Chinese self-study language courses for download

Chinese is a Sino/Tibetan language. Even if Chinese is seen as an individual language for cultural historical reasons. For example many of its dialects are as different from each other, as say Germanic.
All of the dialects however have a mutual written language, with only a few unofficial variations for dialectic words or regional slang. Nearly a fifth of the world's population, speak some form of Chinese as a mother tongue. Which of course makes it the world's most spoken language, that is if you include the mother tongue practitioners. As standard Chinese, the language has an official status in China and Taiwan and is one of the four official languages in Singapore, as well one of the six official languages of the United Nations. In the form of standard Cantonese, Chinese together with English is the official language in Hong Kong and in conjunction with Portuguese, likewise in Macao. Western concepts to describe the language differ in many respects from the Chinese terminology, partly because of the unifying power that the Chinese letters represent and partly because of the difference in political and social development in China compared to Europe. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe became fragmented in areas that were often separated by language. China could, to great extent retain its political and cultural unity throughout a vast geographical area, with its common standard for the written language.
This has lead to the fact that the Chinese clearly define the difference between literal and oral language. More than two thousand years of an official, mutual language, which is still maintained to the present day, and at the same time covering all of the colloquial dialects.
Chinese is completely unrelated to any of its geographically closest languages, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese. All of these languages have existed however within a cultural sphere dominated by the Chinese speaking culture, which has in turn influenced those languages.



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