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Chinese is spoken by more people than any other language in the world. All but about 100 million of China’s 1 1/4 billion people, or 1,150,000,000, speak one or another of its dialects. There are another 20 million speakers on Taiwan, 7 million in Thailand, 5 million in Malaysia, 2 1⁄2 million in Singapore, one million in Vietnam, and lesser numbers in other countries including the United States and Canada. Thus Chinese has more than twice the number of speakers of English, though of course it lacks the universality of English and is spoken by few people not of Chinese origin. Chinese has been an official language of the United Nations since the founding of the organization in 1945.

China constitutes a separate branch of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Though it has many dialects, Mandarin (based on the pronunciation of Beijing) is considered the standard and is spoken by nearly three-fourths of all Chinese-speakers in China, or about 900 million people. The Mandarin-speaking area covers more than three-fourths of all of China: the entire north but also the southern provinces of Kweichow (Guizhou) and Szechwan (Sichuan). All the other dialects are confined to the southeastern corner of the country, between the lower course of the Yangtze River and the South China Sea.

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The rapidly growing economy and influence of China push the Chinese language up to a higher position in the global community. Many foreigners interested in Chinese culture are beginning to learn this language. However, as China boasts an age-old culture and a complicated language, foreigners learning Chinese are often faced with great challenges, including the intonation curve, word building, sentence construction, character forms and strokes. With over a century of experience in language teaching, Berlitz offers you professional, native-speaking Chinese instructors who have been strictly trained in the Berlitz Method®. We teach only in Chinese, emphasize practical training, enhance students’ sense of language and confidence, expand their knowledge base and ability to use Chinese and help them enjoy Chinese learning quickly, easily!

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