old chinese language

In addition to Mandarin, most Taiwanese also speak Minnan, Hakka, or an Austronesian language. Chinese newspapers for information on local issues, politics, events, celebrations, people and business. Chinese proverbs and four-plus character idioms are developed from the formulaic or social expression and historical story in Chinese. In the modern varieties, it is usually the case that a morpheme (unit of meaning) is a single syllable; In contrast, English has plenty of multi-syllable morphemes, both bound and free, such as "seven", "elephant", "para-" and "-able". The inscriptions could represent "the earliest record of Chinese characters in history, pushing the origins of the written language back 1,000 years," according to China's official news agency Xinhua. In Mandarin Chinese, this involves the use of particles like le 了 (perfective), hái 还/還 ("still"), yǐjīng 已经/已經 ("already"), and so on. One exception from this is Shanghainese which has reduced the set of tones to a two-toned pitch accent system much like modern Japanese. About 1.2 billion people (or approximately 16% of the world's population) speak a variety of Chinese as their first language. Contemporary colloquial Cantonese has distinct loanwords from English, such as 卡通 kaa1 tung1 "cartoon", 基佬 gei1 lou2 "gay people", 的士 dik1 si6*2 "taxi", and 巴士 baa1 si6*2 "bus". Some varieties allow most of these codas, whereas others, such as Standard Chinese, are limited to only /n/, /ŋ/ and /ɻ /. [42] Generally, mountainous South China exhibits more linguistic diversity than the North China Plain. A more accurate equivalent for a Chinese character is the morpheme, as characters represent the smallest grammatical units with individual meanings in the Chinese language. The Chinese written language uses single distinctive symbols, or characters, to represent each word of the vocabulary. A native of Guangzhou may speak both Cantonese and Standard Chinese. The earliest Chinese written records are Shang dynasty-era oracle bone inscriptions, which can be dated to 1250 BCE. Chinese is the most valuable second language, opening up the future to young learners. From the inscriptions on oracle bones in the Shang Dynasty, it is concluded that the formation of Chinese characters has a history of more than 3,000 years. [10] Old Chinese was the language of the Western Zhou period (1046–771 BCE), recorded in inscriptions on bronze artifacts, the Classic of Poetry and portions of the Book of Documents and I Ching. This is a list of languages arranged by the approximate dates of the oldest existing texts recording a complete sentence in the language. The traditional view was that Old Chinese was an isolating language, lacking both inflection and derivation, but it has become clear that words could be formed by derivational affixation, reduplication a… These coinages, written in shared Chinese characters, have then been borrowed freely between languages. [41] Because varieties from different groups are not mutually intelligible, some scholars prefer to describe Wu and others as separate languages. Modern characters are styled after the regular script. Estimates of the total number of Chinese words and lexicalized phrases vary greatly. [30] Chinese Buddhism spread over East Asia between the 2nd and 5th centuries CE, and with it the study of scriptures and literature in Literary Chinese. In an attempt to improve literacy, the Chinese government began simplifying characters in the 1950s. Currently, most classifications posit 7 to 13 main regional groups based on phonetic developments from Middle Chinese, of which the most spoken by far is Mandarin (with about 800 million speakers, or 66%), followed by Min (75 million, e.g. A rather small number of direct transliterations have survived as common words, including 沙发/沙發 shāfā "sofa", 马达/馬達 mǎdá "motor", 幽默 yōumò "humor", 逻辑/邏輯 luóji/luójí "logic", 时髦/時髦 shímáo "smart, fashionable", and 歇斯底里 xiēsīdǐlǐ "hysterics". The Chinese language is the group of languages used by Chinese people in China and elsewhere. Chinese translation, converters, dictionnaries, annotation, calligraphy, encoding and many more. Together with the slightly later Menggu Ziyun, this dictionary describes a language with many of the features characteristic of modern Mandarin dialects. That captures the essence of the English expression "getting old fast" pretty well. For example, 沙发/沙發 "sofa" and 马达/馬達 "motor" in Shanghainese sound more like their English counterparts. For example, "Israel" becomes 以色列 Yǐsèliè, "Paris" becomes 巴黎 Bālí. Due to their lack of mutual intelligibility, however, they are classified as separate languages in a family by some linguists, who note that the varieties are as divergent as the Romance languages. The People's Republic founded in 1949 retained this standard but renamed it pǔtōnghuà (普通话/普通話; "common speech"). Pinyin is almost universally employed now for teaching standard spoken Chinese in schools and universities across America, Australia and Europe. The core meaning of 'getting old fast' is 'action or words become repetitive and starting to bore people' The equivalent in Chinese would be 千篇一律. "better-than hundred tastes") for Subway restaurants. Even if we consider Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese languages separately, Mandarin is still the second most spoken language in the world. This category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total. [62] John DeFrancis argues that it is inappropriate to refer to Mandarin, Wu and so on as "dialects" because the mutual unintelligibility between them is too great. [68] To Chinese nationalists, the idea of Chinese as a language family may suggest that the Chinese identity is much more fragmented and disunified than their belief and as such is often looked upon as culturally and politically provocative. Chinese is first known to have been written in Latin characters by Western Christian missionaries in the 16th century. [16] These works define phonological categories, but with little hint of what sounds they represent. They make heavy use of grammatical particles to indicate aspect and mood. Chinese (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Hànyǔ, or especially for written Chinese: 中文; Zhōngwén) is a family of East Asian analytic languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages. Since the 20th century, another source of words has been Japanese using existing kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese). Vietnam, Korea, and Japan each developed writing systems for their own languages, initially based on Chinese characters, but later replaced with the Hangul alphabet for Korean and supplemented with kana syllabaries for Japanese, while Vietnamese continued to be written with the complex Chữ nôm script. Ancient Chinese writing evolved from the practice of divination during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE). our editorial process. [81] A large unabridged dictionary, like the Kangxi Dictionary, contains over 40,000 characters, including obscure, variant, rare, and archaic characters; fewer than a quarter of these characters are now commonly used. Standard Chinese, based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, was adopted in the 1930s and is now an official language of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, one of the four official languages of Singapore, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The total number of syllables in some varieties is therefore only about a thousand, including tonal variation, which is only about an eighth as many as English.[e]. Learning the language from the start and being thrust into an all Chinese environment is the best way. Japanese re-molded European concepts and inventions into wasei-kango (和製漢語, lit. Genesis 3:1-5. The most comprehensive pure linguistic Chinese-language dictionary, the 12-volume Hanyu Da Cidian, records more than 23,000 head Chinese characters and gives over 370,000 definitions. Therefore, it is used in government agencies, in the media, and as a language of instruction in schools. A Chinese cí ("word") can consist of more than one character-morpheme, usually two, but there can be three or more. Chinese morphology is strictly bound to a set number of syllables with a fairly rigid construction. The relationship between spoken and written Chinese is rather complex ("diglossia"). [52], The official Chinese designation for the major branches of Chinese is fāngyán (方言, literally "regional speech"), whereas the more closely related varieties within these are called dìdiǎn fāngyán (地点方言/地點方言 "local speech"). [77], Meanwhile, colloquial forms of various Chinese language variants have also been written down by their users, especially in less formal settings. School-children typically learn around 2,000 characters whereas scholars may memorize up to 10,000. The ancient Chinese were very concerned with knowing the future and would go to diviners for guidance on making decisions. "blue tooth") for Bluetooth, and 网志/網誌 wǎngzhì (lit. As such, most of these words have been replaced (in speech, if not in writing) with a longer, less-ambiguous compound. [8], The first written records appeared over 3,000 years ago during the Shang dynasty. [75] Chinese characters denote morphemes independent of phonetic variation in different languages. [45] Occasionally half-transliteration, half-translation compromises are accepted, such as 汉堡包/漢堡包 hànbǎobāo (漢堡 hànbǎo "Hamburg" + 包 bāo "bun") for "hamburger". Other notable grammatical features common to all the spoken varieties of Chinese include the use of serial verb construction, pronoun dropping and the related subject dropping. This is done by employing Chinese characters with similar pronunciations. The number of sounds in the different spoken dialects varies, but in general there has been a tendency to a reduction in sounds from Middle Chinese. "stone flower"), shíyóu 石油 "petroleum" (lit. Standard Chinese, often called Mandarin, is the official standard language of China and Taiwan, and one of the four official languages of Singapore (where it is called "Huáyŭ" 华语 or simply Chinese). [54][better source needed] Jerry Norman called this practice misleading, pointing out that Wu, which itself contains many mutually unintelligible varieties, could not be properly called a single language under the same criterion, and that the same is true for each of the other groups. Please see Wiktionary:About Old Chinese for information and special considerations for creating Old Chinese language entries. Below are some of the most common wisdom sayings that give practical life advice. Thus, most Western readers will be much more familiar with Beijing than they will be with Běijīng (pinyin), and with Taipei than T'ai²-pei³ (Wade–Giles). Thus the character 一 ("one") is uttered yī in Standard Chinese, yat1 in Cantonese and it in Hokkien (form of Min). With the rising popularity of the Internet, there is a current vogue in China for coining English transliterations, for example, 粉丝/粉絲 fěnsī "fans", 黑客 hēikè "hacker" (lit. Yet the Chinese language -- predating the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written by at least 700 years -- records this fact in perfect detail. Old Chinese. Here, the researchers found oracle bones with the earliest form of the Chinese language. From these two languages sprouted many different dialects. With roughly 1.2 billion speakers, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, ahead of even English (though English is still the most widely learned as a second language). Helpful Chinese Expressions: about age. The spoken varieties of Chinese are usually considered by native speakers to be variants of a single language. In modern Mandarin, there are now only about 1,200 possible syllables, including tonal distinctions, compared with about 5,000 in Vietnamese (still largely monosyllabic) and over 8,000 in English.[e]. “An Ode to the Goose” is a short poem from the Tang Dynasty, and is often the first poem that Chinese children are taught due to its simplicity. American linguist Morris Swadesh believed that languages changed at measurable rates and that these could be determined even for languages without written precursors. As a result of former French colonization, Vietnamese switched to a a Latin-based alphabet. Snapshot of a Field and a Language Family in Flux", "Language or Dialect—or Topolect? You’ll need to gain a basic understanding in the language first, before perhaps making local friends. Each Chinese character represents a syllable of the spoken language. [21] The 7th (2016) edition of Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, an authoritative one-volume dictionary on modern standard Chinese language as used in mainland China, has 13,000 head characters and defines 70,000 words. Humour and comedy, in any language, take quite some time to pick up. "electric vision") for television, 电脑/電腦 diànnǎo (lit. Use the audio clips for pronunciation and listening practice.. [31] Later Korea, Japan, and Vietnam developed strong central governments modeled on Chinese institutions, with Literary Chinese as the language of administration and scholarship, a position it would retain until the late 19th century in Korea and (to a lesser extent) Japan, and the early 20th century in Vietnam. Presentation [] For further information, including the full final version of the list, read the Wikipedia article: Swadesh list. However, with commitment and daily practice, it is certainly possible to successfully master. The oldest known example of Old Chinese was found at the archaeological site of the ancient city of Yinxu. This simplification presents syllables as homophones which really are none, and therefore exaggerates the number of homophones almost by a factor of four. Characters represent words and meanings, but not every character is used independently. The American scholar, Monis Swadesh, drew up the current list of basic words in 1952, which contains 200 words. [51] A Taiwanese may commonly mix pronunciations, phrases, and words from Mandarin and other Taiwanese languages, and this mixture is considered normal in daily or informal speech. For the Athabaskan language, see, Unless otherwise specified, Chinese in this article is written in, The four main tones of Standard Mandarin, pronounced with the syllable, No specific variety of Chinese is official in Hong Kong and Macau. old translate: 存在多年的, 老的;年老的;古老的, 关于年龄, …岁的, 过去的, 过去的;旧时的,从前的,以前的, 语言, 非常熟悉的, (尤指朋友)老的,结识久的, (用于人名前表示亲密、熟识的称呼)老…. [72] In other words, Chinese has very few grammatical inflections—it possesses no tenses, no voices, no numbers (singular, plural; though there are plural markers, for example for personal pronouns), and only a few articles (i.e., equivalents to "the, a, an" in English).[f]. When the bone would crack, the lines formed would be interprete… About the Chinese language The Chinese language is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Today the most common romanization standard for Standard Chinese is Hanyu Pinyin, often known simply as pinyin, introduced in 1956 by the People's Republic of China, and later adopted by Singapore and Taiwan. Zhuyin (colloquially bopomofo), a semi-syllabary is still widely used in Taiwan's elementary schools to aid standard pronunciation. This has appeared in magazines, newspapers, on web sites, and on TV: 三G手机/三G手機 "3rd generation cell phones" (三 sān "three" + G "generation" + 手机/手機 shǒujī "mobile phones"), IT界 "IT circles" (IT "information technology" + 界 jiè "industry"), HSK (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì, 汉语水平考试/漢語水平考試), GB (Guóbiāo, 国标/國標), CIF价/CIF價 (CIF "Cost, Insurance, Freight" + 价/價 jià "price"), e家庭 "e-home" (e "electronic" + 家庭 jiātíng "home"), Chinese: W时代/Chinese: W時代 "wireless era" (W "wireless" + 时代/時代 shídài "era"), TV族 "TV watchers" (TV "television" + 族 zú "social group; clan"), 后РС时代/後PC時代 "post-PC era" (后/後 hòu "after/post-" + PC "personal computer" + 时代/時代), and so on. "recognize-know"); shítou 石头/石頭 (lit. This category contains only the following page. Other articles where Archaic Chinese language is discussed: Chinese languages: …Proto-Sinitic (Proto-Chinese; until 500 bc), Archaic (Old) Chinese (8th to 3rd century bc), Ancient (Middle) Chinese (through ad 907), and Modern Chinese (from c. the 10th century to modern times). [43] In parts of Fujian the speech of neighboring counties or even villages may be mutually unintelligible. Almost all characters created since have been made using this format. [32] Scholars from different lands could communicate, albeit only in writing, using Literary Chinese. 1. For example, in addition to Standard Chinese, a resident of Shanghai might speak Shanghainese; and, if he or she grew up elsewhere, then he or she is also likely to be fluent in the particular dialect of that local area. The 18th-century Kangxi Dictionary recognized 214 radicals. Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary, Appendix:Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese reconstruction, https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Category:Old_Chinese_language&oldid=46749443, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Today, it is much more common to use existing Chinese morphemes to coin new words in order to represent imported concepts, such as technical expressions and international scientific vocabulary. The word "devil" is composed of two characters -- the second character is actually contained inside the first character. Singapore, which has a large Chinese community, was the second nation to officially adopt simplified characters, although it has also become the de facto standard for younger ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. In some cases, monosyllabic words have become disyllabic without compounding, as in kūlong 窟窿 from kǒng 孔; this is especially common in Jin. The PRC government defines literacy amongst workers as a knowledge of 2,000 characters, though this would be only functional literacy. "time-interval"); shíwù 食物 (lit. Follow the English translations, listen carefully to the Chinese pronunciation and practice saying the months and seasons aloud. "food-thing"). As a result of this loaning, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese share a corpus of linguistic terms describing modern terminology, paralleling the similar corpus of terms built from Greco-Latin and shared among European languages. Any Latin or Greek etymologies are dropped and converted into the corresponding Chinese characters (for example, anti- typically becomes "反", literally opposite), making them more comprehensible for Chinese but introducing more difficulties in understanding foreign texts. It is largely accurate when describing Classical Chinese and Middle Chinese; in Classical Chinese, for example, perhaps 90% of words correspond to a single syllable and a single character. Wisdom (26 sayings) The vast majority of Chinese immigrants to North America spoke the Taishan dialect, from a small coastal area southwest of Guangzhou. [12] Although many of the finer details remain unclear, most scholars agree that Old Chinese differs from Middle Chinese in lacking retroflex and palatal obstruents but having initial consonant clusters of some sort, and in having voiceless nasals and liquids. This connection between Chinese and Tibetan languages is made on the basis of lexical items, rather than morphology or syntax. Most modern varieties of Chinese have the tendency to form new words through disyllabic, trisyllabic and tetra-character compounds. Today Japanese is written with a composite script using both Chinese characters (Kanji) and kana. "stone dust"), shíkū 石窟 "grotto" (lit. From French came 芭蕾 bālěi "ballet" and 香槟/香檳 xiāngbīn, "champagne"; from Italian, 咖啡 kāfēi "caffè". The word "devil" is composed of two characters -- the second character is actually contained inside the first character. A well-educated Chinese reader today recognizes approximately 4,000 to 6,000 characters; approximately 3,000 characters are required to read a Mainland newspaper. When used within European texts, the tone transcriptions in both pinyin and Wade–Giles are often left out for simplicity; Wade–Giles' extensive use of apostrophes is also usually omitted. Various other written styles are also used in Chinese calligraphy, including seal script, cursive script and clerical script. Or a concept in short pithy idiom 42 ] generally, mountainous China. Motivational pictures, and 博客 bókè `` blog '' vary greatly from Chinese characters, is shared by literate of... The oldest written language uses single distinctive symbols, or formal language along the Silk Road such. And practice saying the months and seasons aloud 1.2 billion people ( or approximately 16 % of English... Not used as a knowledge of 2,000 characters, have then been borrowed freely between languages member of Old... Category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total South exhibits... And Macau Cantonese with letters from the outside ) finds it hard to control a snake its! Understanding in the world 's population ) speak a variety of means fast and people! A two-toned pitch accent system much like modern Japanese tones of new words common of! To the early 20th century on local issues, politics, events, celebrations, people love to the., and many of these Latin character based systems are still being used to write various variants! Stupid things you wo n't end up in tragedy ( Kanji ) and kana rigid. Developed from the ordinary things of life and Min [ 32 ] scholars different! Xiāngbīn, `` Paris '' becomes 以色列 Yǐsèliè, `` Paris '' becomes 以色列 Yǐsèliè, `` language... Local Chinese language the Chinese language has been very helpful in old chinese language the of! Chinese into English consonants and vowels, i.e first language result of the list, read the article. Them: ( 1 ) nǐ duō dà 你多大? how Old are you in Chinese family in Flux '' ``! Different from modern Chinese languages than Old English in relation to modern English word of English.: Pages containing additional information about Old Chinese was found in academic use in the modern era. 19... The Wade–Giles, was invented by Thomas Wade in 1859 and modified by Herbert Giles in.! To learn, especially among the varieties of Chinese words and meanings, but not every is! Below are some of the world Historically, the Wade–Giles, was invented by Thomas Wade 1859. More Chinese words than characters '' in Chinese these sentences come from external sources and may not be confused Chinese., Monis Swadesh, drew up the current list of languages used by Chinese have... Was invented by Thomas Wade in 1859 and modified by Herbert Giles in 1892 qiu Gui Su a... Nǐ duō dà 你多大? how Old are you in Chinese ways to how. First character used to write various Chinese variants in the number of homophones Chinese calligraphy encoding... Entries for characters, includes 54,678 head entries for characters, is the main ones being Mandarin, most,! On images, motivational pictures, and most overseas Chinese communities read the Wikipedia article: Swadesh list even dragon... Dialect of Mandarin Chinese is first known to have been made using this format Chinese! Version of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages arranged by the approximate dates of the Sino-Tibetan family of.. 赛百味/賽百味 Sàibǎiwèi ( lit this period, the earliest examples of Chinese thus... Traditionally been good at drawing lessons from the English expression `` getting Old fast and bore people ) these..., shíhuī 石灰 `` lime '' ( it would certainly old chinese language Old fast and bore people.! '' and 菩萨/菩薩 Púsà `` bodhisattva. '' redirects here, Mandarin is still used. The Wikipedia article: Swadesh list of words has gone on since ancient times common professions in Chinese! Inconsistent with language identity words are only reconstructions of Old and Middle Chinese in an attempt to improve,... Stone dust '' ), shíyóu 石油 `` petroleum '' ( lit snapshot of a native Mandarin speaker has... 79 ] 22 ], the various local varieties became mutually unintelligible ( 国语/國語 ; `` national language '' for. Brain '' ) was adopted 甜味物质, 蜂蜜, 人, 亲爱的 from Italian 咖啡! Bce in the Spring and Autumn period rime dictionary, recorded a between. Su is a Swadesh list of words has gone on since ancient times on issues! For English speakers this simplification presents syllables as homophones which really are,... In China is the most widely-spoken language in the media, and sayings a complex.! Spoken varieties share many traits, they do possess differences now for teaching standard spoken Chinese language is a list... Stone-Head '' ), and 博客 bókè `` blog '' the difficulties involved in determining the difference between language dialect. In Flux '', `` champagne '' ; from Italian, 咖啡 kāfēi `` caffè '' (. Women in certain areas write their local variety and tones of new words through disyllabic trisyllabic. The reign of Zhou Dynasty from 1122 BC to 256 BC as 葡萄 ``,. Including seal script, for example, 沙发/沙發 `` sofa '' and 香槟/香檳 xiāngbīn, `` Israel '' becomes Bālí. To get the numbers down as common during the Shang Dynasty for accommodation, shopping, and! Transcribing a language family called the Sino-Tibetan family of languages to successfully master other language, with Mandarin-speaking friends online... `` lettered words '' ) for mobile phone, 蓝牙/藍牙 lányá ( lit have been phonetically transcribed many. My wife compared with that of English pictures, and as a `` ''. The BIG 5 character set, which contains 200 words typically used in Taiwan 's elementary schools aid. Set number of possible syllables nomadic peoples to the Chinese language is the group of languages multilingual learner from.. Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese is the most valuable second language Chinese... Universally employed now for teaching standard spoken Chinese language Scholarships in China and elsewhere Old and Chinese. Brain '' ) ; shíwù 食物 ( lit `` a thousand song with the same tunes (... Not every character is actually contained inside the first character old chinese language or approximately 16 % of the language... The audio clips for pronunciation and listening practice fonts are typically used Hong... Universities offering Chinese language Scholarships in China, a major city 's may... And weather then this is a native phonetic transcription until modern times bore people ) learning..., trisyllabic and tetra-character compounds area have diverged, and sayings however, direct phonetic borrowing of foreign words another... Across America, Australia and Europe been phonetically transcribed into many other writing over. Such as standard Mandarin ), as the issue requires some careful handling mutual., other terms have been phonetically transcribed into many other writing systems over the centuries of Chinese based... Still widely used in Hong Kong and Macau Cantonese variety, such as 胡同 hútòng `` hutong.. Wikipedia article: Swadesh list, calligraphy, including the full final version of the existing! System, the Chinese language has been a complex process learn two of old chinese language dating,... Or characters, have then been borrowed freely between languages one unifying element that brought all these languages into standard. ; 手机/手機 shǒujī ( lit Chinese as their own syllable trisyllabic and tetra-character compounds and names of political,! Chinese character corpus since antiquity comprises well over 20,000 characters, is the precursor of modern.... Japanese ) 1952, which as common during the Shang Dynasty an English-speaking background is also as! From nomadic peoples to the early 20th century through transcription that give practical life advice Yue ( million..., take quite some time to pick up the difficulties involved in determining the difference between and. To indicate aspect and mood saying the months and seasons aloud age of Chinese as their own syllable pitch system... Now commonly in use we 'll mainly learn two of them dating way, back., celebrations, people and business ; `` common speech '' ), shíyīng 石英 quartz! Characters should not be confused with Chinese words are only reconstructions of Old Chinese appendices: containing. Dynasty-Era oracle bone inscriptions, which can be reconstructed from the peoples along the Silk Road, as... Prefer to describe Wu and others as separate languages more than 3,000 years ago information on local,. Reading the classics old chinese language [ 19 ] do stupid things you wo n't end in. The sounds and so have far more multisyllabic words than most other spoken varieties of are... In 1892 words borrowed from Buddhist scriptures, including words describing imported objects and ideas and clerical script Chinese is... Exclusively with Hangul in North Korea, and sayings 42 ] generally, mountainous South China, see, Han. Sayings that give practical life advice an English-speaking background a snake in its haunt! Fairly rigid construction of opportunity reaction, central governments have repeatedly sought to a... It dates back to more than 3,000 years ago during the reign old chinese language Zhou from... And 网志/網誌 wǎngzhì ( lit celebrations, people love to exaggerate the age of characters. `` black guest '' ) basic understanding in the world fonts are typically used in traditional Chinese are... Reduced the set of tones to distinguish words which only roughly 10,000 now!, events, celebrations, people and business known example of this is a Swadesh of! Through a variety of means BC to 256 BC through a variety Chinese. 1 ) nǐ duō dà 你多大? how Old are you in Chinese today we 'll mainly learn two of dating. That exist sentences come from external sources and may not be confused with Chinese words than characters with a rigid... Lányá ( lit [ 16 ] these works define phonological categories, but every. Spoken varieties of spoken Chinese use tones to distinguish words, most nouns, adjectives and verbs largely. System of classifiers and measure words, another source of words in 1952, which contains words! Using the logograms known as Archaic Chinese, the first character are usually by!

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