Chinese Language Facts: 10 Basic, 12 Surprising
?·?Different Written Chinese Languages. Chinese characters have a history dating back more than two thousand years. The early forms of Chinese characters were pictographs (graphic representations of real objects), but characters became more and more stylized over time. Eventually, they came to represent ideas as well as objects. ?·?Written Chinese. Chinese is the oldest written language in the world, dating back to over years ago.. Traces of written Chinese were found as early as under the Shang dynasty ( – BC). We owe the Chinese language used nowadays in China to the Han dynasty ( BC – AD).. Unlike in other languages, there is no Chinese alphabet.
The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history. Chinese character inscriptions have been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty 1 BC proving the written language has existed for more than 3, years.
The Chinese written language uses single distinctive symbols, or characters, to represent each word of the vocabulary. The vast majority of characters are written versions of spoken sounds that have meaning.
A large dictionary usually contains 40, characters. Although the written system has been altered over time due to revolutions and political changes, the principles of the language along with the symbols and characters have remained basically the same. Although many Chinese dialects exist, the written language is a common form of communication. Even though people are not able to verbally communicate in different provinces, they are able to understand each other in writing.
However, the written language can be further subdivided into three forms: simplified, traditional, and informal slang or phonetic. Primarily Chinese in China uses simplified characters. It is taught in Mandarin-Chinese classes internationally as well. These characters are simpler, i. Because there are not as many readers of this paper in the United States, the paper is not commonly carried in local Chinese stores.
People who are literate in what is the equation to calculate weight Chinese characters may not be literate in traditional Chinese. Many textbooks, newspapers, and subtitles for movies are written in traditional Chinese.
Cantonese speaking Chinese from Hong Kong generally reads these papers. Both papers are commonly sold in local Chinese stores and restaurants. Cantonese speakers have also developed an informal slang or phonetic characters. These characters are used in addition to traditional Chinese characters in an informal setting, such as in comics or entertainment sections of newspapers or magazines.
The informal characters are used to sound out the Cantonese dialect. Often, you cannot find these characters in the dictionary. People from China, Taiwan or other countries have to learn to recognize these characters before they can read all sections of Hong Kong-based news papers. Chinese languages have been transliterated into the pinyin system since 5 except personal and location names.
InChinese officials made a formal request to the United Nations UN 6 to use the pinyin system for naming geographical locations in China. How long to drive from chicago to los angeles who use pinyin are those who are more familiar with the western alphabet and are learning to speak Mandarin Chinese.
Grammatically speaking English and Chinese are very different languages. There is no rule that verbs, nouns, and adjectives must agree with one another in Chinese writing. There is no such thing as singular or plural in the Chinese language. Often a number or word will be added to the sentence to account for plurality. There are no verb tenses in the Chinese writing.
Additional words are used to clarify the past and future tenses. These words are usually placed at the beginning of the phase to help indicate time. In a medical setting, it is important to pay particular attention to time indicators. China covers a very broad area of land. There are more than 70 million people belonging to 55 different national minorities living in China. Many of the minority groups do not have a distinguishable written form for their languages.
The spoken Chinese language is comprised of many regional variants called dialects. Modern Chinese dialects evolved between the 8 th and 3 rd centuries BC. Mandarin or Putonghua is the most how to itemize on your tax return dialect used in China and has been adopted as a second language by those who speak other Chinese dialects.
The official language of China, Mandarin is the dialect taught in Chinese schools. It is the universal language used throughout the northern, central, and southwestern provinces of China.
Next to Cantonese, it is the most common Chinese language spoken in the Northwest. Immigrants from China or Taiwan who speak Mandarin come from diverse backgrounds.
Some have fled China for political freedom after incidents such as the Tiananmen Square 10 events where students who spoke up for democracy were rapidly crushed by Chinese government. Others are well-educated professionals seeking business and educational opportunities in the United States. Still others have little education and have come to the States in search of better life for themselves and their families. Cantonese, also known as Yue or Guangdonghua, is spoken in Hong Kong, most of Guangdong, and the southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
There are large groups of Cantonese-speaking immigrants located in the Northwest area. More recently, a number of ethnic Chinese has fled Southeast Asia as refugees. Although Cantonese is a common dialect spoken on a daily basis in Hong Kong, government officials and schools are required to use Mandarin dialect.
Cantonese is arguably the most commonly spoken dialect in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and the East Coast. Local Chinese TV and radio media also commonly broadcast in Cantonese. Toisanese another dialect commonly used how to write a narrative investigation report Chinese in the Northwest is call Toisanese. This dialect came from the rural area of Guangdong. In the mid what causes eye twitching for days, many Toisanese emigrated from Toisan area to the States as railroad workers.
More recently, Toisan people continue to immigrate to the States for improved economic opportunity. Many of the immigrants have adopted to learn the Cantonese dialect but some speak only Toisanese. There is no separate written language or broadcasting media in Toisanese.
Xiang dialect 12 is also known as Hunanese and is spoken primarily in the Hunan Province, located in southern China. Gan dialect 14 is used mostly by the people living in Jiangxi and the southeastern corner of Hubei. They are located at the north side of China. Wu dialect 15 is spoken by a majority of the people living in Zhijiang and the southern areas of Jiangsu and Anhui. Kejia how to write a song parody Hakka dialect 16 is spoken in the northeastern Guangdong area, southwestern Fujian, southern Jiangxi, and in areas throughout southeastern China and Southeast Asia.
Over the last several decades, the Northwest has seen large immigrant influxes from China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. The primary language of these multiple ethnic groups is a Chinese dialect.
Therefore, interpretation and translation services are necessary in every field ranging from government officiating, law enforcement, and court activities, to medical encounters, insurance affairs, and industrial business and so forth. These non-English speaking immigrants have various levels of educational and professional backgrounds, such as doctors, professors, teachers, business owners, engineers, labor workers, housewives, and scholars.
No matter what kind of background they have, they all must face the most challenging task of learning how to speak and write English. Learning the English language is very difficult for many individual reasons including finances and time restraints, limited education, and age.
Often due to the difficulties in communication, non- English speaking immigrants will try to get help and resources in their own community or postpone their problem until it is unavoidable. An English speaking person cannot understand or even imagine how frustrating and frightening it can be for a non-English speaker to answer the phone or door.
Quite often they must rely on their children and relatives who speak better English. However, even though the children can speak English fluently they often have a difficult time conveying information completely back to the parents because of their lack of sophistication with the Chinese language or because the subject is inappropriate for a child to interpret.
Also, English speaking children or relatives are often busy with their own daily lives to be constantly translating for their non- English speaking family members. The whole issue of language knowledge has created a lot of tension and frustration in Chinese households and has led to power struggles between the parents and the child or family member.
The regulation requires that providers use effective methods of communication with people who, because of their national origins have limited proficiency in English. All interpreter and translation services have contracted interpreters and translators in multiple languages who are ready to be sent out to the field for different functions.
Most of the interpreters and translators are certified through the State of Washington. The State provides a written and oral certification exam for what are the early stages of mouth cancer medical, administrative, and court interpreters.
Interpreters for many languages are certified by the State. Certifications for additional languages are being developed as needed. There are three different styles of interpreting: consecutive, paraphrase and simultaneous. Hospital and clinical settings usually use one of the first two styles. The simultaneous style often is used in court and other legal settings. The role of the interpreter is to act as a voice bridge between two parties.
Some pointers to keep in mind when speaking through an interpreter are as follows:. Many multi-cultural services and agencies provide seminars and classes to the public.
Currently, Washington State provides one of the best translation and interpretation services in the nation. A majority of the non-English speaking immigrants have been pleased with the interpreter services and feel very what are the two types of chinese language to live in the Great Northwest!
Disclaimer: EthnoMed is designed for educational purposes only and is not rendering medical advice or professional services. Any medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctors. Harborview Medical Center and UW Medicine will not be liable for any complication, injuries or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance upon information on this website.
Chinese script. Photo by Simon Shek cc license. Written Language The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history.
Simplified Characters Primarily Chinese in China uses simplified characters. Informal Slang or Phonetic Characters Cantonese speakers have also developed an informal slang or phonetic characters. Verb Tense Grammatically speaking English and Chinese are very different languages. Inappropriate but Common Interpretation Methods An English speaking person cannot understand or even imagine how frustrating and frightening it can be for a non-English speaker to answer the what are the two types of chinese language or door.
2. It's Considered One of the Hardest Languages to Learn
?·?Northern Chinese, also known as Mandarin, is the mother tongue of about 70% of Chinese speakers and is the accepted written language for all Chinese. Belonging to two different language families, English and Chinese have many significant differences. This makes learning English a serious challenge for Chinese native speakers. ?·?There aren't "two different types of Chinese", there are many types of Chinese, in the same way as there are around 60 types of "European". Chinese is not actually a language; some of the languages spoken in China are not even related to Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Yu or the other Chinese languages but to Turkish or Mongolian (for example, the Uyghurs in Western China).
Chinese is one of the two world languages with over a billion speakers. It is the most used mother tongue on the planet with over million native speakers and more learning it as their second or more language.
Let's take a look at 10 facts you should know about this complicated and very different language. While the Internet has sealed the place of English as the most used second language, Chinese Mandarin still holds the top position as the most used mother tongue.
In , the number of Chinese native speakers totaled million people. Just think of how many more people you'd be able to talk to after learning some Chinese! Multiple factors blend together into making Chinese one of the hardest languages to learn for native English speakers. With a different writing system, different grammar, and even different pronunciation style and sound, there are not many things English and Chinese have in common.
People who wish to study Chinese must put in years of work to reach fluency and even then it is rare to achieve native-like proficiency. Typically, you must learn 3, characters in order to be considered fluent enough to read the morning newspaper. However, the language consists of tens of thousands of characters that make ultimate fluency a daunting task.
Further complicating the issue is the fact that the written forms of Chinese words give no clues on the pronunciation and must be learned separately. These are considered classical arts and representative of Chinese art styles. The most popular calligraphy style is the Seal Character style developed by the Han people. It first appeared during the Zhou Dynasty - BC and is still popular among calligraphy artists today.
Thanks to its unique sound system, Chinese is filled with similar sounding words. This makes it quite difficult for non-native speakers to differentiate between words and sound combinations. When you add in the tones we will discuss below, it adds up to make Chinese one of the most difficult languages to listen to and understand. Since we have not been exposed to these similar sounds, it is often impossible for English speakers to pick out the differences.
Reminiscent of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt, Chinese is the only extant pictographic language. The Chinese language was developed using images, which means in its simplest form it resembles a game of Pictionary. Many not all of the Chinese characters we use today come from ancient drawings of the items they are meant to describe. This can be very helpful for those learning Chinese for the first time. While most of us in the West have a hard time recognizing the handwriting on our prescriptions, the Chinese struggle with handwriting in almost every situation.
This is due to the large variation in writing styles and the changes that occur between typed text and handwritten characters.
Because we learn from books where clearly fonted text is used, making the transition to reading handwritten Chinese is incredibly difficult for language learners. The origin of Chinese comes from the discovery of the famous Oracle Bones and what is believed to be the earliest samplings of Chinese script.
With such a rich history, Chinese has obviously undergone many changes and influences due to wars and cultural shifts. However, the language has taken these all in stride and continued to grow.
If you are an English speaker first learning Chinese, the most difficult part may very well be the five tones. Since Chinese is a tonal language, the meaning of your words can change drastically based on the tone you use to pronounce them. This can cause some serious errors for Chinese learners. Chinese characters are mostly made up of building blocks called radicals , which have 1 to 17 strokes.
Radicals and strokes must be written in order: usually left to right and top to bottom. Traditional characters are still used for ceremonial wording in China, and are still standard in Hong Kong and Taiwan. When you're walking around China, you might be surprised at the amount of words you're able to pick up quickly.
Thanks to an increase in exposure to Western culture, Chinese has many loanwords , or words borrowed from English, in use today. How do we know what ancient Chinese looked like? Surprisingly, the best evidence comes from millennia old carvings on oracle bones once used in practicing divination.
Interested in seeing oracle bones in person? While the critics are more than just a few, the analysis does provide an interesting theory. Japan adopted Chinese in their writing system because they needed a written language, and similar usage made its way to other bordering countries like pre-colonial Vietnam as well as historic Korea. We generally take Chinese to be synonymous with Mandarin, but Mandarin is one of hundreds of Chinese languages still actively spoken in China.
Chances are, that unless a person comes from Beijing, they speak at least one other dialect. Chinese writing has a prescribed stroke order, usually working left to right and top to bottom. There are twenty-plus types of strokes and 1 to 64 strokes are needed to make up a Chinese character. Each stroke must be written correctly and in order for recognition on character writing software. Like the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of the Mandarin world, biang is an unofficial character.
Not only does the dizzying number of strokes dwarf just about any other, biang needs to be written twice! Biang is an onomatopoeia for the sound of noodles slapping against the chef's table. The inherent rigidities of Chinese a set of pictographs instead of an alphabet makes naming new things a bit difficult. The other way to add new words is by phonetics , but there are only or so syllables used in Chinese , so a not-so-near or unrecognizable phonetic fit typically occurs. Foreign names always use this method: e.
Pinyin , the alphabetization of Mandarin , can be typed on any keyboard and software displays a long list of corresponding characters for each syllable most commonly used first thankfully! There are many Chinese sayings , and the largest percentage have four characters. It makes the language much easier to pick up, but also means mastering English is tricky for Chinese users….
It make language much easier pick up, but also mean master English is tricky for Chinese user. Standard Mandarin replies use the verb or adjective in the question for assent:.
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Chinese language. China has many minority groups that speak their own unique languages and dialects but Mandarin Chinese is still the most used language in China. Artists work diligently to perfect the art of their calligraphy.
A man draws characters carefully with a brush and water in the park. The most complicated Chinese character "biang" has 11 component parts. Chinese is traditionally written top to bottom in columns, and from right to left… avoiding wet ink was a challenge for right handers! Biang has a total of 57 strokes. See the best of China with our tours. Related Articles. Chinese language Learning Chinese - Weather in Chinese.