One Dialect Among Many: Mandarin Chinese Language

Mandarin Chinese language is the culmination of a common thread of language stretching back more than three thousand years. The earliest known examples of Old Chinese come from divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from 1250 BCE.

Chinese history is generally divided into dynastic periods based on the dynasties of emperors. Old Chinese grew out of various pre-historic languages, with the first dynasty, the Xia, appearing around 2100 BC.

It’s generally agreed that Old Chinese can be traced to the Sino-Tibetan language family, which covers much of northern and central Asia. Chinese is the most common of the Sinitic language branch. Meanwhile, you can follow here if you want to discover about the Danish translation services.

Prehistoric Origins

Prehistoric Origins

Old Chinese was the language of the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BC). The Zhou dynasty (1046-476 BC) overthrew them and the subsequent Warring States period until beginning to die out after 221 BC with the Qin unification.

The oldest Chinese literature dates back to the Zhou period and Old Chinese forms the basis of Literary Chinese. Which remained the written standard until the early 20th century. In particular, the oldest parts of the Book of Documents, the Classic of Poetry and the I Ching are some of the most well-known of these documents. To get exclusive Hebrew Translation services, check out our multilanguage translation services which you can avail of at affordable prices

Old Chinese began to shift into Middle Chinese after the Warring States period. However, the vast size and diversity of China meant that there’s no such thing as a universal language – Middle Chinese came in a wide variety of dialects, many not mutually intelligible with each other. Don’t know what Translation Management Systems are? You’ve reached the right spot, as you’ll get all the details here.

Literary Chinese and Mandarin developed out of the languages spoken around the capital on the North China plain. Now, when you request to make a translation of Chinese or Mandarin language, reach to our Translation Services.

Middle Chinese began developing as the language of three dynasties between 600 and 1100 AD, spoken by the Sui, Tang and Song dynasties. Most modern knowledge of this language comes from the Qieyun, a dictionary from 601, which is notable for its awkward fanqie method of indicating punctuation.

The Qieyun forms the basis of early middle Chinese, while the Yunjing, a later 12th century rime table, is considered to refer to Late Middle Chinese, a separate stage of development. Middle Chinese formed a basis for many modern Chinese dialects, was highly influential across the region, with elements discernible in early Japanese, and modern Mandarin can be considered as a divergent development of it. To get exclusive business translation services, keep reading this article.

The Early Modern Dynasties

Early Modern Dynasties

Old Mandarin emerged as the language of northern China during the Jin and Yuan dynasties, beginning in 1115. The language saw a reorganization of the four tones of Middle Chinese and other features characteristic of modern Mandarin dialects. Alternatively, to know about essential facts about the Dutch Language and get expert help with Dutch Translation Services, you can contact us right away on call or email. 

But it was likely not itself referred to as a variant of ‘Mandarin’ as that term was based on various northern dialects. Sources covering the development of Old Mandarin are limited thanks to a strong and conservative Chinese tradition of phonological description in rime dictionaries, dictionaries that collate Chinese characters by tone and rhyme.

Mandarin survived through the Mongol invasions that founded the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) and developed as a common speech. It was based on the dialects of the North China Plain around the capital. The Mongol invasion shook up traditional Chinese cultural conservatism and led to new genres of poetry and drama, such as the Qu and Sanqu poetry.

This was, in turn, codified by the Zhongyuan Yinyun of 1324, a rime dictionary that contains plenty of information about the phonology of old mandarin. Tibetan alphabet records from the Mongol Imperial period, the ‘Phags-pa script in particular, and also contain information from this period.

Written Vernacular Chinese developed as a means of writing down material to be presented orally. By this point, the heavily divergent Literary Chinese language was unsuitable, also showing heavy Mandarin influences.

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The Middle-Aged Dynasties

The Middle-Aged Dynasties

The later post-mongol Ming and then the Manchu Qing dynastic governments saw Mandarin come into its own as the language of the court and of officialdom. With China’s size, adopting a court language was necessary. As thousands of mutually unintelligible dialects were spoken across the country. However, no official could be expected to learn them all. Know how website translation services can help your business.

The name ‘Mandarin’ came about as a reference to the fact that Chinese officials spoke it. The common language used throughout this period was a Mandarin-derived tongue called Guānhuà, which still ran into regional difficulties.

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A decree from 1728 demanded that officials from Guangdong and Fujian be taught proper pronunciation as their reports were becoming impossible to understand. By the 19th century, the Beijing dialect had become essential for a court official to understand. Especially given the divide in the court between ethnic Han Chinese left over from the Ming government and the newly arrived Qing leadership.

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Modern Standardization

Modern Standardization

Following the Chinese Revolution, the fall of the Qing in 1911, and the eventual victory of the communist government in 1949, Mandarin began spreading more rapidly with the advent of modern communications systems. It was previously limited in China due to the war and Qing isolationism.

Needing a common language for the purposes of propaganda and communication, the new communist government drew up Standard Chinese. A language based on the Beijing dialect with vocabulary drawn from the Mandarin dialects.

In modern terms, ‘Mandarin’ is used interchangeably to refer to both Standard Chinese and the large collection of dialects spoken across Northern and Southwestern China.

Some linguists refer to Standard Chinese as Modern Standard Mandarin in order to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other dialects.

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How Old is the Mandarin Language?

How Old is the Mandarin Language

Mandarin is also known as Standard Chinese. Amazingly there are one billion Mandarin speakers currently. That is about seventy-seven percent of the country’s population. The earlier form of spoken mandarin was developed about eight hundred years ago in northern China.

Which influenced neighboring dialects like Mongolian and Manchurian. You can consider it as the origin of the mandarin language. In the next few centuries, the language developed and became the prime dialect of Beijing. It was called “Putonghua” (普通话), which means “Common Speech.”

How to Speak Chinese Mandarin Language?

Chinese Mandarin Language

Chinese language mandarin is a very complex language for learners. Especially for English speakers. However, with daily practice and commitment, you can learn mandarin Chinese language. Below are some tips for mastering the language.

Practice Using Four Mandarin Tones

Mandarin Chinese language is a tonal language. That means different tones can alter the meaning of the words. It doesn’t matter, even if the pronunciation and spelling are similar. Mandarin Chinese language learning involves four primary tones:

1. The First Tone: It’s a high, flat tone. You speak flat, without any rise or dip in the way as it sounds. Using the syllable ma as an example. The first is represented by the symbol above the letter a: “mā”.

2. Second Tone: It is a rising tone. Here the voice rises from low to middle pitch.

3. The Third Tone: It is a dipping tone. Here the pitch goes from middle to low to high.

4. The Fourth Tone: It is a lowering tone. Here the pitch is constantly from high to low tone.

You need to observe the tones of the native speakers to understand more.


Learn How Mandarin Uses Sounds

Learn How Mandarin Uses Sounds

The famous phonetic system, “Pinyin” (拼音), is very helpful. However, mastering it is very challenging. As you will encounter a similar sound as their English counterpart. The new sounds will include “h”, “x”, “q”, “j”, “r”, and “ü”. There are some other Chinese character combinations you will learn – “zh,” “ch,” and “sh.”

Memorize Simple Vocabulary

You should memorize simplified Chinese characters. You have words for your help, and you need to become fluent in using them. Here, memorizing Chinese vocabulary and correct pronunciation will surely benefit you. Even in a media translation service you need to have accuracy.  Our experts are always present to help.

Learn How to Count

Surprisingly, unlike other languages, the mandarin numerical system is quite simple and logical. Once you have learned and are well-versed with the first ten numbers in the Chinese languages, you can easily count up to 99. You can easily learn mandarin when it comes to numerics.

Learn Basic Conversational Phrases

When you get familiar with the basic Chinese official language vocabulary and pronunciation. You can start learning basic conversational phrases. Learn sentences that are used in daily conversation in Chinese languages.

Study Basic Chinese Grammar

There is a common misconception that Chinese official languages don’t use grammar. However, it’s not true! Chinese written language follows grammar rules. But, they differ from Indo-European languages and other official languages.

Chinese is a very analytic language, unlike other language system. However, this is good and bad both for the new mandarin Chinese language learners.


Practice Reading & Writing Chinese Characters

Practice Reading & Writing Chinese Characters

Learning reading and writing traditional Chinese characters is again challenging. It will take a long time, even years, to master Chinese characters. The only way to learn them is by continuous practice and memorizing Chinese characters.

Find a Native Speaker

The easy way of learning Chinese is by taking the help of the Chinese people. It’s the best way to improve your mandarin Chinese language skills. Native speakers can easily correct your grammatical and pronunciation mistakes. Moreover, they will help you with the more colloquial form of speech you won’t find in books. Speak Chinese with the natives and improve your skills.

Enroll In Chinese Language Course

This will give you additional motivation if you learn the mandarin Chinese language in a more formal setting. Also, watch Chinese movies and cartoons. This will help you improve your spoken language skills.

Learning spoken languages, foreign words, and written Chinese languages is slow. You have to keep practicing and have rock-solid patience. But, learning the mandarin group of languages is difficult. Take your time and keep practicing daily.

Why Learn Mandarin Chinese Language?

Mandarin Chinese Language

The Mandarin language is the widely spoken language in China. It’s the first language of a vast population from northern to southwest mainland China and Taiwan. There is also a huge group of Mandarin speakers in Brunei, Mongolia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, and Viet Nam.

Learning the Chinese official language offers many benefits. It is important for personal and professional growth. Moreover, it helps you get insight into China’s richest culture of linguistic history.

Millions of people visit every year in China. That’s why learning china’s official language will always be beneficial. Besides, it opens amazing ways for Chinese politics, economics, history, and archeology. Studying china’s official language means studying a different culture and people.


What is the Mandarin Language in Chinese?

What is the Mandarin Language in Chinese

Mandarin language, also known as Northern Chinese, Chinese (Pinyin) Guanhua “Officials’ Language,” or Wade-Giles romanization “Kuan-Hua.” These are the most widely spoken form of Chinese.

Mandarin Chinese is widely spoken in all of China. That is north of the Yangtze River and much of the country’s rest. Besides that, it is the native language of two-thirds of the population.

Mandarin Chinese is usually divided into four subgroups or four official languages. These are:

1. Northern Mandarin: It is centered in Beijing and spoken in northern China and the Northeast provinces of Manchuria.
2. Northwest Mandarin: It extends from the Baoji northwest throughout northwestern China.
3. Southwest Mandarin: It is centered around Chongqing and is spoken in Sichuan and nearby regions.
4. Lower Yangtze Mandarin: It is used in the areas centered in Nanjing.
In spoken and written form, Mandarin Chinese creates the basis for Modern Standard Language.


Are Chinese and Mandarin the Same Language?

There are various other Chinese dialects, and Mandarin is one of them. Some other Chinese languages, along with Mandarin, are Shanghainese, Cantonese, etc. Most Chinese speak Mandarin but not everyone.

The seventy-seven population of China uses Mandarin. It’s also an official language of China. That makes it one of the top spoken language in the world. Followed by English at the second position and Spanish comes third.

What is the Best Mandarin Chinese Language Course?

Mandarin Chinese Language Course

The Chinese people widely use Mandarin Chinese spoken language. The language offers various benefits to people worldwide. However, it’s not simple to learn Mandarin. So, if you need mandarin to English or English to mandarin translation, you need to hire an expert.

People want to learn mandarin to understand the bible in Mandarin Chinese language. Some people like to explore the origin of the mandarin Chinese language or the history of the mandarin language. Then also you need to take a course.

However, you will never find the best mandarin Chinese language software. You need to acquire the skills through practice and rock-solid patience. Many online courses teach mandarin and other European languages. You can search for the most suitable course for you.

Let’s Conclude

We hope you enjoyed the mandarin Chinese language history. The Chinese government has declared mandarin the official language of the country. The history of Mandarin Chinese is dated back many centuries. The modern form of the Chinese writing system came after the many dynasties ruled over China.

Chinese character represents Chinese words. There is an amazing strategy behind devising every Chinese character. Most mandarin dialects use traditional characters. That makes mandarin one of the most widely spoken language in the world, followed by English.

Mandarin is an interesting foreign language to learn. However, mastering it isn’t easy. It takes constant practice and years of patience to learn the language. Contact us if you want to know more about the history of the Chinese language.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Chinese language called Mandarin?

When Jesuit missionaries learned the mandarin standard language during the 16th century. They named it “Mandarin” from its Chinese name Guānhuà. It is also called as the ‘language of the officials.

Is Mandarin the main Chinese language?

Standard Mandarin Chinese is the official dialect of China and Taiwan. Besides that, it is one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is also used as one of the official languages of the United Nations.

What is the difference between Mandarin and Mandarin Chinese?

People often use the terms Chinese and Mandarin interchangeably. However, Chinese is a term that refers to a common Chinese spoken language in China. Mandarin is one of the Chinese languages.

Who speaks the Mandarin language?

The People’s Republic of China speaks the Mandarin language. Mandarin is the national language of the country. It is also spoken in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and various other world countries. Mandarin is also one of the 4 official languages of Singapore. However, there are Cantonese speakers also in China.

How old is the Chinese language?

The earliest known Chinese language dates back to about 6000 years. The modern-day word order, simplified characters, and written form were almost similar then. However, some changes were seen during the coming centuries.

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Sonia Keeling
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