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www.cchello.com LESSON 1 INTRODUCTION ABOUT CHINESE ...

www.cchello.com LESSON 1 INTRODUCTION ABOUT CHINESE ...

www.cchello.com LESSON 1 INTRODUCTION ABOUT CHINESE

LESSON 1 www.cchello.com INTRODUCTION ABOUT CHINESE LANGUAGE About the Standard Chinese Language The Chinese language (Zhōngwén, Huáyǔ or Pǔ tōnghuà) is the chief language of China, and also one of the most popular and developed languages in the world. China is a country consisting of 56 nationalities, and has a population of 1.3 billion. Before China opened its door to the outside world in the late 1970s, many people in the West believed (some still believe today) that Chinese is one language or Chinese language is Cantonese. In fact, Chinese is not just one language, but a family of languages and Cantonese is just one of the seven major dialects of the Chinese language. Although different dialects differ immensely in pronunciation, they share the same written form. The seven modern languages of China known as dialects are growing on the branches of the Chinese family cultural tree deeply rooted in the land of Confucius. They share as strong a family resemblance as do English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and are about as different from one another. The Standard Chinese spoken nationally is based on the pronunciation of the Northern dialect which is spoken by over 70 percent of the population. It is known as Pǔtōnghuà (普通话), which literally means Common Speech in the People’s Republic of China; Guóyǔ (国语) or Huáyǔ (华语), which literally means National Language in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other overseas Chinese communities, and Mandarin Chinese in English speaking countries. Many Chinese use the term to describe the Chinese language as Zhōngwén (Chinese 中文) or Hànyǔ (Hàn language 汉语 -Han is the largest of the 56 nationalities in China consisting of more than 90 percent of the population). Both Zhōngwén and Hànyǔ are literarily interchangeable and are more often used by native Chinese speakers than Pǔtōnghuà or Mandarin when they ask non-native speakers if they speak Chinese. Pǔtōnghuà, based primarily on the Beijing dialect but takes elements from other Chinese languages, is taught in schools and spoken by television and radio broadcasters throughout China, and it is the spoken language which is most understood by Chinese speakers. However, it is often spoken with some concessions to local speech and accent, particularly in Copyright 2007~2008 cchello.com

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