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.
language has a high level of internal differentiation.
to that of the
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
been many attempts to transcribe Chinese language into the
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.
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.
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:
( ¯ )
( ´ )
the mid-tone, then rises to a high tone
( ˇ )
then goes even lower before it rises to a high
Fourth tone ( ` )
a high tone but falls sharply with a strong
guttural tone at the end
without any intonation
Chinese language classes in Limassol, Please contact WAN WEI
Tel: + 357 - 99308978
or + 357 - 99649514