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 Chinese or the Sinitic language(s) (simplified Chinese汉语traditional Chinese漢語pinyinHànyǔsimplified Chinese华语traditional Chinese華語pinyinHuáyǔsimplified Chinese中国话traditional Chinese中國話pinyinZhōngguóhuà; orChinese中文pinyinZhōngwén) is a language family consisting of languages mutually unintelligible to varying degrees.[3] Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the two branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world’s population, or over one billion people, speak some form of Chinese as their native language. Theidentification of the varieties of Chinese as "dialects" instead of "languages" is considered inappropriate by some linguists and Sinologists.[4]

Spoken Chinese is distinguished by its high level of internal diversity, although all spoken varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic. There are between seven and thirteen main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million) and Min (70 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility. Chinese is classified as a macrolanguage with 13 sub-languages in ISO 639-3, though theidentification of the varieties of Chinese as multiple "languages" or as "dialects" of a single language is a contentious issue.

The standardized form of spoken Chinese is Standard Mandarin (Putonghua / Guoyu / Huayu), based on the Beijing dialect, which is part of a larger group of North-Eastern and South-Western dialects, often taken as a separate language (see Mandarin Chinese for more), this language can be referred to as 官话 Guānhuà or 北方话 Běifānghuà in Chinese. Standard Mandarin is the official language of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), as well as one of four official languages of Singapore. Chinese—de facto, Standard Mandarin—is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Of the other varieties, Standard Cantonese is common and influential in Guangdong Province and Cantonese-speaking overseas communities, and remains one of the official languages of Hong Kong (together with English) and of Macau (together with Portuguese). Hokkien, part of the Min language group, is widely spoken in southern Fujian, in neighbouring Taiwan (where it is known as Taiwanese or Hoklo) and in Southeast Asia(where it dominates in Singapore and Malaysia).

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review by . February 14, 2010
posted in Go China
Wo Ai Ni (我爱你) is the way to go, if your Valentine is Chinese!
Today is first day of Chinese New Year (the year of the golden tiger begins) for all Chinese and also Valentine's Day for the rest of the world. So, other than uttering Gongxi Facai (恭喜发财) in Mandarin & Gong Hei Fat Choi in Cantonese, the words for lovers are Wo Ai Ni (我爱你) in Chinese. That's Je t'aime in French :-)      Now, the newest trend is to learn Chinese. I've seen and met a great many students who come from across the world to learn Mandarin in Beijing, …
Quick Tip by . September 13, 2010
posted in Go China
Learn it young if you intend to, or else it'll turn into a pain in the xxxx ! Once you learn to enjoy it, it's full of poetry and mystery. A language befitting of a great civilization. Something ancient and yet fully in use by 1 over billion people! Amazing!
Quick Tip by . January 01, 2010
Ancient, difficult to learn & challenging yet it is one of the most interesting languages. To learn it well, u need to live in China.
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