What Are the Top 3 Languages Spoken in China

What Are the Top 3 Languages Spoken in China
Native Language China

You may not hear about the underdeveloped countries often but the developed states are always in the news for one thing or another. A lot can be said about the importance given to the news from the US and China. Sometimes, a small incident is reported at the front only because it happened in one of the countries that hold great power in the world. A big incident that happened in a third-world country gets pushed to the second page or shows up at the bottom. Such things make people wonder if the lives of others matter only because of the color of their skin or their nationality.

Regardless of why the powerful countries get so important, one thing is for certain, people hear about them a lot. Today, many of us know more about the president of the United States than we do about our premiers. China is also a place that is often in the news. Sometimes they are celebrating a festival, other times the name pops up in the headlines because of a new invention or famous Chinese characters in Anime and traditional movies. China has the largest population in the world so it makes sense if there is news coming out of the country every hour.

Some Facts About China:

What Are The Official Languages Of China?

It is also the world’s second-largest economy. Its economic position makes it a very important state on the planet. There are a lot of things that we hear about China in the media, but there are also a lot of things that we don’t hear about it. For instance, all the football fans today don’t know that their beloved game was invented in this country. The Chinese are known for their culture. Their New Year celebrations last fifteen days, so if you want to see the Chinese culture at its best, make sure to visit during that time.

What do you think of when you hear China’s name? The fact that the Chinese government banned Facebook in 2009 and hasn’t unbanned it since or the fact that it is a communist country? Whatever comes to your mind wouldn’t be one of the fun facts about this state. The land has a very long history. It was ruled by different dynasties. A country whose population has almost one and a half billion people cannot be one thing. Even in a single-family, every person has a personality. All of them cannot be placed under one category. But unfortunately, that’s what we do with societies and countries. This is how stereotypes are formed.

There are people who we take one look at and make up our minds about them because of either their skin color or the clothes they are wearing. They could be the complete opposite of what we expect them to be but that is something we don’t consider because of our strongly held beliefs and prejudices. It is becoming easier to get rid of stereotypes thanks to technology. There are no barriers today that can keep people apart which allows them to talk to each other to learn the truth.

Facts About China

The Languages of China:

It makes sense for the Chinese language to be the most spoken tongue in the world. Mandarin holds the position of the national language, thanks to its more than 900 million native speakers and multiple Chinese dialects. However, it is not the only language spoken in China. It is quite difficult for non-native speakers to figure out that Mandarin and other types of Chinese are different languages since all of them use symbols instead of the alphabet. But China is a huge country and it is impossible for there to be only a single vernacular of 1.5 billion people. So, if you want to know more about the languages spoken in China, here are the top three:

  1. Mandarin:

The official language of China is Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese. It not only has the most speakers in China but is also used by the state. There are two writing systems for Mandarin, traditional and simplified Chinese. The latter is used in China while the former is in use in Taiwan. The pronunciation of Standard Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, which is known for being refined.

  1. Cantonese:

The second-highest number of speakers in China is Cantonese. Along with being the lingua franca of the Guangdong province, Cantonese is also the most spoken tongue in Hong Kong and Macau. It shares a few features with Mandarin but is not enough for the two to be mutually intelligible. The biggest difference between them, however, is that of pronunciation. It is important to keep in mind that both Cantonese and Mandarin are written using Chinese characters.

  1. Shanghainese:

The third most common tongue in China is Shanghainese which is spoken in the central region of Shanghai. It has a lot of differences from Mandarin. Its tonal system is also quite different from other types of Chinese. With over fourteen million speakers, Shanghainese may not be as famous as Mandarin, but it is surely an important presence in China.

If Mandarin is too difficult for you but you want to learn a vernacular before going to China, you can learn one of the other usual languages of the region. If you are moving to a region like Hong Kong where Cantonese or Shanghainese is widely spoken, you can learn them instead. However, you must keep in mind that learning a foreign language is not an easy job and whether you decide to learn Mandarin or Cantonese, you will have to dedicate plenty of time to the task.

Hong Kong’s national languages are Chinese and English. However, 95% of the population speaks different Cantonese dialects for daily communication, more than 45% of the population speaks English, more than 40% of the population speaks Mandarin as it is the official language of China.

Other principal languages spoken in Hong Kong include Hakka, Native Yue Dialects, Minnan Chinese, Taishanese, and Shanghainese.

Almost the entire population living in mainland China speaks standard Mandarin as it is the official language and is taught in primary schools as well. However, Chinese residing outside Mainland Chinese, such as in Hong Kong speak Cantonese more than Mandarin. Even in the Chinese province of Guangdong, Cantonese is widely spoken. People here are fluent in Cantonese dialects.

Well, that depends on your purpose. If you are going to China for studying or for an extended period, you must learn Mandarin, the primary language of China. Mandarin Chinese is the native language so it will help you in conversing with the Chinese population in the country. There are many international schools, Chinese language classes, and online courses that can help you with different Asian languages including Chinese and Mandarin.

However, if you are planning to visit Hong Kong Island, the dominant languages include Cantonese, English, and Chinese. It also means that if you are fluent in English, you can talk to taxi drivers, shopkeepers, hotel staff, and use your fluency for personal communication with locals.

If you want to learn more about the Chinese language requirements, language use differences, or Chinese-language schools, you can search for Chinese language education online.

When it comes to Hong Kong, Cantonese is the most widely spoken language. According to a survey, around 95% of the Hong Kong population fluently speaks Cantonese.

Experts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong consider Cantonese to be the most powerful language in the region. So if you are a non-Cantonese speaker, brace yourself because, during your Hong Kong visit, you’re surely going to learn a lot.

Hong Kongers can speak Chinese, even though most of the population speaks Cantonese. Since Chinese and English are the official languages here, even individual schools teach Chinese and English as the basic language.

The Primary schools in Hong Kong Island mostly use Chinese medium as the medium of instruction as well as for the language in Education. However, the insistence on their Cantonese identity is enforced by the political influencers.

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