The Ultimate Guide to the Chinese Language
China is a country that possesses values and cultures that are very different from those of the western world. One example of these differences is the Chinese language, both in written and spoken form. The written Chinese language is centuries old, and rather than having an alphabet like many Western languages, Chinese consists of characters that represent specific concepts or phrases. In the last century, Chinese characters have been converted to pinyin, which is the use of the Roman alphabet to spell out the meanings of words to allow western languages to read them.
The spoken Chinese language has various dialects from different parts of the country. The national language of China is Mandarin, but many people speak other forms of Chinese, and which dialect is spoken depends on the region or grouping of people. For example, Cantonese is spoken in the southern part of China, in Hong Kong, and Shanghainese is a dialect that is mostly only heard in the city of Shanghai. China also has many minority groups that live throughout the country and each has their own dialect of the Chinese language. An example of this is the Hakka people that are found throughout the country and who speak the Keija language. The different dialects are not understandable to each other, and someone from Beijing who travels south to Guangdong will not understand the language there unless they have practiced or learned through some other measure. Despite the fact that languages vary throughout the country, all Chinese read and write the same characters, so all publications and writings are understandable to anyone throughout the country.
Chinese is a fascinating language to learn and there are various dialects that are used throughout the country. For someone who wishes to learn more about Chinese culture, studying some basic phrases or learning characters is a way to gain insight into this interesting and diverse country that has much to offer.