countless dialect here.in south,maybe two adjacent city have two dialects. What language is spoken in China? © 2021 Enux Education Limited. You now know a few tips for learning minority dialects, how many Chinese dialects exist and what 25 of them sound like. Booking an online language tutor is beneficial for two reasons. In fact, the United Nations has declared April 20 to be “Chinese Language Day” … Spoken Chinese languages are among the most commonly used in the world. To get an idea of what a few of the most common dialects sound like, take a look at this video by Monkey Abroad that features 25 different dialects. The late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was when Mandarin began to be recognized as the language of the majority, according to ThoughtCo. It is spoken particularly heavily in and near Jiangxi province. And if you break those groups down further into regional variants, you find more than 200. However, the same character is pronounced differently depending on which dialect one speaks. Wu Chinese is known to be quite different from Mandarin, although they share similar grammatical patterns and use the same writing system. To take an extreme example, there is probably as much difference between the dialects of Peking … The Main Chinese Dialects. Of course there's Chinese, but you may know as Chinese is actually an umbrella of many other languages. In Cantonese, "ngo." But wait, isn’t the purpose of this blog post to teach you how to learn Chinese dialects other than Mandarin? More than 700 dialects of Indian languages have been studied so far. I understand that not everyone is able to do this, but if you ever get a chance to visit China, make sure to go to the place where your dialect is spoken. 侬好伐? Why does China have so many different dialects? Well, it’s not that tough though. — How are you? Not only will you have much better luck finding trustworthy learning materials that go beyond a few basic phrases, but you’ll also get one-on-one lessons with a native speaker. Due to political situations, China classifies them as dialects. Although they employ a common written form, they are mutually unintelligible, and for this reason controversy exists over whether they can legitimately be called dialects or whether they should be classified as separate languages. Within mainland China, Cantonese is one of the few dialects with its own television channels, and Cantonese pop music is still popular across China. The best known are undoubtedly Mandarin and Cantonese. Unlike the Wu and Hokkien dialects, Xiang Chinese shares many similarities with Mandarin and has been greatly influenced by it, as well as by the Gan Chinese dialect. Updated February 12, 2019. In general, dialects can be roughly classified into one of the seven large groups: Putonghua (Mandarin), Gan, Kejia (Hakka), Min, Wu, Xiang, and Yue (Cantonese). To take an extreme example, there is probably as much difference between the dialects of Peking … Even in some regions, Mandarin is spoken more commonly than the local dialect. Take myself. Mandarin is known for using tones to differentiate words and consists of four major tones and five if you count the neutral tone. 7 Video Resources for Learning Chinese the Way Natives Use It, An Easier Way to Learn Chinese: Comprehensible Input, 4 Free Online Chinese Lessons and Other Resources That’ll Make Learning a Breeze, Yes, You Can Get Chinese Video with Pinyin Subtitles: 4 Options. In general, dialects can be roughly classified into one of the seven large groups: Putonghua (Mandarin), Gan, Kejia (Hakka), Min, Wu, Xiang, and Yue ( Cantonese ). "What Are the Different Chinese Dialects?" This makes it hard to confidently make the tiny distinctions necessary for topolect classification. 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.Mandarin is considered a native language by about two-thirds of China’s inhabitants, making it the most dominant spoken Chine… You can use the interactive captions to click on any word to find out more about it and see it used in example sentences and additional videos. Mandarin is the largest and others likewise have several sub-dialects. More than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, but there are also several other major dialects in use in China: Yue (Cantonese), Xiang (Hunanese), Min dialect, Gan dialect, Wu dialect, and Kejia or … Major Chinese Dialects spoken: The differences in dialect are due to the different pronunciation and vocabulary. Mandarin Chinese is divided into four groups: Southwest, Southern, Northwestern and Northern. Around the Yangtze Delta and Shanghai, the Wu dialect can be heard. You can also easily add vocabulary words to customized lists and flashcard sets and then test your knowledge with fun quizzes! Like all other Chinese dialects, Cantonese is a tonal language and is comprised of six tones. According to linguists there are seven (or 10) main groups of Chinese languages. However, it didn’t become the official language until 1909. 食饱未? From finding high-quality resources to getting a grasp of basic pronunciation, it can be challenging to create a roadmap that will take you from wannabe-speaker to progressing learner. Let's take 我 for example, the word for "I" or "me." Most of them share the same Chinese character … These varieties form a dialect continuum, in which differences in speech generally become more pronounced as distances increase, although there are also some sharp boundaries. To save you some time, here are a few videos I found in minority Chinese dialects. There, you can browse hundreds of online tutors at different prices. Shan, Jun. Jin Chinese Spoken in parts of Shaanxi, Hebei, Henan, and inner Mongolia. ‘Chinese’ in fact refers to a family of languages that comprises at least seven different linguistic groups, each with various dialects and sub-dialects sitting under them. There are eight tones in Wu Chinese compared to the four or five in Mandarin. Simply search for “speaking (your target language) for 24 hours” or “speaking only (your target language) for a day.” While you might not come across channels that consistently produce content in your target language, you’ll find some entertaining videos that expose you to it. Mastering Chinese Dialects: How Many Are There and Which Should You Learn? If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos. There … Which one of them you like the most? Odds are you’ve been learning Mandarin Chinese—the official language of China. An Explanation of the Various Chinese Languages, The History of Putonghua and Its Use Today, Differentiating Between Shanghainese and Mandarin, Who Are the Hakka? Over the past few decades, China has produced a significant number of films that use dialect. 2. However, some regions are known for preferring their local dialect and are stereotyped as speaking “bad” Mandarin. However, it differs greatly from Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu Chinese and Southern Hokkien (Min). Also known as Putonghua, Mandarin is the official language of China. While this might sound impossible for a rare Chinese dialect, there are a few cards you can play to use YouTube to your advantage. That is as accurate as anyone can say. Neighboring towns tend to speak varieties of Chinese which can be mutually understood, but if you go just a little further away to another town, communication often breaks down completely. In a nutshell, China is very big and very old. Many of them have been screened in international film … Eight different dialects, any of which might technically be their own language, depending on how you define it. List of Chinese Dialects. Min is spoken in China's southern coastal province—Fujian. This isn’t particularly surprising considering how much more isolated people were back then which often allowed for … southern's are very different from Mandarin so maybe we cant understand it at all. While Mandarin is spoken in distinctive dialects throughout China, standard Mandarin is mostly influenced by the Northern Beijing dialect. I was born in a big city consisting of several districts and many peripheral small cities and in each of the places mentioned before, people don't speak the … The extensive 1987 Language Atlas of China groups Chinese local varieties into the following units: The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call “Putonghua”. Gan Chinese traces its origins back to the Qin Dynasty (221 BC) when troops were sent to Fujian and Guangdong territories. The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call “Putonghua”. A lot. Each region where Mandarin is spoken has developed its own version (or dialect) of the language. With no contact and interaction with their nearest neighbors, it is not impossible for them to only understand the dialects spoken within th… So dialects in the south are usually named after the town, county or even village. Sign up for a free trial to access the extensive video library. There are seven primary dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, Wu (Shanghainese), Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, and Yue (Cantonese). While their profile will probably display Mandarin as their native language, it never hurts to ask if they speak Shanghainese if you see they’re from Shanghai. As a result, these two provinces share a common version of Wu Chinese called 吴越话 (wú yuè huà), which literally means “Wuyue speech.”. Jerry Norman, a former professor of linguistics at the University of Washington author of “Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys)” (Cambridge University Press, 1988) once said that “The Chinese dialectal complex is in many ways analogous to the Romance language family in Europe. For common languages like Mandarin, Spanish and German, it’s easy to find videos on YouTube or guides on Google to perfect your pronunciation. (Download). Cantonese is spoken in Guangdong province, including cities like Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou. The differences among them are analogous to the differences in … There are many Chinese dialects in China, so many that it is hard to guess how many dialects actually exist. Historically, they spoke a Tai dialect, but as they migrated from inland China to the coast, they adopted Cantonese. The Gan dialect can be heard in western parts of China. These dialects are all mutually unintelligible. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. But for minority languages, you’re extremely limited as to the amount of authentic content created in your target language. You enrolled in a few courses, downloaded a few apps and flipped through flashcards a few times each day. As a result, nearly every Chinese person can speak or at least understand Mandarin. Cantonese originated in ancient Guangzhou, also known as Canton City. Plus, we’ll share some tips for learning a minority language. Here are four tips to kickstart your journey. The loss of local dialects is, in the big picture, just a facet of the more general uprooting that the modern economy has brought to the world. And there you have it: seven of China’s most commonly spoken dialects, where they’re spoken, how they came to be and how to learn them! In that process they acquire the lingua franca that enables them to … FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Things are quite different and complicated when it comes to dialects in southern regions in China. Only when you finally set foot on Chinese soil, you were surrounded by what seemed like a completely different language! If you can’t visit in person, consider downloading a language exchange app and looking for language partners specifically from your target region. Used primarily in Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province and Zhejiang province, Wu Chinese is spoken by 85 million people. Each region where Mandarin is spoken has developed its own version (or dialect) of the language. In the list of those groups below, the population estimates are based upon a total Han Chinese population of 950 million (Ramsey, 87). These are the Chinese languages spoken mostly by the Han people, which represents about 92 percent of the total population. Some dialects, such as Cantonese, have fared better due to its historic prominence and its geographic distribution. Click here to get a copy. In Wu, it is pronounced "ngu." Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/about-chinese-dialects-629201. In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of the top seven Chinese dialects, where they’re spoken and how they came about. How Many Chinese Dialects Are There? You’ve spent months (maybe even years) dreaming of going to China. In China, there are a lot of different dialects. What are the global forces pushing them to the sidelines, and can any of them be saved? The language situation in China can be broadly divided into “families” — that is, collections of topolects that are more or less similar. I’m a testimony to this, as my language partner is from Jiangxi province but rarely ever speaks her local dialect. Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog, Wu Chinese is spoken by 85 million people, Hokkien only has about 50 million speakers, 80 million people speak the Hakka dialect, Mastering the Chinese “Le”: 8 Ways to Use This Super-powered Particle. Linguists believe that there are 297 living languages in China today. Today, they live primarily in boats along the coast of Guangdong province. How Many Chinese Dialects Are There? However, a major dialect is not always the dominating dialect spoken in the corresponding city. Many dialects, particularly in northern and central China, have apical or retroflex vowels, which are syllabic fricatives derived from high vowels following sibilant initials. Dialectologist Jerry Norman estimated that there are hundreds of mutually unintelligible varieties of Chinese. With italki, you’ll get to connect with people all over the world and gain access to personalized lessons. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as there are literally hundreds of topolects within China, and the majority of the population can speak at least two (usually three or more!) — What’s your name? Linguists have split Chinese into somewhere between seven and ten main language groups—the largest being Mandarin (also known as Northern), Wu, Min, and Yue—and each group also has a number of sub-dialects. As a result, Cantonese is a bit easier to find learning resources for than other Chinese dialects. Aside from languages, Brooke runs her freelance writing business, Writing & Thriving, and specializes in B2B copywriting, content marketing and holistic health and wellness. can take anywhere. Things are quite different and complicated when it comes to dialects in southern regions in China. — Have you eaten yet? Because it’s spoken so widely, Hakka can be further divided into even more dialects. The language exists in six main subgroups, which are geographically defined. Learning the basics of Mandarin first will help you to learn another dialect that sounds similar and even shares a few vocabulary and grammar points. As the official language of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, Mandarin has many regional variations which are usually referred to as Mandarin dialects. What language is spoken in China? Luckily, we have a few tips to share when it comes to leveraging the internet for quality language learning, even for minority dialects. Indeed, there’s a lot more to Chinese than just Mandarin: there are many important dialects with millions of speakers each. There is generally less variation between dialects in Northern China, and most of them are mutually-intelligible, aside from accent differences and regional slang. but everyone learn/use Mandarin in school.so we use Mandarin when speaking to a stranger,never English northern dialects are similar and easy to understand. or 侬过得还好伐? This is similar to how standard American English is influenced by the West Coast dialect. There could be more unrecognized dialects tuck in the hidden corners of the mainland Chinese … Before you start internally screaming at me, hear me out. This dialect is sometimes classified as a dialect … A large population of Han Chinese people migrated to Jiangxi province as a result, and during the Han Dynasty, the Gan dialect grew as the population of the Yuzhang Commandery stationed in Jiangxi increased to 1,670,000 in AD 140. When speakers of a language live across a wide area, regional variation naturally occurs over time. When we talk about ‘Chinese’, and how there are more than one billion Chinese speakers in the world, one might imagine one monolithic universally understood language. 你姓么个? Plus, knowing a bit of survival Mandarin ensures that no matter where you are in China, you’ll be able to get around, as it’s the country’s official language. Based on the number of speakers, Mandarin is the most dominant spoken dialect of Chinese. However, one common phrase to use to greet people in Xiang is as follows: 你吃了吗? The language spoken in Beijing is often referred to as Mandarin or Putonghua. Without further ado, here are the top eight: Mandarin, China’s official language as of 1913, with many Chinese speaking at least a little bit of Mandarin. Why the vague answer? Unlike other dialects, the vocabulary of Gan Chinese is primarily ancient and contains words that are rarely used in Mandarin today. Some of these regional tongues are only spoken in remote … (Chia̍h pá boeh?) Due to so many speakers in China and Taiwan, Mandarin is considered to be the main language in education, media and government. On October 31st, 2000, the Law of Universal Language and Character of the People's Republic of China came into force, which stipulates Mandarin as China's universal national language. Each language group contains a large number of dialects. Today, 60 million people speak it. The language spoken in Beijing is often referred to as Mandarin or Putonghua. More particularly, even when Old Chinese was spoken, different variations or dialects of the same language were developing in different parts of the country. Linguists classify these varieties as the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Want a real definite answer? She’s learned Mandarin Chinese for seven years, Spanish for three and Indonesian for one. For example, in Mandarin, 妈 (mā) means mother, 马 (mǎ) means horse, and 骂 (mà) means to scold. Mandarin Dialects. Shanghainese is one of the major Wu Chinese varieties, but places such as Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Hangzhou, Jinhua, Shaoxing and others feature their own variations. In fact, Wu is also referred to as Shanghainese. Mandarin Chinese – Official Dialect of the Republic of China and makes up the largest Dialect of spoken Chinese in northern to southwestern China. In Singapore Mandarin also has a status of official language (1 out of 4). FluentU brings English to life with real-world videos. Finally, Mandarin is easy compared to many other Chinese dialects. Even today, there are some 60 million speakers, and Cantonese continues to enjoy official status in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Even today, there are some 60 million speakers, and Cantonese continues to enjoy official status in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong … This dialect can further be divided into five subgroups: Chang-Yi, Lou-Shao, Hengzhou, Chen-Xu and Yong-Quan. I was born in a big city consisting of several districts and many peripheral small cities and in each of the places mentioned before, people don't speak the … An Example of the difference between Mandarin and the Dialects. The greater the distance between the speakers of a language, the harder it will be for them to understand each other. The Chinese language has over 400 dialects in continental China alone. Although they employ a common written form, they are mutually unintelligible, and for this reason controversy exists over whether they can legitimately be called dialects or whether they should be classified as separate languages. "What Are the Different Chinese Dialects?" It is the most diverse dialect, meaning within the dialect group there are still many different variations on word pronunciation. (ngi2 siang5 ma3ge5?) In many Wu dialects, vowels and final glides have monophthongized, producing a rich inventory of vowels in open syllables. Pastime Paradise: Discuss Your Hobbies in Chinese with 20+ Words and Phrases! There are many Chinese dialects in China, so many that it is hard to guess how many dialects actually exist. There … Some words even have pitch variation in one single syllable. The language can also be divided into 14 varieties, which include the Shanghainese, Huzhou, Wuxi, Ningbo, Suzhou, Changzhou, Jiaxing, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Xuanzhou, Chuqu, Taizhou, Wuzhou, and Oujiang diale… What is a Mandarin Dialect? But this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as there are literally hundreds of topolects within China, and the majority of the population can speak at least two (usually three or more!) There are many cases when words spelled in pinyin (the standardized alphabetical transliteration of Chinese characters) are the same, but the way it is pronounced changes the meaning. (nǐ chīle ma?) We’re positive that with the right tools, a good language partner and perhaps a trip to China, you’ll be set for mastery in one of these fascinating Chinese dialects. In Chinese, different words stress different pitches. Like Wu Chinese, Hokkien has eight tones and differs greatly from Mandarin. In this fun video by YouTuber twirlingpages, you can relax and enjoy a cool shopping haul in the Wu Shanghainese dialect. How many languages are spoken in China? It began with Middle Chinese, then was influenced by Proto-Tai and became Proto Eastern Yue and finally was further divided into the Guang Fu and Yong Xun dialects. Despite being the common lingua franca in overseas Chinese communities, as well as being spoken in Taiwan and many countries in Southeast Asia and Indochina, Hokkien only has about 50 million speakers. This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you Chinese spoken language has hundreds of dialects that vary depending on one's home province, city, and even county. As of today, 80 million people speak the Hakka dialect. Hong Kong's Hakka Minority Group, How To Stress Syllables in Japanese Pronunciation, Why Mandarin Chinese is harder than you think, How to Pronounce Chongqing, One of China's Major Cities. Despite the large differences among Chinese dialects, there is one thing in common—they all share the same writing system based on Chinese characters. You can also learn some interesting slang in the Wu Chinese dialect by checking out the following video by RADII China: By the way, if you enjoy learning Chinese with videos, then you’ll love FluentU! Mandarin 679,250,000 (71.5%) all of North and Southwest The North varieties of Chinese are usually known as the Mandarin dialects. In fact, the United Nations has declared April 20 to be “Chinese Language Day” because of the linguistic diversity in the country. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. China has eight major dialect groups: Putonghua (Mandarin), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan and Hakka and many sub-dialects. So, how many varieties of Chinese are there? There are seven primary dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, Wu (Shanghainese), Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, and Yue (Cantonese). All these variations of Chinese have a representative dialect, for example in Standard Mandarin it is the Beijing dialect. This article will not get into the non-Chinese languages spoken by minorities in China, such as Tibetan, Mongolian and Miao, and all those subsequent dialects. Thus, the tone is very important in any Chinese dialect. While there are a few dialects that are quite different from Mandarin, the vast majority are undeniably similar. I think there are like over 50 major dialects spoken all across the country and they differ a lot one from each other. Spoken Chinese is separated into five main dialectical groups, of which Mandarin is only one. Unfortunately, with the government providing little support for Chinese dialects, many of them are quickly dying off. There are too many kinds of dialects in one city, let alone in a province or in the whole southern area. Similar to Hokkien, the Hakka Chinese dialect is spoken throughout Southern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and it’s common in diasporas of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and around the world. Some of these regional tongues are only spoken in remote … As of this month, the project has collected more than 10 million entries for 123 Chinese dialects and ethnic minority languages after surveying the language resources of over 1,700 locations. There is generally less variation between dialects in Northern China, and most of them are mutually-intelligible, aside from accent differences and regional slang. Some of these dialects are limited to very small geographical areas, while others have speakers all across the country and beyond. In Mandarin, it is pronounced "wo." As the official language of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, Mandarin has many regional variations which are usually referred to as Mandarin dialects. Here are some of the most popular ones. Most of the regional languages are not mutually intelligible. In a nutshell, China is very big and very old. Mandarin Dialects. If we’re talking a broader classification, most linguists divide Chinese into 7-10 dialect groups. Learning English becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. These languages are geographically defined, and are found in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet. Shan, Jun. While the history of Hakka is a bit uncertain, most believe that it originated due to multiple migrations from Northern to Southern China towards the end of the Western Jin period because of war. A great place to start is a website like italki. |Hard to count. Along with the language surveys, the NPC has made a call to promote local dialects in schools, though apparently in the form of . More than 700 dialects of Indian languages have been studied so far. This is largely because tones are a vital part of the Chinese language, and tones (as well as other sounds) vary from “dialect” to “dialect”. The Min-speaking part of China is Fujian Province and the northeastern tip of Guangdong. However, a major dialect is not always the dominating dialect spoken in the corresponding city. It’s still commonly spoken there today, as well as in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries thanks to the Chinese diaspora, many of whom came from Minnan ancestry. ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/about-chinese-dialects-629201. The Chinese language has over 400 dialects in continental China alone. It’s the second most commonly spoken dialect in China with 73.4 million native speakers. — Hello (literally, have you eaten yet?). However, the modern Chinese dialects are classified into seven major groups. This is because, during the Ming Dynasty, a large group of people migrated to Hunan province. 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