Mandarin (Chinese)

Linguistics

There is not one single Chinese language as such but several varieties of Chinese which are more or less mutually understandable; the language is spoken by over 1 billion people (making is more popular than English).

Of the different varieties Mandarin is the most widely spoken version with over 800 million speakers. This includes “Standard Chinese” which is the Beijing dialect of Mandarin. (The other major variety is Cantonese.)

MT Influence Problems

In teaching Chinese speakers English, some of the common problems found include:

  • Confusing pronouns he/his/him and she/hers/her because in Mandarin these are pronounced the same.
  • Objects are often brought to the front of the sentence; the usual
  • The auxiliary is often left out when making questions so you’ll here questions like How to go? How to say? and How to get to?
  • Mandarin does not distinguish between bring & take so these are often confused.

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