CHINESE Language

Chinese is one of the two world languages with over a billion speakers. It is the most used mother tongue on the planet with over 900 million native speakers and more learning it as their second (or more) language. Chinese is also one of the 6 official UN languages – the others being English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish.

Contrary to popular belief that there are only four tones in Mandarin Chinese, there is also a fifth ‘neutral tone’. Chinese writing has over 50,000 characters. That said, only about 20,000 of them are used today. Chinese grammar is extremely simple. There are no verb conjugations and tenses are expressed by using time phrases such as “tomorrow, yesterday, in the future” etc. If that wasn’t reason enough to pick up a Mandarin textbook, there’s also no gender-specific nouns and no need to distinguish between singular and plural nouns.