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What is Mandarin? How do You Learn Mandarin Well?

Do you want to learn Mandarin well? I hear you. However, what is Mandarin? Let’s first take a look at the definition of Putonghua.

Putonghua is the common language of modern Han nationality. It is the culmination of all regional dialects. It takes an aspect of regional dialects and merges them into one language, Pu tong Hua takes Beijing pronunciation as the standard pronunciation, Northern dialect as the basic dialect, and typical modern vernacular writings as the grammatical norm. Putonghua is the common language of the People’s Republic of China.

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What is Mandarin? This definition is defined and explained in terms of standard pronunciation, basic dialects, and grammatical norms. Let’s take a look at the meanings of these nouns, which will help us understand the concept better.

Phonetics is the sound of a language. It is a meaningful sound emitted by human beings through pronunciation. Phonetics is the kind and is used for social communication. It means that I can say it, you can understand it, you can say it and I can understand it.

The northern dialect is the northern Mandarin. Most capitals of dynasties in Chinese history are in the north.   It formed a pattern with the northern dialect as the lingua franca, also called elegant speech. The outstanding Chinese literary works were written using the Northern dialect.

What is the basic dialect? The standardization of a language forms on the basis of a specific dialect. This kind of dialect, which forms the “foundation” of the “common language”, is called the basic dialect. The differences between dialects manifest mainly in pronunciation. It may have effects on vocabulary and grammar but is not quite as significant.  

Among the dialects in all parts of the country, there is a dialect that all people can understand. That is what we call the basic dialect. The northern dialect is used by the largest number of people and understood by the largest number of people. Consequently, many people consider that the basic dialect of Chinese is the northern dialect. When the vast majority of people use and understand a regional dialect, that will inevitably become the basic dialect.

Vernacular Chinese exists relative to classical Chinese in the ancient orthodox style. Classical Chinese utilizes the spoken language of the pre-Qin dynasty. It takes the classic works of the Qin and Han dynasties as the paradigm. Before the Eastern Han Dynasty, writing was always written on bamboo slips and silks. Ergo, this is the main carrier. Because writing is not easy, it is required to be concise.

The vernacular formed on the basis of spoken language since the Tang and Song Dynasties. At first, it was only present in popular literary works, such as the variant scripts of the Tang Dynasty, the vernacular scripts and novels of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, etc. It was not until the May 4th New Culture Movement that it entered the mainstream and was widely used in the whole society.

Vernacular is very straightforward, it is the written language born out of the spoken one. However, it is more standardized than spoken language which is why it is vernacular. In the work of broadcasting and hosting, we require the use of standard language. That is because we want to convert written language into spoken language. This allows more, and more people to understand and comprehend. In addition, it also maximizes the effect of communication.

Grammar norms. Grammar is the rules and principles of making sentences. It consists of two parts: morphology and syntax. Morphology is the rule of word formation and the method of word use, while syntax is the rule of sentence formation and the method of sentence use.

Then let’s take a look at the concept of Putonghua. Putonghua is the common language of modern Han nationality, which takes Beijing pronunciation as the standard pronunciation, Northern dialect as the basic dialect, and typical modern vernacular writings as the grammatical norm.

Then let’s take a look at which modules Putonghua specifically contains. After we master these modules one by one, we will have a better understanding of standard Putonghua.

There are 21 initials, 39 finals, and 4 tones in Putonghua. As long as we master these three parts, along with the changes in language flow and sound, we can produce standard Putonghua pronunciation.

The initial consonant is the beginning of a syllable. For example, when I say beautiful drift, Chinese Pinyin is piao. In this sound, the initial P is the initial consonant, so the initial consonant is also called the prefix. It is the most important guarantee for our accurate pronunciation and clear articulation. The following i a o’s are combined to make finals, which are composed of three vowels, also called triple compound finals.

There are four tones, which we generally say are one tone, two tones, three tones, and four tones. They are also called level tone, rising tone, rising tone, and falling tone.

The phonetic changes of language flow include light tone, er Hua, tone sandhi, and light and heavy format. Language is actually a description of our vocal language expression. Like a flowing stream, it stretches on and on. It forms a specific elegance that removes the usual patchy aspect of a language. It flows continuously popping out word by word. It’s like this at the beginning of human, intellectual, and intelligent language sounds.

What is Mandarin? Let’s share the learning of Putonghua here today. We’ll explain it in further detail in the next issue.

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