I recently started learning Simplified Chinese at the University. In the first lesson the professor referred to some terms which if I understood well they mean "Chinese language". The terms are: zhōngwén (中文), hànyǔ (汉语) and pǔtōnghuà (普通话). What's the difference between these three words and which one of them stands for what we call in English "Mandarin Chinese"? Also, in which regions/countries will I encounter Traditional Chinese and where Simplified Chinese?
Thanks in advance, Antonia xx
I am very sorry, my english is not enough to explain the difference that you asked exactly. the easy answer is zhongwen = hanyu, putonghua is the zhongwen's standard speech sound. because there are lots of oral speech sounds in china. I hope you can understand.
zhong means chinese, wen means language, han means han nation, yu means language,
putong means common, hua means language.
To decribe language in china, we can use the wen/yu/hua 文/语/话.
Putonghua is the term used for "Mandarin". For clarification about the different terms see here:
There are several very good answers by native Chinese speakers.