What Is The Main Language In China?-Mandarin/Standard Chinese

Anyone visiting China for the first time will find it very hard to make sense of not just what the locals are saying, but even more importantly, being able to differentiate different Chinese accents and dialects.

Now, if you are planning to learn Chinese as a second or third language because you plan on traveling to China, it would be helpful for you to know what the main language spoken in China is. And with April 20th being Chinese Language Day, it’s important to understand some basics of Chinese culture. This celebration is also called the Celebration of Guyu, a celebration that honors Cangjie, the mythical figure believed to have come up with the Chinese characters during the reign of the Yellow Emperor – this was about 5,000 years ago.

So, what’s the main language spoken in China?

What Language Do Most Chinese Speak? The primary language spoken in China is Mandarin or Chinese Mandarin. Mandarin is the most spoken language in China, and it boasts at least 1.5 billion speakers. This is because Mandarin was named the Chinese national language, and Standard Mandarin is today spoken in mainland Taiwan and Mainland China, with one in 4 people in Singapore speaking Mandarin.

Now, while Mandarin is the language that is spoken predominantly in China, there are 8 other primary dialects also spoken in mainland China. Notably, these dialects are all mutually unintelligible. The primary reason for these differences has to do with the fact that China is one of the largest nations in the world, and it’s also a very old country. And with many of these regions occupying vast terrains separated by largely impassable topographical features like large mountain ranges, people from these regions wouldn’t interact with each other easily, leading to variations not just in the main languages spoken but also the dialects. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the Chinese people from these geographical locations don’t really understand each other, even when they speak one regional dialect. However, they often share the same written language, which might be a relief for some. The other difference to be aware of is the fact that there are different pronunciations for different characters, which further results in variations within a language.

So, besides differences in the languages and dialects spoken in mainland China, there also are notable differences in languages spoken in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Taiwan, for example, Mandarin is the primary spoken language, but the primary language spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese.

There is also the fact that there are two main versions of Chinese spoken in China – the traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Simplified Chinese – as the name suggests, this is a simpler version of Chinese. This version of Chinese was largely promoted early in the 1950s where it was used as a part of the Communist reforms that were happening in mainland China. Simplified Chinese was developed and adopted as a way of promoting literacy among the country’s large population.

Traditional Chinese – this, on the other hand, is considered the pre-reform version of Chinese writing.

So, what are the other differences between these varieties of Chinese?

Well, the primary differences between the two forms of Chinese include the fact that simplified Chinese featured the use of reduced strokes, which means that there were fewer strokes needed to write characters.

Also, there was an overall reduction in the number of characters used in the simplified version of Chinese, and finally, the selection of characters was filtered meaning unlike in traditional Chinese where many characters would be used to mean the same thing or idea, simplified Chinese was characterized with the use of what was considered the ‘correct’ selection of characters.

What stands out from the simplification of traditional Chinese is the fact that the simplifications of the 1950s were only one part of a longer, more complicated process that had kicked off late in the 19th century – this process is still ongoing as regular updates are made to the standardized characters. The most recent update to the standard Chinese characters was done in 2013.

Even then, there still are many versions of written Chinese used in different parts of China.

what is Mandarin language?

Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese or Putonghua, is a language spoken by over a billion people, primarily in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and is the most widely spoken language in the world. Mandarin is a tonal language, meaning that the meaning of words can vary depending on the tone used to pronounce them. It is written using Chinese characters, which are a type of logogram that represents meaning and ideas rather than sounds. Mandarin is an important language for business, trade, and diplomacy, and is a popular language to study as a second language around the world.

The definition of Putonghua is “the common language of the Han ethnic group, based on the northern dialects, with Beijing phonology as the standard pronunciation and modern vernacular literature as the grammatical norm.” This was established at the National Language Reform Conference and Modern Chinese Language Standardization Conference in 1955. This definition essentially proposes standards for Putonghua in terms of phonology, vocabulary, and grammar.

“Based on Beijing phonology as the standard pronunciation” means that the phonological system of Beijing dialect is used as the standard, but not all of Beijing dialect is used in Putonghua. There are many local accents in Beijing dialect, such as using “hàn” instead of “hé” for the conjunction “and,” “húdiěr” instead of “húdié” for “butterfly,” and “gàosong” instead of “gàosu” for “tell,” which makes it difficult for people from other dialect areas to accept. In addition, there are also different pronunciations in Beijing dialect, for example, “侵略” can be pronounced as “qǐn lüè” or “qīn lüè,” and “附近” can be pronounced as “fùjìn” or “fǔjìn,” which also brings many troubles to the promotion of Putonghua. Since 1956, the state has revised the phonetic system of Beijing dialect several times and established the standard pronunciation of Putonghua. Therefore, the current phonetic standard of Putonghua should be based on the “List of Heteronyms in Putonghua” published in 1985 and the 1996 edition of the “Modern Chinese Dictionary.”

In terms of vocabulary standards, Putonghua is based on the commonly used expressions in the northern dialects, while also absorbing the necessary words from other dialects. There are also many local expressions in the northern dialects, such as “晚半晌” for “傍晚,” “呲儿” for “斥责,” and “抠门儿” for “吝啬.” Some non-northern dialects have words with special meanings and expressive power that do not have corresponding synonyms in the northern dialects. Such words can be absorbed into the vocabulary of Putonghua. For example, words like “搞,” “垃圾,” “尴尬,” and “噱头” have already frequently appeared in written language and have been included in the vocabulary of Putonghua. The vocabulary chosen for Putonghua generally consists of widely used words that have been used in written language for a long time. In recent years, the National Language Commission is organizing manpower to compile the “Modern Chinese Language Standardization Dictionary,” which will further standardize the vocabulary of Putonghua.

The grammar standard of Putonghua is “based on modern vernacular literature as the grammatical norm,” which includes four aspects: “canonical” excludes non-canonical modern vernacular literature as a grammatical norm; “vernacular” excludes classical Chinese; “modern vernacular literature” excludes early vernacular literature before the May Fourth Movement; and “literature” refers to the written form of Putonghua, which is based on oral language but is not equivalent to general oral language, but rather a language that has been processed and refined.

types of Mandarin language

Today, approximately 70% of the population in China use Mandarin dialect as their primary dialect, mainly distributed in the northern and southwestern regions of the southern part of China, central Jiangsu and Anhui, northern Guangxi, western and northern Hunan, and the Jiangxi along the Yangtze River.

Northeastern Mandarin

Northeastern Mandarin is a tonal language belonging to the Mandarin dialect of the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is the main dialect in most parts of Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, the central and northern parts of Liaoning Province, and the eastern part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the northeastern part of Hebei Province. There are over 170 counties and cities using this dialect, with a population of around 120 million.

Northeastern Mandarin can be further divided into Jilin-Shenyang dialect, Harbin-Jiamusi dialect, and Qiqihar-Heihe dialect, each of which can be further subdivided into several smaller dialects. Northeastern Mandarin is very close to Standard Mandarin, and what people outside the region consider as “Northeastern dialect” is often a specific dialect from some areas in the northeast. Although there are some differences in pronunciation and intonation among different areas in the northeast (except southern Liaoning), these differences only vary in the degree of “northeastern flavor,” without significant differences in vocabulary or pronunciation.

Jiaoliao Mandarin

Jiaoliao Mandarin is a dialect of Mandarin Chinese spoken in the Jiaodong and Liaodong Peninsulas and the southeastern part of Jilin Province. It can be divided into three sub-dialects: Dengliandian, Qingzhou dialect (Qinglai dialect), and Gaihuandian (Yingtong dialect), each of which has further subdivisions.

Beijing Mandarin

Mandarin is the most widely distributed primary dialect of Chinese. Beijing Mandarin, a branch of Mandarin, is the standard pronunciation of Standard Mandarin. It is mainly spoken in Beijing, Chengde, Langfang, Zhuozhou, Chifeng, Zhaluteqi, Naimanqi, Huolin Gol, Kailu, Chaoyang, Huludao, and some areas in Fuxin of Liaoning Province. Beijing Mandarin can be divided into four sub-dialects: Jing-Shi dialect, Huai-Cheng dialect, Chao-Feng dialect, and Shi-Ke dialect (now classified as part of the Lanyin Mandarin Northern Xinjiang dialect). There are approximately 15 million people who use Beijing Mandarin. It has three tones and four tones, with the ancient entering tone being merged into the level, rising and falling tones. Luanping County in Chengde, Hebei Province, which is part of the Beijing Mandarin-speaking area, is the location where Standard Mandarin was recorded.

Ji-Lu Mandarin

Ji-Lu Mandarin is a branch of Northern Mandarin, which is a dialect of Mandarin Chinese. It is spoken by over 90 million people in Hebei province, most of Tianjin city, northwestern Shandong province, as well as Pinggu district in Beijing, Guangling county in Shanxi province, and Ningcheng county in Inner Mongolia. It can be further divided into three sub-groups: Shiji, Bao-Tang, and Cang-Hui, which are further divided into twelve smaller subgroups.

Zhongyuan Mandarin

Zhongyuan Mandarin is the native language of the Central Plains ethnic group in northern China and is a branch of Northern Mandarin. It gradually developed and evolved based on the standard pronunciation of Chinese throughout history. Typical Zhongyuan Mandarin has some differences in initials, finals, and vocabulary compared to Standard Mandarin. It strictly distinguishes between the two types of entering tones. The standard for distinguishing the entering tone in Zhongyuan Mandarin is to pronounce the ancient voiceless and voiced initials of entering tone characters as the yin and yang tone respectively. Zhongyuan Mandarin is mainly spoken in 392 counties and cities across Henan, southern Hebei, southwestern Shandong, northern Jiangsu, northern Anhui, southern Shanxi, central Shaanxi, eastern Gansu, southern Ningxia, northeastern Qinghai, and southern Xinjiang, with a total population of 186 million speakers.

Jiang-Huai Mandarin

Jiang-Huai Mandarin, also known as Xiajiang Mandarin or Huaiyu, is a branch of Mandarin Chinese within the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken by over 70 million people in the Jiangsu and Anhui provinces of China, as well as in isolated dialect islands in other provinces, including northeastern Hubei and northern Jiangxi. The dialect is divided from east to west into the Tai-Ru, Hongchao, and Huang-Xiao (including Zhuzha) subgroups, with the majority of speakers belonging to the Hongchao subgroup.

Lan-Yin Mandarin

Lan-Yin Mandarin is a branch of Mandarin Chinese within the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken in Lanzhou and Baiyin cities in Gansu province, the northern region of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northern Xinjiang, and Alxa League in Inner Mongolia. There are a total of 75 counties and cities where this dialect is spoken. Lan-Yin Mandarin is one of the main dialects in northwest China. The name “Lan-Yin” is derived from the names of Lanzhou and Yinchuan cities.

Southwestern Mandarin

Southwestern Mandarin, also known as Upper Yangtze Mandarin, is a modern Chinese dialect of Mandarin Chinese mainly spoken in the upper Yangtze River region. It is divided into six major sub-groups and twenty-two minor sub-groups, and is primarily spoken in thirteen provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities including Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hubei, Guangxi, Hunan, Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Tibet, Anhui, Henan, and Gansu, as well as in some parts of Southeast Asia. According to the “Atlas of Chinese Languages,” the definition of Southwestern Mandarin is: “Chinese dialects spoken in the southwestern region and nearby areas, in which the checked tones are grouped into a tone or have tone values similar to those of Chengdu, Wuhan, Chongqing, Changde, Guiyang, Kunming, and Guilin.”

Southwestern Mandarin emerged in the Ming Dynasty and gradually formed as a result of migration to the southwestern region. Its phonological system is the simplest among Mandarin dialects, and aside from common features shared with other Mandarin dialects such as the regularization of voiced sounds, Southwestern Mandarin generally does not distinguish between retroflex and alveolar consonants, making it a transitional form of southern Mandarin. Southwestern Mandarin is the most widely used Mandarin dialect, with a usage population of over 270 million, making it the most widely spoken Mandarin dialect in China.

Where is Simplified Chinese Used today?

Mainland China, Malaysia, and Overseas – in these parts, a simplified version of Mandarin is used as the primary language, both as written and spoken versions of the language. In mainland China, for example, simplified Chinese is the official script permitted. As a result, the phrasing and vocabulary used in China are Mandarin.

Singapore–  the primary language used in Singapore is also Simplified Chinese. However, the use of the written version of Chinese is more common in Singapore, as it is in Mainland China. Over the years, there has been a great evolution in the language used, and the simplified Chinese spoken in Singapore is not the same as that in Mainland as there are significant variations in style and vocabulary used. So, while translations targeted to Mainland China may be understood in Singapore, they haven’t been developed with the natives in mind.

Where is traditional Chinese used?


The Taiwanese speak a great deal of traditional Mandarin primarily because the communist reforms of the 1950s didn’t affect Taiwan. Therefore, Taiwan was left with the traditional Mandarin written script as its primary language. What this means is that the native Taiwanese readers would be accustomed to the vocabulary and the phrasing used by readers in Mainland China even when they speak in the traditional Taiwanese dialect that is in Mandarin.

Besides the use of traditional Mandarin in Taiwan, Traditional Chinese is also spoken in Macao, Hong Kong, and Overseas. These parts of China speak Traditional Cantonese. The reason for this is that Hong Kong was under British rule then, and Cantonese remained its official written and spoken dialect.

These are just some of the differences in languages spoken in China. Now, while the languages spoken have evolved a great deal, it’s worth noting that the main reasons for the large diversity in the languages spoken in China have to do with the great historical divergence experienced in China, as well as the great influence of Latin on not just European Languages, but also on Chinese. The Greater China has its own unique version of Chinese called Classical Chinese – this was a form of old Chinese, and it’s also the version of Chinese that most of the classical Chinese works of literature are in.

That said, the common languages spoken in most parts of China include Mandarin, Standard Chinese or the Modern Standard Mandarin, Gan, Hakka, Min, Wu, Yue or Cantonese, and Xiang.

Did ancient Chinese speak Mandarin?

Through studying historical records and language experts’ accounts, it is revealed that there was a form of Mandarin in ancient China. However, people used an ancient form of Mandarin for reading, reciting, and daily communication.

China is a vast country with different regions having their own dialects that may be completely incomprehensible to one another. For instance, people from Shanghai and Guangzhou cannot communicate purely in their respective dialects. So, how did they communicate with each other?

There was one method: using written language to communicate with each other. Since ancient China had developed a written language, written language became the unified language of different regions, and the ancient people referred to it as “ya yan” or “wen yan.” In oral communication, different regions agreed to use one dialect as the standard, and they used “ya yan” to communicate with each other, which became the “common language,” equivalent to today’s Mandarin.

Although different regions’ “ya yan” had some differences in pronunciation, like today’s Mandarin, which is not entirely standardized across regions, it was still considered a common language that everyone could understand. In ancient China, the “ya yan” common language mostly used the pronunciation of the area where the emperor was located as the standard. Today’s Mandarin, for instance, is based on the standard pronunciation of Beijing and Luanping County, Hebei Province. Cantonese, on the other hand, uses the Guangzhou dialect as its standard pronunciation.

During the Zhou dynasty, the central government dispatched people to different regions to collect dialects. They used written language to interpret dialects, enabling people to understand the meaning of dialects. In the Han dynasty, Yang Xiong wrote the book “Fangyan,” which was the first specialized book that used the common language to explain dialects and compare dialects in China. The earliest Chinese dictionary, “Shuowen Jiezi,” written by Xu Shen in the Han dynasty, was, in fact, the standard pronunciation of “common language” for the Chinese characters. Therefore, the ancient Mandarin started in the Zhou dynasty.

Subsequent dynasties considered the determination of Mandarin pronunciation as an important task. During the Sui dynasty, the government appointed eight top scholars to discuss pronunciation, and Lu Fayan wrote the book “Qieyun” as the standard for the common language. After that, each official dynasty issued an official book to promulgate the standard Mandarin pronunciation. From the Yuan dynasty, “Mandarin spoken throughout the country” used the Beijing dialect as the standard pronunciation, which continued through the Ming, Qing, and Republican periods until today’s nationwide standardized “Mandarin.”

mandarin history

In history, the common language went through different stages of development and had different names during the changes of dynasties. During the Spring and Autumn Period, Confucius had three thousand disciples from all over the Nine Provinces, and the linguistic barriers required him to teach in a common language. “Yayan” was the common language used by Confucius, which means the elegant language. During the Eastern Zhou period, when feudal lords gathered for meetings and diplomatic missions, officials not only spoke their own languages but also had to learn to speak “Yayan” for communication at the grand gatherings.

In the era of ancient tribal alliances, clan languages gradually evolved into tribal languages, and various ethnic groups formed the prototype of the Huaxia tribe with Yao, Shun, and Yu as its leaders through struggle and integration. During the long historical periods of the Xia, Shang, Zhou, and Qin dynasties, the integration and development of numerous large and small ethnic groups was in fierce competition. The integration and development of the Huaxia tribe reached a historical climax with the unification of the Qin dynasty. The ruling class selected their local dialect as the common language, mainly from the Qin and Jin regions.

To “realize their aspirations and satisfy their desires,” the ruling group promoted their local dialects and characters within their territory. The oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang dynasty and the bronze inscriptions of the Western Zhou dynasty evolved from the same language family, with a continuous lineage. During the Eastern Zhou period, based on the language around the Luoyi area at that time, it eventually took shape as the “Yayan” used in Confucian teachings.

During the Spring and Autumn Period, the common language of the Han nationality was called “Yayan.” It is said that when reciting the Book of Songs and the Book of Documents, Confucius used “Yayan” instead of his own dialect of Lu. The meaning of “Ya” can either be “summer” or “elegant,” but the general meaning is that the language spoken around the Yellow River Basin and the king’s jurisdictional area, from the Xia dynasty to the Spring and Autumn period, is considered orthodox.

After “Yayan,” it was called the “Tongyu,” which is also known as the Fanyu, Fantongyu, or Tongming. After the great upheavals of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period and the establishment of the Han dynasty, the “Tongyu” became the common language of the Han nationality during several dynasties, which lasted until the Yuan dynasty. When Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified the six states, he launched various unification policies, and “Shutongwen” standardized the Chinese language in writing, while dialects remained in a semi-independent state, subordinate to written language. The standard pronunciation was based on the Qin and Henan dialects.

After the term “yayan,” the common language was known as “tongyu,” also known as “fantongyu,” “tongming,” or “common language.” Following the major changes during the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period and the establishment of the Han Dynasty, “tongyu” became the common language of the Han Chinese for several dynasties, continuing until the Yuan Dynasty. When Qin Shihuang unified the six states and implemented various policies, the standardization of writing created a unified written language, with dialects becoming subordinate to the written language. At that time, the standard pronunciation was based on the Qin and Jin dialects and the He-Lo dialect.

The Han Chinese had a unified written language in 221 BC, and the standardized script was small seal script, which has now been 2242 years ago. After the unification of the Qin Dynasty, there were uniform policies in transportation, writing, and etiquette, and the term “yayan” was also used as the official language. However, it is difficult to determine which dialect was used, but it is generally believed that the Qin Dynasty’s yayan was based on the Guanzhong dialect. After the establishment of the Han Dynasty, the term “tongyu” gradually replaced “yayan” and continued until the Yuan Dynasty.

The concept of “tongyu” was first explicitly proposed in Yang Xiong’s work “Fangyan,” where he systematically used “tongyu” to annotate the dialects of various regions. For example, “mian, ren, heng, lan, xi, qiu, ku, ripe,” means “cooked” in other dialects. Works such as “Huainanzi,” “Records of the Grand Historian,” and “Book of Han” were all written in the “tongyu” proposed by Yang Xiong. During the Western Han Dynasty, the Guanzhong dialect was the basis of the common language. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, after the capital moved to Luoyang, the status of “Luoyu” in the common language continued to rise.

During the Wei, Jin, Southern, and Northern Dynasties, the Han rulers shifted southeast, and the common language based on “Luoyu” gradually took on more “Luoyin” features as a large number of northern migrants moved to the south of the Yangtze River and blended with the local Wu dialect. Therefore, Jinling dialect became the common language of the official language during that period.

During the Sui and Tang dynasties, the political center returned to Chang’an, and there was a brief period where the “Jinling sound” and the “Chang’an sound” competed for dominance, but ultimately the “Chang’an sound” became the official language due to the flourishing political, economic, and cultural development of the north. After the Tang dynasty, the south gradually developed, which necessitated the unification of the north and south dialects. The Tang dynasty issued the “Qieyun” as the official rhyme dictionary to reconcile the differences between the north and south dialects and to promote correct pronunciation. During the establishment of the Five Dynasties and the Song dynasty, the political center of the Central Plains first moved from the west to the east, and then from the east to the south. The Northern Song dynasty established its capital in Kaifeng, and the “Kaifeng sound” became the lingua franca; during the Southern Song dynasty, which was based in the southeast, the collision of northern and southern dialects eventually led to the “Jianghuai dialect” becoming the official language of that era.

During the Song dynasty, dictionaries such as “Guangyun”, “Jiyun”, and “Liyunlue” were also published to guide pronunciation. As we all know, the Tang and Song dynasties were a time of great cultural development and literary prosperity in China. Although there were still differences in consonants, vowels, and tones among the various regions, the expression of poetry, lyrics, and prose reached its highest level at that time, and correct pronunciation was highly valued, objectively promoting the implementation of a common national language.

Since the Yuan dynasty, the political center of the country has been fixed in Beijing. During the Yuan dynasty, “the whole country spoke the same language, from the high-ranking officials who discussed governance and translated national languages, to the professors of national studies and the language used in the courts”, and what was called the “Central Plains sound” was actually the “Beijing sound”.

Although the Ming dynasty briefly established its capital in Nanjing, the rhyme dictionary “Hongwu Zhengyun”, which was edited by the government at the beginning of the dynasty, still used the “Beijing sound” as the phonetic standard. During the Qing dynasty, the Beijing dialect was also the natural choice for the official language, and the Qing government set up “zhengyin schools” in Fujian and Guangdong provinces to try to solve the problem of people from those provinces not speaking the official language.

The official promotion of the official language has gradually developed into a compulsory national will since the Yuan dynasty, and it is not just a matter of advocating “writing in standard characters and speaking in Mandarin” as it is today. During the Yuan dynasty, Mongolian children were required to learn the Central Plains sound in school, and if they were found speaking their own dialect or local language, they would be beaten. Ming Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang once forgave a poet’s exposure of the court’s private secrets in his poem because the poet’s use of rhyme complied with the regulations of “Hongwu Zhengyun” and because he supported the promotion of the official language. During the Qing dynasty, it was stipulated that “candidates for juren, shengyuan, gongjian, and tongsheng who do not speak the official language are not allowed to take the imperial examination”, and those who cannot speak the official language were not allowed to be officials or to be promoted to higher positions.

As the Ming dynasty moved its capital to Beijing and brought the Nanjing dialect into the city, the Manchu language, although it had its own language, was rapidly sinicized. At that time, many officials still spoke

The main source of modern Standard Mandarin is “Zhongyuan Yinyun,” which was compiled during the Yuan Dynasty based on the Beijing dialect. Its predecessor was the Mandarin used during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty, Beijing dialect was officially established as the standard Mandarin.

In the late Qing Dynasty, linguist Zhu Wenxiong designated the language commonly used in various provinces as “Putonghua,” while Mandarin lost its original meaning because it was spoken not only by officials. Therefore, it was renamed “Guoyu.”

Since the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, the flourishing development of vernacular literature has continuously elevated the status of the Beijing dialect. Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the common language used in oral communication has been called “Mandarin.” In 1902, Wu Rulun, the chief instructor of the Imperial University of Peking, went to Japan to study schools and saw the successful promotion of “Kokugo” (Tokyo dialect) as the national language. After returning to China, he advocated for the promotion of Beijing dialect as the standard language.

In 1906, Zhu Wenxiong wrote “Jiangsu New Alphabet,” which referred to the language commonly used in various provinces. The term “Putonghua” first appeared in this book.

In 1909, the Qing government named the pronunciation of Beijing as “Guoyu” (National Language). In 1913, the newly established Republic of China government created “Lao Guoyin” (Old National Pronunciation) which was based on the Beijing accent but also incorporated features of Nanjing Mandarin, such as the existence of entering tones. In 1918, the Beiyang government announced the first set of national phonetic symbols for Guoyin. In 1920, a language dispute known as the “Beijing-Guoyu controversy” erupted, and in 1932, after the Nationalist government’s Ministry of Education issued the “Commonly Used Characters of Guoyin”, the standard for Guoyu was officially established.

The official language was initially planned to be a combination of Beijing and Nanjing accents: the distinction between flat and raised tones, nasalization, and some tones followed the Beijing accent, while some vowels and entering tone were based on the Nanjing accent, forming a composite form of Mandarin that was mainly based on Beijing but also considered the dialects of the North and the South.

On February 5, 1913, the National Assembly in Beijing approved the standard Guoyin for more than 6,500 Chinese characters, forming the “Guoyin Huicaobian” (Rough Compilation of National Pronunciation). However, this composite form of Mandarin was artificially created in a short period of time and had no historical background or influence, and ultimately, it could not be promoted like Esperanto.

In 1923, the National Language Unification Preparation Committee decided to use the Beijing accent as the standard pronunciation and revised the “Guoyin Dictionary”. On May 7, 1932, the Ministry of Education announced that the “New Guoyin” replaced the Old Guoyin in legal status.

Around the May Fourth Movement, the Guoyu Movement and the Vernacular Movement were initiated. The former aimed to unify spoken language, while the latter aimed to eliminate classical Chinese, in order to achieve complete unity of written language. In 1948, the National Language and Script Reform Conference designated “Putonghua” (common speech) as the central standard dialect of the Chinese language.

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in October 1955, the Ministry of Education and the Language Reform Commission jointly held the National Language Reform Conference, which identified the simplification of Chinese characters and the promotion of Putonghua based on the Beijing accent as the main tasks of language reform at that time.



what language did the ancient Chinese speak?


The ancient Chinese spoke various dialects of Old Chinese, also known as Archaic Chinese, which is the earliest attested stage of the Chinese language. Old Chinese was spoken during the Zhou dynasty (1046 BCE – 256 BCE) and evolved into Middle Chinese, which was spoken during the Tang dynasty (618 CE – 907 CE). Today, the Chinese language has further evolved into Modern Standard Chinese, which is the official language of China.

During the Zhou dynasty’s feudal system, when fiefs were granted, the policy was to appoint the king’s relatives to remote areas to manage the local indigenous people as armed colonizers. Therefore, a standardized language was necessary for communication among different states, and this language was called “yayan,” which was probably the Guanzhong dialect at that time.

During the Qin and Han dynasties, especially in the Han dynasty, there was a “common language,” which was also probably the Guanzhong dialect. Later, the “common language” became the Henan and Hebei dialects and the Shaanxi Guanzhong dialects interchangeably as the lingua franca. Even the “Mandarin” of the Southern Song Dynasty was the Henan and Hebei dialects, rather than the Zhejiang dialect.

The official language of the Ming Dynasty was the language of the Huai-Xu generation, but at that time, this language was probably similar to the Tianjin dialect today.

By the time of the Qing Dynasty, the official language was probably the Beijing dialect, which is the basis of modern Mandarin. If there are any remnants of the original official language today, I think it would be the “Guoyu” spoken by Taiwanese people.

what language did the Han dynasty speak?

During the Han Dynasty, the national language was called “Luoyang dialect,” which inherited the refined language of the pre-Qin period. The standard language of Han Chinese was called “Zhengyin” or “Yayan,” also known as “Tongyu.” Yang Xiong’s book “Fangyan” was in contrast to “Tongyu.”

During the Tang Dynasty, the standard pronunciation was based on the Luoyang reading accent. The Sui and Tang dynasties were located in Chang’an and Luoyang, respectively, and at that time, the Chinese language in the Central Plains and Guanzhong regions had evolved after blending with elements of minority languages.

The Chinese language that emerged during the Han Dynasty was already essentially the same as the “Mandarin” spoken today. However, linguists categorize the language of the Han Dynasty as “Old Chinese.”

This seemingly esoteric language family or “Old Chinese” actually belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family of the Chinese language group. In terms of the development of linguistic history, this kind of Chinese language can be considered the ancestor of the existing Chinese language, which people used for daily communication from the Shang Dynasty to the Jin Dynasty.

If we look at the historical fact that the Han Dynasty Chinese language belongs to Old Chinese, then the Chinese language has existed for at least 4000 years. As a language or language family that has withstood the test of time and has gradually evolved through innovation and improvement over different periods, the emergence of the Chinese language has laid a very important foundation for the development of the Chinese nation.

Did the Tang Dynasty speak Mandarin?

During the Tang Dynasty, the official language (there was no Mandarin at that time) was the “Heluo language” (Heluo dialect). Compared with today’s Shaanxi dialect, the Wu dialect in Jiangnan, and the Minnan dialect in Fujian and Taiwan, the Tang dynasty’s yayan was closer, and many Japanese pronunciations are also based on the pronunciation of ancient Chinese in the Tang Dynasty.

After unifying the country during the Sui Dynasty, the earliest rhyming book in Chinese history, “Qieyun,” was compiled, which is based on the yayan of Jinling (Nanjing) and the yayan of Luoyang, forming the official language of the Sui Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty inherited the system of the Sui Dynasty and used the official language of the Sui Dynasty, called the “Luoyang Han language,” which was a new official language formed after communication between the Central Plains and various ethnic groups. During the reign of Tang Xuanzong, the “Tangyun” was compiled based on “Qieyun,” but this rhyming book has also disappeared in history!

The Heluo dialect originated in the Yellow River and Luo River basins in ancient Henan Province and became the official language of the Tang Dynasty. It refers to the language in the Central Plains with Luoyang as the center, including parts of Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Anhui, and other provinces.

With the change of dynasties and the movement of people in the Central Plains, the Heluo dialect in the region no longer exists. However, during the Tang Dynasty, as the development of border areas such as the southeast coast, the Tang Dynasty’s official language also took root in the southeast region. Nowadays, the Cangnan and Pingyang dialects in Zhejiang, the Minnan dialect in Fujian, the Chaoshan and Shantou dialects in Guangdong, and the Leizhou dialect on Hainan Island preserve many of the “Heluo dialects” of the Tang Dynasty and are living fossils of dialect research. The main reason is that these regions have relatively closed-off since the Tang Dynasty, thus preserving some of the “Heluo dialects.”

Did the Song dynasty speak Mandarin?

The standard language of the Song Dynasty in China was the Kaifeng and Luoyang dialects of the official language, known as Guanhua. There were significant differences in pronunciation among the various local dialects spoken throughout the Song Dynasty, and the people of the time sought to establish a standardized pronunciation. Because the capital was located in Kaifeng, the people of the Northern Song Dynasty often regarded the Kaifeng and Luoyang dialects as the standard pronunciation. The saying went, “In different places, people have different accents, but only the capital, the Heavenly Dynasty, has the correct one.” The famous Chinese poet, Lu You, once said, “Only Luoyang has the most accurate pronunciation among all the places in the Central Plains.” However, he also recognized that even the pronunciation of the Luoyang dialect was not entirely pure, as evidenced by words like “玄” (xuan) being pronounced as “弦” (xian) and “犬” (quan) being pronounced as “遣” (qian). Due to the long passage of time, even if the regions are the same, the local dialects spoken during the Song Dynasty would differ from those spoken today. Therefore, the official language of the Song Dynasty can only be considered to be the Kaifeng and Luoyang dialects of the time.

ming dynasty mandarin

The official language of the Ming Dynasty in China was Nanjing Guanhua.

Nanjing Guanhua, also known as Nanjing dialect, specifically refers to the national language that was based on the Nanjing dialect of Chinese and served as the official language of China. Modern Nanjing dialect is mainly spoken in the 11 districts of the main city of Nanjing, as well as in the northern part of Lishui County and Jurong City.

Throughout history, Nanjing dialect has long been the official language of China. During the Ming Dynasty and before the mid-Qing Dynasty, the official standard language of China was Nanjing dialect. The Chinese language taught and used in surrounding countries such as Japan and Korea was also based on Nanjing Guanhua.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Western missionaries who came to China popularized the Chinese language based on Nanjing Guanhua, and the “Hua Yu Zheng Yin Hui” (Association for the Regulation of the Chinese Spoken Language), founded by Western missionaries in the early years of the Republic of China, also used Nanjing pronunciation as the standard. For a long time, Nanjing dialect has been highly respected for its elegant and flowing style, its varied intonation, and its unique status.

qing dynasty mandarin

Mandarin Chinese, also known as Putonghua, is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, which originated from the Yuan Dynasty’s capital city, Dadu. The standardized pronunciation was established in the Ming Dynasty and later served as the official language of the Qing Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu rulers actively studied Chinese culture and language, and as a result, Beijing dialect was heavily influenced by Manchu pronunciation. This dialect became a hybrid of the Yuan Dynasty’s Dadu dialect, the Nanjing dialect, and the Manchu language. During the Kangxi Emperor’s reign, the imperial summer palace was built in the area of Luanping, which became an important route between Beijing and Chengde. The Qing government encouraged the establishment of “outer farms and fields” by the Manchu people, and many of them settled in the fertile land of Luanping, where they spoke pure Beijing dialect. The remote location of Luanping and its relative isolation from the outside world allowed the preservation of a pristine form of Beijing dialect in the area.

where are mandarin oranges from?

Mandarin Chinese originated from Luanping County, Chengde City, Hebei Province. Luanping County is located in the western part of Chengde City, at the intersection of the provinces and cities of Beijing, Hebei, and Inner Mongolia, known as the “north gate of Beijing”.

 In 1953, national phonetic workers visited Jingoutun Village, Jinguotun Township, Luanping County twice to collect standard pronunciation samples for Mandarin Chinese, which were considered “closer to Standard Mandarin than Beijing dialect”. The modern Mandarin Chinese is based on the phonetics compiled in the Yuan Dynasty’s “Zhongyuan Yinyun”, which was derived from the Ming and Qing dynasty official language. During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty, Beijing dialect was officially established as the standard official language. Compared with dialects in Southeast China, Mandarin Chinese retains fewer ancient sounds and has lost the “entering tone”. After the establishment of the standard, it was promoted nationwide in 1955. In 2000, the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Common Language and Characters” established Mandarin Chinese and standard Chinese characters as the legal status of the national common language and characters.

why mandarin is called Mandarin?

The term “Mandarin” originally referred to high-ranking officials in the imperial court of China, known as “Guān” (官) in Chinese. These officials were typically from the northern regions of China, where the Beijing dialect was spoken, and they often used this dialect as their standard language of communication. Over time, the term “Mandarin” came to be associated with the Beijing dialect and the standard language of China based on it, which eventually became known as “Mandarin Chinese.” So, in short, the name “Mandarin” comes from the historical association of the Beijing dialect with high-ranking officials in the imperial court.

when did China start speaking Mandarin?

when was Mandarin created? The development of Mandarin as a distinct language began during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), when the Mongols, who spoke the Central Asian language of Chagatai, ruled over China. The Mongols established their capital in Beijing, which became an important center of trade and culture. The local speech in and around Beijing at that time was known as the “Old Beijing Dialect,” which served as the basis for the phonology of Mandarin. However, it was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that Mandarin became widely used as an official language in China. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Mandarin continued to evolve and became the national standard language, which is now known as Modern Standard Mandarin (MSM) or Putonghua.

who created the Chinese language?

The Chinese language is a complex system of written and spoken characters that has evolved over thousands of years. While there is no single individual or group that can be credited with “creating” the Chinese language, its origins can be traced back to ancient times.

The earliest written records of Chinese language date back to the Shang Dynasty, which existed from around 1600 BCE to 1046 BCE. The earliest form of Chinese writing was in the form of oracle bones, which were used for divination and recorded important events.

Over time, the Chinese language evolved and developed into a complex system of characters that is still used today. The modern Chinese writing system consists of thousands of characters, each representing a different word or concept.

It’s worth noting that Chinese is actually a group of related languages rather than a single language, with Mandarin being the most widely spoken and official language in China. The development of the Chinese language has been influenced by various factors, including cultural, historical, and geographical factors, as well as interactions with neighboring languages and cultures.

why mandarin is the most spoken language?

Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world because of several factors:

Population: China, where Mandarin is the official language, has the largest population in the world. With over 1.4 billion people, China accounts for over 18% of the world’s population. This large population contributes significantly to the number of Mandarin speakers worldwide.

National language policy: In 1956, the Chinese government declared Mandarin the official language of China and mandated its use in education and government. This policy helped to standardize the language and promote its use throughout the country.

Economic growth: China has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, making it an important player in the global economy. As a result, Mandarin has become an important language for international trade and business, and its use has spread beyond China’s borders.

Migration: Chinese people have migrated all over the world, taking their language with them. This has contributed to the spread of Mandarin to other countries and regions, such as Taiwan, Singapore, and parts of Southeast Asia.

Cultural Development: Chinese culture has a long history and is becoming increasingly popular among foreigners in the 21st century. More and more people are learning about the culture of Confucius and participating in Chinese language competitions worldwide. Mandarin is gaining popularity among people.

UN Official Language: Mandarin is one of the official languages of the United Nations and is the language with the most native speakers in the world. As of the end of 2020, more than 180 countries and regions have offered Chinese language education, and over 70 countries have included Chinese in their national education system. The number of foreigners learning Chinese has exceeded 20 million, and the cumulative number of people learning and using Chinese is close to 200 million.

Overall, the combination of China’s large population, national language policy, economic growth, and migration has contributed to Mandarin becoming the most spoken language in the world.

how many people speak mandarin chinese?

There are approximately 7 billion people and 7,000 languages in the world, but over half of the world’s population uses only 23 languages. Compared to any other language, the number of people who speak Chinese is enormous.

Even when divided by dialect, the number of Chinese speakers is still significant. There are up to 848 million Mandarin speakers, almost 500 million more than English speakers. The number of Wu and Cantonese dialect speakers, which are relatively less commonly used, surpasses the total number of Persian and Malay speakers.

Chinese has a profound influence in East and Southeast Asia. In ancient Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, and other regions, Chinese was their official language for a long time, playing a crucial and far-reaching role in their politics, economy, and culture. With China’s foreign trade after the Song Dynasty, Chinese gradually spread to Southeast Asia (such as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and other regions) and all over the world, including the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Today, wherever there are Chinese people, you can hear Chinese.

Currently, the countries that have designated Chinese as their official language are China, Singapore, and Malaysia. Chinese is the second official language in Singapore and Malaysia. At the same time, Mandarin is also one of the United Nations’ six official languages.

why mandarin is important?

Mandarin is important for several reasons:

  • It is the most widely spoken language in the world: Mandarin is spoken by over 1.3 billion people worldwide, making it the most widely spoken language in the world. China is also one of the world’s largest economies, and Mandarin is the official language of China, making it an essential language for business and trade.
  • It is the official language of China: Mandarin is the official language of China, and is used by the government, media, and educational institutions. Therefore, learning Mandarin is crucial for anyone who wants to work or do business in China, or to communicate with Chinese people.
  • It opens up job opportunities: Knowing Mandarin can be a valuable skill in the job market. Many multinational companies, especially those with a presence in China or doing business with Chinese companies, seek employees who can speak Mandarin.
  • It is a gateway to Chinese culture: Knowing Mandarin can help you to better understand Chinese culture, history, and traditions. Being able to speak Mandarin can also make it easier to connect with Chinese people and build relationships.
  • It can improve cognitive function: Learning a new language like Mandarin can improve cognitive function and enhance brain plasticity. It has been shown to improve memory, problem-solving skills, and creativity, among other benefits.

cantonese vs mandarin

Cantonese and Mandarin are both dialects of the Chinese language, and they differ in several aspects such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Here are some key differences between the two:

Pronunciation: Cantonese has more tones than Mandarin, with nine distinct tones compared to Mandarin’s four. Cantonese also has a larger number of consonant sounds and final consonants, making it a more complex language to learn for non-native speakers.

Vocabulary: Cantonese and Mandarin share many of the same characters, but the pronunciation and usage of those characters can differ between the two dialects. Cantonese also has a larger vocabulary of colloquial expressions and slang, which are not commonly used in Mandarin.

Grammar: Cantonese has a more flexible sentence structure than Mandarin, with the ability to place words and phrases in different positions within a sentence. Cantonese also has a greater emphasis on spoken language, with more complex sentence structures used in everyday speech.

Geographic distribution: Mandarin is the official language of China and is spoken by the majority of the population. Cantonese is mainly spoken in Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong province in southern China, as well as in overseas Chinese communities.

Overall, Cantonese and Mandarin are distinct dialects of Chinese with unique characteristics, but they share many commonalities as well. Both dialects are widely used and important for communication within Chinese-speaking communities.

Sichuan dialect vs Mandarin

Sichuan dialect, also known as Sichuanese or Szechuanese, is a variant of the Mandarin Chinese language spoken in the Sichuan Province of China. While Mandarin is the official language of China, there are many regional dialects spoken throughout the country, including Sichuanese.

The Sichuanese dialect differs from Mandarin in several ways, including pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Sichuanese has its own unique set of tones, which can be difficult for Mandarin speakers to master. Additionally, Sichuanese has many words and phrases that are not used in Mandarin, and its grammar structure is slightly different as well.

However, despite these differences, Mandarin remains the dominant language of China, and it is the language taught in schools and used in government and business settings. While Sichuanese may be more commonly spoken in the Sichuan Province and among the Sichuanese diaspora, Mandarin is still the primary language for communication in most situations.

wu language vs Mandarin

Wu is a group of Chinese dialects spoken in the southeastern part of China, particularly in Shanghai and the surrounding regions. Mandarin, on the other hand, is the official language of China and is spoken by the majority of the population.

The most significant difference between Wu and Mandarin is their phonetics. Wu has a distinct phonetic system, which includes a large number of consonants and vowels that are not found in Mandarin. Wu also has tone sandhi, which means that the tones of individual words can change depending on their position in a sentence.

In terms of grammar and vocabulary, Wu and Mandarin are very similar, as they both belong to the Sinitic branch of the Chinese language family. However, there are some differences in vocabulary and syntax, particularly in colloquial usage.

Overall, while Wu and Mandarin are related languages, they are distinct in their phonetics and have some differences in vocabulary and syntax. Mandarin is the dominant language in China, while Wu is primarily spoken in the southeastern regions of the country.

hakka vs mandarin

Hakka and Mandarin are two different Chinese dialects that are spoken by people in different parts of China. Here are some of the differences between the two:

Origin: Hakka is believed to have originated in the central regions of China, while Mandarin is the official language of China and is based on the dialect spoken in the capital city, Beijing.

Pronunciation: The pronunciation of Hakka and Mandarin differs significantly. Hakka has a distinct tonal system, with six or seven tones, while Mandarin has four.

Vocabulary: The vocabulary of Hakka and Mandarin is also different. Hakka has retained many archaic Chinese words and phrases, which are not commonly used in Mandarin. Conversely, Mandarin has adopted many foreign words and phrases.

Grammar: The grammar of Hakka and Mandarin is similar, with both using the subject-verb-object sentence structure. However, the use of particles and grammatical markers differs between the two.

Usage: Mandarin is the official language of China, and is used in government, media, and education. Hakka, on the other hand, is spoken by a smaller number of people, mainly in the southern regions of China.

Overall, while there are similarities between Hakka and Mandarin, the differences between the two are significant enough that they can be considered separate dialects of the Chinese language.

Minnan dialect vs Mandarin

Minnan dialect, also known as Hokkien, is a dialect of Chinese that is primarily spoken in the southern part of Fujian province in China, as well as in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and other regions with significant Hokkien-speaking populations. Mandarin, on the other hand, is the official language of China and is spoken by the majority of Chinese people.

Minnan dialect and Mandarin are both part of the Chinese language family, but they are distinct from one another. While Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect and is the standard language used in China for communication, business, education, and government, Minnan dialect has its own unique set of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

In terms of pronunciation, Minnan dialect is known for its use of tones, which are used to distinguish between words with similar sounds. Mandarin also uses tones, but the tone system is less complex than that of Minnan dialect.

Vocabulary-wise, Minnan dialect has borrowed many loanwords from other languages, such as Malay, Dutch, and Hokkien dialects spoken in other regions, whereas Mandarin has a standardized vocabulary based on Classical Chinese.

Grammar-wise, Minnan dialect and Mandarin have some similarities, but there are also significant differences. For example, Minnan dialect uses a different sentence structure and has a tendency to omit certain particles that are used in Mandarin.

In summary, Minnan dialect and Mandarin are two different dialects of the Chinese language with their own unique features. While Mandarin is the official language of China, Minnan dialect is still widely spoken and plays an important role in the cultural heritage of southern China and other regions with Hokkien-speaking populations.

mandarin vs Chinese

Mandarin is a specific dialect of the Chinese language. Chinese is a group of related languages spoken by over a billion people, primarily in China and other parts of East Asia.

Chinese includes many different dialects, such as Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Hokkien, in addition to Mandarin. Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese, is the official language of China and is spoken by over 70% of the Chinese population.

In summary, Mandarin is a specific dialect of the Chinese language, while Chinese refers to the broader language family that includes Mandarin and other dialects.

mandarin vs kanji

Mandarin and Kanji are not directly comparable as they are different things.

Mandarin is a spoken language and the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1.3 billion speakers. It is the official language of China and is also spoken in Singapore and other parts of the world with Chinese communities.

Kanji, on the other hand, is a writing system used in Japan. It is a set of Chinese characters that have been adopted and modified for use in the Japanese language. Kanji characters are used alongside two other Japanese writing systems, Hiragana and Katakana.

So, while Mandarin is a language that is primarily spoken, Kanji is a writing system used in the Japanese language. They are two distinct things and cannot be compared in terms of superiority or preference. It’s like comparing apples and oranges; they are both fruits, but they are not the same.

mandarin vs Japanese

Mandarin and Japanese are two distinct languages with different origins, grammar, and vocabulary.

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, meaning that the pitch or tone of a word can change its meaning. Mandarin has a relatively simple grammar system and is written using characters. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1 billion speakers.

Japanese, on the other hand, is not a tonal language and has a complex system of honorifics and verb conjugation. Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Japanese is spoken by around 130 million people worldwide.

In terms of pronunciation, Mandarin has a greater variety of tones than Japanese. Mandarin has four tones, plus a neutral tone, while Japanese has only five vowel sounds and a limited number of consonants.

Both languages are important in different ways. Mandarin is essential for doing business in China, while Japanese is necessary for conducting business in Japan. Additionally, Japanese is known for its rich culture, including art, literature, and history, while Mandarin is known for its practicality and usefulness in the global economy.

mandarin vs English

Mandarin and English are two very different languages with different histories, structures, and cultural contexts.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1 billion speakers. It is a tonal language, meaning that the meaning of words can change based on the tone used to pronounce them. Mandarin has a complex writing system based on characters, and learning to read and write in Mandarin can be challenging for non-native speakers. However, Mandarin is an important language for business, politics, and diplomacy, particularly in Asia.

English is a West Germanic language that is spoken as a first language by over 400 million people and as a second language by over 1 billion people worldwide. It is the language of international communication, and is used widely in business, science, technology, and entertainment. English is a non-tonal language, and its writing system is based on the Latin alphabet, which is relatively easy to learn compared to the complex characters of Mandarin.

In terms of learning difficulty, Mandarin is generally considered more difficult to learn than English due to its tonal nature and complex writing system. However, both languages require a significant amount of time and effort to master.

Ultimately, the choice between Mandarin and English will depend on individual goals, interests, and circumstances. Both languages have their own unique advantages and challenges, and can open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

mandarin vs french

Mandarin and French are two very different languages, each with their own unique characteristics and uses.

Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over a billion speakers, primarily in China and other parts of East Asia. It uses a complex writing system consisting of thousands of characters and has a tonal system, which means that the meaning of a word can change depending on the tone used to pronounce it. Mandarin is often used as a language of business and commerce in China and other parts of Asia.

French, on the other hand, is spoken by around 300 million people worldwide, primarily in France, Canada, and parts of Africa. It uses the Latin alphabet and has a system of gendered nouns and verb conjugation. French is often considered a language of diplomacy and is commonly used in international organizations like the United Nations.

In terms of difficulty, both Mandarin and French can be challenging to learn for non-native speakers, but for different reasons. Mandarin’s writing system and tonal system can be particularly difficult to master, while French’s grammar and pronunciation can be tricky for English speakers.

Ultimately, the choice between learning Mandarin or French depends on your personal goals and interests. If you are interested in doing business in China or traveling to East Asia, learning Mandarin could be a valuable skill. If you are interested in French culture or pursuing a career in diplomacy or international relations, French might be the better choice for you.

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