15 Facts About Standard Mandarin


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

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

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Term "Standard Mandarin" is a translation of Guanhua, which referred to Imperial Standard Mandarin.

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

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For example, Cantonese films, Hokkien films and Standard Mandarin films produced in Hong Kong that got imported into Malaysia were collectively known as Huayu cinema up until the mid-1960s.

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From an official point of view, Standard Mandarin 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 Mandarin 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 Chinese Singaporeans, Standard Mandarin was a "stepmother tongue" rather than a true mother language.

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Standard Mandarin is spreading overseas beyond East Asia and Southeast Asia as well.

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In both the PRC and Taiwan, Standard Mandarin 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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Standard Mandarin 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 Mandarin Chinese is written with characters corresponding to syllables of the language, most of which represent a morpheme.

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Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Standard Mandarin Chinese, written with traditional Chinese characters:.

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Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Standard Mandarin Chinese, written with simplified Chinese characters:.

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