Welcome to our #chinese corner where you will get the chance to learn or improve Chinese language.
#chinese is made up of a large language variety and it is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The importance of learning this fascinating language rests upon the fact that around 1.2 billion of people speak it as their first language, that is to say 16% of the world’s population. As said above, Chinese is made up of a conglomeration of different languages that someone has compared to the Indo-European linguistic stem. The truth is, though, that the Chinese linguistic stem is even more varied and difficult to figure because, as the native speakers say, it is basically formed by dialects of a single language.
There exists between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese and the most spoken is Mandarin with about 1 billion people, then Wu (80 million), Min (70 million), and Yue (60 million). Standard Chinese comes out from a Beijing dialect of Mandarin and it is the official language of China and Taiwan and one of the four official ones of Singapore. Standard Chinese is so popular that it is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Standard Chinese is mostly formed by characters that we will try to summarize below:
火 鬼 人 日 月 口
Each character is a stylized version of the object it wants to represent.
林 森 三 从
Each character is composed of two or more identical characters whose meaning is different from the new one, but it is related to its significance. In the first example 林 (forest) is made up of two 木 (tree).
Phono-semantic compound characters
菜 沐 冰 冷
This character can be split up into two different ones: the character on the left or on the top represents the phonetic part of the new character while that one on the right represents its semantic part.
毛 来 才 去 无 自
These characters are those one which pre-existed in the classical Chinese, but, usually, they have changed in their aspect through the years.
Why #mandarin is the most spoken language
#mandarin is basically the most spoken Chinese language. It was the language prominently used by Mandarin officials starting from the III century B.C. for the Chinese imperial examinations. As a matter of fact, one of their duties to become officials was to learn by heart the 5 Confucian Classics in Mandarin, which was considered as the language of the upper class.
Speaking #mandarin was a distinctive feature at that time of Chinese history, something that was not in the chords of the most part of the population, that is the lower classes.
Nowadays, #mandarin is mainly spoken by the young Chinese population thanks to the fact that it is the language used by the educational institutions and by media.
The other varieties such as Wu, Min and Yue are used in some specific area of China but their diffusion is very circumscribed in comparison to Mandarin. Among the Yue varieties, #cantonese is noteworthy because is the official and most spoken language in Hong Kong and Macau. It is also one of the two languages used in their public administration, the other one is #mandarin. Furthermore, #cantonese is also widely spoken by the communities living in North America.
Well, what do you think? Isn’t it time to pick up some #chinese with our funny lessons?
Come on, let’s get the ball rolling here #chineselesson1-2-3!!!