Do you know that Chinese has dialects? Is Mandarin the most popular?


Hi dear students!!


Do you know that Chinese has dialects?

I have noticed that when it comes to Chinese, many people think that it is a monolithic and indivisible language that every person in China speaks. Inreality, the Chinese language is a set of a large number of dialects that differ in pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.


There are seven main groups of the Chinese language: Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese or Yue, Min, Hakka, Gan and Xiang.

In addition to dialects, there are variations within each of them, they differ in the accent or pronunciation of sounds. For example, the famous Mandarin language has a different sound in different cities of China.

The division of the Chinese language into dialectal groups is due in most cases to geographical or historical factors. Each of the dialects of the Chinese language has all the criteria for separate language status, but a single script for the whole of China guarantees the integrity of the Chinese language. After the establishment of Mandarin as an official language, many began to consider it the true language.

Main dialects:

  1. Putonghua, (71.5% of speakers) - North and Southwest of China - the state language of China, the language of modern socio-political, scientific and fictional Chinese literature, is used by most of the inhabitants of China and the island of Taiwan.

  2. Wu, (8.5%) - Shanghai, Zhejiang
    It is one of the largest Chinese-speaking groups; some researchers assign it the status of language. Today, the Wu dialect leaves the walls of educational institutions, media and government agencies. The younger generation does not use the Wu dialect, but some TV shows still use the Wu dialect.

  3. Yue, (5.0%) - Guangdong, Guangxi province
    The group also bears the name of one of the dialects - Cantonese. Yue is the de facto language of Hong Kong and Macau. Yue is the language of the Chinese diasporas in Australia, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. Speakers of the Cantonese dialect have a legend that once upon a time, when voting for the pronunciation norm of literary Chinese, Cantonese was missing only a few votes.

4.Xiang, 湘 语 (4.8%) - Hunan province
The Xiang branch is divided into Novossian and Oldosian dialects. The new Xiang language has undergone changes under the influence of Mandarin. Like most Chinese dialects, Xiang is spoken locally, but only orally.

  1. Min, 闽 方言 (4.1%) - Fujian province
    This group is considered to be one of the oldest. The Ming languages ​​cover southeastern China, including the islands of Hainan and Taiwan. In Chinese linguistics, Ming languages ​​are called one of the oldest of the general language group.

  2. Hakka, 客家 话 (3.7%) - from Sichuan to Taiwan
    Literally translated, it means "the guest people", because the name of the language comes from the Hakka people. It is not recognized orally by people who speak Mandarin, it does not have its own handwriting. People who do not speak hakka, despite being descendants of hakka, cannot be considered to be of this nationality, as they do not know their native language.

  3. Gan, 赣 语 (2.4%) - Jiangxi province
    Mainly distributed in Jiangxi province, as well as in some areas of Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Fujian provinces. The dialect contains many archaic words that are no longer used in official Mandarin.

In fact, there are a lot more dialects in Chinese. Most Chinese with a native dialect also speak Mandarin, as it is the country's official language.

However, older generations, as well as those living in rural areas, may have little or no knowledge of Mandarin. In any case, the study of Chinese dialects in modern China is only necessary in exceptional cases, most of the time professional.

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Thank you for a very interesting lesson 👍

I like the chinese characters. We are waiting for your characters