Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificChina · 1 decade ago

Is chinese a language?

my dad said it's not and they speak cantonese or something

14 Answers

  • Pip
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Chinese" is really just an overall term for a language(s) spoken in China. It is not a language.

    There are hundreds of languages in China.

    There are two more well known one:

    Mandarin - This is spoken all over pretty much all over China, and the Chinese translation for this means 'standard language'. Generally if someone says they can speak 'Chinese', this is what they are referring too.

    Cantonese - This is the language spoken in Hong Kong and the area of the South East (Guangdong). It's has lots of similarities to Mandarin, and a Mandarin speaker may be able to understand a bit, but won't be able to speak it themselves.

    Each city and village will also have it's own dialect and even language. Now though, most people will speak and understand Mandarin. The smaller villages and minority groups may only know a very small amount, and the older generations may know none at all.


    Source(s): I live in China
  • maston
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Is Chinese A Language

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Chinese is the language group. Madrin, Cantonese, Wuhanese, Shanghainese, Beijinese, Fujianese are all Chinese dialects. There are hundreds of Chinese dialects each of which is distinct. People who speak different dialects can not understand each other when they speak.

    Mandarin in the "Common Dialect" most Chinese speak their local dialect and Mandarin. Mandarin is the language taught in schools.

    The other common language for Chinese People is the written language. Two people who can not speak the same dialect can still read the written language. It has two forms Chinese Simplfied and Chinese Traditional. Most people read Simplfied. It is commom practice for two Chinese people who can not speak to each other due to dialect to communcate via written messages.

    Source(s): My better half is Chinese!!!
  • 1 decade ago

    Chinese is actually a language group composed of many "sublanguages" or dialects. Mandarin (Putonghua) and Cantonese (Guangdonghua) are two main dialects within that group. The national language (or dialect if you prefer) is Mandarin. In fact Putonghua literally means "common language."

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  • cisco
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Actually, Chinese refers mainly to citizens of China or person of China/Chinese ancestry. So depending on the usage and construction of the sentence, "Chinese" may be used as a descriptive word: "Chinese Company" or "Chinese Restaurant" for instance. On the other hand, Cantonese is a language/dialect, but it also refers to the Canton (Guangdong) natives / people. Much like Shanghainese could refer to the natives of Shanghai or the language/dialect the natives speak. So, China made it specific that their official language shall be called "Mandarin" since there is no Mandariner or Mandarinese people.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    In my opinion, Chinese is harder to learn. I'm fluent in English, and I know a little Mandarin and Cantonese. English is complicated, but Mandarin can blow your mind xD Pronounciation is fairly easy, but writing and stringing sentences to me is hard ^^ I think it's important to learn Mandarin because, as you pointed out, China is growing very well economically. It can help with business etc. Just look at Kevin Rudd xD He speaks pretty well.

  • 6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Is chinese a language?

    my dad said it's not and they speak cantonese or something

    Source(s): chinese language:
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    is English a language

  • 4 years ago

    In some parts of China (Fujian) they speak Hokkien - also spoken in Malaysia.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ronnie is right one! Many Languages in china!

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