China is the world’s most populous country, and as such, it is a prominent role in worldwide industry, economy, and politics. Imagine being able to comprehend and talk with over a billion individuals all around the world… If you speak Chinese, you will have this possibility!
Although you’ve probably heard of (or visited) Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, do you know anything about the language used there? Did you know that there are no verb tenses in Chinese, no difference between singular and plural, and no alphabet?
Whether you want to learn the Chinese language or are simply captivated by this ancient language, here are some fascinating facts about the Chinese language that you should be aware of.
18 Incredible Chinese Language Facts:
1. Chinese is the world’s most frequently Spoken Language
Over 1.3 billion people speak Chinese. This indicates that one in every six individuals speaks the language, and 15% of the world’s population speaks it as their first language. That number cannot be reached by combining Spanish, English, French, and German. Aside from the fact that it is a widely spoken language, here are some other reasons to learn Chinese.
2. The term “Mandarin” is derived from Sanskrit.
The term “Mandarin” is derived from the Portuguese word mandarin. Mandarim comes from the Malay term menteri, which comes from the Sanskrit word mantrin, which means minister.
3. Chinese is one of the oldest languages that are still in use today
Chinese is one of the world’s oldest languages. Chinese characters initially appeared circa 1250 BC. That was more than 3,000 years ago! They were carved into the bones of animals.
4. Mandarin isn’t the only “Chinese language” out there
Mandarin is the most frequently spoken dialect of Chinese. It is also the official language of China and is widely spoken in other ex-pat communities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other dialects of Chinese used in China include Wu, Xiang, Cantonese, Putonghua, Min, Hakka, Gan, and others.
5. Chinese is widely spoken in many Southeast Asian nations
In other Asian nations, more than 40 million Chinese people live. This indicates that Chinese is also spoken in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
6. There are no articles, verb inflections, or plurals in Chinese
The Chinese language does not use articles (“a,” “an,” and “the”), grammatical rules, or plurals. This is why Chinese is such a simple language to learn.
7. The Chinese language lacks an alphabet
The difficulty in learning Chinese stems from the fact that it lacks a segmental alphabet. You learn Chinese by studying different characters. The good news is that Chinese can be transcribed into characters using Pinyin. This eliminates the need to memorize thousands of Chinese characters!
8. Over 50,000 different Chinese characters exist
The Chinese language has almost 50,000 characters. According to some Chinese dictionaries, the figure is substantially more than 50,000. The good news is that you just need to know around 2,500 characters to read a Chinese newspaper.
9. It is the only contemporary pictographic language
Chinese, like the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, is a pictographic language. It is the world’s only living pictographic language. Images or drawings of themes that are supposed to depict are used to portray the Chinese.
10. You do not have to memorize all 50,000 characters
You don’t have to know all 50,000 characters for everyday use. Regular use requires just 20,000 Chinese characters, whereas reading a newspaper in China requires 2,500.
11. Every year, new Chinese characters are added
50,000 Chinese characters is already an incredible quantity, but more will be added every year and for many years to come! People are always creating new characters, therefore the Chinese language will continue to change (non-stop).
12. Chinese characters are divided into two groups
Chinese characters are divided into two categories: simplified characters and traditional characters. Simplified characters are more contemporary forms developed during Mao Zedong’s reign in the mid-20th century. In ancient times, traditional characters were employed.
13. Difficult to learn but not impossible
Contrary to common misconception, learning Chinese is not difficult. Yes, it’s difficult, but after you’ve mastered the Pinyin (Chinese phonetic alphabet or spell sound), tones, and the meaning of Chinese characters, you’ll be able to study rapidly.
14. Texts in ancient China were written from the top right to the bottom left
Historically, Chinese literature was written vertically from top to bottom, right to left. During that period, Chinese people did not write with pens. Instead, they employed brush writing, which would have made writing from top to bottom, right to left, more convenient. It also kept smudging at bay.
15. Different calligraphy styles are used in Chinese
Seal Character, Official Script, Formal Script, Running Script, Formal Script, Running Script, and Cursive Hand are the five classic types of Chinese calligraphy. All of these are Chinese art styles.
16. Number symbols are used in the Chinese language
The Chinese number system is one of the world’s most reasonable. Every number in Chinese has a distinct signal that may be described with a single hand.
17. In Chinese, there is no gender
There are no masculine, feminine, or neuter terms in Chinese, whether written or spoken. Nouns in Mandarin are not assigned genders.
18. Learning Chinese improves your intelligence!
Understanding complicated concepts become increasingly difficult for your brain as you become older. Learning Chinese is a great type of brain workout. It sharpens your brain by engaging your left and right hemispheres to distinguish between words. According to research, those who speak and write Chinese have enhanced cognitive capacities.
With China’s international footprint expanding, now is a better time than ever to study Chinese. As previously said, learning Chinese does not have to be tough. There are several online Chinese language courses available online that will teach you how to study Chinese faster and smarter.