Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Intro

Hi everybody! Yinru here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Chinese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What is the difference between Mandarin and Chinese?
Explanation
Sometimes people say they speak “Chinese,” and sometimes they use the word “Mandarin.” The two words seem almost interchangeable.
Mandarin, also known as "standard Chinese" 普通话 (Pǔtōnghuà), is the official language of mainland China and Taiwan. It’s also one of the four official languages of Singapore. It's the national language that's taught in schools, and it's based on the standard dialect spoken in Beijing, the capital city of China.
While “Chinese” is a more general term, it refers to a group of languages spoken by the Han people, an ethnic group of East Asia. Chinese language includes a variety of regional dialects, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc. As a matter of fact, each town has its own dialect. When people from different areas talk to each other in their own dialect, chances are they won’t be able to understand each other! For example, in Shanghainese, people greet each other by saying 侬好 (Nóng hō), whereas in Cantonese, people say 你好 (nei5 hou2).
That is why a common dialect is needed for more effective communication throughout the whole country. With a standard dialect, we can all greet each other by saying 你好 (nǐhǎo), and nobody gets confused.
Since most Chinese people speak Mandarin, when people refer to the Chinese language, they often mean Mandarin.

Outro

How was it? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
我们下期再见!(Wǒmen xiàqī zàijiàn!) “See you in the next episode!” Bye-bye!

9 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What Chinese learning question do you have?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:22 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 01:12 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson transcript


(Pǔtōnghuà),


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:59 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello ramasubramanian,


Thank you for your comment. You may check out the reading and writing section on our Chinese Resources page for learning the writing skills.

https://www.chineseclass101.com/chinese-resources/


There are also other videos in this series about the Chinese characters.


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

ramasubramanian
Sunday at 08:40 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

There is one more jóusàhn also need to be there to know more. it will be better if we have more elaborate way of learning writing skills


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:10 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Nolan,


Thank you for studying with us!


Please let us know if you have any questions.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team ChineseClass101.com

Nolan
Wednesday at 01:56 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Interesting! Just awesome!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 01:25 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Damien,


Thank you for your positive feedback!


If you have any questions, please let us know ;)


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team ChineseClass101.com

Damien
Friday at 12:55 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Great video!