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Chinese Language
LEGEND: Countries identified Chinese as a primary, administrative, or native language Countries with more than 5,000,000 Chinese speakers Countries with more than 1,000,000 Chinese speakers Countries with more than 500,000 Chinese speakers Countries with more than 100,000 Chinese speakers Major Chinese-speaking settlements THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters
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Standard Chinese
STANDARD CHINESE, also known as MODERN STANDARD MANDARIN, STANDARD MANDARIN, or simply MANDARIN, is a standard variety of Chinese that is the sole official language of both China
China
and Taiwan
Taiwan
, and also one of the four official languages of Singapore
Singapore
. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect , its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects , and its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese . Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order. It has more initial consonants but fewer vowels, final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is an analytic language , though with many compound words . There exist two standardised forms of the language, namely PUTONGHUA in Mainland China
China
and GUOYU in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters
Chinese characters
(plus Hanyu Pinyin romanization for teaching), while Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters (plus Bopomofo for teaching). There are many characters that are identical between the two systems
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Languages Of China
English , Portuguese (in Macau ) SIGN LANGUAGES Chinese Sign Language Tibetan Sign Language COMMON KEYBOARD LAYOUTS Chinese input methods Part of a series on the CULTURE OF CHINA HISTORY PEOPLE LANGUAGES Traditions * Values * Etiquette * Marriage * Funerals * Tea ceremony * Clothing * Games Mythology and folklore * Mythology * folklore CUISINE FESTIVALS Religion * New religions * Taoism Art * Ikebana * Bonsai * Gardens * Pottery Literature * Poetry Music and performing arts * Music * Performing arts Media * Radio * Television * Cinema * Mobile phone culture * Anime Sport * Martial arts Monuments * World Heritage Sites * Architecture Symbols * Flag * Coat of arms Organisations * Museums * * China portal * v * t * e The LANGUAGES OF CHINA are the languages that are spoken by China's 56 recognized ethnic groups . The predominant language in China, which is divided into seven major dialect groups (often classified as distinct languages by foreign linguists), is known as _Hanyu_ (simplified Chinese : 汉语; traditional Chinese : 漢語; pinyin : _Hànyǔ_). and its study is considered a distinct academic discipline in China
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Simplified Chinese
SIMPLIFIED CHINESE CHARACTERS (简化字; _jiǎnhuàzì_) are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the _Table of General Standard Chinese Characters _ for use in mainland China . Along with traditional Chinese characters , it is 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 in an attempt to increase literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore . Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Hong Kong , Macau , and the Republic of China ( Taiwan ). While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups generally retain their use of Simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities generally tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name above or colloquially (简体字; _ jiǎntǐzì _). The latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms
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Traditional Chinese
TRADITIONAL CHINESE CHARACTERS (traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字; simplified Chinese : 正体字/繁体字; Pinyin : Zhèngtǐzì/Fántĭzì) are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan , of Hong Kong and Macau or in the Kangxi Dictionary . The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty , and have been more or less stable since the 5th century (during the Southern and Northern Dynasties .) The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters , a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People\'s Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Taiwan , Hong Kong , and Macau ; as well as in Overseas Chinese communities outside of Southeast Asia, although the number of printed materials in simplified characters is growing in Australia, the US and Canada, targeting or created by new arrivals from mainland China. Currently, a large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both sets
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Pinyin
PINYIN, or HàNYǔ PīNYīN, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
in mainland China
China
, Malaysia
Malaysia
, Singapore
Singapore
, and Taiwan . It is often used to teach Standard Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters
Chinese characters
. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones . Pinyin
Pinyin
without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters. The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang
Zhou Youguang
, based on earlier forms of romanization of Chinese . It was published by the Chinese government
Chinese government
in 1958 and revised several times. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, followed by the United Nations
United Nations
in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan
Taiwan
in 2009, where it is used for romanization alone (in part to make areas more English-friendly) rather than for educational and computer-input purposes
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Traditional Chinese Characters
TRADITIONAL CHINESE CHARACTERS (traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字; simplified Chinese : 正体字/繁体字; Pinyin : Zhèngtǐzì/Fántĭzì) are Chinese characters
Chinese characters
in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan
Taiwan
, of Hong Kong and Macau
Macau
or in the Kangxi Dictionary
Kangxi Dictionary
. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters
Chinese characters
first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century (during the Southern and Northern Dynasties .) The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters
Chinese characters
, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People\'s Republic of China
China
on Mainland China
Mainland China
in the 1950s
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Simplified Chinese Characters
SIMPLIFIED CHINESE CHARACTERS (简化字; _jiǎnhuàzì_) are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the _Table of General Standard Chinese Characters _ for use in mainland China . Along with traditional Chinese characters , it is 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 in an attempt to increase literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore . Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Hong Kong , Macau , and the Republic of China ( Taiwan ). While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups generally retain their use of Simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities generally tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name above or colloquially (简体字; _ jiǎntǐzì _). The latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms
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China
CHINA, officially the PEOPLE\'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC), is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the world\'s most populous country , with a population of over 1.381 billion . Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3.7 million square miles), it is the world's second-largest state by land area and third- or fourth-largest by total area . Governed by the Communist Party of China , it exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces , five autonomous regions , four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin , Shanghai , and Chongqing ) and the Special Administrative Regions Hong Kong and Macau , also claiming sovereignty over Taiwan . China is a great power and a major regional power within Asia, and has been characterized as a potential superpower . China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain . For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties , beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty . Since then, China has then expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times
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Taiwan
TAIWAN (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ ( listen )), officially the REPUBLIC OF CHINA (ROC), is a state in East Asia . Its neighbors include China (officially the People's Republic of China, PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN. The island of Taiwan , formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning , the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty , the last dynasty of China. The Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War . While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty . Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists , and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949
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Singapore
SINGAPORE (/ˈsɪŋɡəpɔːr/ (_ listen )), officially the REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE, sometimes referred to as the Lion City_, the _Garden City_ or the _ Little Red Dot _, is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia . It lies one degree (137 km) north of the equator , at the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia , with Indonesia 's Riau Islands to the south. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets . Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23% (130 km2), and its greening policy has covered the densely populated island with tropical flora, parks and gardens . Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the East India Company ; after its collapse and the eventual establishment of the British Raj , the islands were ceded to Britain and became part of its Straits Settlements in 1826. During the Second World War , Singapore was occupied by Japan . It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia , but separated two years later over ideological differences , becoming a sovereign nation in 1965
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Han Chinese
The HAN CHINESE, HAN PEOPLE or simply HAN (漢族; pinyin : _Hànzú_, literally "Han ethnicity" or "Han ethnic group"; or 漢人; pinyin: _Hànrén_, literally "Han people" ) are an ethnic group native to East Asia . They constitute approximately 92% of the population of China , 95% of Taiwan ( Han Taiwanese ), 76% of Singapore , 23% of Malaysia and about 18% of the global population . Han Chinese are the world\'s largest ethnic group with over 1.3 billion people. CONTENTS * 1 Terms and etymology * 2 Distribution * 2.1 People\'s Republic of China * 2.2 Taiwan * 2.3 Southeast Asia * 2.4 Others * 3 History * 3.1 Prehistory * 3.2 Early history * 3.3 Imperial history * 4 Culture * 4.1 Language * 4.2 Names * 4.3 Dress * 4.4 Family * 4.5 Food * 4.6 Literature * 4.7 Contributions to humanity * 4.8 Religion * 5 Historical southward migration of the Han people * 6 DNA analysis * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links TERMS AND ETYMOLOGYThe name _Han_ was derived from the Han dynasty , which succeeded the short-lived Qin dynasty , and is historically considered to be the first golden age of China's Imperial era due to the power and influence it projected over much of Asia
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Language Family
A LANGUAGE FAMILY is a group of languages related through descent from a common _ancestral language_ or _parental language_, called the proto-language of that family. The term "family" reflects the tree model of language origination in historical linguistics , which makes use of a metaphor comparing languages to people in a biological family tree , or in a subsequent modification, to species in a phylogenetic tree of evolutionary taxonomy . Linguists therefore describe the _daughter languages_ within a language family as being _genetically related_. Estimates of the number of living languages vary from 5,000 to 8,000, depending on the precision of one's definition of "language", and in particular on how one classifies dialects . The 2013 edition of Ethnologue catalogs just over 7,000 living human languages. A "living language" is simply one that is used as the primary form of communication of a group of people. There are also many dead and extinct languages, as well as some that are still insufficiently studied to be classified, or are even unknown outside their respective speech communities. Membership of languages in a language family is established by comparative linguistics . Sister languages are said to have a "genetic" or "genealogical" relationship. The latter term is older
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Sino-Tibetan Languages
The SINO-TIBETAN LANGUAGES, in a few sources also known as TIBETO-BURMAN or TRANS-HIMALAYAN, are a family of more than 400 languages spoken in East Asia , Southeast Asia and South Asia . The family is second only to Indo-European in terms of the number of native speakers. The Sino-Tibetan languages with the most native speakers are the varieties of Chinese (1.3 billion speakers, the most of any language on Earth if counted as a single language), Burmese (33 million), and the Tibetic languages (8 million); but many Sino-Tibetan languages are spoken by small communities in remote mountain areas and as such are poorly documented. Several low-level groupings are well established, but the higher-level structure of the family remains unclear. Although the family is often presented as divided into Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman branches, a common origin of the non- Sinitic languages has never been demonstrated and is rejected by an increasing number of researchers
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Sinitic Languages
The SINITIC LANGUAGES, often synonymous with the group of CHINESE varieties , are a family of Sino-Tibetan languages . They have frequently been postulated to constitute a primary branch, but this is rejected by an increasing number of researchers. The Bai languages and possible relatives , whose classification is difficult, may also be Sinitic; otherwise Sinitic is equivalent to Chinese, and the term may be used to indicate that the varieties of Chinese are distinct languages rather than dialects of a single language. REFERENCES * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sinitic". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Macro-Bai". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ _Sinitic_ means relating to China or the Chinese. It is derived from the Greco-Latin word _Sīnai_ ('the Chinese'), probably from Arabic _Ṣīn_ ('China'), from the Chinese dynastic name Qín . (OED ) * ^ van Driem (2001) , p. 351. * ^ van Driem (2001 :403) states "Bái ..
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Old Chinese
OLD CHINESE, also called ARCHAIC CHINESE in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese , and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese . The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from around 1250 BC, in the late Shang dynasty
Shang dynasty
. Bronze inscriptions became plentiful during the following Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
. The latter part of the Zhou period saw a flowering of literature, including classical works such as the _ Analects
Analects
_, the _Mencius _, and the _Zuozhuan _. These works served as models for Literary Chinese (or Classical Chinese), which remained the written standard until the early twentieth century, thus preserving the vocabulary and grammar of late Old Chinese. Old Chinese
Old Chinese
was written with an early form of Chinese characters , with each character representing a monosyllabic word. Although the script is not alphabetic, most characters were created by adapting a character for a similar-sounding word
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