Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Mandarin, Varieties of
(5,702 words)

The word ‘Mandarin’ is used quite broadly in reference to varieties of Chinese. In present day usage it is a common English term for modern Standard Chinese. Thus where one will say in Chinese that one is learning Pǔtōnghuà 普通話, or Hànyǔ 漢語, or Huáyǔ 華語, or Guóyǔ 國語, or even Zhōngwén 中文, popular English usage is apt to refer to these as ‘Mandarin’ and not simply ‘Chinese’. Modern Standard Chinese is a Mandarin based language; but 'Mandarin' encompasses much more. Among specialists, Mandarin refers to the most widely distributed group of Chinese dialects, the Mandarin dialects or Guānhuà fāng…

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Richard VanNess SIMMONS, “Mandarin, Varieties of”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 15 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000238>
First published online: 2015

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