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No Language called Chinese

standard chinese
(Photo credit: romana klee)

You may have encountered many situations where people refer "Chinese" as Mandarin. This is somehow confusing. Based on a small research that I have done, Mandarin is not actually a name of a language. It refers to one of seven Chinese dialects, the Beijing dialect, which becomes the official language in China. It is generally called "Mandarin Chinese" or "Mandarin". It is called Putonghua 普通話 in China, Guoyu 國語 in Taiwan and Huayu 華語 in Singapore. You can find a performance by Russell Peter about "Chinese" below.




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