Being the second-largest economy in the world, China presents lots of opportunities for global business. Therefore, the importance of the Chinese language for achieving globalization objectives cannot be undermined. The Chinese language is quite unique from various perspectives. The primary distinguishing feature of the Chinese language is the diversity it shows in the written as well as spoken forms. Let us take a look at the history and different types of Chinese language in the following discussion.
History of Chinese Language
The country of China is extensively vast and has eight primary spoken dialects that are mutually unintelligible. As a very old and large country, many regions are separated by large mountain ranges and long distances. Looking back on the history of the Chinese language, one could notice that it is one of the oldest written languages in the world.
The traces of written Chinese date back to 1600-1066 BC to the time of the Shang dynasty. The origins of the modern Chinese language, however, can be attributed to the Han dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD). The earliest forms of Chinese are known as traditional Chinese. Presently, there are many variants of spoken Chinese language such as Mandarin, modern standard Mandarin, Gan, Min, Hakka, Cantonese, Wu, and Xiang.
Many linguists have pointed out the possibility of including spoken Chinese in the category of Sino-Tibetan language family. The relation between the Chinese language as well as other Sino-Tibetan languages is presently one of the most active areas for research. The major turning point in the history of the Chinese language came in the 1950s with Community reforms. The primary aim of introducing reforms in the Chinese language and creating simplified Chinese was the improvement of literacy in the massive population of the country.
Differences Between the Types of Chinese Language
The differences between simplified and traditional Chinese are prominently evident. First of all, the number of strokes for writing a character is less in simplified Chinese. In addition, the overall number of characters is also less in Simplified Chinese. Furthermore, simplified Chinese also offers better and flexible character selection, unlike traditional Chinese that use different characters for representing one particular idea.
The developments in the written Chinese language are still going on, and the continuous process includes new additions in the Chinese language every day.
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