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Word for "Chinese language" in Chinese


I have been studying Chinese for two weeks and I'm still confused about this...The textbook I was using used the word 汉语 to mean "the Chinese language" but I hear a lot of people using 中文. Which is correct?

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    we usually say 中文(about chinese language and chinese literature ) or 汉语(only means chinese language )

    they are the same, such as american and american language

    I had the same question when I first started learning Chinese. Here's what you need to know:

    1. Like Wheat said, "文" means "literature" and therefore technically refers to written Chinese. And, of course, "中" is one way to refer to China.

    2. The character "语" means "language" and "speech", thus refers to spoken Chinese. And, of course, "汉" is yet another way to refer to the Chinese people and/or language.

    In my experience (which is not vast), it is usually "I'm learning 中文“, but "I speak 汉语." You don't really "speak" 中文 any more than you would "read" 汉语. Maybe a native speaker could confirm this for you?

    people also often use 普通话 putonghua。This is mandarin as opposed to Chinese, and means the Beijing standard form of Chinese.

    Generally speaking, both of them are correct,which expressed the same meaning. Besides these two versions, some also use Mandarin, just like the word "mother", you can call mother, mom, mommy.they share the same meaning,and you can choose one that you like.


    中文 is general which means chinese including chinese dialects, mandarin and cantonese. and It is formal
    汉语 can also be referred to as 中文 which doesnt differ from 中文.

    in English it's just one notion "Chinese language"
    in Chinese there are several words:
    汉语 = Chinese language (oral)
    中文 = Chinese language (written)
    普通话 = Chinese language (as national language)


    Both are correct and common. There is no difference between them. Both refer to both spoken and written Chinese. You can use either.

    The following definitions are from the most authoritative dictionary on Modern Chinese, 现代汉语词典:




    Judging from those definitions, 语言, not only refers to a spoken language, but also a written language unless it is used together with 文字. 中文 refers to spoken Chinese as well as written Chinese.


    They are exactly the same. It is two different way to express one thing, like "the US" and "the USA".

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