The The Great Wall of China (TC: 長城; SC: 长城, Pinyin: Chángchéng), also... People's Republic of China there has been a consistent drive towards promoting the standard language; for instance, the education system is entirely Mandarin-medium from the second year onwards. However, usage of local dialect is tolerated, and in many informal situations, socially preferred. Unlike Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: [hœːŋ1kɔːŋ2]; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. (The... Hong Kong, where colloquial Cantonese characters are often used for formal occasions, within the PRC a character set closer to Mandarin tends to be used. At the national level, differences in dialect generally do not correspond to political divisions or categories, and this has for the most part prevented dialect from becoming the basis of Identity politics is the politics of group-based movements claiming to represent the interests and identity of a particular group, rather than policy issues relating to all members of the community. The group identity may be based on ethnicity, class, religion, sex, sexuality or other criteria. Although most political parties... identity politics. Historically, many of the people who promoted The May Fourth Movement in 1919 marked the beginning of the upsurge of nationalist feeling in China. Chinese nationalism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture under state(s) that are primarily Chinese. One difficulty... Chinese nationalism were from southern China and did not natively speak the national standard language. One example of this is Names Given name Style name Trad. 毛澤東 潤芝¹ Simp. 毛泽东 润芝 Pinyin Máo Zédōng Rùnzhī WG Mao Tse-tung Jun-chih IPA /mau̯ː tsɤtʊŋ/ /ʐunː tʂI/ Listen Surname... Mao Zedong often emphasized his Hunan origins in speaking, rendering much of what he said incomprehensible to many Chinese. One consequence of this is China does not have a well developed traditional of spoken political rhetoric and most Chinese political works are intended primarily as written works rather than spoken works.


Another factor that limits the political implications of dialect is that it is very common within an extended family for different people to know and use different dialects. In addition, while speaking similar dialect provides very strong group identity at the level of a city or county, the high degree of linguistic diversity limits the amount of group solidarity at larger levels. Finally, the linguistic diversity of southern China makes it likely that in any large group of Chinese, that Standard Mandarin will be the only form of speech that everyone understands.


On the other hand, in the The Republic of China (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國; Simplified Chinese: 中华民国; Wade-Giles: Chung-hua Min-kuo, Tongyong Pinyin: JhongHuá MínGuó, Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó) is a state that currently administers the island groups of Taiwan, the Pescadores, Quemoy, and the... Republic of China on For the political entity commonly known as Taiwan, see Republic of China. Map of Taiwan The island of Taiwan (Traditional: 臺灣, Simplified: 台湾, Pinyin: Táiwān, Wade-Giles: Tai-wan, Taiwanese: Tâi-oân) is located off the coast of mainland China in the... Taiwan, the government had a policy until the mid-1980s of promoting Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Standard Mandarin as high status and the local languages— See alternative meanings for other possible definitions. Taiwanese (台語; Hō-ló-oē) Spoken in: Taiwan Region: Asia Total speakers: about 15 million in Taiwan; 49 million (Min-nan as a group) Ranking: 21 (Min-nan as a group) Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan  Chinese   Min... Taiwanese and Hakka is one language in the family of languages known as Chinese. The majority of its speakers are known Hakka people. Hak 客 (Mandarin: kè) means guest, and ka 家 (Mandarin: jia) means family. Amongst themselves, Hakka people variously called their language Hak-ka-fa/-va 客家語, Hak... Hakka—as low status, a situation which caused a great deal of resentment and has produced somewhat of a backlash in the 1990s as part of the Localization (本土化, POJ: pún-thó·-hòa, Pinyin: Běntǔ huà) is a political term used within Taiwan to support the view of Taiwan as a centered place rather than as solely an appendage of China. This involves the teaching of Taiwanese history, geography, and... Taiwanese localization movement.


Manifestations of language differentiation

The Min (閩方言) Spoken in: Chinese province of Fujian, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, Zhejiang Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo and Taiwan Region: Total speakers: ? Ranking: ? Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese   Min Official status Official language of: ? Regulated by: ? Language codes ISO 639... Min dialects are often regarded as the dialects furthest removed from Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Standard Mandarin, in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. To illustrate: in See alternative meanings for other possible definitions. Taiwanese (台語; Hō-ló-oē) Spoken in: Taiwan Region: Asia Total speakers: about 15 million in Taiwan; 49 million (Min-nan as a group) Ranking: 21 (Min-nan as a group) Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan  Chinese   Min... Taiwanese, a variety of Min, to express the idea that one is feeling a little ill, one might say

Goá kā-kī lâng ū tān-po̍h--á bô sóng-khoài.

which, when translated Cognates are words that have a common origin. Examples of cognates are the words night (English), nacht (Czech), and nox (Latin), all meaning night and all deriving from a common Indo-European origin. Hebrew shalom and Arabic salaam are also cognates deriving from a common Semitic root. Cognates need not... cognate-by-cognate into Mandarin would be something like:

Wǒ zìjǐ rén yǒu dānbó a bù shuǎngkuài. (我自己人有單(?)仔不爽快)

An awkward sentence, if not simply non-productive. A little more colloquially it would be:

Wǒ zìjǐ yǒu yīdiǎn bù shūfú. (我自己有一點不舒服.)

A little better would be:

Wǒ yǒu yīdiǎn bù shūfú. (我有一點不舒服.)

which removes the reflexive pronoun (zìjǐ), not usually needed in Mandarin. Instead, some people, particularly in the north of China, would say:

Wǒ yǒu yīdiǎr bù shūfú. (我有一点ㄦ不舒服.)

Related topics

  • By the most inclusive definition China consists of the Peoples Republic of China (which includes Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) and the Republic of China (Taiwan). The population of Mainland China, at over 1.3 billion, greatly exceeds that of the remainder of China. Contents // 1 Peoples... Demographics of China
  • The Republic of China has a population of 22.2 million. More than 18 million, the native Taiwanese are descendants of Chinese who migrated from Fujian and Guangdong Provinces on the mainland, primarily in the 17th and 19th centuries. The Mainlanders, who arrived on Taiwan after 1945, came from all... Demographics of Taiwan
  • For treatment of the various forms of spoken Chinese, see Chinese spoken languages. Map of Linguistic Groups The different ethnic groups in China speak a great variety of languages, called the Zhongguo Yuwen (中国语文), meaning languages of China. These languages span six linguistic families and most of... Languages of China
  • Subgroups of the Han nationality

References

  • DeFrancis, John. 1990. The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0824810686
  • Hannas, William. C. 1997. Asia's Orthographic Dilemma. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 082481892X (paperback); ISBN 0824818423 (hardcover)

External links

  • Shanghainese (Wu Chinese): Introduction and Development (http://www.zanhe.com)
  • Learn Chinese Library (http://www.mandarintimes.com/)


Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Although Chinese... Chinese: spoken varieties
Categories: This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. For the standardized official spoken Chinese language (Putonghua/ Guoyu), see Standard Mandarin. Mandarin (北方话) Spoken in: China (the PRC and the ROC), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Chinese communities around the world Region: Most of northern and southwestern... Mandarin | Jin (simplified: 晋语; traditional: 晉語; pinyin: jìnyǔ), or Jin-yu, is a subdivision of spoken Chinese. Its exact status is disputed among linguists; some prefer to classify it under Mandarin, while others set it apart as an independent branch. Jin is spoken over most of Shanxi... Jin | Wu (吳方言 pinyin wú fāng yán; 吳語 pinyin wú yǔ) is one of the major divisions of the Chinese language. It is spoken in most of Zhejiang province, the municipality of Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, as well as smaller parts of Anhui, Jiangxi... Wu | The Hui (徽) dialects are unrelated to the Hui (回) ethnic group of China. Hui, or Hui-yu (Simplified Chinese: 徽语; Traditional Chinese: 徽語; Hanyu Pinyin: Huīyǔ), or Huizhou-hua (Simplified Chinese: 徽州话; Traditional Chinese: 徽州話; Hanyu Pinyin: Huīzh... Hui | Xiang | Gan (赣) Spoken in: China Region: Jiangxi Province Total speakers: 20 million Ranking: 45 Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese language   Gan Official status Official language of: - Regulated by: - Language codes ISO 639-1 zh ISO 639-2 chi (B) / zho (T) SIL KNN Gan (赣) is... Gan | Hakka is one language in the family of languages known as Chinese. The majority of its speakers are known Hakka people. Hak 客 (Mandarin: kè) means guest, and ka 家 (Mandarin: jia) means family. Amongst themselves, Hakka people variously called their language Hak-ka-fa/-va 客家語, Hak... Hakka | This article is on all of the Yue dialects. For the dialect of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, see Standard Cantonese. Cantonese (廣東話/广东话, lit. Guangdong speech, colloquial; 粵語/粤语, lit. Yuè dialect, formal) is one of the major dialects of the Chinese language. It... Yue | Pinghua | Min (閩方言) Spoken in: Chinese province of Fujian, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, Zhejiang Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo and Taiwan Region: Total speakers: ? Ranking: ? Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese   Min Official status Official language of: ? Regulated by: ? Language codes ISO 639... Min
Danzhouhua | Shaozhou Tuhua | Xianghua
Subcategories of Min (閩方言) Spoken in: Chinese province of Fujian, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, Zhejiang Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo and Taiwan Region: Total speakers: ? Ranking: ? Genetic classification: Sino-Tibetan languages  Chinese   Min Official status Official language of: ? Regulated by: ? Language codes ISO 639... Min: Min Dong | Min Bei | Min Zhong | Pu Xian | Mǐn N n (Chinese: 閩南語), also spelt as Minnan or Min-nan; native name B ; literally means Southern Min or Southern Fujian and refers to the local language/dialect of southern Fujian province, China. It is often known simply as Hokkien (i.e. Fujian(ese)) or... Min Nan | Qiong Wen | Shao Jiang
Note: The above is only one classification scheme among Spoken Chinese The Chinese spoken language(s) comprise(s) many regional variants. Although the English word dialect is often used to translate the Chinese term fangyan, the differences between the major spoken variations of Chinese are such that they are mutually unintelligible. See Is Chinese a language or a family... many.
The following is a list of major Chinese dialects. In addition to the dialects given below, it is customary to speak informally of dialects belonging to each province, e.g. Sichuan dialect, Henan dialect. These designations do not always correspond to classifications used by linguists, but each nevertheless has approximate... Comprehensive list of Chinese dialects
Official spoken varieties: Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which belongs to Mandarin, a group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard... Standard Mandarin | Standard Cantonese refers to the most prominent dialect of Cantonese (Yue), a subdivision of spoken Chinese. It is spoken in and around the cities of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau, in China. Standard Cantonese is the official Chinese spoken language of Hong Kong and Macau. It is casually known as... Standard Cantonese
Historical Chinese Phonology deals with reconstructing the sounds of Chinese from the past. It draws its data from rime books and rime tables of Middle Chinese era, such as Qieyun and Guangyun, modern dialects/languages such as Hakka, Mandarin, Yue, Wu, Min, etc. and from sino-xenic pronunciations of Chinese... Historical phonology: Old Chinese, or Archaic Chinese (上古汉语), refers to the Chinese spoken during the Zhou Dynasty (10th century BC - 256 BC). The term is usually used in Historical Chinese phonology, which tries to reconstruct the way in which Old Chinese was pronounced. Since Old Chinese was the language... Old Chinese | Middle Chinese (中古漢語, pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). The term Middle Chinese is... Middle Chinese | Proto-Min | Proto-Mandarin is an ancient language based on an older form of Mandarin before it was Mandarin. This was the very early form of the most spoken Chinese dialect. Chinese: spoken varieties Categories: Mandarin | Jin | Wu | Hui | Xiang | Gan | Hakka | Yue | Pinghua | Min Danzhouhua | Shaozhou Tuhua | Xianghua Subcategories of Min... Proto-Mandarin | The Haner language (漢兒言語) was a Chinese language heavily influenced by non-Chinese languages, especially Mongolian. Contents // 1 Terms and Concepts 2 Features 2.1 Word order 2.2 Nouns 2.3 Pronouns 2.4 Case-markers 2.5 Particles 2.6 Verbs 2.7 Auxiliary verbs... Haner
Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Although Chinese... Chinese: The Chinese written language consists of a writing system stretching back nearly 4000 years. Its logographic writing system employs a large number of symbols, known as characters, to represent individual words or morphemes. The writing system is considered to have also been a unifying force for much of Chinese history... written varieties
Official written varieties: Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese (文言, pinyin: wényán, literal meaning: literary language or 古文, literal: ancient written language) is a traditional style of written Chinese prose using grammar and vocabulary very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. Classical Chinese was used for almost all... Classical Chinese | Vernacular Chinese (白话 [白話]; in pinyin: báihuà, literal meaning: Plain Language) is a style of written Chinese which is based on Standard Mandarin. Vernacular Chinese stands in contrast with Classical Chinese (文言 wényán), which is based on Old Chinese, the language used in texts... Vernacular Chinese

  Results from FactBites:
 
Chinese, Pinyin, Tone, Pronunciation, Spelling, Syllables, Initials, Dialects (1246 words)
As the most widely spoken language on earth, Chinese is, strictly speaking, a series of dialects spoken by the dominant ethnic group within China, the Han.
Indeed, the term most commonly used by the Chinese themselves to refer to the language is Hanyu, meaning "Han-language", though zhongyu, zhongwen, and zhongguohua are frequently used as well.
There are many different dialects of Chinese.Although the written language is the same throughout China,the pronunciation of the characters varies tremen-dously in different regions.Speaking their native dialect,people from the north of China can communicate.verbally with southerners about as easily as Frenchmen can speak with Italians.
Translating Simplified Chinese (0 words)
Chinese translation is not a simple as it may seem.
But, in Chinese communities in North America, it is often translated as a character which resembles its English pronunciation.
Written Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect, but has been heavily influenced by other varieties of Northern Mandarin.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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