Chinese

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About these resources

Our aim is to provide a high quality resource for those who wish to learn Chinese online.

Access to the site is completely free.

If you have any comments or suggestions, or spot any mistakes however small, please contact us — we appreciate your feedback.

About the Chinese language

Chinese is a member of the Sino-Tibetan group of languages and is the official language of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and one of the official languages of Singapore.

More people speak Chinese than any other language in the world, with over a billion speaking it as a first language.

The standard language of government, the press, business, and education is Mandarin, but there are a number of other Chinese languages such as Wu, Cantonese, Min, Hsiang, and Hakka.

The written language uses ideographic characters, of which there are some 5000 in common use.

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, with four different tones: high, high rising, low rising, and high falling, each of which can result in the same syllable having different meanings.

So why learn Chinese?

Business reasons
As the world’s fastest growing economy, a knowledge of Chinese will give you a competitive business advantage in the future.

Tourism
China is a vast, beautiful and largely unexplored country which is increasingly opening up to tourism. If you visit, a knowledge of Chinese will surprise locals and significantly enhance your stay.

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