Fostering Multiliteracy in the Diverse Classroom

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Chinese (Pinyin: Hàny¨³; Huáy¨³; Zh¨­ngwén) can be considered a language or a language family that forms part of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world speaks some form of Chinese as their native language.

All varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic. However, Chinese is also internally diverse. Regional variation is comparable to the Romance language family: many variants of spoken Chinese are mutually unintelligible. There are between six and twelve main regional groups of Chinese (depending on the classification scheme). The largest by far is Mandarin (with about 800 million speakers), followed by Wu (about 90 million), and Cantonese (about 80 million). Chinese is classified as a macrolanguage with 13 sub-languages in ISO 639-3, though the identification of the varieties of Chinese as multiple "languages" or as "dialects" of a single language is a controversial issue.


Pyschobiological book found at the UAB nursing building.


Chinese Church Sign


Chinese Menu


Ni Hao 2: Chinese Language Course Elementary Level : Traditional Character Edition (Paperback)


Chinese salad dressing found at a world market in Homewood, AL.


Express Chinese resturant in Homewood, AL.

Information about the Chinese language:


Spoken in:

People's Republic of China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau), Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore, and other with Chinese communities 


(majorities): East Asia
(minorities): Southeast Asia, and other with Chinese communities

Total speakers:

more than 1.3 billion 


Chinese, all: 1

Mandarin: 1
Wu: 12
Cantonese: 18
Min: 22
Hakka: 33

Language family:


Writing system:

Chinese characters