What Are the Different Types of Spoken Chinese?

Mandarin, being the most commonly-used form of spoken Chinese, is more widely distributed throughout China. However, geographical differences are evident even within the Mandarin dialect, which is classified into four groups based on geographical location: Southwest, Southern, Northwestern and Northern Mandarin.

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Chinese language interpreting must always be sensitive to the type of dialect being used.

CommentsOne Response to What Are the Different Types of Spoken Chinese?Two Chinas Globary A Diary for Bigger TopicsSays:

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[] secondary dialect in China, but every different province in China could have their own dialects. Places like Shanghai and the northern and southern parts of China have their own []

When seeking interpreting services for spoken Chinese, its important to know the dialect for which you need an interpreter. By specifying that you want an expert within a certain dialect of spoken Chinese, like Mandarin or Cantonese, your professional interpreting service will be better able to provide you with a qualified interpreter.

Mandarin is considered a native language by about two-thirds of Chinas inhabitants, making it the most dominant spoken Chinese dialect, while Cantonese lays claim to approximately 55 million speakers in China alone. While these are the spoken Chinese dialects you are most likely to encounter, there are many more!

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Just as theSpanish language includes several dialectical differencesin different countries and regions around the world, spoken Chinese includes a variety of types that are divided largely along geographical lines. The majority of Chinas Cantonese speakers live in the countrys Guangxi and Guangdong provinces but even within these regions, the dialects of Cantonese can vary. Usually the dialect spoken in Hong Kong is considered the Cantonese point of reference by English speakers.

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Spoken Chinese is separated into five main dialectical groups, of which Mandarin is only one. Yue (which includes Cantonese), Min, Wu and Hakka make up the other four, covering more than 200 individual dialects. Some of these dialects are limited to very small geographical areas, while others have speakers all across the country and beyond.

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China is an enormous country, so it should come as no surprise that there are multiple types of spoken Chinese being used both within its borders and abroad.

If you are looking for Chineseinterpreting services, it is therefore essential that you be specific about the Chinese language or dialect you need interpreted.

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Simply referring to the Chinese language is too vague; China is home to a multitude of languages and dialects, many of which are mutually unintelligible.

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Spoken Chinese languages are among the most commonly used in the world. The best known are undoubtedlyMandarinandCantonese. Mandarin and Cantonese, although they are often referred to as individual languages, are each technically classified as a dialect of the Modern Standard Chinese language, commonly known as Guoyo or Putonghua.

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