09 Sep Languages Spoken in China(Last Updated On: September 9, 2019)
Languages Spoken in China
No one can doubt the fact that change is the only constant in our lives. But when we think of our world, we never consider that it, too, went through massive amounts of change to become what it is today. It will continue to change too and people a hundred or two hundred years in the future will also find our world strange. If you had told someone immediately after the invention of wheel that we will have flying machines one day, they probably would have laughed at you without realizing that the invention that happened in their time, changed everything. A lot of remarkable inventions were considered extraordinary for their time but no one imagined that they could become more than what they are.
Compare the first telephone and what we carry in our pockets today. Even the internet we use today and get access to all the information of the world is not what it used to be. People who saw it rise remember the dial up connection and how hard it was to download even a small file. Regardless of those problems, everyone still considered a miracle, and rightly so because a world without internet wasn’t better than a world with internet, even if it wasn’t high speed. Even our food has changed a lot from that of our ancestors. Yes, we still grow crops and get milk and eggs from animals, but we have machines to help us. We can build massive farms to house animals and grow food on land that’s spread on acres. We also have machines that can help us predict weather and save our crops from getting destroyed.
We don’t build houses from mud anymore. Today, we have concrete and unbreakable material that can help buildings last for a long time. We have built large buildings that look like they are almost touching the sky. But along with all the changes in the field of technology, infrastructure, food industry, and the clothing industry, the map of the earth has changed too. In the beginning, humans only inhabited a limited part of the earth but with time, they spread to different lands and made them their homes. As more time passed and the population of earth increased, nations fought, conquered different lands, some fought back and got themselves free, while others lived contently under the new rulership. In either way, the division of land kept changing and the map of the world never looked the same after a few years.
Each country and piece of land came under different rulers during their history. Some lost a part of their land during the fighting between them and their enemies. Some separated from their rulers and made a new country for themselves. A lot of the borders you see today were not the same in the past, some even changed in the last hundred years. One such country whose borders changed drastically over time is China. It was ruled by different dynasties and stayed under their rule for over two thousand years. Once the revolution ended the rule of the last standing dynasty, China became a republic. But it wasn’t after the Chinese Civil War that the country became what we know it as today. The China of today is a republic and has been a successful one since its inception in 1949.
The Culture and Languages of China:
Since it is the fourth largest country in the world and has the highest population, it is quite understandable that people of over fifty different ethnic groups reside in it. This also means that there are different kinds of culture that are flourishing in China. Each ethnic group has multiple languages too. The Mandarin Chinese, the biggest language of China, is also the most spoken language in the world with over a billion speakers. It is also considered a very difficult to learn language.
But as to how many languages are spoken in China, the answer is somewhere between 270 to 300. Although many people declare the final number to be 297, a few dialects are still to be studied and categorized. It is also worth mentioning that the differences between some languages of the country are not that great and that’s why some of them may be hard to recognize for someone who hasn’t studied them thoroughly. The number 297 refers to the languages that are still thriving in the country. No study has been conducted about the ones that have become extinct or endangered and have only a few speakers left in the world.
The official language of the country is Standard Chinese which features aspect of prominent dialects of Mandarin. Despite speaking a lot of different languages, it is very easy for the people of the country to be able to communicate with each other due to the fact that majority of them can speak and understand the Standard Chinese. In its written form, the language combines both simplified and traditional characters of Chinese.
China is a huge country but its strength is not limited to its economic power and technological advancements. Despite having over fifty ethnic groups and almost three hundred languages, the people of the country have still managed to stay united. They have worked together to build a nation that has proven itself to be powerful and unique. These features attract a lot of people to China as they want to experience the progress themselves.