Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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National Minorities Languages
(1,555 words)

1. General Situation

The language of the Han Chinese (Chinese in the narrow sense of the word) is the state language and the most common language in China. In addition, there are more than 80 other languages. They are spoken by approximately 8.4% of the population, who belong to the so-called national minorities, i.e. by a total of about 100 million people. Aside from the Han, 55 other nationalities have so far been officially acknowle…

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Kaden, Klaus, “National Minorities Languages”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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