Mandarin (Chinese) Language

History

The Mandarin language stems from the Sino-Tibetan language family, through the Sinitic and Chinese branches to Mandarin. It is often referred to as Standard Chinese, or even just Chinese, but Mandarin is originally specifically of the Beijing dialect. The word itself, “Mandarin”, originally comes from the word for an official government worker of the Chinese empire.

In the era of the Northern Song dynasty (960BC – 1127BC), Emperor Taizu conquered many of the lands that are now known as China. He unified the country into one land, with many states, and held a tight bureaucratic reign on the language use, but when this era ended, a new common speech developed. We refer to this language as Old Mandarin.

Around this time many creative and artistic pieces of art, poetry, drama and song were created in this specific language. There remains today a wealth of literature available, written in Old Mandarin. Many modern aspects of Mandarin still retain these elements of grammar and syntax.

China has been one of the most influential worldwide economic powers for the past two decades, and is now the globe’s largest proprietor of foreign exchange reserves, with resources reaching 1.2 trillion USD in 2006. A lot of countries throughout the world are now concerned with the dealings in China and are assertively engaged in studying Chinese language to comprehend and improve their business opportunities.

Popularity

Mandarin is China’s other main language, aside from Cantonese. It is spoken primarily in most of Northern and Southwestern China, in a wide variety of different dialects. Many of these dialects are distinctive enough to sometimes be considered as separate languages; however, it is more useful within Chinese language circles to group these languages together under the heading of Mandarin. When Mandarin Chinese is not split into these various dialects, it has the highest amount of speakers for any language in the world.

Mandarin Chinese is not only the official language of the Republic of China (including Taiwan), but the Mandarin language. The United Nations, which only has six official languages, has made Mandarin Chinese one of them, although it is simply called Chinese by them. The Mandarin language is also spoken in Malaysia, the U.S. Myanmar, and Singapore, where it is also one of four official languages.

Now, because of the sheer numbers of its population, not to mention the numbers of people learning Chinese themselves, Chinese is regarded as one of the most well known languages in the world. Chinese itself is a heavily structured and tonal language where one word can contain different meanings depending on the way it is spoken. There are several Chinese dialects spoken in various provinces but Mandarin is the most prevalent, and thus has been distinguished as the official language in China.

Language

Unlike the other main language of China, the Cantonese language, the Mandarin language is not a syllable-timed language. The Mandarin language is a stress-timed language, as English is. Syllable-timed languages have each syllable lasting for the same amount of time, while stress-timed languages have a variety of syllable durations.

The Mandarin language does not use tenses, such as past, present or future. Instead, the importance of a topic is shown by its prominence in the sentence. With a combination of markers of modality and aspect markers, single syllables are used that can change the entire meaning of the sentence. While they do not denote time, they do show that the subject of the sentence has changed status, passively implying the passage of time.

Politeness is a very important thing to be aware of in the Mandarin language. There are many ways of addressing someone, and before you do, you must be aware of their status in relation to you. Sometimes, when you are becoming familiar with someone, they will ask you to call them “aunt” or “uncle”. In the Mandarin language, this is simply a sign of respect and while the polite implication is that you should consider them to be family, you should still treat them as you would someone you are getting to know.

In addition, students can opt to study Chinese language with the expectation of getting employed easily in fields such as travel, tours, content management, news media, academics, diplomatic work, financial, trade, banking and a lot more. Each of these areas is really challenging and provides you with sufficient exposure to the Chinese people, customs and culture.

Why Learn The Mandarin Language?

Napoleon Bonaparte once said famously that China was a quiet giant. “Let China sleep”, he said. “For when China wakes, it will shake the world.” Almost two centuries after this remark, China’s economy now soars so radically that the economic influence that the country possesses today both directly concerns and supports the global market.

With China emerging as a worldwide economy giant, groups all over the world are working together with the country to carry out business together. In our modern world, the importance of understanding the Chinese language and the value acquired by speaking Mandarin Chinese is so important. Most non-Chinese speaking individuals prefer to study Chinese as an international language with the direct anticipation of broad career breaks and business expansion.

People across the globe and nations are today purposely moving forward to trade business and create associations with the world’s largest expanding country, a country that is encountering a great shift from a private and insular economy to a worldwide-oriented market. China has eventually turned out to be a leading player in the foreign economy and financial markets. Therefore, for an improved business comprehension, trade openings and cultural exchange, studying Chinese has become ever more important with around 30 million individuals who are learning Chinese in colleges, universities or private courses.

At present, the US is supplying enormous amounts in setting up Chinese learning schools and approving bills to entice Chinese language programming in learning centers all over the US, with many cultural and business exchanges to enhance the bonds between these countries. If you are studying at a higher education setting, or work for a large business, perhaps it would be a good idea to enquire about their potential programs.

China is also a popular tourist destination, with many individuals frequently visiting the country and spending some time getting familiar with their tradition culture, and acquiring knowledge of what it is like to be Chinese. With vast demands for the Chinese language, major municipalities in China are populated with Mandarin learning institutions and most of them supply excellent accommodation facilities, local Chinese speaking educators and highly competent people to teach Chinese as international language.

Therefore, if you wish to align yourself with the fast lane of trade and business, take a Chinese language course. If you are not able to afford to travel to China to be accustomed with the common Chinese language, there are various resources on the net which are often available for free. From here you will be able to acquire Chinese learning courses, scripts and audio guidelines that can help you become fluent in the Chinese language and assist you in actively contributing to a variety of business ventures.


2 Comments

  • #1 by 123 on July 29 - 9:44 pm

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    Basically, naming Cantonese as “one of the two main languages in China” is extremely inaccurate. Maybe it HAD certain prominence in Chinese immigration circles, but now Mandarin is growing in its popularity. People who speak Cantonese mostly understand Mandarin but people who speak Mandarin mostly don’t understand Cantonese.

    BTW indeed Cantonese and Mandarin are not regarded as “two dialects”, they are regarded as two languages just as French and Italian are.

  • #2 by Tom on October 5 - 11:13 am

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    To the above poster, considering Mandarin and Cantonese as either two dialects or separate languages would depend on who you ask. The Chinese insist that they are dialects, though this is a very politicized issue. The fact that they more or less share a written form makes it debatable in my opinion. That they are the “two main languages in China,” is very incorrect as you say, especially as there are more speakers of the Wu dialect.

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