We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
See trusted Britannica articles at the top of every search.
Contact our editors with your feedback.
You have successfully emailed this.
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
If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you cango to edit mode(requires login).
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.
Corrections? Updates? Omissions? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).
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.
Corrections? Updates? Help us improve this article!
(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.
Singapore: Ethnolinguistic composition
There was a problem with your submission. Please try again later.
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.
Our editors will review what youve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, well add it to the article.
Encyclopdia Britannica articles are written in a neutral objective tone for a general audience.
Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.
For example, in Mandarin Chinese the words
Our editors will review what youve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
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.
You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered.
InChinese languages: Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin)
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
in these related Britannica articles:
Error when sending the email. Try again later.
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
7 references found in Britannica articles
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
©2018 Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc.
Similarly, Mandarin Chinesenow generally called
Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed.
InSino-Tibetan languages: Sinitic languages
InSingapore: Ethnolinguistic composition
Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.
At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. (Internet URLs are the best.)
, is typical and which is spoken to the north of the Qin MountainsHuai River
most important Chinese tongue is Mandarin, or