Site Feedback

Resolved questions
which chinese i have to learn ?

I mean ... which chinese used in china , hong kong and taiwan ?

I wanna learn chinese for these countries ........

For learning: Chinese (Other)
Base language: English
Category: Other

Share:

1 comment

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

     

    Answers

    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Everyone in mainland China officially speaks Mandarin. People in various locations do use local dialects and/or languages, but they can all speak Mandarin.
    People in Taiwan also speak Mandarin, but they use traditional characters.

    The situation in Hong Kong is very controversial. It's not like in Guangzhou, where Cantonese is the local language but everyone knows Mandarin. People in Hong Kong use Cantonese; but because China officially controls Hong Kong, a lot of official media is in Mandarin. However not everyone in Hong Kong can understand Mandarin, and many who can speak it can't as well as native speakers.
    In addition, people in Hong Kong use traditional characters. I know some people around my age from Hong Kong who can't read simplified characters.
    Also, there is some political controversy over the two languages in Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong generally consider Hong Kong to be separate from China and don't take very kindly when people imply that Hong Kong is part of China. When a person from Hong Kong says 中文 or 'Chinese', they mean Cantonese. They'll even say "Chinese and Mandarin" in the same sentence when they mean "Cantonese and Mandarin". There are also some people in Hong Kong who make a conscious decision to never speak Mandarin and will just reply to you in English or Cantonese if you speak to them in Mandarin, but I don't know who common this is.
    I've heard that people in Hong Kong will treat you better if you speak to them in Cantonese or English than in Mandarin, but since I've never been to Hong Kong I can't say how true this is. I only have my friends from Hong Kong living in Australia as a reference.

    I have to tell you that although Taiwan may be controversial, Hong Kong is definitely a part of China, but not a country.
    As to your question, Mandarin would be the best answer.

    Now that there is a enthusiastic foreign friend who thinks he know my country than me, I'd like to tell you more about what I know.
    Firstly, not everyone in mainland China officially speaks Mandarin. We have seven basic dialect branches different enough to make some linguists think they're different languages. And I do know there are some people speaking each dialect who can't understand Mandarin at all. But as Mandarin is the official language of China, the majority of Chinese people, especially the youth, know it very well. What's more, Mandarin is about the same as Taiwan's official language 国语 in the spoken way. So, if you learn Mandarin well, you'll be able to communicate with most of the people from mainland China, Taiwan and Honk Kong as well. Considering the influence of the mainland and our unity as one people, can you really believe the idea that the majority of the Hong Kong people don't know Mandarin or Taiwan 国语? To me, it's like a joke. I have friends from that city of our country, too.
    As for characters, do you know why the government popularized simplified characters decades ago? Because traditional characters were too hard for people to learn. Do you really want to learn the characters which are hard for people who speak them, just for a handful of bigoted people? That's up to you.
    Moreover, I think you learn Chinese for business reasons, right? If you that's true, and you want to ignore mainland China, that sounds like a bigger joke.

    Submit your answer


    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.