The People’s Republic of China is a country belonging to Asia, whose capital is Beijing. It is the most populous country in the world, with 1,400 million people, and has an area of 9,596,961 km 2 (3rd in the world). Its human development index is high (86th) and its official currency is the yuan. And what language is spoken in China?
What language do they speak in China?
China has one official language, Standard Mandarin Chinese, spoken by 78.4% of the population. It is also the national language.
At the regional level, other languages are official (in parentheses, the number of speakers):
- Cantonese Chinese (62 million): Hong Kong and Macau.
- Portuguese (6,200): Macau.
- English (81.7 million, most as a second language): Hong Kong.
- Mongolian (3.4 million): Inner Mongolia, Haixi, Bayingolin, Bortala.
- Korean (2.7 million): Yanbián.
- Tibetan (4.3 million): Tibet, Qinghai.
- Uyghurs (10.1 million): Xinjiang.
- Chuang (15 million): Guangxi, Wenshan.
- Kazakh (1.3 million): Ili.
- Nuosu (2 million): Liangshan, Chuxiong, Honghe.
The most learned foreign languages are English, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. Of these, the only one that is taught in schools is English (spoken by more than 80 million, especially in urban areas). Russian, French and German classes are widely available at universities. In Northeast China, there are many bilingual Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, Korean, or Russian schools.
Mandarin Chinese language
Mandarin Chinese (普通话) is the most widely spoken, and is used as the lingua franca among speakers of all other Chinese dialects. Furthermore, it is the most widely spoken language in the world. It was adopted as a national standard in the 20th century.
Since 1956, the simplified characters became the standard alphabet, leaving aside the traditional characters. Classical Chinese is still taught in secondary education, so students know how to use it to some extent.
The other dialects of Chinese are: Wu (81 million speakers), Cantonese or Yue (62 million), Min (52.1 million), Jin (46.9 million), Hakka (43.5 million), Xiang (37.3 million), gan (22.1 million), huizhou (4.6 million), pu-xian (2.5 million).
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