If you travel to different parts of China, you will hear many different Chinese dialects. A Chinese dialect is a regional variety of the language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary. It is a variety of speech that is different from the standard language of the culture. There are so many dialects in China, it is hard to say how many. These dialects can be put into about seven big groups. One is Mandarin and another is Cantonese. Most Chinese can understand Mandarin because it has been the official national language since 1913. Mandarin is primarily based on the Beijing dialect.
Mandarin & Dialects
Language in China is very diverse, however Mandarin Chinese is promoted so that all people in China can communicate with one standard language and one written system. When you travel to China, you cannot expect all people to speak Mandarin to you all the time. Some do not even know Mandarin. In fact, many elderly people may not speak Mandarin. Some who do speak Mandarin may have a very heavy accent.
Each dialect has its own phonetic system. Some have their own expressions. There are people from different dialectical regions who cannot understand each other. For example, People from Guangdong area speak Cantonese (a major dialect in the south.) People from Shanghai area speak Shanghainese. These two dialects are very different. People who speak these two dialects can only understand each other with Mandarin Chinese. China promotes Mandarin so that all people in China can communicate with one standard language and one written system.
Watch the video and practice speaking with it.
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Assignment 10.1 Lesson Review Worksheet
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Assignment 10.2 Speaking Assignment
Please read to your coach both the vocabulary list and video text during your coaching sessions
Lesson 10 Quiz
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