3.1 Language and Writing. Chinese itself is not a single language, but a language family like the Romance language family to which French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Swiss Romansch belong. After inventing the printing press, the most popular type of booklet was Buddhist sayings and prayers. 24) China’s giant pandas are … In fact, the history of the Chinese language can be classified into the following stages: Archaic Chinese (14th to 11th centuries BC): the language of oracular inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells. Some scholars divide the history of the Chinese languages into Proto-Sinitic (Proto-Chinese; until 500 bc), Archaic (Old) Chinese (8th to 3rd century bc), Ancient (Middle) Chinese (through ad 907), and Modern Chinese (from c. the 10th century to modern times). Mandarin, Hakka, Cantonese, Wu, Min, Gan, and Xiang are the Chinese language. Chinese people speak mandarin (Putong Hua, Hanyu, Huayu, Guoyu, standard Chinese) which is based on Beijing Dialect. The linguists consider them as a different language family, while the native people consider them as dialects of a single Chinese. Few present-day Chinese linguists would agree with this periodicization in all its details. Old Mandarin: the language of the Miny dynasty dictionary, the Hongwu Zheyun. Around 16 percent of the whole population in the world speaks Chinese. Ancient Chinese Culture is older than 5000 years. Taoism believes in nature’s balance of forces called Yin and Yang. The ancient texts of Japan have lent to studying the diachronic sound changes in the spoken language. Ancient China produced what has become the oldest extant culture in the world. A short history. Chinese emperors called themselves dragons' sons, born with power to rule the country. It consists of 450 syllables, approximately, in turn, there are more than 1200 words due to the different intonation with which they are pronounced. Image Credit: kelocity. until the end of China’s last imperial dynasty in 1912, China did not have a single national language. Image credit: Emily2k/Shutterstock.com Standard Chinese is the official language in mainland China, as well as in Taiwan, and is also known as Standard Mandarin or Modern Standard Mandarin. The author has done a marvelous job in condensing the vast landscape of the historical development of Chinese languages into a brief but comprehensive single volume -- a careful synthesis of Chinese linguistic facts, non-controversial research accomplishments, and fundamental facts about the history of Chinese language woven together with amusing stories and legends. Concurrently, the early toilet papers are with bamboo mixed with cotton. 21) More people speak Mandarin, a Chinese Dialect, as their first language than any other language in the world. The ancient Chinese used toilet papers before the rest of the world. Chinese civilization is historically considered the dominant culture of East Asia. Ancient Chinese Languages. Facts about Chinese Language tell you about the first language spoken by the Chinese people. Chinese architectural traditions were much respected all over the world. It was the most advanced civilization the world had ever seen. Facts about Ancient China 8: Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Like the Romance languages, the Chinese languages are mutually unintelligible (that is what makes them different languages). Chinese character inscriptions have been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty 1 (1766-1123 BC) proving the written language has existed for more than 3,000 years. Middle Chinese. The Chinese have used chopsticks to eat with for over 4,000 years. Ban Po was occupied c. 4500-3750 BCE and was discovered by workmen digging a foundation for a factory in … 22) China is home to a cluster of ancient rock pillars called the Stone Forest. The sophisticated Chinese civilization was rich in the Arts and Sciences, elaborate Painting and Printing techniques and delicate pottery and sculpture. Facts about Ancient China 7: Language. Lesson Summary. This style of eating is followed even today. However, only emperors use toilet papers in the old times. They believe that all opposing forces such as dark and light, and male and female are always balance. The Romans and the Greeks knew the country … Ancient Chinese Languages was more of a symbolic representation just like its Egyptian counterpart. Now that’s one for unexpected China facts. 1. National Language of China: Standard Chinese Ancient chinese characters carved in stone stamper. But, because they share a common history and a good deal of common vocabulary and grammar, it is … The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from around 1250 BC, in the late Shang dynasty. Rather, the Chinese spoke many different languages and dialects that developed organically over the course of several millennia. From the time China became a nation state in 221 B.C. Ancient Chinese script. Thus, Classical Chinese is understood here merely as one particular stage of Ancient Chinese, one variety (or a subset of varieties) of the language spoken in China in the Eastern Zhou period, and it is represented by one section as consequence. In 1953, men digging out the foundation for a factory in a Chinese village came across an amazing discovery. Its development can be divided into two major periods: from inscriptions on oracle bones to mini-seal … Middle Chinese was the language used during the Sui, Tang and Song dynasties (6th through 10th centuries AD). Ancient Chinese: the language of the seventh century AD rhyme dictionary, the Qieyun. Nonetheless, the Mandarin Chinese spoken today is very different from the Chinese spoken in ancient China, and it is mutually unintelligible with many other Chinese dialects spoken in the vast territories of the People’s Republic of China. With China being one of the earliest ancient civilizations, Chinese culture exerts profound influence on the philosophy, virtue, etiquette, and traditions of Asia to date. in the Lazy Susan style. In ancient China, emperors used eunuchs as servants, as many concubines lived in the palaces. With that in mind, here are ten facts about the Chinese language (languages, really) for World Chinese Language Day. Ancient historical texts have provided some proof of the possible existence of the Xia Dynasty that existed even before the Shang Dynasty of 1700-1046BC. It was born roughly in Tang Dynasty and thrived in Song Dynasty and popularized in Ming and throughout Qing Dynasties. Thus, the third longest river in the world is the Yangtze river. Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. Ancient Chinese is simply defined as “the language of the writings of the past” (Wang 1979:1). From the inscriptions on oracle bones in the Shang Dynasty, it is concluded that the formation of Chinese characters has a history of more than 3,000 years. The Earliest Ancient Writings. Ironically (considering China’s lax approach to Tibetan language education), Chinese forms a part of what is known as the Sino-Tibetan language family. Mandarin Chinese, the most common Chinese dialect, is the most widely spoken language in the world. The name 'China' comes from the Sanskrit Cina (derived from the name of the Chinese Qin Dynasty, pronounced 'Chin') which was translated as 'Cin' by the Persians and seems to have become popularized through trade along the Silk Road from China to the rest of the world.. It’s unclear how or when the secret was lost. Actually there are several varieties of Chinese languages. The Chinese language is revered as one of the oldest and most profound surviving languages in the world. Around the world, one out of five people speaks the language. In ancient China, the process of making silk was a closely guarded secret, and revealing it was punishable by the death. The Yangtze River is considered to be the 'cradle' of Chinese civilization. Chinese is certainly a language with ancient origins. These were conquered by the king of the state of Qin, who became the First Emperor in 221 BCE. Chinese civilization is truly ancient, as is its writing system. The Chinese language is monosyllabic. The Last Emperor of China, Puyi, became ruler when he was only 3 years old. These extensive symbolic representations were then simplified by minimalist used of lines which were different from the original script but still bore a … The Chinese people became unified as one kingdom, which lasted for about 2,000 years. It is the sixth longest river in the world. Some theories suggest that images and markings on pottery shards found at Ban Po Village are evidence of an early writing system but this claim has been challenged repeatedly. The antithesis of the dragon is the phoenix, representing feminine power. The food is placed at the centre of the table and people sit around it with their rice bowls in hand. China language mapMost linguists classify all of the variations of Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family and believe that there was an original language similar to Proto Indo-European from which the Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages descended. Yellow river is also known as Huang He. Here are some interesting facts about ancient Chinese food that you may not have known. The Chinese language, spoken in the form of Standard Mandarin, is the official language in the largest part of mainland China and Taiwan, one of the four in Singapore, and an official idiom of the United Nations. The most amazing discovery about Old Japanese lies in its vowel phoneme system. However, it was transmitted to Japan around 300AD, brought there by four Chinese girls according to one legend. The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history. There is no current evidence that indicates at what point ancient Chinese separated itself from the language family, but there is very little doubt that the language draws heavily from Sino-Tibetan. It remained a secret for thousands of years, despite the fact that it became widely exported. Founded during the Zhou dynasty, Taoism was proposed by Lao-Tzu. Ancient Chinese writing evolved from the practice of divination during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE). Traditional Chinese foods are usually shared communally i.e. 23) China’s Leshan Giant Buddha, a gigantic stone statue, has 5.5-m-long eyebrows! Food shared Lazy Susan style. Indeed, the two arts are closely related. Ancient Chinese ideology and history were shaped by three major philosophies and religions, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Mandarin is the official language of China. The Chinese have enjoyed a written language for more than 3,000 years. Middle Chinese: the language of the Song dynasty rhyme tables. In the 5th century BCE it was made up of several rival kingdoms. About 1.3 billion people (one-fifth of the world) speak some form of Chinese, making it the language with the most native speakers. There are over 800 million native Mandarin speakers. It is spoken by 1.2 billion people. Chinese cultural history has enormous diversity and variety. 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