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NOW YOU KNOW: 6 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE MANDARIN LANGUAGE

China is becoming a force to reckon with.

No one would doubt the fact that Mandarin is becoming a fast-approaching global superpower as well. With over a billion native speakers, about 15% of the world’s population speaks Chinese as their primary language. That’s more than English, Spanish, French and German – combined!

Mandarin may be more interesting than you thought it was.

It’s a language that’s unlike any others. There are no plurals, no genders, and no tenses. There are many interesting facts and figures about Mandarin Chinese, and we’re sharing those with you today. You may take this post as a beginner guide for learning the Chinese language as well.

Chinese Language Fact No. 1 – MANDARIN HAS NO ALPHABET


Yes… you read that right. The language of Mandarin has no alphabet. It uses symbols also called Chinese characters (Do you know ways to learn Chinese characters?). These characters represent one of the oldest writing systems in the world. By mastering the most common 500 Chinese characters, you will deal with daily Chinese reading and speaking.

There are two major forms of Chinese characters – traditional and simple.

The traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Macau, etc. While simple characters are used prominently in China.

Characters can also be written in any direction – left to right, right to left, or top to bottom. This makes the script extremely versatile.

Chinese Language Fact No. 2 – ANGLICISMS IN CHINESE


Mandarin may seem daunting because of the characters and the vast differences compared to the English language, but there are some similarities.

We can see English’s effect on the Chinese language with the “loan words” taken from English.

One fact about Chinese learning is that there are many Chinese words that you have already known about without learning.

For example 巧克力 qiǎo kè lì for “chocolate” and 沙发 shā fā for “sofa”.

In this aspect, Mandarin Chinese is actually not that difficult to study. There are also many ways to allow you to learn the Chinese language easily and efficiently. 

Chinese Language Fact No. 3 – THE FASTEST GROWING LANGUAGE IN THE WEST

Not only is Mandarin the fasting growing language in the world, but it has also seen the most growth in people learning it as a second language.

Chinese is quickly becoming the language of business and tourism, and business professionals see the future, including more Mandarin characters. By learning the Chinese language in China, you could add more professional value to your resume and gain more inspirational and innovative thoughts.   

Seizing the moment by having an immersive Chinese language learning program will be your most worthful investment in yourself. 

Chinese Language Fact No. 4 – SIMPLE GRAMMAR

Comparing with most European languages, the Chinese language owns a relatively simpler grammar system. Therefore, it is not difficult to master Chinese grammar. Chinese verbs are not modified for tense like they are for the English language and many others.

When it comes to nouns, unlike English, in which plural nouns are marked with an -s, Chinese nouns have the same form no matter if they are singular or plural.

You don’t even need to specify gender when using speaking and writing Mandarin. (Learning more details about how to improve your Mandarin Chinese writing skills.)

Chinese Language Fact No. 5 – LISTEN FOR THE TONE


When learning and speaking Mandarin Chinese, you can easily notice that it is a tonal language. The same syllable can be pronounced in different tones. There are four main tones and one neutral tone.

The first tone is high and level. To pronounce the first tone correctly, try to stay mostly monotone when saying the whole syllable.

The second tone rises moderately. In English, we tend to associate this rise in pitch with a question.

The third tone falls and then rises again, and the fourth starts out high but drops sharply to the bottom of the tonal range.

When it comes to the neutral tone, it’s pronounced quickly and lightly without regard to its pitch. These four tones (plus the neutral one) mean that one Chinese word can mean four different things! Practice your tones.

Chinese Language Fact No. 6 – IT’S AN OFFICIAL UN LANGUAGE

Chinese joins English, French, Russian, Arabic, and Spanish as one of the six official UN languages. The fasting growing language (Mandarin) became an official language on February 1, 1946.

Chinese Language Fact No. 7 – IS STUDYING MANDARIN CHINESE DIFFICULT?

Is the Chinese language difficult to learn? Studying Mandarin Chinese is not as difficult as most people think. Mandarin has a simple set of rules, easier to understand than English or French grammar. Say goodbye to conjugating verbs, say goodbye to singular and plural nouns, and say goodbye to gender-specific nouns.

You may find the most difficult part when studying Mandarin is mastering the different tones. Keats School is here to help you.

Dedicated to providing top-quality Chinese language programs for international students, Keats School has developed a series of efficient Mandarin learning courses, including the Intensive one-on-one Chinese program, Small group classes, HSK test preparation course, Online Chinese lessons, Chinese language study + Tour, Chinese language study + Volunteer, Children program and customized Chinese program.  

When learning Chinese at Keats School, you can also enjoy the priority of changing study locations at the Keats branch school,  which greatly enriches your trip to China as well by allowing you to visit Dali, Lijiang, Puzhehei, Yuanyang, Xishuangbanna, Tengchong, Jianshui, and Jingmai Tea Mountain.

Come to learn Chinese in Kunming, China, and learn the specifics of this growing language.

FAQ

1. What are other interesting facts about China?

Mandarin is the most widely accepted and recognized language in China. However, there are also many regional dialects used in different regions in China. The northern dialects are quite similar to Mandarin, so you would find it easy to understand the northern Chinese dialects even you cannot speak them. Things are different when it is in south China. You may have heard about Cantonese, Hakka, Wu dialect, and Min dialect even earlier than you know about Mandarin. These are dominant dialects in south China, and they are very different from each other, so you would find it difficult to understand the southern Chinese dialects.

2. What is the most amazing fact you know about China?

There are 55 ethnic minority groups in China, and the Yunnan province is the most diverse area of minority groups. Because Yunnan is the home of 25 ethnic minority groups. These 25 minority groups contribute to the diversity of Yunnan culture, which makes Yunnan the most popular touring destination in China.

3. Why there is no alphabet in Chinese language?

The Chinese language is one of the ancient pictograph languages. It uses characters rather than alphabets to form its written language system. The benefit of using character is that even though there are so many different dialects in China, people can still recognize the unified written content, which greatly ensures the inheritance of Chinese culture and literature.

4. Why so many people are interested in learning Chinese Mandarin?

People are interested in learning Chinese Mandarin and the culture and history carried behind the language. Besides, learning Mandarin Chinese can bring loads of benefits rather than communicating with Chinese people.

From the brief introduction of Chinese Mandarin, you will know more facts about learning Chinese.

5. What facts you have learnt about the Chinese language after learning?

Mandarin is often split up into four subgroups.

Northern Mandarin – centering on Beijing.

Northwestern Mandarin – Spoken in most of the northwestern land of China.

Southwestern Mandarin – Centering on the area around Chongqing and spoken in the southwestern part of China.

Southern Mandarin –  spoken in the area centering around Nanjing.

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Sanny

Sanny | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I have to say it’s tons of fun. I have been here for 2 weeks. Not knowing what it was gonna be like, I was more than surprised at how great it is. The teachers are great, they are understanding. They do a Chinese language program that suits just you. The location is perfect for learning Chinese in China.

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Joep | Netherlands

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I have been to Keats School to learn Chinese for 4 times now. The reason for coming back to this school is pretty much that the teachers I did work with were very good Chinese teachers. I make it a 5-year plan or even a 10-year plan to come back to this school.  All the teachers have methods of looking at what your skills are. They are aware of at what level you are. I think it is worth for everyone.

Dr. Med. Beatrice

Dr. Med. Beatrice | Austria

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I decided to learn Chinese in Kunming because I like smaller cities and I like the climate here. We had four hours a day study here and my dear teacher taught me very much and never lost her patience with me. It was a really wonderful experience to be here and I recommend Keats school and the teachers here to everyone who likes to learn Chinese in China.

Robert

Robert | Netherlands

Small Group Chinese Class

Since last semester, we started studying Chinese at Keats. It was the best choice we can ever make. It is a really good school. The classes are a lot of fun, you learn a lot, but very interactive, so you talk a lot which means it is not just books and writing. Kunming is a really pleasant city to live in, especially if you compare it to other cities in the east. If you like to travel, if you like to study Chinese in a fun way, Keats has the best Chinese language program for you.

Paul

Paul | UK

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

All teachers are really lovely. The teaching level at Keats is so much higher. I really love the city. It is very comfortable to get around. I fully recommend Keats. It is a great place to study Chinese in China. We are looking forward to coming back again later this year.

SJOERD

SJOERD | Netherlands

Small Group Chinese Class

We use a lot of games to learn grammar and new words. We have really good teachers, really patient. She helps us a lot. Our class is really nice and we have people from all over the world, different countries. We often discuss topics in Chinese in our class. I live in the dorm of Keats. It is very convenient. I don’t have to spend time traveling. You can just focus on learning Chinese.

Stew

Stew | UK

Small Group Chinese Class

The place is very cool. I am with a great group of people in my class, so coming to classes is very enjoyable. It is fun, we have a lot of discussions, games, activities. Our teachers are also very good, very supportive. Learning Chinese is intimidating at the start because you have so many questions. But I would advise coming to Keats because the atmosphere for learning is great. It is very relaxing. I would recommend the school.

Hilary

Hilary | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve had a really great time here. I’ve studied a lot with my teacher who was fantastic. Keats School tried very hard to match its students with really good teachers that their personality works very well together. I really enjoy studying Chinese at Keats and I will definitely come back.

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