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Mandarin language

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four official languages are recognizedEnglish, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. English remains the main medium for administration, commerce, and industry, and it is the primary language of instruction in schools. Mandarin, the official language of China, transcends dialect barriers, and its use is strongly promoted; one-third of the school population

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Mandarin uses four toneslevel, rising, falling, and high-risingto distinguish words or syllables that have the same series of consonants and vowels but different meanings; both Mandarin and the standard language have few words ending with a consonant. Mandarin, like all other varieties of Chinese, has mostly monosyllabic words and word elements, and, because there are neither markers forinflectionnor markers to indicate parts of speech, it has a fixed word order.

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Mandarin Chinese is often divided into four subgroups: Northern Mandarin, centring onBeijingand spoken in northern China and theNortheastprovinces (Manchuria); Northwestern Mandarin, extending northward from the city of Baoji and through most of northwestern China; Southwestern Mandarin, centring on the area around Chongqing and spoken inSichuanand adjoining parts of southwestern China; and Southern, or Lower Yangtze, Mandarin, in an area centred onNanjing.

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(common language) in Chinais spoken by more people than any other language in the world, although such regional languages as Wu and Cantonese also retain their vitality.

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Mandarin Chinese in the form spoken in and around Beijing forms the basis forModern Standard ChineseGuoyu, National Language, usually calledputonghuacommon language by the Chinese. Modern Standard Chinese is also spoken officially onTaiwan.

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Chinese languages: Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin)

Mandarin language, also calledNorthern Chinese, Chinese (Pinyin)Guanhua (Officials Language), or (Wade-Giles romanization)Kuan-hua, the most widely spoken form of Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is spoken in all ofChinanorth of theYangtze Riverand in much of the rest of the country and is the nativelanguageof two-thirds of the population.

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InChinese languages: Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin)

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The pronunciation of Modern Standard Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect, which is of the Northern, or Mandarin, type. It employs about 1,300 different syllables. There are 22 initial consonants, including stops (made with momentary, complete closure in the vocal tract), affricates (beginning

Northern Chinese language, guanhua, kuan-hua

, meaning ordinary language or common language. There are three variants of Mandarin. The first of these is the northern variant, of which the Beijing dialect, or Beijing

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good are distinguished from one another in that the first has a falling tone and the second a falling-rising tone; these are realized, respectively, as (1) a fall in the pitch of the syllable from high to

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Similarly, Mandarin Chinesenow generally called

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, is typical and which is spoken to the north of the Qin MountainsHuai River

most important Chinese tongue is Mandarin, or


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