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Cantonese-Mandarin Chart

Mandarin-Cantonese Chart



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Mandarin is spoken mainly in Northern China.  The term comes from the speech used by the officials or mandarins of the Manchu who ruled China, yet were not of the Han race.  It became the dominant dialect in the North of China.

There are many Mandarin dialects and this is the mother language for a large percentage of the Chinese population.  Yet, Mandarin is not a unified language.  Mandarin is more of a super-group of dialects.  While all share common elements, not all these dialects are mutually intelligible.  Still, Mandarin is considered a collection of dialects rather than separate languages.

Mandarin is also used to refer to Modern Standard Chinese, or putonghua .  That is because Beijing area Mandarin is the primary basis of the national standard.  This standard is the official language in China and co-exists with local dialects.  

For simplicity, Beijing area Mandarin will be assumed when using the term Mandarin throughout the website.

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