You can’t SPEAK Chinese. Chinese is an ethnicity. However we CAN speak Mandarin or Cantonese, etc.

I’m half French and half Chinese and I just want to blow up at people who ask that because it is very frustrating.
It’s not called overreacting. Believe me, you would feel this way as well if you were Chinese. Even if I’m only half Chinese, I feel very irritated. I guess you have to Chinese to understand, or to be in a similar situation to understand.
I meant, I guess you have to be Chinese to understand.
Of course I very well know there are many more dialects than just Mandarin and Cantonese, hence the fact I put down ‘ect.’. Mandarin is the main language of Chinese people.

I want to learn Mandarin. Help?

Hi, well I am half Chinese. My mom is from Hong Kong and so I never have been exposed to the Mandarin language. I only have some knowledge of Cantonese, but I cannot speak it, I only understand it and that’s it.

I want to learn Mandarin, but what is some way to learn it? Also when people say they teach Mandarin, or some software that teaches Mandarin – do they just teach Standard Mandarin spoken in Beijing? Is there much difference between Beijing Mandarin and Shanghai Mandarin? Is it true that the Standard Mandarin that is spoken in Beijing is taking over in other regions and so the other dialects of Mandarin that are spoken in places like Suzhou, Shenzhen, etc. are not being spoken that much anymore by the young people living there?

How difficult is Mandarin to learn when comparing it to Indo-European languages such as French or English? And also what do you think is the most difficult thing about learning Mandarin? Are there any complicated things about how the language is structured?
Oh and also, how similar are Cantonese and Mandarin? Seeing as I can understand Cantonese, could that mean I would be able to understand a bit of Mandarin? Would it make it easier to learn the language?


1. I’m Chinese and my parents are Chinese. They say they’re from mainland China.. But what exactly is mainland China? Beijing, Shanghai.. Guangzhou, ect. ect.?

2. My Mandarin teacher at school is Taiwanese and she has an accent. She said she learned how to write in both traditional and simplified. Do all Taiwanese citizens learn both forms?

3. What do Taiwanese people speak, if they aren’t speaking Mandarin? Are they local dialects or do they have one, unified language with a name?

4. Does Taiwan have a different/separate pinyin system than China? My Taiwanese Mandarin teacher is spelling all the pinyin incorrectly and it’s really getting on my nerves, but I don’t want to call her out.. Is she following her own country’s pinyin system? Or is she simply bullshitting on the board?

English to Chinese translation (simplified and wade giles please, pinyin could help) (Mandarin & Cantonese please)

I work at this little wine shop and have a lot of chinese speaking customers, we have a promotion where if you buy any 6 bottles of wines or spirits you may receive 10% off all the items but a nearly all of them believe it must be 6 of the same item, how can i say: "If you buy six or more all of them are 10% off" "any six are 10% off" "you can mix and match" and "they don’t have to be the same" I would like to have this written down so they can read it and also in wade giles so that i can say it, i am begining to study chinese but i am far from proficient. So how can you say this in both mandarin and cantonese dialects, especially mandarin.

I’ve heard that if a Cantonese speaker and a Mandarin speaker are sharing a newspaper on a train, one can read out loud to the other and not be understood, but each can read the newspaper silently himself just fine. This sounds similar to how Portuguese speakers and Spanish speakers share a similar written language, but they’re speech sounds different and they are considered different languages. Why are Mandarin and Cantonese only considered dialects of each other and not different languages? When did the split between the two occur?

Do they speak Mandarin in NanTong?

Does anyone know what is the language spoken in NanTong, Jiansu?
Cause by reading on the internet it seems like they speak some Wu and other local dialects.
I wanna know if mandarin is also spoken

Should I learn Cantonese or Mandarin?

I really like Hong Kong, and I want to move there. I have some knowledge in both dialects. I really like "unique" languages, but I am going into business… However, I really like Hong Kong, and Mandarin isn’t to "exciting"… Also, depending on your answer, could you please give some information on the dialect, and why you think I should learn that instead? THANKS!!

I am from Singapore and speak English and Mandarin (Chinese).
I do speak a little Japanese, French and Malay. Also Cantonese and Hokkien which are dialects of Chinese Language.

I am traveling to both cities and am hoping that if I buy and study a Mandarin phrase book, that will help me to be able to communicate in both cities. However, I recognize that Mandarin Chinese has many dialects. Does anybody have any practical advice here?

Mandarin. Chinese as a second language.?

Id like to learn a languaje and I am inclined to experience Mandarin, but I know that China has many different types of lexics (dialects or same, cant remember how they are called). Does someone know which is the mostly talked-known,
so I can figure all this out.
I really like how it sounds. Does anyone have experiences you would like to share.
Thanks by the way. πŸ™‚

Is there a big difference in Wu and Mandarin?

I’m going to China near Shanghai and I read that the language spoken there is Wu. Would a Mandarin phrasebook be okay or should I get one for Wu? Do they speak both dialects in the Shanghai region? I read that the news is still in Mandarin there.

What's the difference between mandarin and cantonese?

I learned that if a mandarin speaking guy spoke to a cantonese guy, they wouldn’t understand each other. Is it just the accent that’s different or are there some particular words that are different? What about their writing? Is it also different?

And aside from mandarin and cantonese, are there other dialects? (or whatever they are called)

Where is standard mandarin spoken in china?

i mean it is the official language of china but there are so many dialects i don’t know where mandarin is spoken.
Also is standard mandarin the same one that is spoken in taiwan?

French people speak French
German people speak German
Spanish people speak Spanish
Turkish people speak Turkish
why is it so ugly and clumsy to have:
Chinese people speak Mandarin?

perhaps "Chinese people speak Chinese" is better?
well, it’s not that they speak many "Chineses", it’s only one and unique…

Cantonese is Cantonese, i’m not talking about it…
with such logic, maybe China should be called "Hanna" instead, no?…
to make it Hanna people speak Han language…
is it okay there is no such nation as Mexicons?… those are native Americans + Spanish conquistadors… so we will not discuss why ppl in Mexico don’t speak Inca or Maya, ok?…

and we will not mention former French colonies, Indian union of regions or natives of Australia who speak Australian language while conquerers speak English…
Aviator, i’m still in China and this is exacly what i mean. When i hear people say "Mandarin dialect" i can’t but want to say "go to a constuction site and you’ll know what dialect is". What i hear on CCTV is definitely a language and this is Chinese language, the official language of China. Just like Cantonese is the main language in HK and Guangdong.
Mr Hex Vision, is it okay that Tibetan language is spoken by Tibetan people? and the language of Wu by Wu people? and there are 56 nationalities, almost every having its own speech?
Britain is a location, but the nation was called Angles and they speak English which is an international language in the country called GrBr. Welsh people speak Welsh language very well and so do Scottish people with their own dialect. Even though many Chinese people learn Chinese language at schools, they speak their dialects with parents at home. This is exactly what people in Ireland do, speaking both English and Gaelic.
Aaleigha, in fact, there is no such nation as "Canadian", they are a mix of Franch-English-native Americans. So they are not speaking their native language.

Same with SAf and other former colonies like South America. How many years of history does Pakistan have? As a country I mean.

There are no Mandarin people to speak Mandarin language. Chinese, Cantonese, Taiwanese are languages, all other are dialects.
Mr Hex Vision, the country is a Kingdom, Nor-Irl is a part of it, so they speak English very well… it’s just Ireland isn’t a part of British Isles but a separate geo object
Daniel v 8.33, if you don’t know — nobody forces you to post an answer here… it’s about "i know" position here
Mr Hex Vision, i’m not blind, it’s Britain you wrote, but what is Britain then? The lands of Angles, Welsh and Scotts. Is there such nation as "Bretons" nowadays? Not more than Celts. I didn’t touch English language at all because i know what was doing — a degree in English and Literature, graduated with merits as the pride of uni. What i’m saying is "instead of calling Chinese language Portugese clumsy word Mandarin maybe it makes more sense to call the language by the country, that is China – Chinese". And other speeches, which are different from it, call accirdingly — Cantonese, Taiwanese, and the dialects.
al, whoa, i’m almost shocked you didn’t call them Mandarinese people, as far as they speak Mandarin.

Pity you didn’t ask how many years I had lived in China. Maybe you would be surprised and mightn’t brag with your seven. What i do here is actually try to deal with a situation when a person writes "help me to translate Chinese" and some donkeys write an idiotic question "which one Chinese?" and "there are many Chineses". In fact, even the asker doesn’t know he could have wrote "help me to translate this Cantonese" or "help me to translate this Taiwanese". People come from Taiwan to Beijing and show a paper with ζˆ‘ζƒ³ι›ž to a young waitress in the restauant being convinced he willl get the chicken right now (i saw it myself). People go to Guangzhou and try speaking "shang-dian zai na-er?" and then cannot get what was told in response. My sarcasm is only for the soap bubbles, not for the people who live in the country and see the image of the ignorant foreigners who are treated as "ε¬δΈζ‡‚οΌŒε―Ήε§?

Is it easier to learn Mandarin or Cantonese first?

Since Mandarin Chinese is taught more and more in schools, I’ve noticed there are many more resources to learn Mandarin Chinese as opposed to Cantonese Chinese.

For Mandarin Chinese speakers, was it difficult for you to learn Cantonese? And Cantonese speakers, was it difficult to learn Mandarin? I understand that the dialects pretty much share the same written system for the most part, but I was wondering if one dialect is easier to learn than the other.