You can also learn some interesting slang in the Wu Chinese dialect by checking out the following video by RADII China: By the way, if you enjoy learning Chinese with videos, then you’ll love FluentU! However, there’s a debate between linguists as to whether or not some of these Chinese dialects should be considered languages. As mentioned at the beginning of this post and according to Day Translations, China is home to over 302 individual languages, and 276 of them are indigenous. While there are a few dialects that are quite different from Mandarin, the vast majority are undeniably similar. Neighboring towns tend to speak varieties of Chinese which can be mutually understood, but if you go just a little further away to another town, communication often breaks down completely. Around the Yangtze Delta and Shanghai, the Wu dialect can be heard. Which one of them you like the most? … When we talk about ‘Chinese’, and how there are more than one billion Chinese speakers in the world, one might imagine one monolithic universally understood language. To take an extreme example, there is probably as much difference between the dialects of Peking … Kejia, or Hakka, is the language of Hakka people who are spread out across pockets in Taiwan, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guizhou, and beyond. So dialects in the south are usually named after the town, county or even village. There are many Chinese dialects in China, so many that it is hard to guess how many dialects actually exist. Note the word recognized? Plus, knowing a bit of survival Mandarin ensures that no matter where you are in China, you’ll be able to get around, as it’s the country’s official language. Within this broad classification, there are between seven and fourteen dialect groups, depending on the classification. What language is spoken in China? In Wu, it is pronounced "ngu." (nóng hō va?) More particularly, even when Old Chinese was spoken, different variations or dialects of the same language were developing in different parts of the country. This dialect can further be divided into five subgroups: Chang-Yi, Lou-Shao, Hengzhou, Chen-Xu and Yong-Quan. Gan Chinese – A dialect closely related to the Hakka dialect. There are seven primary dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, Wu (Shanghainese), Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, and Yue (Cantonese). Advertisement. Interestingly, within each groups some dialects are mutually intelligible while there are others that are not. Please check your email for further instructions. Let’s dive into the seven most frequently spoken Chinese dialects, where you can find them, the history behind each one and more. Like all other Chinese dialects, Cantonese is a tonal language and is comprised of six tones. In Singapore Mandarin also has a status of official language (1 out of 4). There could be more unrecognized dialects tuck in the hidden corners of the mainland Chinese … As a result, nearly every Chinese person can speak or at least understand Mandarin. Well, it’s not that tough though. When speakers of a language live across a wide area, regional variation naturally occurs over time. Mandarin Chinese – Official Dialect of the Republic of China and makes up the largest Dialect of spoken Chinese in northern to southwestern China. The greater the distance between the speakers of a language, the harder it will be for them to understand each other. Despite being the common lingua franca in overseas Chinese communities, as well as being spoken in Taiwan and many countries in Southeast Asia and Indochina, Hokkien only has about 50 million speakers. Not only will you have much better luck finding trustworthy learning materials that go beyond a few basic phrases, but you’ll also get one-on-one lessons with a native speaker. Chinese spoken language has hundreds of dialects that vary depending on one's home province, city, and even county. On October 31st, 2000, the Law of Universal Language and Character of the People's Republic of China came into force, which stipulates Mandarin as China's universal national language. However, a major dialect is not always the dominating dialect spoken in the corresponding city. Practice your Hakka listening skills and pick up a few new useful vocabulary words, such as “good morning” and “excuse me,” with this video by YouTuber inmimisbowl: Learn how to talk about your daily routine in Hokkien, and practice your listening skills with this fun YouTube video by Felicia Zoe. However, it didn’t become the official language until 1909. Without further ado, here are the top eight: Mandarin, China’s official language as of 1913, with many Chinese speaking at least a little bit of Mandarin. It is spoken in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, and Macau. Well, there are indeed a number of widely spoken dialects, but there are hundreds of recognized minority dialects. In the list of those groups below, the population estimates are based upon a total Han Chinese population of 950 million (Ramsey, 87). or 侬过得还好伐? These subgroups include Taihu, Taizhou, Oujiang, Wuzhou, Chu-Qu, and Xuanzhou. This is largely because tones are a vital part of the Chinese language, and tones (as well as other sounds) vary from “dialect” to “dialect”. You get the idea. The differences among them are analogous to the differences in … "What Are the Different Chinese Dialects?" In Min, "gua." Tone, in terms of language, is the pitch in which syllables in words are uttered. In Mandarin, it is pronounced "wo." What is a Mandarin Dialect? More than 700 dialects of Indian languages have been studied so far. In this fun video by YouTuber twirlingpages, you can relax and enjoy a cool shopping haul in the Wu Shanghainese dialect. They are typified by the Peking dialect, which is the basis of the standard language and of “Mandarin” in a much narrower-and older-sense. This is largely because tones are a vital part of the Chinese language, and tones (as well as other sounds) vary from “dialect” to “dialect”. However, a major dialect is not always the dominating dialect spoken in the corresponding city. Things are quite different and complicated when it comes to dialects in southern regions in China. Why does China have so many different dialects? Aside from languages, Brooke runs her freelance writing business, Writing & Thriving, and specializes in B2B copywriting, content marketing and holistic health and wellness. In China, there are a lot of different dialects. There is generally less variation between dialects in Northern China, and most of them are mutually-intelligible, aside from accent differences and regional slang. This is because, during the Ming Dynasty, a large group of people migrated to Hunan province. Chinese “dialects” are not so. Pastime Paradise: Discuss Your Hobbies in Chinese with 20+ Words and Phrases! Some words even have pitch variation in one single syllable. FluentU brings English to life with real-world videos. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe, Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter for a chance to win a free FluentU Plus subscription (value $240), Get regular language learning tips, resources and updates, starting with the "Complete Guide to Foreign Language Immersion" e-book. If you can’t visit in person, consider downloading a language exchange app and looking for language partners specifically from your target region. I’m a testimony to this, as my language partner is from Jiangxi province but rarely ever speaks her local dialect. The language can also be divided into 14 varieties, which include the Shanghainese, Huzhou, Wuxi, Ningbo, Suzhou, Changzhou, Jiaxing, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Xuanzhou, Chuqu, Taizhou, Wuzhou, and Oujiang diale… Dialectologist Jerry Norman estimated that there are hundreds of mutually unintelligible varieties of Chinese. Spoken Chinese comprises many regional variants, called dialects. Why the vague answer? Thus, the tone is very important in any Chinese dialect. However, it differs greatly from Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu Chinese and Southern Hokkien (Min). More than 700 dialects of Indian languages have been studied so far. Chinese spoken language has hundreds of dialects that vary depending on one's home province, city, and even county. Of course there's Chinese, but you may know as Chinese is actually an umbrella of many other languages. The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call “Putonghua”. There … If you’ve never learned a tonal language before, perhaps start with Mandarin first! I think there are like over 50 major dialects spoken all across the country and they differ a lot one from each other. There, you can browse hundreds of online tutors at different prices. You enrolled in a few courses, downloaded a few apps and flipped through flashcards a few times each day. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are several important regional distinctions in the Chinese language. Currently, the site has tutors available for Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Shanghainese, Taiwanese and “other” Chinese dialects. Updated February 12, 2019. Plus, we’ll share some tips for learning a minority language. Fact: There are more than 302 individual Chinese languages, and 276 of them are indigenous. Most of them share the same Chinese character … 食饱未? Min is spoken in China's southern coastal province—Fujian. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. For example, while Mandarin only has four tones, Hokkien has eight. For example, in Mandarin, 妈 (mā) means mother, 马 (mǎ) means horse, and 骂 (mà) means to scold. Mandarin is also the official language of Taiwan. These languages are geographically defined, and are found in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet. I think there are like over 50 major dialects spoken all across the country and they differ a lot one from each other. There are hundreds of dialects of Chinese in China today. What language is spoken in China? These are the Chinese languages spoken mostly by the Han people, which represents about 92 percent of the total population. While the history of Hakka is a bit uncertain, most believe that it originated due to multiple migrations from Northern to Southern China towards the end of the Western Jin period because of war. Cantonese, or Yue, is also a southern dialect. Each of these eight “dialects” contains their own subdialects and regional variations – many of which could officially count as a dialect too. It’s the second most commonly spoken dialect in China with 73.4 million native speakers. I was born in a big city consisting of several districts and many peripheral small cities and in each of the places mentioned before, people don't speak the … These varieties form a dialect continuum, in which differences in speech generally become more pronounced as distances increase, although there are also some sharp boundaries. To take an extreme example, there is probably as much difference between the dialects of Peking … … The Main Chinese Dialects. How many chinese dialects? More than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, but there are also several other major dialects in use in China: Yue (Cantonese), Xiang (Hunanese), Min dialect, Gan dialect, Wu dialect, and Kejia or … If we’re talking a broader classification, most linguists divide Chinese into 7-10 dialect groups. Mandarin Chinese is divided into four groups: Southwest, Southern, Northwestern and Northern. The language situation in China can be broadly divided into “families” — that is, collections of topolects that are more or less similar. In terms of the spoken languages, much of … This is similar to how standard American English is influenced by the West Coast dialect. Today, they live primarily in boats along the coast of Guangdong province. Before you start internally screaming at me, hear me out. Finally, Mandarin is easy compared to many other Chinese dialects. Some of these regional tongues are only spoken in remote … Shan, Jun. “Many” is the answer to our initial question of how many languages are spoken in China. The Main Chinese Dialects. There are too many kinds of dialects in one city, let alone in a province or in the whole southern area. While this might sound impossible for a rare Chinese dialect, there are a few cards you can play to use YouTube to your advantage. FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. southern's are very different from Mandarin so maybe we cant understand it at all. Unlike the Wu and Hokkien dialects, Xiang Chinese shares many similarities with Mandarin and has been greatly influenced by it, as well as by the Gan Chinese dialect. and why?China has many languages, dialects and accents. Let's take 我 for example, the word for "I" or "me." It’s still commonly spoken there today, as well as in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries thanks to the Chinese diaspora, many of whom came from Minnan ancestry. Booking an online language tutor is beneficial for two reasons. Based on geographica… The language situation in China can be broadly divided into “families” – that is, collections of topolects that are more or less similar. Putonghua, which means "common language" is the country's predominant language and is widely used by more … Linguists have split Chinese into somewhere between seven and ten main language groups—the largest being Mandarin (also known as Northern), Wu, Min, and Yue—and each group also has a number of sub-dialects. Today, it’s also spoken by the Tanka people, natives of the Pearl River Delta. Although they employ a common written form, they are mutually unintelligible, and for this reason controversy exists over whether they can legitimately be called dialects or whether they should be classified as separate languages. Thanks for subscribing! Each language group contains a large number of dialects. So dialects in the south are usually named after the town, county or even village. Jerry Norman, a former professor of linguistics at the University of Washington author of “Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys)” (Cambridge University Press, 1988) once said that “The Chinese dialectal complex is in many ways analogous to the Romance language family in Europe. I was born in a big city consisting of several districts and many peripheral small cities and in each of the places mentioned before, people don't speak the … Dialects are spoken by fewer and fewer people every generation. Out of every Chinese dialect, Gan is most similar to Hakka in terms of pronunciation and phonetics. Spoken by about 70% of the Chinese-speaking population — as well as by almost everyone learning Chinese as a second language — Mandarin has a whopping 700 million native speakers. Odds are you’ve been learning Mandarin Chinese—the official language of China. What are the global forces pushing them to the sidelines, and can any of them be saved? In that process they acquire the lingua franca that enables them to … It is the most diverse dialect, meaning within the dialect group there are still many different variations on word pronunciation. Modern Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese, the official language of the People’s Republic of China as well as Taiwan, one of the official languages of Singapore and one of the six official United Nations languages The best-known dialects in the area are those … The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call “Putonghua”. Words even have pitch variation in one city, let alone in a nutshell, China classifies them dialects! 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how many dialects in china