Talk:Standard Chinese

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  • Reference of "unknown native speakers in 1988" is now cited. I shouldn't remove it as it seems to be the only relevant source, although from the readers' point of view this outdated information is far from helpful and maybe confusing, too.
  • A reference to how Standard Chinese is defined in syntax and lexicon was cited in previous editions. I think it is you who removed it for some reason, yet I think it is valid to cite this reference.
  • The second paragraph of the introduction is broken into seperate lines. I paraphased it it in previous editions. You undo my paraphrasing for some reason, yet I think it is valid to paraphrase it into a continuous paragraph.
  • @Thomasettaei:. Happy Saturday. Lovewhatyoudo (talk) 07:05, 29 August 2015 (UTC)


I redirected Mandarin Chinese here because Mandarin almost always refers to Standard Chinese, as opposed to the group that encompasses Southwest Mandarin an Zhongyuan etc. Using the term Mandarin to refer to those seems restricted to linguists. The title of Mandarin Chinese (group) should still respect the naming concensus.--Prisencolin (talk) 05:50, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Saying that Mandarin "almost always" refers to Standard Chinese is another way of saying that is doesn't always refer to Standard Chinese. Leading sinologists like Victor H. Mair use "Standard Mandarin Chinese" (SMC) to refer to what is here called Standard Chinese, and "Mandarin Chinese" for Wikipedia's Mandarin Chinese (group).
I believe that Mandarin Chinese warrants a disambiguation page. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 18:12, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia was created to reflect the wealth of knowledge humankind has gained, and certainly not what is taught in language courses to foreigners alone. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 18:40, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
P.S. I don't exactly like unsourced statements involving expressions like "almost always" and "probably." Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 18:44, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not just classes designed for foreigners, in schools in Chinese-speaking countries, the only Mandarin that is supposed to be taught is Standard Mandarin, even in Southwest Mandarin regions.--Prisencolin (talk) 18:56, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
You don't understand what I mean. Wikipedia is supposed to be scientific — as opposed to your intuition or bellyfeel. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 19:22, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
According to Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar: "In popular as well as linguistic usage, [Mandarin] is represents the to the speech of Beijing, which for centuries has been recognized as the standard language, because of the political and cultural influence of the city.--Prisencolin (talk) 20:24, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes. I'm not saying that all scientists agree on what "Mandarin" means, but that the term is ambiguous. There are no compelling arguments to ignore renowned sinologists such as the above-mentioned Victor H. Mair who once wrote: "... even within the huge collection of speech forms that fall under the umbrella of "Mandarin," there are many varieties that are more or less mutually unintelligible." (source) — The term Mandarin Chinese calls for a disambiguation page. — My impression is you are not a sinologist. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 20:52, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm not really expect on the subject, but that's the point, until I read through these articles I was confused as to the relationship between this Mandarin and what most people call Mandarin. I'm sure other people are as well. In any case, I just might support your proposal to make Mandarin Chinese a dab page, depending on what you'd want the current article with that title to go.--Prisencolin (talk) 22:13, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
The problem is not you aren't a recognized expert, but your lacking expertise. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 22:40, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Speaking of Victor Mair, why don't we just email him, I mean he responds to comments the language log blog all the time. If anyone's got the expertise, it's that guy.--Prisencolin (talk) 22:56, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Do so. Victor is open to all input. Please don't forget to point him to this discussion. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 23:12, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I strongly opposed the move from "Mandarin Chinese" to "Standard Chinese" and I think it confuses almost all of our average readers. In particular, in the anglosphere, "Mandarin" or "Mandarin Chinese" almost always refers to Putonghua. There has been a conflict between pedantic linguists who insist on classifying languages by their scholarly 'genetic' definitions and those who feel that the subjects should reflect how it is commonly understood. There is no perfect solution, but considering we are trying to serve the interest of the readers, I am tipped towards the latter (that this page is renamed "Standard Mandarin"). Colipon+(Talk) 13:24, 20 April 2016 (UTC) If you take a look at this discussion it is clear there was really no consensus to move in the first place. Colipon+(Talk) 13:28, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Was I looking for Standard Chinese when I found this? Perhaps. Was I lookng for a language which only a few Chinese speak as their native language? No I was looking for the language spoken by most Chinese. And then the question arose, so what do the Chinese speak who don't speak Cantonese, Wu, Hakka, etc.? In that sense the nonexpert reader, looking for the language spoken by the majority of Chinese, is indeed looking for the Mandarin dialects. This is confusing just like if you searched for Hindi and the article said it didn't actually have many native speakers. Readers are probably looking for both the standard language and the vernacular (and may not realize there is a difference). (talk) 01:33, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Reconstructing how I got here, I searched for "Mandarin" and saw "Standard Chinese: the official language of the PRC." So sure I did want to find this article (based on that description) but the number of native speakers threw me for a loop. No, I may have even found this from List of languages by number of native speakers, which illustrates the problem even more. It took me a while to find the actual Mandarin Chinese article--and note that Wu, Yue etc. are linked from that list so it really does leave the reader confused about what Chinese people speak. (talk) 01:51, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Hong Kong & Macau: Official Language?[edit]

I would like to point to a discussion at User talk:LiliCharlie#Mandarin as official in Hong Kong and Macau which was started by Moalli a few days ago after I had reverted their edits here and there. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 19:34, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

According to the reference you provided, the official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English. "Chinese" is somewhat ambiguous, but official documents are produced in English and Standard Chinese, and government meetings offer simultaneous translation in those languages and Cantonese. So it does seem that Standard Chinese is an official language of HK (and similarly for Macau). Kanguole 20:52, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Unless someone provides evidence to the contary I'm going to re-add the two special administrative regions early next week. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 18:14, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

It is erroneous to say that Standard Chinese is the official language of Hong Kong. First, it is true that in most cases the written language of Hong Kong is "Chinese" - a style of writing based on Standard Chinese, but not exactly the same. Plus no one will read those texts in Standard Chinese in oral. I would say that it is just a form of 'literal Cantonese". Moreover, Standard Chinese is never a working language in any government department. I guess those who proposed have to clarify the meaning of "De facto". (talk) 22:52, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

This is interesting discussion. User:Citobun recently removed from infobox the Hong Kong flag, so I would welcome if Citobun join the discussion, because it would be nice discussion about what was His reason, because I agree that Chinese standard language is official in Hong Kong (as well as English and Cantonese). When Honk Kong officials say they use Chinese and English I understand they mean they use Standard Chinese and Cantonese and English (probably they wanted to say that Cantonese is dialect of Chinese language or like that, having more or less common written system, that is traditional, that is, in turn, predecessor of simplified Chinese characters system, so they didn't mention the Cantonese language, but I think the Cantonese language must be written in some Hong Kong documents as official language and there just poor references on the Hong Kong documents in the infobox that mention only Chinese and English). Also I say again lots of thanks to User:LiliCharlie who so quickly read my new reference from South China Morning Post and found that I had error rewriting numbers from the article, so I fixed and would ask her if she is pleased my redress or not. Nice to meet all Wikipedians here. Faithfully --PoetVeches (talk) 18:41, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
I think also there is no sense to mention here Latin word "de facto", because here must be only considered word "de jure", so, as far as I know, the three: Standard Chinese, Cantonese and English, are all official languages in the Hong Kong SAR "de jure", isn't it? --PoetVeches (talk) 23:17, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Discrepancy in number of L2 speakers listed in right column[edit]

Currently the right info column of the page says that 7% of China is an L2 speaker of Standard Mandarin. It currently sites two sources, both of them saying two things: 30% of the country cannot speak Standard Mandarin, and only 7% can speak it "fluently and articulately." What about the other 63%? Elsewhere on the page it states that 53% of Chinese can communicate effectively using Standard Mandarin. I realize that the definition of an L2 language is vague, but I feel that the 7% figure is too low, considering over half the country is at least conversational in it. This may mislead readers into thinking it is a relatively useless language with a very small number of speakers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:58, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

I tend to agree that "communicate effectively" is a mre reasonable standard for an L2. Kanguole 09:38, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

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