18 Facts About Standard Chinese


Standard Chinese is a pluricentric language with local standards in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore that mainly differ in their lexicon.

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Hong Kong written Chinese, used for formal written communication in Hong Kong and Macau, is a form of Standard Chinese that is read aloud with the Cantonese reading of characters.

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The name Modern Standard Chinese Mandarin is used to distinguish it from its historic standard.

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Standard Chinese's concern echoed within the Communist Party, which adopted the name Putonghua in 1955.

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Zhongwen or the "Standard Chinese written language", refers to all written languages of Standard Chinese .

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Standard Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent that they cannot understand each other.

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Standard Chinese has long had considerable dialectal variation, hence prestige dialects have always existed, and linguae francae have always been needed.

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From an official point of view, Standard Chinese serves the purpose of a lingua franca—a way for speakers of the several mutually unintelligible varieties of Chinese, as well as the ethnic minorities in China, to communicate with each other.

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In practice due to Standard Chinese being a "public" lingua franca, other Chinese varieties and even non-Sinitic languages have shown signs of losing ground to the standard.

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Lee Kuan Yew, the initiator of the campaign, admitted that to most Standard Chinese Singaporeans, Mandarin was a "stepmother tongue" rather than a true mother language.

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In both the PRC and Taiwan, Standard Chinese is taught by immersion starting in elementary school.

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Phonology of Standard Chinese is based on Northern Mandarin in mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, while in Hong Kong and Macau, it is based on Cantonese.

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In mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia, standard Chinese is rendered in simplified Chinese characters; while in Taiwan it is rendered in traditional.

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Standard Chinese is a strongly analytic language, having almost no inflectional morphemes, and relying on word order and particles to express relationships between the parts of a sentence.

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Standard Chinese has a T–V distinction between the polite and informal "you" that comes from the Beijing dialect, although its use is quite diminished in daily speech.

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Standard Chinese is written with characters corresponding to syllables of the language, most of which represent a morpheme.

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In most cases, these characters come from those used in Classical Standard Chinese to write cognate morphemes of late Old Standard Chinese, though their pronunciation, and often meaning, has shifted dramatically over two millennia.

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Standard Chinese characters were traditionally read from top to bottom, right to left, but in modern usage it is more common to read from left to right.

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