Say It Right Series
speak chinese like a native

Say Chinese in Chinese.

Posted by dan78cj5 September 16, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

Has anyone else noted the difference in the way people say “Chinese” in Chinese.  

I am referring to the language here, though similar question could be asked about the differences in saying "Chinese" meaning ethnicity or nationality or citizenship.  But here I mean language, and mean much more than the simple difference between official terms like 普通话Putonghua in the mainland and国语 guoyu in Taiwan. 

 When traveling through Asia I felt every place had its own way to say "Chinese," and by the way 中文 zhongwen was almost never used in basic conversation, except by educators. 汉语 – common in most of the mainlan普通话 – used less common, for clarity with foreigners, or to distinguish from fangyan 方言

汉族话 – ran into this mostly in Xinjiang, but other places as well

华人话 – in a Tailand ‘Chinatown’ community

华语 – in Singapore

国语 – in South China (mainland) a good bit, and all over Taiwan or SF (旧金山)

中国话 - occasionally heard, can't remember where, but still more likely than zhongwen.

中文 – by academics/educators everywhere. And its safe to say that in the mainland, especially if it is a 汉族 speaker any of these are likely to be preceded by the phrase 我们的 “women-de”– 比如:你会讲我们的汉语吗! 

Just an observation, I wonder what your experience has been.

 

In America we still say we speak English, though in China more and more I am hearing 美语.  What do you think? 

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