The following is a list of Chinese dialects and languages.
Linguists classify these languages as the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Within this broad classification, linguistics identify between seven and fourteen subgroups.
Traditional classification 
Traditional Chinese classification lists seven groups, comprising:
(shown here with the romanized Standard Chinese names of the categories, ordered alphabetically).
Modern linguistic classification 
James Matisoff’s widely accepted classification is as follows:
Matisoff's list uses the common English names of the groups, ordered by decreasing number of speakers of languages within the group.
The Ethnologue lists 14 language groups. In ISO 639-3 all beside Dungan are encoded as part of the Chinese 'macrolanguage' (zh/zho). The 14 languages are:
|Chinese, Min Bei
||Min → Min Bei
|Chinese, Min Dong
||Min → Min Dong
|Chinese, Min Nan
||Min → Min Nan
|Chinese, Min Zhong
||Min → Min Zhong
||Min → Pu–Xian
||Mandarin → Dungan
See also Campbell's article on classifying Chinese dialects and ChinaDC's chart of Sino-Tibetan languages.
As the above categories illustrate, there are three common approaches to naming categories and languages in English:
- A Romanization of the name in Standard Chinese (e.g. "Gan" or "Xiang")
- The common English name, where there is one (e.g. "Cantonese" or "Mandarin")
- A Romanization of the name in the local variety (e.g. "Hakka" or "Hokkien")
The classification used here is a combination of the classifications given above.
Distinction between dialects and languages 
In addition to the languages and dialects listed below, it is customary to speak informally of dialects of each province, e.g. Sichuan dialect, Hainan dialect. These designations do not generally correspond to classifications used by linguists, but each nevertheless has characteristics of its own.
The question of whether the various varieties of Chinese should be called dialects or languages in their own right is contentious. There are two principal uses of the word dialect. If varieties are considered dialects of a single language when they are mutually intelligible, and separate languages otherwise, then the principal branches of Chinese, and even some of the subbranches, are distinct languages. If, on the other hand, 'dialect' is used in its other meaning of a variety that is socially subordinate to a standardized or otherwise prestigious variety, perhaps one that shares a common written language and literature with the prestige form, then they are all dialects of a single Chinese language, though Cantonese and to a lesser extent Shanghainese and Taiwanese are local prestige forms with use in the media and a nascent literature.
List of dialects and languages 
The main dialect areas of Gan in Mainland China.
Main article: Gan Chinese
Guan (Mandarin) 
The eight main dialect areas of Mandarin in Mainland China.
Sometimes subcategory of Wu.
The main dialect areas of Jin in China.
Main article: Jin Chinese
Sometimes subcategory of Mandarin.
Kejia (Hakka) 
Main article: Hakka Chinese
The main dialect areas of Min in Mainland China, Hainan and Taiwan.
Main article: Min Chinese
The main dialect areas of Wu in Mainland China.
Dialect map of Hunan
is orange, Old Xiang
yellow, and Chen-Xu Xiang
Non-Xiang languages are (clockwise from top right) Gan (purple), Kejia (pink along the right), Hunan Tuhua
(dark green), Southwestern Mandarin (dark green, light blue, medium blue, light green on the left), and Waxianghua
Main article: Xiang Chinese
The main dialect areas of Cantonese (Yue) in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam.
Main article: Yue Chinese
The non-Min dialects of Hainan were once considered Yue, but are now left unclassified:
Bradley (2007) adds an Old Southwestern branch of Chinese:
Mixed languages 
In addition to the varieties within the Sinitic branch of Sino-Tibetan, a number of mixed languages also exist that comprise elements of one or more Chinese languages and dialects, plus other languages.
See also 
Notes and references 
- ^ "Ethnologue report for Chinese". Retrieved 2006-09-04.
- ^ James Campbell. "Chinese Dialect Classification". Glossika. Retrieved 2006-08-30. Includes descriptions of the dialects spoken in over 2,500 cities and counties in China. Includes interactive map.
- ^ "Linguistic chart of Sino-Tibetan Languages". ChineseDC.com. Archived from the original on 2006-05-30. Retrieved 2006-08-30. In Chinese.
- ^ The official sanction of Mandarin as an official language has given rise to the following varieties of Standard Mandarin in areas that did not originally speak any dialect of the Mandarin group:
- ^ Includes:
- Central Taiwanese
- Northeastern coastal Taiwanese
- Northern Taiwanese
- Southern Taiwanese