Chinese Language Day: Surprising Facts About This Complicated Language

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 20 April 2022 Last update: Thursday، 20 April 2023

To celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, the UN Department of Public Information 2010 established the Chinese Language Day to be celebrated yearly on 20 April. On this occasion, we will shed light on basic and surprising facts about the Chinese Language. 

Facts About Chinese Language 

Let us look at facts about the Chinese language, which is considered a complicated and quite different language. 

  • Mother tongue on the planet with over 900 million native speakers, making it top position as the most used mother tongue.  

  • One of the hardest languages to learn, where you must learn 3,000 characters to be considered fluent enough to read Chinese.  

  • Like Arabic, the Chinese language has a different writing style, and they are 5 including Seal Character, Official Script, Formal Script, Running Script, Formal Script, Running Script, and Cursive Hand.   

  • The Seal Character style is the most popular calligraphy style.   

  • The Chinese language is filled with similar sounding words, making it quite difficult for non-native speakers to differentiate between words and sound combinations.  

  • The Chinese Language is the only extant pictographic language.  

  • The Chinese language was developed using images, for example, the word for mountain "shan”, 山, where the three points of the character are meant to resemble the three peaks of a mountain ridge.  

  • Chinese handwriting is the most unrecognizable.  

  • Chinese is one of the oldest Languages that is still in use.   

  • Chinese is a tonal language, in which the meaning of your words can change drastically based on the tone you use to pronounce them.  

  • Chinese characters can be broken down into simpler components since the Chinese language has 1 to 17 strokes that must be written in order and changing the order will make it another word.   

  • Chinese has many words that are borrowed from English and are in use today, for example, coffee is pronounced safe.   

  • Ancient Chinese characters were used 3,000 years ago.  

  • There is a theory that some Chinese is “Biblical”.  

  • Some of the Chinese Characters are also used in other languages such as in Japan, pre-colonial Vietnam as well as historic Korea.  

  • The most complicated Chinese character is biang which includes a total of 57 strokes.  

  • New words are awkward to add to rigid Chines, for example when computers were invented, they used what was already in their arsenal to create a name: ‘electric brain’.  

  • Chinese is typed by turning syllables into characters.  

  • Chinese has 1,000s 4-character idioms, the largest percentage has four characters.  

  • Chinese has no articles, verb inflections, or plurals.  

  • There’s also no word to say “yes” in Chinese, for example when someone says, “Can you help me” the way to say yes is “Can”. Another example is when someone says, “is it clear?” The way to say yes is “Clear”.   

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