Monday, May 12, 2014

Chinese Language Learning Program Lesson 104 – How to say countries’ languages in Chinese

Chinese Language Learning Program
Lesson 105 – How to say countries’ languages
in Chinese

Hello, everyone. Welcome back. This is Baixue’s Chinese Language Learning Program. Last time we talked about the difference between “chuān” and “dài” in Chinese.  Today, we will talk about how to say countries’ language in Chinese.

Several days ago, goldtheone asked me a very good question about how to say countries’ languages in Chinese. I did my homework. Yes, there are some confusings about this topic. I think even native Chinese have never been thinking about this topic. So, that is why we have this lesson today. Thanks, goldtheone.

yǔ yán

Usually, we say languages as

country  name + yǔ ().

For example

fǎ yǔ                            dé yǔ
法语 (French)             (German)

yì dà lì yǔ                    xī bān yá yǔ
意大利 (Italian)      西     (Spanish)

 é yǔ                            rì yǔ
俄语 (Russian)          日语 (Japanese)

yīng yǔ

But, sometimes you can see the alternatives for the above languages.

fǎ wén                          dé  wén
  (French)                (German)

yì dà lì wén                  xī bān yá wén
大利   (Italian)     西       (Spanish)

é wén                           rì wén
(Russian)            (Japanese)

yīng wén
       (English) etc. 

But in China, we say country + yǔ  more than country + wén. Some persons also see country+ yǔ  as spoken form, and country + wén as written form. But we use both yīng yǔ and yīng wén the same. So, goldtheone asked me that if we can say

zhōng wén                    zhōng yǔ
      (Chinese)            语??

hàn yǔ                             hàn yǔ pīn yīn
    (Chinese)                   (Chinese Pinyin)
hàn yǔ : Why Chinese is called hanyu? Hanyu means language of the Han. China has 56 different ethnic groups. The Han are the main ethnic group in China composing 90%+ of the people. So the predominant language in China is known as Hanyu.

pǔ tōng huà

Standard Chinese is the official national spoken language for the mainland in China.  What we are learning here is mandarin (putonghua). By the way, China has 292 living languages and 1 extinct language (Jurchen),  for example:

guǎng dōng huà / yuè yǔ
     广             /       (Cantonese)

shàng hǎi  huà
         (Shanghai dialect)  etc.

By the way, hàn yǔ = zhōng wén, which is divided into a lot of  dialects, it can be either Mandarin, or Cantonese or Shanghai hua, etc.

See more information about languages of China at:

Today’s idiom is:

yǔ wú lún cì
   (ramble in one's statement; incoherent speech; One's speech was incoherent and confused.)

tā hē de tài zuì le, shuō qǐ huà lái yǔ wú lún cì.
     醉了,                  次。
(He was so drunk that he was quite incoherent.)

Ok, that is all for today.

xiè  xiè!
    ! (Thanks!)

xià  cì  jiàn 
     !  (See you next time!)

No comments:

Post a Comment