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Standard Chinese

Standard Chinese
Modern Standard Mandarin
普通話 / 普通话 Pǔtōnghuà
國語 / 国语 Guóyǔ
華語 / 华语 Huáyǔ
Native to China, Taiwan, Singapore
Native speakers
(has begun acquiring native speakers cited 1988, 2014)
L2 speakers: 7% of China (2014)
Early forms
Middle Mandarin
  • Standard Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Mainland Chinese Braille
Taiwanese Braille
Two-Cell Chinese Braille
Wenfa Shouyu
Official status
Official language in
 China (as Putonghua)
 Taiwan (as Guoyu)
 Singapore (as Huayu)
 Hong Kong (de facto)
 Macau (de facto)
 United Nations
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
 Myanmar (Wa State)
Regulated by National Language Regulating Committee (China)
National Languages Committee (Taiwan)
Promote Mandarin Council (Singapore)
Chinese Language Standardisation Council (Malaysia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6 goyu (Guoyu)
huyu (Huayu)
cosc (Putonghua)
Glottolog None
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
Common name in China
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning Common speech
Common name in Taiwan
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning National language
Common name in Singapore and Southeast Asia
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning Chinese language

Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin or Standard Mandarin, also often referred to as Putonghua, Guoyu or simply Mandarin, is a standard language that is the sole official language of both China and Taiwan, and also one of the four official languages of Singapore. The pronunciation of the standard is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary is drawn from Mandarin dialects, and the grammar is based on literature in the modern written vernacular.

Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language. It has more initial consonants but fewer vowels, final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. Like other varieties of Chinese it is a topic-prominent language and has subject–verb–object word order.

There exist two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters (augmented by Hanyu Pinyin romanization for pedagogical purposes), while Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters (augmented by Bopomofo for pedagogical purposes). There are many characters that are identical between the two systems.