The Info List - Standard Chinese

Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese
(MSMC), or simply Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese that is one of the official languages of China. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing
dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, and its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. The similar Taiwanese Mandarin
Taiwanese Mandarin
is a national language of Taiwan. Standard Singaporean Mandarin
Singaporean Mandarin
is one of the four official languages of Singapore. 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. Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is a standardised form of the language called Putonghua in Mainland China. Guoyu (Standard Taiwanese Mandarin) is a similar linguistic standard in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters
Chinese characters
(plus Hanyu Pinyin
Hanyu Pinyin
romanization for teaching), and Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters (plus Zhuyin for teaching). Many characters are identical between the two systems.


1 Names

1.1 Putonghua and Guoyu 1.2 Huayu 1.3 Hanyu 1.4 Mandarin

2 History

2.1 Late empire 2.2 Modern China

3 Current role

3.1 Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
and the educational system

4 Phonology

4.1 Regional accents

5 Grammar 6 Vocabulary 7 Writing system 8 Examples 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References

11.1 Works cited

12 Further reading 13 External links

Names In Chinese, the standard variety is known as:[8]

普通话 (普通話; Pǔtōnghuà; 'common speech') in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau; 國語 (国语; Guóyǔ; 'national language') in Taiwan, elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora
Chinese diaspora
and in some contexts in the People's Republic of China; 華語 (华语; Huáyǔ; 'Chinese language') in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the rest of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
and in some contexts in the People's Republic of China
and Taiwan;[9] and 漢語 (汉语; Hànyǔ; 'language of the Han Chinese') in the United States and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora
Chinese diaspora
and also commonly used in the People's Republic of China. Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is also commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文; Zhōngwén; 'Middle [i.e. Chinese] writing', 官話; Guānhuà; 'Mandarin language' and 中国话; 中國話; Zhōngguóhuà; 'Middle Kingdom [i.e. China] speech' (compare 英文; Yīngwén; 'English writing' for English, and 英国; Yīngguó; 'English country [i.e. England]'). In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language.[10]

Putonghua and Guoyu The term Guoyu had previously been used by non-Han rulers of China
to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry officially applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language".[11] The name Putonghua also has a long, albeit unofficial, history. It was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language". The former was a national prestige variety, while the latter was the legal standard.[clarification needed] Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different. Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, which is close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", which is the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage. The use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun
Lu Xun
influenced the People's Republic of China
government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably.[12] In Taiwan, Guoyu (national language) continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese. The term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing
dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities.[citation needed] The term Putonghua (common speech), on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca.[citation needed] During the government of a pro- Taiwan
independence coalition (2000–2008), Taiwan
officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien, Hakka
and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.[13]

Huayu Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation", originally simply meant "Chinese language", and was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin. This name also avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It also incorporates the notion that Mandarin is usually not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live.

Hanyu Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings:[8]

Standard Chinese; all the Sinitic languages spoken by the so-called Han peoples. This term, as well as Hànzú (汉族; 漢族; 'Han nation'), is a relatively modern concept; it came into being with the rise of Chinese nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.[14] A related concept is Hànzì (汉字; 漢字; 'Han characters').[15]

Mandarin The term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà (官话; 官話, literally "official's speech"),[8] which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire.[16] The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects
Mandarin dialects
spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.[17] In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca.[17] The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects.[8][18]

History Main article: History of Modern Standard Chinese .mw-parser-output .templatequote overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px .mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0 The Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent that they cannot understand each other.... [They] also have another language which is like a universal and common language; this is the official language of the mandarins and of the court; it is among them like Latin
among ourselves.... Two of our fathers [Michele Ruggieri and Matteo Ricci] have been learning this mandarin language...— Alessandro Valignano, Historia del Principio y Progresso de la Compañia de Jesus en las Indias Orientales (1542–1564)[19]

Chinese has long had considerable dialectal variation, hence prestige dialects have always existed, and linguae francae have always been needed. Confucius, for example, used yǎyán (雅言; 'elegant speech') rather than colloquial regional dialects; text during the Han dynasty also referred to tōngyǔ (通语; 'common language'). Rime books, which were written since the Northern and Southern dynasties, may also have reflected one or more systems of standard pronunciation during those times. However, all of these standard dialects were probably unknown outside the educated elite; even among the elite, pronunciations may have been very different, as the unifying factor of all Chinese dialects, Classical Chinese, was a written standard, not a spoken one.

Late empire Main article: Mandarin (late imperial lingua franca) Zhongguo Guanhua (中国官话/中國官話), or Medii Regni Communis Loquela ("Middle Kingdom's Common Speech"), used on the frontispiece of an early Chinese grammar
Chinese grammar
published by Étienne Fourmont (with Arcadio Huang) in 1742[20] The Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
(1368–1644) and the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
(1644–1912) began to use the term guānhuà (官话/官話), or "official speech", to refer to the speech used at the courts. The term "Mandarin" is borrowed directly from Portuguese. The Portuguese word mandarim, derived from the Sanskrit
word mantrin "counselor or minister", was first used to refer to the Chinese bureaucratic officials. The Portuguese then translated guānhuà as "the language of the mandarins" or "the mandarin language".[18] In the 17th century, the Empire had set up Orthoepy Academies (正音书院/正音書院 Zhèngyīn Shūyuàn) in an attempt to make pronunciation conform to the standard. But these attempts had little success, since as late as the 19th century the emperor had difficulty understanding some of his own ministers in court, who did not always try to follow any standard pronunciation. Before the 19th century, the standard was based on the Nanjing dialect, but later the Beijing dialect became increasingly influential, despite the mix of officials and commoners speaking various dialects in the capital, Beijing.[21] By some accounts, as late as the early 20th century, the position of Nanjing Mandarin was considered to be higher than that of Beijing
by some and the postal romanization standards set in 1906 included spellings with elements of Nanjing
pronunciation.[22] Nevertheless, by 1909, the dying Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
had established the Beijing dialect as guóyǔ (国语/國語), or the "national language". As the island of Taiwan
had fallen under Japanese rule per the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, the term kokugo (Japanese: 國語, "national language") referred to the Japanese language
Japanese language
until the handover to the ROC in 1945.

Modern China After the Republic of China
was established in 1912, there was more success in promoting a common national language. A Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation
was convened with delegates from the entire country.[23] A Dictionary of National Pronunciation (国音字典/國音字典) was published in 1919, defining a hybrid pronunciation that did not match any existing speech.[24][25] Meanwhile, despite the lack of a workable standardized pronunciation, colloquial literature in written vernacular Chinese continued to develop apace.[26] Gradually, the members of the National Language Commission came to settle upon the Beijing
dialect, which became the major source of standard national pronunciation due to its prestigious status. In 1932, the commission published the Vocabulary of National Pronunciation
for Everyday Use (国音常用字汇/國音常用字彙), with little fanfare or official announcement. This dictionary was similar to the previous published one except that it normalized the pronunciations for all characters into the pronunciation of the Beijing
dialect. Elements from other dialects continue to exist in the standard language, but as exceptions rather than the rule.[27] After the Chinese Civil War, the People's Republic of China
continued the effort, and in 1955, officially renamed guóyǔ as pǔtōnghuà (普通话/普通話), or "common speech". By contrast, the name guóyǔ continued to be used by the Republic of China
which, after its 1949 loss in the Chinese Civil War, was left with a territory consisting only of Taiwan
and some smaller islands; in its retreat to Taiwan. Since then, the standards used in the PRC and Taiwan
have diverged somewhat, especially in newer vocabulary terms, and a little in pronunciation.[28] In 1956, the standard language of the People's Republic of China
was officially defined as: "Pǔtōnghuà is the standard form of Modern Chinese with the Beijing
phonological system as its norm of pronunciation, and Northern dialects as its base dialect, and looking to exemplary modern works in báihuà 'vernacular literary language' for its grammatical norms."[29][30] By the official definition, Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese

The phonology or sound system of Beijing. A distinction should be made between the sound system of a variety and the actual pronunciation of words in it. The pronunciations of words chosen for the standardized language do not necessarily reproduce all of those of the Beijing dialect. The pronunciation of words is a standardization choice and occasional standardization differences (not accents) do exist, between Putonghua and Guoyu, for example. The vocabulary of Mandarin dialects
Mandarin dialects
in general. This means that all slang and other elements deemed "regionalisms" are excluded. On the one hand, the vocabulary of all Chinese varieties, especially in more technical fields like science, law, and government, are very similar. (This is similar to the profusion of Latin
and Greek words in European languages.) This means that much of the vocabulary of Standard Chinese is shared with all varieties of Chinese. On the other hand, much of the colloquial vocabulary of the Beijing dialect is not included in Standard Chinese, and may not be understood by people outside Beijing.[31] The grammar and idiom of exemplary modern Chinese literature, such as the work of Lu Xun, collectively known as "vernacular" (báihuà). Modern written vernacular Chinese is in turn based loosely upon a mixture of northern (predominant), southern, and classical grammar and usage. This gives formal Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
structure a slightly different feel from that of the street Beijing
dialect. In the early 1950s, this standard language was understood by 41% of the population of the country, including 54% of speakers of Mandarin dialects, but only 11% of people in the rest of the country. By 1984, the proportion understanding the standard language nationally had risen to 90% and the proportion understanding the standard language among the speakers of Mandarin dialects
Mandarin dialects
had risen to 91%.[32] A survey conducted by the China's Education Ministry in 2007 indicated that 53.06% of the population were able to effectively communicate orally in Standard Chinese.[33]

Current role Map of eastern China
and Taiwan, showing the historic distribution of all the varieties of Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese
in light brown. Standard Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin. From an official point of view, Standard Chinese
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. The very name Pǔtōnghuà, or "common speech," reinforces this idea. In practice, however, due to Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
being a "public" lingua franca, other Chinese varieties and even non- Sinitic languages have shown signs of losing ground to the standard. While the Chinese government has been actively promoting Pǔtōnghuà on TV, radio and public services like buses to ease communication barriers in the country, developing Pǔtōnghuà as the official common language of the country has been challenging due to the presence of various ethnic groups which fear for the loss of their cultural identity and native dialect. In the summer of 2010, reports of increasing the use of the Pǔtōnghuà in local TV broadcasting in Guangdong
lead to thousands of Cantonese-speaking citizens in demonstration on the street.[34] In both mainland China
and Taiwan, the use of Mandarin as the medium of instruction in the educational system and in the media has contributed to the spread of Mandarin. As a result, Mandarin is now spoken by most people in mainland China
and Taiwan, though often with some regional or personal variation from the standard in terms of pronunciation or lexicon. However, the Ministry of Education in 2014 estimated that only about 70% of the population of China
spoke Standard Mandarin to some degree, and only one tenth of those could speak it "fluently and articulately".[3][35] There is also a 20% difference in penetration between eastern and western parts of China
and a 50% difference between urban and rural areas. In addition, there are still 400 million Chinese who are only able to listen and understand Mandarin and not able to speak it.[36] Therefore, in China's 13th Five Year Plan, the general goal is to raise the penetration rate to over 80% by 2020.[37] Mainland China
and Taiwan
use Standard Mandarin in most official contexts. The PRC in particular is keen to promote its use as a national lingua franca and has enacted a law (the National Common Language and Writing Law) which states that the government must "promote" Standard Mandarin. There is no explicit official intent to have Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
replace the regional varieties, but local governments have enacted regulations (such as the Guangdong
National Language Regulations) which "implement" the national law by way of coercive measures to control the public use of regional spoken varieties and traditional characters in writing. In practice, some elderly or rural Chinese-language speakers do not speak Standard Chinese fluently, if at all, though most are able to understand it. But urban residents and the younger generations, who received their education with Standard Mandarin as the primary medium of education, are almost all fluent in a version of Standard Chinese, some to the extent of being unable to speak their local dialect.

Further information: Promotion of Putonghua In the predominantly Han areas in mainland China, while the use of Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is encouraged as the common working language, the PRC has been somewhat sensitive to the status of minority languages and, outside the education context, has generally not discouraged their social use. Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is commonly used for practical reasons, as, in many parts of southern China, the linguistic diversity is so large that neighboring city dwellers may have difficulties communicating with each other without a lingua franca. In Taiwan, the relationship between Standard Mandarin and other varieties, particularly Taiwanese Hokkien, has been more politically heated. During the martial law period under the Kuomintang
(KMT) between 1949 and 1987, the KMT government revived the Mandarin Promotion Council and discouraged or, in some cases, forbade the use of Hokkien
and other non-standard varieties. This produced a political backlash in the 1990s. Under the administration of Chen Shui-Bian, other Taiwanese varieties were taught in schools. The former President, Chen Shui-Bian, often spoke in Hokkien
during speeches, while after the late 1990s, former President Lee Teng-hui, also speaks Hokkien
openly. In an amendment to Article 14 of the Enforcement Rules of the Passport Act (護照條例施行細則) passed on August 9, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Taiwan)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Taiwan)
announced that Taiwanese can use the romanized spellings of their names in Hoklo, Hakka
and Aboriginal languages for their passports. Previously, only Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese
names could be romanized.[38] In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau, which are now special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, Cantonese
is the primary language spoken by the majority of the population and used by government and in their respective legislatures. After Hong Kong's handover from the United Kingdom and Macau's handover from Portugal, their governments use Putonghua to communicate with the Central People's Government
of the PRC. There have been widespread efforts to promote usage of Putonghua in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
since the handover,[39] with specific efforts to train police[40] and teachers.[41] In Singapore, the government has heavily promoted a "Speak Mandarin Campaign" since the late 1970s, with the use of other Chinese varieties in broadcast media being prohibited and their use in any context officially discouraged until recently.[42] This has led to some resentment amongst the older generations, as Singapore's migrant Chinese community is made up almost entirely of people of south Chinese descent. Lee Kuan Yew, the initiator of the campaign, admitted that to most Chinese Singaporeans, Mandarin was a "stepmother tongue" rather than a true mother language. Nevertheless, he saw the need for a unified language among the Chinese community not biased in favor of any existing group.[43] Mandarin is now spreading overseas beyond East Asia
East Asia
and Southeast Asia as well. In New York City, the use of Cantonese
that dominated the Manhattan Chinatown
Manhattan Chinatown
for decades is being rapidly swept aside by Mandarin, the lingua franca of most of the latest Chinese immigrants.[44]

Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
and the educational system A poster outside a high school in Yangzhou
urges people to "speak Putonghua, welcome guests from all parts" and "use civilised language". In both the PRC and Taiwan, Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is taught by immersion starting in elementary school. After the second grade, the entire educational system is in Standard Chinese, except for local language classes that have been taught for a few hours each week in Taiwan starting in the mid-1990s. In December 2004, the first survey of language use in the People's Republic of China
revealed that only 53% of its population, about 700 million people, could communicate in Standard Chinese.[45] This 53% is defined as a passing grade above 3-B (a score above 60%) of the Evaluation Exam. With the fast development of the country and the massive internal migration in China, the standard Putonghua Proficiency Test has quickly become popular. Many university graduates in mainland China take this exam before looking for a job. Employers often require varying proficiency in Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
from applicants depending on the nature of the positions. Applicants of some positions, e.g. telephone operators, may be required to obtain a certificate. People raised in Beijing
are sometimes considered inherently 1-A (A score of at least 97%) and exempted from this requirement.[citation needed] As for the rest, the score of 1-A is rare. According to the official definition of proficiency levels, people who get 1-B (A score of at least 92%) are considered qualified to work as television correspondents or in broadcasting stations.[citation needed] 2-A (A score of at least 87%) can work as Chinese Literature Course teachers in public schools.[citation needed] Other levels include: 2-B (A score of at least 80%), 3-A (A score of at least 70%) and 3-B (A score of at least 60%). In China, a proficiency of level 3-B usually cannot be achieved unless special training is received. Even though many Chinese do not speak with standard pronunciation, spoken Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is widely understood to some degree. The China
National Language And Character Working Committee was founded in 1985. One of its important responsibilities is to promote Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
proficiency for Chinese native speakers.

Phonology Main article: Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
phonology The usual unit of analysis is the syllable, consisting of an optional initial consonant, an optional medial glide, a main vowel and an optional coda, and further distinguished by a tone.[46]

Initial consonants, with pinyin spellings[47]



Dental sibilants






p ⟨b⟩ t ⟨d⟩ t͡s ⟨z⟩ ʈ͡ʂ ⟨zh⟩ t͡ɕ ⟨j⟩ k ⟨g⟩


pʰ ⟨p⟩ tʰ ⟨t⟩ t͡sʰ ⟨c⟩ ʈ͡ʂʰ ⟨ch⟩ t͡ɕʰ ⟨q⟩ kʰ ⟨k⟩


m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩


f ⟨f⟩

s ⟨s⟩ ʂ ⟨sh⟩ ɕ ⟨x⟩ x ⟨h⟩


w ⟨w⟩ l ⟨l⟩

ɻ~ʐ ⟨r⟩ j ⟨y⟩

The palatal initials [tɕ], [tɕʰ] and [ɕ] pose a classic problem of phonemic analysis. Since they occur only before high front vowels, they are in complementary distribution with three other series, the dental sibilants, retroflexes and velars, which never occur in this position.[48]

Syllable finals, with pinyin spellings[49]

ɹ̩ ⟨i⟩ ɤ ⟨e⟩ a ⟨a⟩ ei ⟨ei⟩ ai ⟨ai⟩ ou ⟨ou⟩ au ⟨ao⟩ ən ⟨en⟩ an ⟨an⟩ əŋ ⟨eng⟩ aŋ ⟨ang⟩ ɚ ⟨er⟩

i ⟨i⟩ ie ⟨ie⟩ ia ⟨ia⟩

iou ⟨iu⟩ iau ⟨iao⟩ in ⟨in⟩ ien ⟨ian⟩ iŋ ⟨ing⟩ iaŋ ⟨iang⟩

u ⟨u⟩ uə ⟨uo⟩ ua ⟨ua⟩ uei ⟨ui⟩ uai ⟨uai⟩

uən ⟨un⟩ uan ⟨uan⟩ uŋ ⟨ong⟩ uaŋ ⟨uang⟩

y ⟨ü⟩ ye ⟨üe⟩

yn ⟨un⟩ yen ⟨uan⟩ iuŋ ⟨iong⟩

The [ɹ̩] final, which occurs only after dental sibilant and retroflex initials, is a syllabic approximant, prolonging the initial.[50][51]

Relative pitch contours of the four full tones The rhotacized vowel [ɚ] forms a complete syllable.[52] A reduced form of this syllable occurs as a sub-syllabic suffix, spelled -r in pinyin and often with a diminutive connotation. The suffix modifies the coda of the base syllable in a rhotacizing process called erhua.[53] Each full syllable is pronounced with a phonemically distinctive pitch contour. There are four tonal categories, marked in pinyin with iconic diacritic symbols, as in the words mā (妈/媽 "mother"), má (麻 "hemp"), mǎ (马/馬 "horse") and mà (骂/罵 "curse").[54] The tonal categories also have secondary characteristics. For example, the third tone is long and murmured, whereas the fourth tone is relatively short.[55][56] Statistically, vowels and tones are of similar importance in the language.[a][58][dead link] There are also weak syllables, including grammatical particles such as the interrogative ma (吗/嗎) and certain syllables in polysyllabic words. These syllables are short, with their pitch determined by the preceding syllable.[59]

Regional accents It is common for Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
to be spoken with the speaker's regional accent, depending on factors such as age, level of education, and the need and frequency to speak in official or formal situations. This appears to be changing, though, in large urban areas, as social changes, migrations, and urbanization take place. Due to evolution and standardization, Mandarin, although based on the Beijing
dialect, is no longer synonymous with it. Part of this was due to the standardization to reflect a greater vocabulary scheme and a more archaic and "proper-sounding" pronunciation and vocabulary. Distinctive features of the Beijing dialect are more extensive use of erhua in vocabulary items that are left unadorned in descriptions of the standard such as the Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, as well as more neutral tones.[60] An example of standard versus Beijing dialect would be the standard mén (door) and Beijing
ménr. Most Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
as spoken on Taiwan
differs mostly in the tones of some words as well as some vocabulary. Minimal use of the neutral tone and erhua, and technical vocabulary constitute the greatest divergences between the two forms. The stereotypical "southern Chinese" accent does not distinguish between retroflex and alveolar consonants, pronouncing pinyin zh [tʂ], ch [tʂʰ], and sh [ʂ] in the same way as z [ts], c [tsʰ], and s [s] respectively.[61] Southern-accented Standard Chinese may also interchange l and n, final n and ng, and vowels i and ü [y]. Attitudes towards southern accents, particularly the Cantonese
accent, range from disdain to admiration.[62]

Grammar Main article: Chinese grammar 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.[63] Nouns are not marked for case and rarely marked for number.[64] Verbs are not marked for agreement or grammatical tense, but aspect is marked using post-verbal particles.[65] The basic word order is subject–verb–object (SVO), as in English.[66] Nouns are generally preceded by any modifiers (adjectives, possessives and relative clauses), and verbs also generally follow any modifiers (adverbs, auxiliary verbs and prepositional phrases).[67]

他TāHe为/為wèifor他的tā-dehe-GEN朋友péngyǒufriend做了zuò-ledo-PERF这个/這個zhè-gethis-CL工作。gōngzuò.job他 为/為 他的 朋友 做了 这个/這個 工作。Tā wèi tā-de péngyǒu zuò-le zhè-ge gōngzuò.He for he-GEN friend do-PERF this-CL job'He did this job for his friends.'[68]

The predicate can be an intransitive verb, a transitive verb followed by a direct object, a copula (linking verb) shì (是) followed by a noun phrase, etc.[69] In predicative use, Chinese adjectives function as stative verbs, forming complete predicates in their own right without a copula.[70] For example,

我WǒI不búnot累。lèi.tired我 不 累。Wǒ bú lèi.I not tired'I am not tired.'

Another example is the common greeting nǐ hăo (你好), literally "you good". Chinese additionally differs from English in that it forms another kind of sentence by stating a topic and following it by a comment.[71] To do this in English, speakers generally flag the topic of a sentence by prefacing it with "as for". For example:

妈妈MāmaMom给gěigive我们wǒmenus的deREL钱,qián,money我wǒI已经yǐjīngalready买了mǎi-lebuy-PERF糖果。tángguǒ(r)candy妈妈 给 我们 的 钱, 我 已经 买了 糖果。Māma gěi wǒmen de qián, wǒ yǐjīng mǎi-le tángguǒ(r)Mom give us REL money I already buy-PERF candy'As for the money that Mom gave us, I have already bought candy with it.'

The time when something happens can be given by an explicit term such as "yesterday," by relative terms such as "formerly," etc.[72] As in many east Asian languages, classifiers or measure words are required when using numerals, demonstratives and similar quantifiers.[73] There are many different classifiers in the language, and each noun generally has a particular classifier associated with it.[74]

一顶yī-dǐngone-top帽子,màozi,hat三本sān-běnthree-volume书/書,shū,book那支nèi-zhīthat-branch笔/筆bǐpen一顶 帽子, 三本 书/書, 那支 笔/筆yī-dǐng màozi, sān-běn shū, nèi-zhī bǐone-top hat three-volume book that-branch pen'a hat, three books, that pen'

The general classifier ge (个/個) is gradually replacing specific classifiers.[75]

Vocabulary Many formal, polite and humble words that were in use in imperial China
have not been used in daily conversation in modern-day Mandarin, such as jiàn (贱/賤 "my humble") and guì (贵/貴 "your honorable"). Although Chinese speakers make a clear distinction between Standard Chinese and the Beijing
dialect, there are aspects of Beijing
dialect that have made it into the official standard. Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
has a T–V distinction
T–V distinction
between the polite and informal "you" that comes from the Beijing
dialect, although its use is quite diminished in daily speech. It also distinguishes between "zánmen" (we including the listener) and "wǒmen" (we not including the listener). In practice, neither distinction is commonly used by most Chinese, at least outside the Beijing
area. The following samples are some phrases from the Beijing dialect which are not yet accepted into Standard Chinese:[citation needed]

倍儿 bèir means 'very much'; 拌蒜 bànsuàn means 'stagger'; 不吝 bù lìn means 'do not worry about'; 撮 cuō means 'eat'; 出溜 chūliū means 'slip'; (大)老爷儿们儿 dà lǎoyermenr means 'man, male'. The following samples are some phrases from Beijing dialect which have become accepted as Standard Chinese:[citation needed]

二把刀 èr bǎ dāo means 'not very skillful'; 哥们儿 gēménr means 'good male friend(s)', 'buddy(ies)'; 抠门儿 kōu ménr means 'frugal' or 'stingy'. Writing system Main article: Chinese characters Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
is written with characters corresponding to syllables of the language, most of which represent a morpheme. In most cases, these characters come from those used in Classical Chinese to write cognate morphemes of late Old Chinese, though their pronunciation, and often meaning, has shifted dramatically over two millennia.[76] However, there are several words, many of them heavily used, which have no classical counterpart or whose etymology is obscure. Two strategies have been used to write such words:[77]

An unrelated character with the same or similar pronunciation might be used, especially if its original sense was no longer common. For example, the demonstrative pronouns zhè "this" and nà "that" have no counterparts in Classical Chinese, which used 此 cǐ and 彼 bǐ respectively. Hence the character 這 (later simplified as 这) for zhè "to meet" was borrowed to write zhè "this", and the character 那 for nà, the name of a country and later a rare surname, was borrowed to write nà "that". A new character, usually a phono-semantic or semantic compound, might be created. For example, gǎn "pursue, overtake", is written with a new character 趕, composed of the signific 走 zǒu "run" and the phonetic 旱 hàn "drought".[78] This method was used to represent many elements in the periodic table. The government of the PRC (as well as some other governments and institutions) has promulgated a set of simplified forms. Under this system, the forms of the words zhèlǐ ("here") and nàlǐ ("there") changed from 這裏/這裡 and 那裏/那裡 to 这里 and 那里. Chinese characters
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.



Traditional characters

Simplified characters




Nǐ hǎo!

What is your name?



Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?

My name is...


Wǒ jiào ...

How are you?

你好嗎?/ 你怎麼樣?

你好吗?/ 你怎么样?

Nǐ hǎo ma? / Nǐ zěnmeyàng?

I am fine, how about you?


Wǒ hěn hǎo, nǐ ne?

I don't want it / I don't want to


Wǒ bú yào.

Thank you!




Welcome! / You're welcome! (Literally: No need to thank me!) / Don't mention it! (Literally: Don't be so polite!)

歡迎!/ 不用謝!/ 不客氣!

欢迎!/ 不用谢!/ 不客气!

Huānyíng! / Búyòng xiè! / Bú kèqì!

Yes. / Correct.

是。 / 對。/ 嗯。

是。 / 对。/ 嗯。

Shì. / Duì. / M.

No. / Incorrect.

不是。/ 不對。/ 不。

不是。/ 不对。/ 不。

Búshì. / Bú duì. / Bù.




Shénme shíhou?

How much money?



Duōshǎo qián?

Can you speak a little slower?



Nín néng shuō de zài mànxiē ma?

Good morning! / Good morning!

早上好! / 早安!

Zǎoshang hǎo! / Zǎo'ān!





How do you get to the airport?



Qù jīchǎng zěnme zǒu?

I want to fly to London on the eighteenth



Wǒ xiǎng shíbā hào zuò fēijī dào Lúndūn.

How much will it cost to get to Munich?



Dào Mùníhēi yào duōshǎo qián?

I don't speak Chinese very well.



Wǒ de Hànyǔ shuō de bú tài hǎo.

Do you speak English?



Nǐ huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma?

I have no money.



Wǒ méiyǒu qián.

See also Chinese speech synthesis Comparison of national standards of Chinese Philippine Mandarin Malaysian Mandarin Singaporean Mandarin Taiwanese Mandarin Protection of the Varieties of Chinese Notes

^ "A word pronounced in a wrong tone or inaccurate tone sounds as puzzling as if one said 'bud' in English, meaning 'not good' or 'the thing one sleeps in.'"[57]


^ Norman (1988), pp. 251.

^ Liang (2014), p. 45.

^ a b Luo, Chris (22 September 2014). "One-third of Chinese do not speak Putonghua, says Education Ministry". South China
Morning Post. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

^ Only 7% of people in China
speak proper Putonghua: PRC MOE Archived 28 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Language Log, 2014 Sept. 24

^ 台灣手語簡介 (Taiwan) Archived 10 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine (2009)

^ "Languages of ASEAN". Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.

^ http://www.china-language.gov.cn/ Archived 18 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine

^ a b c d Mair (2013), p. 737.

^ Kane, Daniel (2006). The Chinese Language: Its History and Current Usage. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 22–23, 93. ISBN 978-0-8048-3853-5.

^ Mair (1991), pp. 11.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 133–134.

^ Yuan, Zhongrui. (2008) "国语、普通话、华语 Archived 26 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(Guoyu, Putonghua, Huayu)". China Language National Language Committee, People's Republic of China

^ Fell, Dafydd; Klöter, Henning; Chang, Bi-yu (2006). What Has Changed?: Taiwan
Before and After the Change in Ruling Parties. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. p. 213. ISBN 978-3-447-05379-2.

^ Mair (2013), p. 738–744.

^ Mair (2013), p. 743–744.

^ Mair (1991), pp. 11–12.

^ a b Norman (1988), p. 136.

^ a b Coblin (2000), p. 537.

^ Translation quoted in Coblin (2000), p. 539.

^ Liberlibri SARL. "FOURMONT, Etienne. Linguae Sinarum Mandarinicae hieroglyphicae grammatica duplex, latinè, & cum characteribus Sinensium. Item Sinicorum Regiae Bibliothecae librorum catalogus" (in French). Liberlibri.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.

^ Coblin (2000), pp. 549–550.

^ L. Richard's comprehensive geography of the Chinese empire and dependencies translated into English, revised and enlarged by M. Kennelly, S.J. Archived 26 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Shanghai: T'usewei Press, 1908. p. iv. (Translation of Louis Richard, Géographie de l'empire de Chine, Shanghai, 1905.)

^ Chen (1999), pp. 16–17.

^ Norman (1988), p. 134.

^ Chen (1999), p. 18.

^ Ramsey (1987), p. 10.

^ Ramsey (1987), p. 15.

^ Bradley (1992), pp. 313–314.

^ " Law
of the People's Republic of China
on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese
Written Chinese
Language (Order of the President No.37)". Gov.cn. 31 October 2000. Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2010. For purposes of this Law, the standard spoken and written Chinese language
Chinese language
means Putonghua (a common speech with pronunciation based on the Beijing
dialect) and the standardized Chinese characters. Original text in Chinese: "普通话就是现代汉民族共同语,是全国各民族通用的语言。普通话以北京语音为标准音,以北方话为基础方言,以典范的现代白话文著作语法规范"

^ Chen (1999), p. 24.

^ Chen (1999), pp. 37–38.

^ Chen (1999), pp. 27–28.

^ "More than half of Chinese can speak Mandarin". Xinhua. 7 March 2007. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2017.

^ Luo, Chris (23 September 2014). "One-third of Chinese do not speak Putonghua, says Education Ministry". South China
Morning Post. Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2017.

^ "17th National Putonghua Week" (Press release) (in Chinese). Ministry of Education. 15 September 2014. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.

^ "Archived copy" 中国仍有约4亿人不能用普通话进行交流-新华网. Xinhua News. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

^ Bai Wansong (白宛松). "Archived copy" 教育部、国家语委:力争“十三五”期间使所有教师的普通话水平达标_滚动新闻_中国政府网. www.gov.cn. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

^ Jason Pan (16 August 2019). "NTU professors' language rule draws groups' ire". Taipei Times. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

^ Standing Committee on Language Education & Research (25 March 2006). "Putonghua promotion stepped up". Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Government. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.

^ Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Police. "Online training to boost Chinese skills". Hong Kong Government. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.

^ Hong Kong
Hong Kong
LegCo (19 April 1999). "Panel on Education working reports". Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Government. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.

^ New Hokkien
drama aimed at seniors to be launched on Sep 9 Archived 19 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Channel News Asia, 1 Sep 2016

^ Lee Kuan Yew, From Third World to First: The Singapore
Story: 1965–2000, HarperCollins, 2000. ISBN 978-0-06-019776-6.

^ Semple, Kirk (21 October 2009). "In Chinatown, Sound of the Future Is Mandarin". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.

^ "Greater numbers speak Mandarin". China
Daily. 26 December 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2004.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 138–139.

^ Norman (1988), p. 139.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 140–141.

^ Lee & Zee (2003), p. 110.

^ Norman (1988), p. 142.

^ Lee & Zee (2003), p. 111.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 143–144.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 144–145.

^ Duanmu (2007), p. 225.

^ Norman (1988), p. 147.

^ Duanmu (2007), p. 236.

^ Chao (1948), p. 24.

^ Surendran, Dinoj; Levow, Gina-Anne (2004), "The functional load of tone in Mandarin is as high as that of vowels" (PDF), in Bel, Bernard; Marlien, Isabelle (eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody 2004, SProSIG, pp. 99–102, ISBN 978-2-9518233-1-0

^ Norman (1988), p. 148.

^ Chen (1999), pp. 39–40.

^ Norman (1988), p. 140.

^ Blum, Susan D. (2002). "Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity in Kunming". In Blum, Susan Debra; Jensen, Lionel M (eds.). China
Off Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-8248-2577-5.

^ Norman (1988), p. 159.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 11–12.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 12–13.

^ Lin (1981), p. 19.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 24–26.

^ Lin (1981), p. 169.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), p. 141.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 141–143.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 15–16.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), pp. 320–320.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), p. 104.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), p. 105.

^ Li & Thompson (1981), p. 112.

^ Norman (1988), p. 74.

^ Norman (1988), pp. 74–75.

^ Norman (1988), p. 76.

Works cited .mw-parser-output .refbegin font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em .mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul list-style-type:none;margin-left:0 .mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none .mw-parser-output .refbegin-100 font-size:100% Bradley, David (1992), "Chinese as a pluricentric language", in Clyne, Michael G. (ed.), Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 305–324, ISBN 978-3-11-012855-0. Chao, Yuen Ren (1948), Mandarin Primer: an Intensive Course in Spoken Chinese, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-73288-9. Chen, Ping (1999), Modern Chinese: History and sociolinguistics, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-64572-0. Coblin, W. South (2000), "A brief history of Mandarin", Journal of the American Oriental Society, 120 (4): 537–552, doi:10.2307/606615, JSTOR 606615. Duanmu, San (2007), The phonology of standard Chinese (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-921579-9. Lee, Wai-Sum; Zee, Eric (2003), " Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
(Beijing)", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 109–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001208. Li, Charles N.; Thompson, Sandra A. (1981), Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-06610-6. Liang, Sihua (2014), Language Attitudes and Identities in Multilingual China: A Linguistic Ethnography, Springer International, ISBN 978-3-319-12618-0. Lin, Helen T. (1981), Essential Grammar
for Modern Chinese, Boston: Cheng & Tsui, ISBN 978-0-917056-10-9. Mair, Victor H. (1991), "What Is a Chinese "Dialect/Topolect"? Reflections on Some Key Sino-English Linguistic terms" (PDF), Sino-Platonic Papers, 29: 1–31. ——— (2013), "The Classification of Sinitic Languages: What Is "Chinese"?" (PDF), in Cao, Guangshun; Djamouri, Redouane; Chappell, Hilary; Wiebusch, Thekla (eds.), Breaking Down the Barriers: Interdisciplinary Studies in Chinese Linguistics and Beyond, Beijing: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, pp. 735–754. Norman, Jerry (1988), Chinese, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-29653-3. Ramsey, S. Robert (1987), The languages of China, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-01468-5.

Further reading

Chao, Yuen Ren (1968). A Grammar
of Spoken Chinese (2nd ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-00219-7. Hsia, T., China's Language Reforms, Far Eastern Publications, Yale University, (New Haven), 1956. Ladefoged, Peter; & Maddieson, Ian (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 978-0-631-19814-7 (hbk); ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4 (pbk). Ladefoged, Peter; Wu, Zhongji (1984). "Places of articulation: An investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricates". Journal of Phonetics. 12: 267–278. Lehmann, W. P. (ed.), Language & Linguistics in the People's Republic of China, University of Texas Press, (Austin), 1975. Lin, Y., Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1972. Milsky, C., "New Developments in Language Reform", The China Quarterly, No. 53, (January–March 1973), pp. 98–133. Seybolt, P. J. and Chiang, G. K. (eds.), Language Reform in China: Documents and Commentary, M. E. Sharpe (White Plains), 1979. ISBN 978-0-87332-081-8. Simon, W., A Beginners' Chinese-English Dictionary of the National Language (Gwoyeu): Fourth Revised Edition, Lund Humphries (London), 1975.

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Putian dialect
(Wuqiu dialect) Hakka Taiwanese Hakka Sixian Hailu Dabu Raoping Zhao'an Auxiliary Taiwanese Sign Language Taiwanese Braille Other languages English Cantonese Wu Shanghainese Filipino Japanese Korean Malay Malaysian Indonesian Thai Vietnamese

vte Languages of MalaysiaMainOfficial Malaysian Recognised English (comparison with British English) SignificantminorityChinese Sino-Tibetan Cantonese Malaysian Cantonese Eastern Min Fuqing Fuzhou Hokkien Mandarin Chinese Malaysian Mandarin Pu-Xian Min Penang Hokkien Southern Peninsular Malaysian Hokkien Yue Chinese Indian Dravidian Malayalam Tamil Malaysian Tamil Telugu Indo-European Gujarati Hindi Punjabi Urdu Families Austroasiatic Aslian Austronesian North Bornean Land Dayak Malayic Philippine Sama–Bajaw Tai-Kadai Tai Creoles Chavacano Kristang Manglish Other Malay trade and creole languages Natives &IndigenousNationwide Banjar Buginese Javanese Malay (Malayan) Minangkabau PeninsularMalaysia Baba Malay Batek Baweanese Cheq Wong Chetty Malay Duano’ Jah Hut Jahai Jakun Jedek Kedah Malay Kelantan-Pattani Malay Kenaboi1 Kensiu Kintaq Kristang Lanoh Mah Meri Minriq Mintil Mos Negeri Sembilan Malay Orang Kanaq Orang Seletar Pahang Malay Perak Malay Rawa Malay Sabüm1 Semai Semaq Beri Semelai Semnam Southern Thai Temiar Temoq2 Temuan Terengganu Malay Wila'1 EastMalaysia Abai Bahau Bajaw Balau Belait Berawan Biatah Bintulu Bonggi Bookan Bruneian/Kedayan Malay Brunei Bisaya Bukar Sadong Bukitan Coastal Kadazan Cocos Malay Daro-Matu Dumpas Dusun Eastern Kadazan Gana’ Iban Ida'an Iranun Jagoi Jangkang Kajaman Kalabakan Kanowit Kayan Kelabit Kendayan Keningau Murut Kinabatangan Kiput Klias River Kadazan Kota Marudu Talantang Kuijau Lahanan Lelak1 Lengilu1 Lotud Lun Bawang Mainstream Kenyah Maranao Melanau Molbog Momogun Murik Kayan Narom Nonukan Tidong Okolod Paluan Papar Punan Batu2 Penan Remun Sa'ban Sabah Bisaya Sabah Malay Sama Sarawak Malay Sebop Sebuyau Sekapan Selungai Murut Sembakung Seru1 Serudung Sian Suluk Sungai Tagol Timugon Tombonuwo Tring Tringgus Tutoh Ukit2 Uma’ Lasan Mixed & Others Rojak Tanglish Esperanto Immigrants African Arab Bangladeshi Burmese Cambodian East Timorese Filipino Indonesian comparison with Malaysian Iranian Japanese Korean Laotian Nepalese Pakistani Sri Lankan Thai Vietnamese SignsMain Malaysian Sign Language (Manually Coded Malay) By states Penang Sign Language Selangor Sign Language 1 Extinct languages. 2 Nearly ex