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Mandarin Language Facts and Information

Information About Mandarin Language

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Mandarin speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Branch: Sinitic
Continent: Asia
Country: China
Region: Covers all of mainland China north of the Changjiang River, a belt south of the Changjiang from Qiujiang (Jiangxi) to Zhenjiang (Jiangsu), Hubei except the southeastern corner, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, the northwestern part of Guangxi, and the northwestern corner of Hunan. Also spoken in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Laos, Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia (Asia), Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Viet Nam.
Countries Where Spoken: 867,200,000 in mainland China (1999), 70% of the population, including 8,602,978 Hui (1990 census). Other estimates for Hui are 20,000,000 or more. 1,042,482,187 all Han in China (1990 census). Population total all countries 874,000,000 first language speakers, 1,052,000,000 including second language speakers (1999 WA). Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand.
Countries Where Official: China
Native Speakers: 867,200,000
Speakers Total: 874,000,000
Phrasebase members who speak Mandarin at a native level: 1,348
Phrasebase members who speak Mandarin at a conversational level: 1,348
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Mandarin: 2,676
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Mandarin: 5,285
Three Letter Code: CHN
Summary: Wenli is a literary form. Written Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect, but has been heavily influenced by other varieties of Northern Mandarin. Putonghua is the official form taught in schools. Hezhouhoua is spoken in the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture and Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of southern Gansu Province, and in neighboring areas in Qinghai Province. The grammar is basically Altaic or Tibetan, while the vocabulary and phonology is basically Northwestern Mandarin, or a relexified variety of Tibetan. More investigation is needed. Putonghua is inherently intelligible with the Beijing dialect, and other Mandarin varieties in the northeast. Mandarin varieties in the Lower Plateau in Shaanxi are not readily intelligible with Putonghua. Mandarin varieties of Guilin and Kunming are inherently unintelligible to speakers of Putonghua. Taibei Mandarin and Beijing Mandarin are fully inherently intelligible to each other"s speakers. The Hui are non-Turkic, non-Mongolian, Muslims who speak Mandarin as first language. Hui is a separate official nationality. The Hui correspond ethnically to "Khoton", "Hoton", or "Qotong" in Mongolia, 20,000 Muslim Chinese in Taiwan, and the Hui in Thailand. Several hundred Chinese Jews in Kaifeng city, Henan Province are largely assimilated to the Han or Hui Chinese, and speak Mandarin. They are officially recognized. Investigation needed: intelligibility with varieties in Loess Plateau in Shaanxi, varieties in Guillin and Kunming. Official language. Dictionary. Grammar. SVO, SOV. If literate, they read Chinese. A few read Arabic. Chinese characters. Official language taught in all schools in Han China and Taiwan. Hui: agriculturalists (rural), traders (urban). Traditional Chinese religion, Buddhist, Muslim (Hui), Jewish, Christian, secular. Bible 1874-1983.

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