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Chinese Language
Chinese (, especially when referring to written Chinese) is a group of languages spoken natively by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China. About 1.3 billion people (or approximately 16% of the world's population) speak a variety of Chinese as their first language. Chinese languages form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages family. The spoken varieties of Chinese are usually considered by native speakers to be variants of a single language. However, their lack of mutual intelligibility means they are sometimes considered separate languages in a family. Investigation of the historical relationships among the varieties of Chinese is ongoing. Currently, most classifications posit 7 to 13 main regional groups based on phonetic developments from Middle Chinese, of which the most spoken by far is Mandarin (with about 800 million speakers, or 66%), followed by Min (75 million, e.g. Southern Min), Wu (74 million, e ...
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Simplified Chinese Characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters used in mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore, as prescribed by the ''Table of General Standard Chinese Characters''. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China, Malaysia and Singapore, while traditional Chinese characters still remain in common use in Hong Kong, Macau, ROC/Taiwan and Japan to a certain extent. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name above or colloquially . In its broadest sense, the latter term refers to all characters that have undergone simplifications of character "structure" or "body", some of which have existed for millennia mainly in handwriting alongsi ...
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Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese ()—in linguistics Standard Northern Mandarin or Standard Beijing Mandarin, in common speech simply Mandarin, better qualified as Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin or Standard Mandarin Chinese—is a modern standardized form of Mandarin Chinese that was first developed during the Republican Era (1912‒1949). It is designated as the official language of mainland China and a major language in the United Nations, Singapore, and Taiwan. It is largely based on the Beijing dialect. Standard Chinese is a pluricentric language with local standards in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore that mainly differ in their lexicon. 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. Like other Sinitic languages, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object (SVO) word order. ...
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De Facto
''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to things that happen according to official law, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. History In jurisprudence, it mainly means "practiced, but not necessarily defined by law" or "practiced or is valid, but not officially established". Basically, this expression is opposed to the concept of "de jure" (which means "as defined by law") when it comes to law, management or technology (such as standards) in the case of creation, development or application of "without" or "against" instructions, but in accordance with "with practice". When legal situations are discussed, "de jure" means "expressed by law", while "de facto" means action or what is practiced. Similar expressions: "essentially", "unofficial", "in ...
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Taiwan
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands, with a combined area of . The main island of Taiwan, also known as ''Formosa'', has an area of , with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Other major cities include Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. With around 23.9 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries in the world. Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years. Ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the isla ...
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Singapore
Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Singapore Strait to the south, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor to the north. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the third highest population density in the world. With a multicultural population and recognising the need to respect cultural identities of the major ethnic groups within the nation, Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca and numerous public services are available only i ...
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China
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. Covering an area of approximately , it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai. Modern Chinese trace their origins to a cradle of civilization in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. The semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE and the well-attested Shang and Zhou dynasties developed a bureaucratic political system to serve hereditary monarchies, or ...
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List Of Countries And Territories Where Chinese Is An Official Language
The following is a list of countries and territories where Chinese is an official language. While those countries or territories that designate any variety of Chinese as an official language, as the term "Chinese" is considered a group of related language varieties rather than a homogeneous language, of which many are not mutually intelligible, in the context of the spoken language such designations are usually understood as one standard form of Chinese variety, namely Cantonese and Standard Mandarin. In the context of the written language, written modern standard Chinese is usually understood to be the official standard, though different territories use different standard scripts, namely Traditional Chinese characters and Simplified Chinese characters. Today, Chinese has an official language status in five countries/territories. In China and Taiwan, it is the sole official language as Standard Chinese, while in Singapore (as Mandarin) it is one of the four official languages. I ...
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ʼPhags-pa Script
The Phags-pa script is an alphabet designed by the Tibetan monk and State Preceptor (later Imperial Preceptor) Drogön Chögyal Phagpa for Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty, as a unified script for the written languages within the Yuan. The actual use of this script was limited to about a hundred years during the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, and it fell out of use with the advent of the Ming dynasty. It was used to write and transcribe varieties of Chinese, the Tibetic languages, Mongolian, the Uyghur language, Sanskrit, Persian, and other neighboring languages during the Yuan era. For historical linguists, the documentation of its use provides clues about the changes in these languages. Its descendant systems include Horizontal square script, used to write Tibetan and Sanskrit. There is a theory that the Korean Hangul alphabet had a limited influence from Phags-pa (see Origin of Hangul). During the Pax Mongolica the script has even made numerous appearances in weste ...
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Chinese Braille (other)
Chinese braille refers to Standard Mandarin braille systems: *Mainland Chinese Braille, for Putonghua in China * Two-Cell Chinese Braille, for Putonghua in China *Taiwanese Braille, for Guoyu in Taiwan See also *Cantonese Braille Cantonese Braille (Chinese: 粵語點字) is a braille script used to write Cantonese in Hong Kong and Macau. It is locally referred to as ''tim chi'' (點字, ''dim2zi6'') 'dot characters' or more commonly but ambiguously ''tuk chi'' (凸字, ...
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Dungan Language
Dungan ( or ) is a Sinitic language spoken primarily in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by the Dungan people, an ethnic group related to the Hui people of China. Although it is derived from the Central Plains Mandarin of Gansu and Shaanxi, it is written in Cyrillic (or Xiao'erjing) and contains loanwords and archaisms not found in other modern varieties of Mandarin. History The Dungan people of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with smaller groups living in other post-Soviet states) are the descendants of several groups of the Hui people that migrated to the region in the 1870s and the 1880s after the defeat of the Dungan revolt in Northwestern China. The Hui of Northwestern China (often referred to as "Dungans" or "Tungani" by the 19th-century western writers as well as by members of Turkic nationalities in China and Central Asia) would normally speak the same Mandarin dialect as the Han people in the same areaDru C. Gladney, ''Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Repub ...
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Xiao'erjing
Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin or Xiaor jin or in its shortened form, Xiaojing, literally meaning "children's script" or "minor script" (cf. "original script" referring to the original Perso-Arabic script; zh, s=本经, t=本經, p=Běnjīng, Xiao'erjing: , dng, Бынҗин, ), is the practice of writing Sinitic languages such as Mandarin (especially the Lanyin, Zhongyuan and Northeastern dialects) or the Dungan language in the Perso-Arabic script. It is used on occasion by many ethnic minorities who adhere to the Islamic faith in China (mostly the Hui, but also the Dongxiang and the Salar) and formerly by their Dungan descendants in Central Asia. Orthography reforms introduced the Latin script and later the Cyrillic script to the Dungan language, which continue to be used today. Xiao'erjing is written from right to left, as with other writing systems using the Perso-Arabic script. The Xiao'erjing writing system is unusual among Arabic script-based writing systems in that ...
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Pinyin
Hanyu Pinyin (), often shortened to just pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in China, and to some extent, in Singapore and Malaysia. It is often used to teach Mandarin, normally written in Chinese characters, Chinese form, to learners already familiar with the Latin alphabet. The system includes four diacritics denoting tone (linguistics), tones, but pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written in the Latin script, and is also used in certain computer Chinese input methods for computers, input methods to enter Chinese characters. The word ' () literally means "Han Chinese, Han spoken language, language" (i.e. Chinese language), while ' () means "spelled sounds". The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by a group of Chinese linguists including Zhou Youguang and was based on earlier forms of Romanization of Chinese, romanizations of Chinese. It was published by the Chinese G ...
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