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Chinese Language

Chinese is a very interesting and valuable language, spoken by about one-fifth of the world’s population, or over one billion people. It is official language China, Taiwan and Singapore, and it is spoken by millions of overseas Chinese in Oceania, USA, Southeast Asia and Europe.

The Chinese language has a high level of internal differentiation. The local differentiation between different versions / dialects is comparable to that of the Romance languages. Some variations of spoken Chinese are quite different to be mutually understandable.

With such different dialects how the 1.3 billion Chinese manage to communicate with each other? Fortunately there is the common Mandarin dialect (Putonghua) that is valid throughout China and it is the official dialect of the country. This is a standardized version of Chinese which was adopted in 1955 and it is the official form of Chinese language taught in schools. This simplified mandarin Chinese is what we learn here in Limassol with Wan Wei.

Second to standard Mandarin Chinese, the most prestigious form of spoken Chinese is the Cantonese dialect (Guangdonghua). Cantonese is widely spoken in the Guangzhou province and it is one of the official languages of Hong Kong and Macao. Cantonese is also widely used amongst Chinese immigrants living outside of Asia.

Generally, the Chinese language consists of characters-words. Without parts od speech. The meaning of a word is determined by the set of words in the phrase. So the word “run” can mean “I was running”, “you will run”, “the current”, “the cursor” etc., depending on its position in the sentence and the words that surround it.

Chinese Writing:

Traditionally, Chinese were written in characters-words within virtual rectangles arranged in columns and were read from top to bottom and from right to left. Modern Chinese are written in simplified characters-words within virtual rectangles arranged in horizontal lines and are read from left to right.

All Chinese characters were developed from earlier forms of hieroglyphs. The common view that Chinese characters are ideograms or pictograms is incorrect. Most characters are complex and include voice components and semantic radicals.

Currently, there are two writing systems: the traditional writing system which is still used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, and the simplified writing system which is used in the rest of China.

Romanization:

There have been many attempts to transcribe Chinese language into the Latin script.

Currently, the most standard form of Romanization used is Hanyu Pinyin, which was established in 1956 by the People’s Republic of China and later adopted by Singapore and Taiwan. It remains the international standard form of Romanized Chinese used in schools and universities, both in mainland China and abroad.

The second most common Romanization system is the Wade-Giles system, which was established by Thomas Wade in 1959 and modified  by Herbet Giles in 1892. Until the 1980’s, it was the most widely used system of Romanized Chinese.

Tones:

Chinese is a tonal language in which the tones convey differences in meaning. In Standard Chinese there are five tones, represented respectively by the following tone marks:

First tone   ( ¯ ) flat and high
Second tone   ( ´ ) begins in the mid-tone, then rises to a high tone
Third tone   ( ˇ ) tarts low then goes even lower before it rises to a high tone
Fourth tone   ( ` ) begins in a high tone but falls sharply with a strong guttural tone at the end
Neutral tone latly without any intonation

 

 

For Chinese language classes in Limassol, Please contact WAN WEI

Tel: + 357 - 99308978 or + 357 - 99649514

email: acupuncture@cytanet.com.cy

 

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LIMASSOL PRACTICE: 22 Arch. Makariou Avenue, CLEA Court, Flat 401     Tel / Fax: + 357 - 25574900
NICOSIA PRACTICE: 24 Christou Tsiarta, ELMA 1, Flat 44     Tel: + 357 - 22376294
PAPHOS PRACTICE: 24 Manis
email: acupuncture@cytanet.com.cy


This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. This site was compiled by the Chinese Medical Centre of Cyprus and its mission is to inform the general public about the Chinese medical practices offered by the staff of the centre. It is for information only. If you feel unwell you should seek advice from a qualified health care professional. Our mission is to provide effective holistic health care using acupuncture, herbs, and massage. We do not actively collect any data about website visitors. This site is entirely funded by the Chinese Medical Centre of Cyprus, without any sponsorship or advertisement, and we do not host any form of advertising. This site contains links to external sources. We try to ensure we only link to reputable websites but we cannot guarantee the quality and accuracy of information contained on internet pages not compiled by the Chinese Medical Centre of Cyprus. This page was last updated in 20/04/2015 by Dr. Charis Theocharous.