If you’re thinking about learning a language it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Mandarin language facts:
Mandarin is one the of Chinese language forms which develop from the regional variants of Middle Chinese. Mandarin was originally a dialect of Northern China, before being chosen as the standard form of Chinese in order to help unify China.
Mandarin is famous for being the most natively spoken language in the world, with nearly a billion speakers. Mandarin Chinese is primarily spoken in mainland China.
While Cantonese is the main language in many parts of Southern China including Hong Kong and Macao, and of most Chinatowns across the world, Mandarin is the dominant form of Chinese in China. Mandarin Chinese also has a ever-increasing number of speakers whereas Cantonese is suffering from the central Chinese government efforts to make Mandarin the only national language.
Logograms are written characters representing a word or a phrase. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 Chinese characters. The Chinese don’t use all these characters in their everyday lives, and the Chart of Common Characters of Modern Chinese lists 2,500 common characters.
Mandarin has four tones and an additional neutral tone. Tones are used to differentiate words.