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Chinese — Mandarin and Cantonese

Photo courtesy of Brewster Kemi

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: 1,212,515,844

 

Language Family: Sino-Tibetan

 

Spoken in:
 
China, Brunei, Canada, French Guinea, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

 

 

History:
 
Chinese is spoken by about 1.3 billion people mainly in the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan), Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia.

The different varieties of Chinese are known as fangyán, which is translated as 'regional languages', 'toplects', 'dialects' or 'varieties'. The English term dialect normally refers to more or less mutually intelligible varieties of a single language, though the distinction between dialects and languages is often for sociological and political reasons rather than linguistics ones. Chinese people generally refer to Chinese as a single language with a number of different dialects or varieties. As there is little mutual intelligiblity between the different varieties of Chinese and as a result, some non-Chinese linguists refer to them as separate languages.

Chinese is written with characters which represent both sound and meaning. Words in Chinese can be made up of one of more syllables and each syllable is represented by a single character. There are,000 - yet there are tens of thousands of characters. As a result there are multiple characters for each syllable, each of which has a different meaning. This type of writing system is known as semanto-phonetic, logophonetic, morphophonemic, logographic or logosyllabic.

 

 

Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Books

 
China Beckons

 
Author Clifford H. Phillips
Publisher The University of Alberta Press
Copyright 1993, 1995
ISBN 0-88864-240-7
No of Copies 1

 
Communication in Chinese: Student's Book for Listening and Speaking

 
Author Clifford H. Phillips
Publisher The University of Alberta Press
Copyright 1993, 1995
ISBN 0-88864-240-7
No of Copies 1

 
Communication in Chinese: Student's Book for Reading and Writing

 
Author Clifford H. Phillips
Publisher The University of Alberta Press
Copyright 1993, 1995
ISBN 0-88864-240-7
No of Copies 1

DVDs

 
Eat Drink Man Woman

 
Audio Tracks Chinese
Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Running Time 124 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Endless Way

 
Audio Tracks Mandarin Chinese
Subtitles English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese
Running Time 84 min
Rating Not Rated

 
For the Children

 
Audio Tracks Mandarin Chinese
Subtitles English
Running Time 103 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Getting Home

 
Audio Tracks Chinese
Subtitles English
Running Time 110 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Hear Me

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, English, French
Subtitles English, Chinese
Running Time 109 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Hero

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, English, French
Subtitles English, Spanish
Running Time 99 min
Rating PG-13

 
Infernal Affairs

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, English
Subtitles English, Spanish
Running Time 101
Rating R

 
Infernal Affairs 2

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, English
Subtitles English, Spanish
Running Time 118
Rating R

 
Infernal Affairs 3

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, English
Subtitles English, Spanish
Running Time 117
Rating R

 
Mountain Patrol

 
Audio Tracks Chinese, French
Subtitles English, French
Running Time 89 min
Rating PG-13

 
Shanghai Triad

 
Audio Tracks Chinese
Subtitles English, Spanish
Running Time 107 min
Rating R

 
The World

 
Audio Tracks Mandarin, Shanxi
Subtitles English
Running Time 139 min
Rating Not Rated

Software

 


Rosetta Stone V3- Chinese (Mandarin) Levels 1 & 2

One of the leaders in language learning software, Rosetta Stone allows you to learn a new language almost effortlessly. The interactive software helps you learn through imersion rather than repetitive memorization. Learn the essential structure needed to help you develop a foundation in the language. Rosetta Stone Software cannot be checked out and is for in-lab use only.
 


Talk Now! - Mandarin Chinese

An interactive language learning program, Talk Now! is an excellent program for beginners to a new language. Features include speech recording to compare your voice to those of native speakers, quizzes, a printable dictionary, and more. Compatible on both PCs and Macs.

 

 

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Mango Chinese is available in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.

 

 

Powerspeak LogoIncludes a combination of scored online activities, exercises, lessons and games. Course activities include an adventure story containing graphics, audio, video and an intuitive way to track learning progress. Learners are also challenged to practice speaking and writing in a variety of interactive modules designed to simulate real conversations with native speakers.

For assistance with Powerspeak, please see the Getting Started with Powerspeak guide.

 

 

Interested in learning Chinese and Japanese characters? Sign up for a free Skritter account! Please see our Getting Started with Skritter Guide for detailed instructions on creating an account. Email Kellie Campbell with any questions or comments.

 

Web-Based Links

 
BBC Languages — Chinese

BBC Language is an online base language learning software that offers resources for Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and many more languages. Learn the basics of 36 different languages and the culture as well!


ChinaSite

A site with many links related to the language and culture of China, including current events.

 
Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.


iChinese Flashcards

iChineseFlashcards helps you learn Mandarin Chinese faster by using flashcards with pictures.


Learn Chinese Online

Online compendium of information about Chinese grammar, usage, vocabulary and more from California State University, Long Beach.


Mandarin Tools

This is a free website that provides tools for people who are already studying and using Chinese by providing flash cards, dictionaries, help with drawing Chinese characters and much more.

 
MYLO

MYLO is a free language learning program developed by the Department of Education to help users learn a new language. MYLO utilizes engaging activities and challenges to make the learning process more interesting. Users are able to skip around the various activities to focus on learning the grammar and vocabulary that suits their needs and interests.


Study More Chinese

Study More Chinese is a social network of Chinese learners who are sharing, commenting & creating multimedia content to help build a comprehensive, free and fun Chinese learning website.


Teach English in China

Company offering 10-month contracts with salary and accommodations for speakers of English who wish to teach in China.