Putonghua

    Keywords: Culture & History

Pǔtōnghu

(Simplified Chinese: 普通话; Traditional Chinese: 普通話; literally "common speech").

Pǔtōnghu, often referred to in English as "Mandarin Chinese", [ext] "Standard Mandarin" or simply "Mandarin", is the official language of the People's Republic of China and is understood by the majority of Chinese speakers.

In Taiwan, a more common term for pǔtōnghu is guyǔ (Traditional Chinese: 國語; Simplified Chinese: 国语; literally "national language"). It is also known as hnyǔ (Simplified Chinese: 汉语; Traditional Chinese: 漢語; literally: "Han (Chinese) language").

Pǔtōnghu is based on a standardised form of the language used around Beijing, although there are differences between the Beijing dialect pronunciation and Standard pronunciation.

English-speakers referring to "Chinese" as a language will probably mean Mandarin. However, they may simply mean what they most frequently hear Chinese people speaking, which could be any one of a number of dialects such as: Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc.

Hnyǔ Pīnyīn is the official romanisation of pǔtōnghu in the People's Republic of China. Taiwan typically makes use of the Wade-Giles system.


Putonghua last edited by 211.30.178.22 on March 21, 2009 - 12:36
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