Learn Mandarin (Simplified Chinese)

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About Mandarin (Simplified Chinese)

There are lots of different dialects in China so, historically, people from different areas of the country had trouble understanding each other. To solve this problem, China chose Chinese (Mandarin) - also called Modern Standard Mandarin - as its official language. It is estimated that more than 70% of Chinese people understand some of this language and the number is growing due to its use in education and the media.

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Fun facts — Chinese (Mandarin)

  • The language uses both the left and the right side of your brain.
  • The national standard language has four different tones – if you use the wrong one you could end up calling your mother (mā) a horse (mǎ)!
  • The name Mandarin can be traced back to meaning ‘the language of officials’ because the language originates from a dialect once spoken by Chinese officials.
  • The Chinese full stop is a small open circle: 。
  • Gift giving is important in China and so is the colour of the wrapping paper you choose. Red is considered lucky, gold symbolises wealth while black and white are best avoided because of associations with death and funerals.

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