Standard Chinese

Standard Chinese (simplified Chinese: 现代标准汉语; traditional Chinese: 現代標準漢語; pinyin: Xiàndài biāozhǔn hànyǔ; lit. 'modern standard Han speech')—in linguistics Standard Northern Mandarin[7][8][9] or Standard Beijing Mandarin,[10][11] in common speech simply Mandarin,[12] better qualified as Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin or Standard Mandarin Chinese—is a modern standardized form of Mandarin Chinese that was first developed during the Republican Era (1912‒1949). It is designated as the official language of mainland China and a major language in the United Nations, Singapore, and Taiwan. It is largely based on the Beijing dialect. Standard Chinese is a pluricentric language with local standards in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore that mainly differ in their lexicon.[13] Hong Kong written Chinese, used for formal written communication in Hong Kong and Macau, is a form of Standard Chinese that is read aloud with the Cantonese reading of characters.

Standard Chinese
Native toMainland China, Taiwan, Singapore
Native speakers
Has begun acquiring native speakers (as of 1988);[1][2]
L1 & L2 speakers: 80% of China[3]
Early form
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Mainland Chinese Braille
Taiwanese Braille
Two-Cell Chinese Braille
Signed Chinese[4]
Official status
Official language in
Regulated byNational Language Regulating Committee [zh] (China)[6]
National Languages Committee (Taiwan)
Promote Mandarin Council (Singapore)
Chinese Language Standardisation Council (Malaysia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6
  • goyu (Guoyu)
  • huyu (Huayu)
  • cosc (Putonghua)
GlottologNone
Countries where Standard Chinese is spoken
  Statutory or de facto national working language
  Statutory or de facto national working language
  More than 1,000,000 L1 and L2 speakers
  More than 500,000 speakers
  More than 100,000 speakers
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Common name in mainland China
Traditional Chinese普通話
Simplified Chinese普通话
Literal meaningCommon speech
Common name in Taiwan
Traditional Chinese國語
Simplified Chinese国语
Literal meaningNational language
Common name in Singapore and Southeast Asia
Traditional Chinese華語
Simplified Chinese华语
Literal meaningChinese language

Like other Sinitic languages, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object (SVO) word order. Compared with southern Chinese varieties, the language has fewer vowels, final consonants and tones, but more initial consonants. It is an analytic language, albeit with many compound words.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Standard Chinese, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.