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Language and Characters

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China is a nation of multi-ethnic groups (with 56 ethnic groups), multi languages, multi provincialisms, and multi article types. According to the usual parlance in academia, China has more than 80 dialects and about 30 types of characters. The common language of China is Mandarin and standard Chinese characters.

Chinese language, which is used by the most of the Chinese people, and also by the largest number of people in the world, is one of the six formal working languages in the United Nations. It is the common language of Han people who accounts for 91.51% of Chinese population. In addition, some of the minorities also use Chinese or use both Chinese and their ethnic native language. Modern Chinese can be divided into standard language (mandarin) and dialects. Mandarin adopts Beijing pronunciation as basic pronunciation, takes the northern Chinese dialect as basic dialect, and uses canonical vernacular Chinese as grammatical norms. According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language issued on October 31st, 2000, mandarin is determined as the national common language. The Chinese dialect is generally consisted by 7 dialects: the northern Chinese dialect, Wu dialect, Xiang dialect, Gan dialect, Hakka dialect, Yue dialect and Min dialect. Minorities excluded Han people, take up 8.49% of the Chinese population, among which 53 ethnic groups have their own languages.

Mandarin is not only the standard language of Han people's common language, but also the common language of the Chinese nation. According to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, mandarin has been popularized throughout the country.

The Chinese character which has a history of about 6000 years is used to record Chinese language. The current Chinese character was evolved gradually by ancient character. It is commonly used by Han people, and by minorities as well. According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language issued on Oct 31st, 2000, the standard Chinese characters are identified as the national common language. The standard Chinese characters refer to adjusted and simplified characters, and transmissive characters that have not been adjusted and simplified. The General Standard Chinese Characters Table issued on June 5th, 2013 is an important criterion for Chinese characters.


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