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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19th March 2006, 05:23 PM
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which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

中文 - 中国 - 汉语

thanks for the help!
Laurie
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Old 19th March 2006, 09:34 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lmg67
中文 - 中国 - 汉语

thanks for the help!
Laurie
中文 - 汉语 - 华语 - 华文

中国 is China, not language.
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Last edited by Giant; 19th March 2006 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 19th March 2006, 10:10 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant
中文 - 汉语 - 华语 - 华文

中国 is China, not language.
OK, so the four combinations above mean chinese language. which one is the most common? i need to choose just one, which would you pick? (based on the one that is used the most)
thanks!
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Old 20th March 2006, 12:44 AM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

中文
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Old 6th April 2006, 12:14 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant
中文 - 汉语 - 华语 - 华文

I think, in writing (Chinese character) is 中文

but, in speaking (Chinese language) is 华语
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Old 6th April 2006, 07:35 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDNer
I think, in writing (Chinese character) is 中文

but, in speaking (Chinese language) is 华语
Generally speaking, you are right IDNer.

But since I like to travel and visit places, and I speak different region's laguage. I can tell you a bit more the difference of some very simple Chinese that few Chinese even know about.

I 写 (write) 中文, but I 讲 (speak) 华语 - In Taiwan, people use "讲" and "华语".

I 写 (write) 中文, but I 说 (speak) 汉语 - In China, people use "说" and "汉语".

I 写 (write) 中文, and I 讲 (speak) 中文 - In HK or places speak Cantonese, people use "讲" and "中文", - 中文 in both writing and speaking.

So, if you meet a Chinese in US and you want to know where he comes from, you just ask if he speaks Chinese. The answer "I CAN speak Chinese":

-我会讲华语 : Taiwanese and some overseas Chinese.
-我会说汉语 : Mainland Chinese.
-我会讲中文 : HK, Cantonese and some overseas Chinese.

Of course, this observation is not 100% accurate. (Depends at where you ask me,) You will fail if you try to use this method to guess where I am from, because "if I am in Rome I will act like a Roman". :-)
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Last edited by Giant; 6th April 2006 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 6th April 2006, 07:41 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

When you say Chinese language, you are referring to the written language - 中文 (Zhongwen).

There's no such thing as a spoken Chinese language - you got Mandarin, Cantonese, and hundreds of spoken Chinese dialects - some critics say they are not dialects but completely different languages.

For Mandarin, you have Guoyu (Taiwan - IDNer, pls correct me if i'm wrong), Putonghua and Huayu (Mainland China), and Huayu (Overseas Chinese).
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:06 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
When you say Chinese language, you are referring to the written language - 中文 (Zhongwen).

There's no such thing as a spoken Chinese language - you got Mandarin, Cantonese, and hundreds of spoken Chinese dialects - some critics say they are not dialects but completely different languages.

For Mandarin, you have Guoyu (Taiwan - IDNer, pls correct me if i'm wrong), Putonghua and Huayu (Mainland China), and Huayu (Overseas Chinese).
IDNer was correct to make such distinction.

English has only one term for "Chinese", but when you translate it into Chinese it becomes 2 terms.

1. Chinese (in writing) 中文
2. Chinese (in speaking) 中国话
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:16 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

"but, in speaking (Chinese language) is 华语"

华语 is Mandarin.

Chinese is really referring to the written language and not the spoken language.

For example, Sal can speak Cantonese, but if i ask Sal if he can speak Chinese - what is he going to say?

I'm quite familiar with this question because people in Singapore speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and English interchangeably - it's all mixed up, and a small talk can include words and terms from various languages.

Last edited by touchring; 6th April 2006 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:22 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
When you say Chinese language, you are referring to the written language - 中文 (Zhongwen).
Not neccessary, it could mean both the written Chinese and the spoken Chinese. Especially when a non-Chinese domainer asks this question.
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:24 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant
Not neccessary, it could mean both the written Chinese and the spoken Chinese. Especially when a non-Chinese domainer asks this question.

Ok, reality is different, but as you said, for a non-chinese, it's better to just think of it as the same or it will be really confusing.

Some of the domains on showcase on IDNClub is actually Taiyu or Hokien (maybe IDNer can confirm this).
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:34 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

[QUOTE=touchring
华语 is Mandarin.
[/QUOTE]

Wrong, but not completely wrong, 70% wrong :-)

华语 has 2 meanings.

1. Chinese spoken language (to distinguish it from French, English, Japanese...)

2. Mandarin or Putonghua (to distinguish it from Cantonese, Fujianese, and other Chinese dialects)

I general, meaning #1 is what people in the world refer 华语 to, people in Singapore tend to use 华语 as the meaning of #2.
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Last edited by Giant; 6th April 2006 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 6th April 2006, 08:47 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant
Wrong, but not completely wrong, 70% wrong :-)

华语 has 2 meanings.

1. Chinese spoken language (to distinguish it from French, English, Japanese...)

2. Mandarin or Putonghua (to distinguish it from Cantonese, Fujianese, and other Chinese dialects)

I general, meaning #1 is what people in the world refer 华语 to, people in Singapore tend to use 华语 as the meaning of #2.

Well, i'm not exactly sure of the interpretation for the whole world, but in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, where there are 20 million or more Overseas Chinese, 华语 is used to mean Mandarin.

Anyway, it's actually no longer relevant to this question as you said.

Last edited by touchring; 6th April 2006 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 6th April 2006, 09:07 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
Well, i'm not exactly sure of the interpretation for the whole world, but in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, where there are 20 million or more Overseas Chinese, 华语 is used to mean Mandarin.

Anyway, it's actually no longer relevant to this question as you said.
When I explain Chinese, I am talking authentic Chinese :-).

The regions that still use authentic Chinese are China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The rest including North America, Chinese is somewhat twisted by the local language.

Don't be surprised that you are not speaking authentic Chinese, I can list more terms that are popular in South East Asia but not in China or Taiwan.
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Old 6th April 2006, 09:45 PM
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Re: which is used most often to mean Chinese language?

Visit http://zhongwen.com/ (中文), learn Chinese! By the way, I don't think they own 中文.com, but still advertise as such. We need to find a term for this phenomenon.
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