WHERE IS MANDARIN SPOKEN?
Mandarin Chinese is the official language of mainland China and Taiwan.
It is not the only Chinese language. There are several others, including Cantonese, which is spoken in Hong Kong and in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
However, Mandarin is fast becoming the lingua franca of the Chinese world. It is also the most practical language to learn because there are far more learning resources available – including Pinyin, the modern Westernised written version of the language.
If you want to speak “Chinese”, Mandarin is usually the best choice.
IS MANDARIN CHINESE DIFFICULT?
It is and it isn’t. Some of our students actually find it easier than other languages they have tried, because there is very little grammar to learn.
With the right teacher and a confident approach, you may be pleasantly surprised how quickly you learn the basics.
Most people would agree that written Chinese is difficult to learn. However, some of our students love learning the Chinese characters, which are beautiful and endlessly fascinating.
DO I NEED TO LEARN THE CHINESE CHARACTERS?
No. But many people enjoy learning them and grow to love them.
Unlike our Latin alphabet, which represents sounds, each Chinese character has a unique meaning. So there is a character for sun, another for mountain etc.
WHAT IS PINYIN?
Pinyin is the most widely-used system of writing Mandarin Chinese that uses our Latin alphabet. You will find it very useful to help you learn and remember the accurate pronunciation of Mandarin words.