Chinese Language

Mandarin (In Chinese: Zhong wen/Hanyu) is the standard language of China.

It is also one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations.

Mandarin is spoken by approximately 1.37 billion of people.

A large number of people in Asia speak Mandarin, as well as the Chinese communities overseas.

Mandarin is spoken in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, many south-east Asian countries and Chinese people who live in overseas (in NZ, Australia, Canada, USA etc).

Chinese Writing

Chinese is a very old language. It has a history of about 5,000 years.

The early people inscribed symbols on ox and turtle bones.


Later on people wrote on bamboo but it was heavy to carry.


About 2,000 ago, people in China invented paper. Paper making is considered to be one of the 4 great inventions of ancient China.

The Chinese characters are pictorial, which means the characters were originally pictures of people, animals or other things,

but over the centuries they have become increasingly stylised.


Many characters have been combined with others to create new ones.

Every Chinese character is different and it is important to follow the correct order of the strokes.

Chinese Calligraphy

In the olden days, people wrote with brushes and ink.


Some people did beautiful handwriting and that is considered to be one type of art.

Chinese calligraphy is still a popular art in Asian countries.

Sometimes people present their calligraphy work with beautiful Chinese paintings.

Children have to learn to use the brush at school and many elder people love to do it as a leisure activity!