- Most widely spoken first language used by about one fifth of the world’s population
- Official language of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the UN
- Widely spoken in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world
- An increasingly important medium of global interaction
- A tonal language, which is fun to learn and use
- Not as difficult to learn as many imagine:
- Most sounds in Chinese similar to those in English
- Most characters made up of a semantic component and a phonetic one
- Sounds represented by Pinyin, which uses 25 of the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet
- Characters formed from eight basic strokes
- Character writing facilitated by simple rules for stroke sequence
- No requirement of learning both simplified and traditional characters
- The worlds’ most rapidly growing economy
- Poised to be a global superpower
- One of the four largest countries in the world
- The biggest population in the world
- Traditionally the center of Asian cultures
- One of the four ancient civilizations with immense contributions
- A unique and complex history of more than 5000 years
- Different and extremely important ways of thinking
- Geographic, ethnic and linguistic diversity
Email Fushun Le at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Photo credits: Fushun Le, Nicholas Glynn.
Can you guess where in China these photos were taken?