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Mandarin Language

Mar. 24, 2015
Standard Mandarin language – also known as standard Chinese, standard Mandarin language or standard spoken Chinese – is the official language of the People’s Republic of China.
“The phonology of standard Mandarin language is based on the Beijing dialect, one of Mandarin’s most popular dialects, which is part of a large and very diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China.” The vocabulary is largely drawn from this group of dialects. The grammar of standard Mandarin language is based on the body of modern literary works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the same tradition of the Mandarin language group of dialects with some notable exceptions. As a result, standard Mandarin language itself is usually just called “Mandarin” in non-academic, everyday usage. However, linguists use “Mandarin” to refer to the entire group of dialects. We will adhere to this convention for the remainder of this article.
Standard Mandarin language is officially known in the People’s Republic of China as Pǔtōnghuà (Simplified Chinese: 普通话; Traditional Chinese: 普通話, literally “common speech”), in the Republic of China (Taiwan) as Guóyǔ (Traditional Chinese: 國語; Simplified Chinese: 国语, literally “national language”), and in Malaysia and Singapore as Huáyǔ (Traditional Chinese: 華語; Simplified Chinese: 华语, literally “Chinese (in a cultural sense) language”). All three terms are used interchangeably in Chinese communities around the world.

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