Chinese is spoken by over one billion people, and is part of the Sinitic family of languages. Nearly 1/5th of the world’s population speak Chinese as their native tongue, and the Mandarin dialect is considered its standard form. Derived from the Beijing dialect, Mandarin is prevalent in Northern China, whereas other dialects, including Cantonese, is widely spoken throughout the southern plains. As a standard form of Chinese, Mandarin, is publicly taught within the school system. Therefore, Mandarin is now the dominant dialect on the mainland, and in neighboring Chinese Taipei. Many language experts believe Chinese writing was developed during the 2nd millennium BC. Comprised of characters and letters known as Hanzi, the characters were symbols of animals, people, and other forms. Over the centuries, these characters were enhanced and stylized, and adapted multiple meanings for each character. That trend continues today, where characters are being fused with other characters, to create new meanings.
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