Chinese, What language for what regions in China & Domestic US

Chinese, What language for what regions in China & Domestic US

Chinas rapidly growing economy is one of the sure-fire reasons thats make the language Chinese, the next big thing. On October 2015  the President of United States, Barack Obama realized the need for a push to learn Chinese. He announced his goal to have at least 1 million Americans learning Chinese by 2020 (known as the 1 Million Strong Initiative), claiming that if the two countries are going to continue to work together on world issues, they need to understand each other.

Chinese spoken in different regions in China

China, a country with more than 1.3 billion people with Mandarin Chinese as their principal language, actually has 298 individual listed languages. All of these are living languages. Of these, 274 are indigenous and 24 are non-indigenous. Furthermore, 14 are institutional, 23 are developing, 103 are vigorous, 126 are in trouble, and 32 are dying.

The languages of China are the languages that are spoken by China’s 56 recognized ethnic groups. The predominant language in China, which is divided into seven major dialect groups, is known as Hanyu (simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, pinyin). and its study is considered a distinct academic discipline in China. Hanyu, or Han language, spans eight primary dialect groups, that differ from each other morphologically and phonetically to such a degree that dialects from different regions can often be mutually unintelligible.

However, Standard Mandarin is the official verbal language in the Mainland China and Taiwan, while on the other hand Cantonese is the official language in Hong Kong and Macau.

Chinese spoken in domestic US

According to the book Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions, Chinese language is the third most spoken language in the United States. Over 2 million Americans speak varieties of Chinese, with Mandarin becoming increasingly common due to immigration from mainland China and to some extent Taiwan. According to the report of United States Centre Bureau (2014) over 1.7 million people speak Mandarin and over 260,000 people speak “Cantonese”, with 58.62% percent residing in California and the next most with 16.19% in New York. The Cantonese language spoken in the U.S. is growing at a much faster pace at this point then the Mandarin. 

Importance of Chinese language in the United States

A 2015 survey by the Modern Language Association found that Chinese accounted for 3% of foreign language class enrolment in the United States; making it the seventh most commonly learned foreign languages in the United States. Most Chinese as foreign language classes teach Simplified characters and Standard Mandarin Chinese.

American Language Services stands the test of time in providing translation, interpretation, transcription and media services (dubbing, voiceovers & subtitling) to private industry, government at all levels, and educational and non-profit organizations. Our thousands of linguists around the world and teams of dedicated professionals are ready to serve.

Call Us Now: 1-800-951-5020 for further information or a quick quotation for your next project.

See more at:


Quick Quote