What’s the difference between Mandarin and Chinese?

Posted by eChineseLearning on July 19, 2016

What’s the difference between Mandarin and Chinese?
The difference between Mandarin and Chinese

 

Although you may be confused now, the answer is quite simple. Think of “Chinese” as this large umbrella with a bunch of languages under it. Mandarin is one of those languages underneath. If Chinese were to be replaced with the word “dog,” then you could replace Mandarin with any dog breed, such as “Dalmatian.” So Chinese is to dog, as Mandarin is to Dalmatian.(Learn Chinese Online)

So if Chinese is all dialects spoken within China, then what is Mandarin specifically? “普通话 (pǔ tōng huà) Mandarin ” is labeled by the Chinese government as the official language of China. It is considered the standard language, and is spoken throughout China. It is taught in all schools in China, and most people in China speak it as a first language or as a second language to their regional dialect. The name itself, 普通话 (pǔ tōng huà), means “common language.”

Mandarin is based on a Beijing dialect, and the Beijing accent is considered the standard Mandarin accent. This is important as the accent in which people speak Mandarin varies across all of China. The Beijing accent is identifiable by 儿话音 (èr huà yīn), which is where certain words have the “儿 (ér)” sound at the end. For example, “baby” in Chinese: 宝贝 (bǎobèi) VS. 宝贝儿 (bǎobèir). The former accent is spoken in southern China and in Taiwan.

People instantly assume when you say “Chinese” you mean “Mandarin” because it is the standard language. If someone were to refer to a specific dialect, it is likely they would say the name of that dialect instead of “Chinese.” For example, another Chinese dialect is Cantonese. This is perhaps the second most spoken Chinese dialect and it is spoken in areas of southern China, with many Cantonese speakers living abroad. Cantonese is a completely different spoken language than Mandarin, and uses 9 tones instead of just 4 as in Mandarin!

So,do you want to learn mandarin chinese? Contact eChineseLearning to take a free trial lesson now!


0 comments

2000 characters remaining



My Listings

Business Chinese Lessons Online.
Business Chinese Lessons Online.
5 sessions available starting from $10.00
Chinese Culture Lessons
Chinese Culture Lessons
1 session available for $10.00
Industry-Specific Chinese Lessons
Industry-Specific Chinese Lessons
5 sessions available starting from $10.00

see all listings »


My Recent Articles


Related Articles