Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, or simply Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese that is the sole official language of both China and Taiwan (de facto), and also one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, and its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese.
Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order. It has more initial consonants but fewer vowels, final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words.
There exist two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters (plus Hanyu Pinyin romanization for teaching), while Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters (plus Zhuyin for teaching). There are many characters that are identical between the two systems.
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