Mandarin is the official language in Mainland China. It is developed largely from Beijing Dialect. People live in different areas have their own dialects and some of the dialects are very different from standard Mandarin.
In 1950s the Chinese government developed the pinyin system, which uses roman letters to represent the characters’ pronunciation in order to raise the literacy rate. (click here for more information about Mandarin pronunciation)
Chinese characters are used in the writing system. There are about 50,000 characters that have been created throughout 6,000 years. But most of them are not in-use in modern Chinese. For daily conversation, you only need 1000 of them. Characters are like Lego blocks. Put them in a logical way will make new words. (click here for more information)
Simple Chinese grammar is same as English. Plus no tenses and no singular or plural forms of words. (see grammar)
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