After much dispute between proponents of northern and southern dialects and an abortive attempt at an artificial pronunciation, the National Language Unification Commission finally settled on the Beijing dialect in 1932. Together with the slightly later Menggu Ziyun, this dictionary describes a language with many of the features characteristic of modern Mandarin dialects. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Chinese Language . This simplification presents syllables as homophones which really are none, and therefore exaggerates the number of homophones almost by a factor of four. "hand machine") for mobile phone, 蓝牙/藍牙 lányá (lit. The first written records appeared over 3,000 years ago during the Shang dynasty. This means that changes in your voice pitch while pronouncing a vowel sound form part of the meaning of a word. Modern characters are styled after the regular script. It only takes a minute to sign up. Although the grammars of the spoken varieties share many traits, they do possess differences. Today, it is much more common to use existing Chinese morphemes to coin new words in order to represent imported concepts, such as technical expressions and international scientific vocabulary. Speaking of…, Another common greeting, and small variation of ‘Ni-hao-ma.’, Chinese translation: Xièxie. [11] Scholars have attempted to reconstruct the phonology of Old Chinese by comparing later varieties of Chinese with the rhyming practice of the Classic of Poetry and the phonetic elements found in the majority of Chinese characters. [42] Generally, mountainous South China exhibits more linguistic diversity than the North China Plain. A useful question to ask when having a conversation with someone. [26], In the 1930s, a standard national language, Guóyǔ (国语/國語 ; "national language") was adopted. (tser-swor) 厕所. For example, consider Beijing: Estimates of the total number of Chinese words and lexicalized phrases vary greatly. Similarly, the number of a noun only needs to indicated once in most cases. to help you grasp what they’re saying. (ˇ) 你 (nǐ). A significant cause of this is phonological attrition. When a particular pronunciation or word or grammatical form or turn of phrase is regarded as more desirable, or marks its users as more important or powerful, then it will be … Hope that it was useful. Without it, you will not be able to say words properly even if you know how to write those words. Chinese languages, principal language group of eastern Asia, belonging to the Sino-Tibetan language family. As a result of former French colonization, Vietnamese switched to a a Latin-based alphabet. This shouldn’t be an excuse not to make Mandarin your go-to-communication, especially if you want to improve your skills. Some early Indo-European loanwords in Chinese have been proposed, notably 蜜 mì "honey", 狮/獅 shī "lion," and perhaps also 马/馬 mǎ "horse", 猪/豬 zhū "pig", 犬 quǎn "dog", and 鹅/鵝 é "goose". Learn more in the Cambridge English-Chinese simplified Dictionary. The Chinese orthography centers on Chinese characters, which are written within imaginary square blocks, traditionally arranged in vertical columns, read from top to bottom down a column, and right to left across columns, despite alternative arrangement with rows of characters from left to right within a row and from top to bottom across rows having become more popular since the 20th century (like English and other Western writing system). "stone flower"), shíyóu 石油 "petroleum" (lit. Watching movies and TV shows is another excellent way to get lots of Chinese listening in. Like the Romance languages, the Chinese languages are mutually unintelligible (that is what makes them different languages). [38] The proportion of vocabulary of Chinese origin thus tends to be greater in technical, abstract, or formal language. But you should still look at the examples below, because they show how Chinese deals with the absences of articles. This replaced the old writing language standard of Literary Chinese before 20th century. This is done by employing Chinese characters with similar pronunciations. You’ll be sure to win someone over if you can use this Mandarin phrase strategically. Southern Min), Wu (74 million, e.g. Any Latin or Greek etymologies are dropped and converted into the corresponding Chinese characters (for example, anti- typically becomes "反", literally opposite), making them more comprehensible for Chinese but introducing more difficulties in understanding foreign texts. These include vernacular,[64] lect,[65] regionalect,[53] topolect,[66] and variety.[67]. It is commonly felt that a well-educated, contemporary Chinese might know and use between 6,000 and 8,000 Chinese character inscriptions have been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty 1 (1766-1123 BC) proving the written language has existed for more than 3,000 years. it is an Anglicization, it may be particularly helpful for beginner Chinese speakers of an English-speaking background. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Chinese Language . This may be one of the most useful Chinese phrases of all. In modern spoken Mandarin, however, tremendous ambiguity would result if all of these words could be used as-is; Yuen Ren Chao's modern poem Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den exploits this, consisting of 92 characters all pronounced shi. Perhaps they can explain in a different way (with more physical descriptions, etc.) In reaction, central governments have repeatedly sought to promulgate a unified standard. For the bold and brave that wants to initiate a more intimate relationship with someone at a bar, club, or social setting. Chinese varieties have been phonetically transcribed into many other writing systems over the centuries. [62] John DeFrancis argues that it is inappropriate to refer to Mandarin, Wu and so on as "dialects" because the mutual unintelligibility between them is too great. Before you resort to speaking English, let the other person know that you can’t understand them in Chinese. Chinese translation: Zhè shì shénme? [14] Several derivational affixes have also been identified, but the language lacks inflection, and indicated grammatical relationships using word order and grammatical particles. This is often done for commercial purposes, for example 奔腾/奔騰 bēnténg (lit. "Japanese-made Chinese"), and many of these words have been re-loaned into modern Chinese. Chinese is first known to have been written in Latin characters by Western Christian missionaries in the 16th century. The royal courts of the Ming and early Qing dynasties operated using a koiné language (Guanhua) based on Nanjing dialect of Lower Yangtze Mandarin. The spoken varieties of Chinese are usually considered by native speakers to be variants of a single language. [22], Up to the early 20th century, most Chinese people only spoke their local variety. There are many systems of romanization for the Chinese varieties, due to the lack of a native phonetic transcription until modern times. [23] Before we dive into learning to write Chinese characters, let’s just take a second to be clear exactly what we’ll be talking about. [68] To Chinese nationalists, the idea of Chinese as a language family may suggest that the Chinese identity is much more fragmented and disunified than their belief and as such is often looked upon as culturally and politically provocative. (… dzeye naa-lee?) Other similar expressions include: [28] Because of their colonial and linguistic history, the language used in education, the media, formal speech, and everyday life in Hong Kong and Macau is the local Cantonese, although the standard language, Mandarin, has become very influential and is being taught in schools. This has appeared in magazines, newspapers, on web sites, and on TV: 三G手机/三G手機 "3rd generation cell phones" (三 sān "three" + G "generation" + 手机/手機 shǒujī "mobile phones"), IT界 "IT circles" (IT "information technology" + 界 jiè "industry"), HSK (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì, 汉语水平考试/漢語水平考試), GB (Guóbiāo, 国标/國標), CIF价/CIF價 (CIF "Cost, Insurance, Freight" + 价/價 jià "price"), e家庭 "e-home" (e "electronic" + 家庭 jiātíng "home"), Chinese: W时代/Chinese: W時代 "wireless era" (W "wireless" + 时代/時代 shídài "era"), TV族 "TV watchers" (TV "television" + 族 zú "social group; clan"), 后РС时代/後PC時代 "post-PC era" (后/後 hòu "after/post-" + PC "personal computer" + 时代/時代), and so on. Most Chinese words are formed out of native Chinese morphemes, including words describing imported objects and ideas. Just having this date in your calendar will win you some major points.
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