Which Chinese language is best to learn?
The best Chinese language is “Pǔtōnghuà” or “Mandarin,” the official language in China.
What is Mandarin and why is it the best Chinese language to learn?
Pǔtōnghuà means the “common language” in Mandarin Chinese. Different from English, the dialects in Chinese are mostly not mutually comprehensible. Even though they are addressed as “dialects” belonging to the Chinese language family, they are actually more like different languages that are not cognates, especially the dialects in southern China. Because of the many varied dialects, the Chinese government decided an official language was necessary to make sure that people in various areas can communicate without a problem.
How useful is Mandarin?
No matter if you’re in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, locals will all be able to speak Mandarin with you. They may speak a different dialect at home or in their daily life, but they should be able to communicate with you in standard Mandarin.
In other words, if you are going to a specific region in either mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, you can choose to learn the dialect there, for example, Shanghainese, Cantonese, Taiwanese, etc. However, you still need to learn Mandarin to communicate with people who are not native to the area.
So, Mandarin is the best choice if you are to learn Chinese since it is the “common language” for business, education, politics, and any other use in public.
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