Xiàndài biāozhǔn hànyǔ
|Native to||Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore|
|Has begun acquiring native speakers (as of 1988);|
L1 & L2 speakers: 80% of China
Mainland Chinese Braille
Two-Cell Chinese Braille
Official language in
|Regulated by||National Language Regulating Committee (China)|
National Languages Committee (Taiwan)
Promote Mandarin Council (Singapore)
Chinese Language Standardisation Council (Malaysia)
Countries where Standard Chinese is spoken
Majority native 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
|Common name in mainland China|
|Literal meaning||Common speech|
|Common name in Taiwan|
|Literal meaning||National language|
|Common name in Singapore and Southeast Asia|
|Literal meaning||Chinese language|
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') is a modern standardized form of Mandarin Chinese that was first codified 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. 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.
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.
In linguistics, it may be termed Standard Northern Mandarin or Standard Beijing Mandarin, and in common speech simply Mandarin, better qualified as Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin or Standard Mandarin Chinese.
Over 80 percent of Chinese population speak Mandarinwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
accurately represent and express the sounds of standard Northern Mandarin (Putonghua) [...]. Central to the promotion of Putonghua as a national language with a standard pronunciation as well as to assisting literacy in the non-phonetic writing system of Chinese characters was the development of a system of phonetic symbols with which to convey the pronunciation of spoken words and written characters in standard northern Mandarin.
We recorded a number of English sentences spoken by speakers with Mandarin Chinese (standard northern Mandarin) as their first language and by Chinese speakers with Shanghainese as their first language, [...]
As a result of the spread of standard northern Mandarin and major regional varieties of provincial capitals since 1950, many of the smaller tuyu [土語] are disappearing by being absorbed into larger regional fangyan [方言], which of course may be a sub-variety of Mandarin or something else.
Escure [Geneviève Escure, 1997] goes on to analyse second dialect texts of Putonghua (standard Beijing Mandarin Chinese) produced by speakers of other varieties of Chinese, [in] Wuhan and Suzhou.
[...] a consistent gender pattern found across all the age cohorts is that women were more concerned about their teachers' bad Mandarin pronunciation, and implied that it was an inferior form of Mandarin, which signified their aspiration to speak standard Beijing Mandarin, the good version of the language.
in common usage, 'Mandarin' or 'Mandarin Chinese' usually refers to China's standard spoken language. In fact, I would argue that this is the predominant meaning of the word