More about Chinese

Here are some facts about the Chinese Language!

1. The Chinese People are the largest single ethnic group in the world – so, form of Chinese is spoken by

more people than any other language. Around 1 billion people speak Mandarin.

2. Mandarin is the most widely spoken dialect of the Chinese Language. Other dialects include

Cantonese, Taiwanese, Yue, Hakka, Min, etc.

3. Mandarin Chinese is mostly spoken in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is also widely used

in the many Chinese communities (Chinatowns) around the globe.

4. Mandarin Chinese is also one of the six official languages used by the United Nations.

5. Mandarin Chinese doesn’t have an alphabet. It is written with symbols or Ideograms. These symbols

are called Chinese characters. Chinese characters represent the oldest writing system in the world.

6. There are over 1,00,000 Chinese characters recorded in the most advanced Mandarin Chinese

dictionaries. New Chinese symbols are developed all the time, so the amount of Chinese characters

never stops increasing.

7. Not even the native Chinese can read all the characters of the language. Mere 1,000 characters are

sufficient for basic literacy and around 3000 words are needed to be known to enjoy a movie or read a


8. Chinese is a tonal language. It has four tones. So each syllable, or word, can have four different


9. Words you already know from Chinese – Kungfu, Taichi, Chowmein, Schezuan – and yes – all of them

have meanings!!

10. You will have to take up a different name when you start learning Chinese – the Chinese alphabet is

not sufficient to write an Indian / English name. “Mera naam Chin Chin Chu!”




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