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Our world seems to shrink more and more by the day. With many jobs going overseas to China and what seems like its inevitable rise as one of the world’s economic hubs, Mandarin is becoming one of the most in-demand languages in business. Due to this fact, Mandarin is the fastest growing language in Middle Schools, High Schools and Universities around the country. Unfortunately though, learning Mandarin as an adult will take approximately 2,300 hours to become conversational due to the complexity of the language, whereas those hours are significantly cut by starting early.
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The Chinese language is thousands of years old. In fact, it is the only language that has had one fairly consistent written language for more than 3,000 consecutive years. This is primarily attributed to the unified political and social development of China, which is very different from the development of the Romance Languages which were a product of the fall of the Roman Empire.
Due to the shared written language, there is a common misconception that spoken Chinese is one single language, when in fact “Chinese” is the name given to a group of languages spoken in China. The term Chinese Languages would be comparable to the term Romance Languages – both are a series of closely related languages of which a speaker of one cannot necessarily understand speakers of another. However, the close history of the languages allow for speakers of one language to learn another quite easily.
The history of the many Chinese languages is complex and mostly unknown. As China entered the modern political world, a language revolution took place as Mandarin Chinese was taught in schools and finally adopted as the official language.
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Sources for the content on this page include: Wikipedia.org “Chinese Language” & “Mandarin Chinese”, LanguageHelpers.com “Chinese Language Facts”, History.com “Chinese Language”, AdvancedLanguageTranslation.com “Chinese Language Translation Services”, About.com “Introduction to Mandarin Chinese”, and UCLA Language Materials Project “Mandarin”. Please note that while we pride ourselves and our sources on accuracy of information, statistics and facts may vary slightly by site and recency of data.