Chinese is a “super language” with many dialects. Cantonese, for instance, is a dialect of Chinese. In mainland China, in order for people speaking different dialects to understand and communicate with each other, a standard and official language was created based on Beijing dialect.
Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the two branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world’s population, or over 1 billion people, speak some form of Chinese as their native language. The identification of the varieties of Chinese as “languages” or “dialects” is controversial. As a language family Chinese has nearly 1.2 billion speakers; Mandarin Chinese alone has around 850 million native speakers, outnumbering any other languages in the world. and also standardized form of spoken Chinese is Standard Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect. Standard Mandarin is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), as well as one of four official languages of Singapore. Chinese-de facto, Standard Mandarin-is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Of the other varieties, Standard Cantonese is common and influential in Cantonese speaking overseas communities, and remains one of the official languages of Hong Kong (together with English) and of Macau (together with Portuguese).