Asian languages are fundamentally different from European ones. It is not enough to learn the rules of grammar, spelling of words and have a rich vocabulary well. It is necessary to learn to understand Asian languages from the inside, to feel intuitive.
Only many years of experience makes it possible to penetrate deeply into the language and work with it.
The Chinese language is considered one of the most difficult due to the variety of dialects, the difficult specifics of pronunciation, and many other reasons. However, getting to know this language can be very exciting.
Did you know? ... these 6 amazing facts about the Chinese language!
There are two variants of Chinese characters: simplified (mainland China) and traditional (Hong Kong, Taiwan). What does it look like? For example, the word "book" in Traditional Chinese is 書, in simplified Chinese: 书.
- Famous people are increasingly choosing Chinese to study. For example, Mark Zuckerberg at Peking University made a speech in Chinese, and Prince William wished a Happy New Year in Chinese in his interview.
- Science has proven that Chinese speakers use both temporal lobes of the brain at the same time.
- Chinese has incredibly simple grammar. It has no genders, no plurals, no verb conjugations, not even punctuation. If not for the hieroglyphs, it could be the simplest language in the world.
- Nevertheless, for its complexity, the Chinese language got into the Guinness Book of Records. The complexity of the Chinese language is due to both the hieroglyphic writing and the reliance on tonality (depending on the tone, the same seemingly word can have up to four meanings. Classic example: 妈 [mā] in the first tone translates as "mother", and 马 [mă] in the third tone - like "horse").
- Chinese youth use digital codes to communicate online. With the help of a set of numbers, a special communication system with frequently used phrases was developed. For example, 520 - "I love you", 065 - "I'm sorry."
- Chinese is an amazing language, rich in dialects, one of the oldest languages, and the most widely spoken in the world (it is spoken by more than 1.3 billion people) - one of the most difficult languages to translate. To perform a truly high-quality translation, a specialist must have extreme attention to details, meanings and tones (when it comes to interpretation).
What is special about the Chinese characters and language?
As we all already know, each language has its own characteristics and Chinese is no exception. No one will argue that this language is quite interesting and peculiar. Here are some of its characteristic properties:
- Phonetic system. It includes a complex of vowels and consonants and four syllable tones. Much depends on intonation, since most words are the same in spelling, but, depending on intonation and pronunciation, have different meanings. Quite often, this scares off people who want to learn Chinese.
- Hieroglyphs and writing. A hieroglyph is a syllable, and words can consist of several syllables or one. The most common variant is two-syllable words, that is, words consisting of a pair of hieroglyphs. An interesting fact is that many Chinese surnames consist of only one character. In general, hieroglyphics have about forty thousand characters. But do not be intimidated - in order to understand and communicate with native Chinese speakers, it is enough to know about two thousand characters. When studying the Chinese language, you will encounter a complete absence of declensions, genders and cases, as well as with the same structure of sentences or phrases.
- Punctuation. Thanks to hieroglyphics, punctuation marks are completely absent in China. This will greatly speed up your language learning time.
- Dialectal and regional differences. There are seven dialects in China. As a rule, people belonging to different groups of dialects do not quite understand each other when communicating.
The way out in this situation is the national language of Mandarin. Putonghua is a language that brings together people from different dialectal groups.
If you decide to study Chinese, then Mandarin Chinese is exactly what you need. With its help, you will be able to communicate freely, as well as read and write without any difficulty.
Dialects in the language
The Chinese language is a collection of a large number of dialects that differ in pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. There are 7 main groups of it: Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese or Yue, Min, Hakka, Gan and Xiang. In addition to dialects, there are variations within each of them, they differ in stress or pronunciation of sounds.
For example, standard Mandarin sounds differently in different cities in China. The division of the Chinese language into dialectal groups is due to geographical or historical factors. Each of the dialects has all the criteria to have the status of a separate language, but a single script for the whole of China ensures the integrity of the Chinese language.
After the establishment of Mandarin as the official language, many began to consider it the real language.
How do Chinese people communicate?
Linguists traditionally have eight to twelve groups of dialects of modern Chinese. They are very different from each other, and the inhabitants of the northern provinces do not at all understand their compatriots from the southern provinces and vice versa.
Number of hieroglyphs
It is believed that in modern Chinese there are 50,000 to 100,000 characters. A small part of them is used, and the rest is the inheritance of ancient Chinese manuscripts.
Some sources say that for reading periodicals and literature, using the local Internet, watching popular science TV programs, documentaries and the rest, it is enough to know 10,000 hieroglyphs. Knowledge of 5000 will allow you to communicate well with native speakers and the ability not to lose the essence of the conversation.
Number of words in a language
Roughly, in modern Chinese, in which individual characters can represent a whole word, there are about 370,000 "valid" words. Some sources claim that there are 500,000 of them.
What is Chinese keyboard Chinese keyboard
On a personal computer, input is carried out through the menu "Language and regional standards" - "Language and keyboards" - "Change keyboard". You can also enter hieroglyphs using the Google service, InputKing, Chinese Tools, TypingChienese, ChinDict
Is Chinese Mandarin?
Chinese has a large number of dialects. The official language is Mandarin (Mandarin), a northern dialect. In English, Mandarin means Mandarin. The old name of Mandarin translates as "the language of officials" - it was believed that the nobility spoke it. In Portugal, officials were called tangerines, and from Portuguese the word came to English.