Putonghua and Guoyu

The Chinese have adopted a standard for the official national language of China.  In English referred to as Modern Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Mandarin, this language standard is spoken throughout China.  In the Mandarin dialect from which this standard is derived it is called putonghua

The specification for the language standard is ambiguous enough that two standards have evolved.  One standard is based on the Beijing area pronunciation; the other is reflective of pronunciation in Taiwan.  In Taiwan the standard language is called guoyu .  While putonghua can mean specifically the Beijing standard and guoyu can likewise mean the Taiwan standard, either term can be safely used to refer to Modern Standard Chinese.

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