Language

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What is the major language used in China?TOP
Mandarin language
When the term “Chinese language” is mentioned, it mostly refers to Mandarin (Putonghua, 普通话), the standard and official language used in mainland China. It is the language spoken by the largest amount of population across the world and has caused quite a buzz internationally and drawn in flocks of students in recent years. It is the sixth official languages in United Nations and second in Malaysia, Singapore.
Dialect
The Mandarin is the one and only official language in the country, but in Chinese people's daily life, dialect is more habitually spoken every day. According to rough statistics, there are over one hundred dialects in China, some of which are spoken by merely hundreds of people while some are even more dominating than the mandarin among the locals, such as the Wu in Shanghai, Cantonese in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong etc. Without the Mandarin, people from different parts of China would not even be able to communicate with each other.
Chinese characters
Chinese Characters is one of the most fascinating, but allegedly one of the five most complicated writing systems in the world, which comprises of thousands of distinctive characters called ideographs. The majority of the Chinese characters are composed of two elements: a phonetic indicating the sound of the character, and an ideographic indicating the meaning. In general, a total of approximately 50,000 characters are frequently used in daily life. Mastering around 1,000 characters would be basically enough to read a daily Chinese newspaper.
The Four Tones of Chinese characters
Mandarin is one of the few tonal languages around the world, which features four distinctive tones: the Flat, Rising, Falling-Rising, Falling tones. The slightest difference in the tone may lead to drastic differences in the expressions and possibly unnecessary inconvenience, therefore it's quite a challenge for those learning the language.

 

 
Is mastering the language necessary to travel in China?TOP

Nowadays English is being increasingly broadly spoken in China, especially among the younger generation for English has been a compulsory subject of the national curriculum for over a decade, and the service teams at hotels, high-end restaurants, airline companies, train stations, banks, travel agencies, department stores and many other venues. Therefore studying the language is not really necessary for travelling in the country, only certain knowledge of the daily phrases would be enough.

How to learn the Chinese language?TOP

There are a good many Chinese-learning materials of high quality available online, in the bookshop and other places today, just to name a few of them:

http://www.linguanaut.com/english_chinese.htm ,

http://english.cri.cn/08chinese/ and so on.

The following table shows the most commonly-used Chinese phrases in daily life:
 Chinese
 English
 nǐ hǎo 你好
 Hi!
 zǎo shàng hǎo  早上好
 Good morning !
 xià wǔ hǎo / wǎn shàng hǎo! 下午好,晚上好            
 Good afternoon / Good evening !
 huān yíng 欢迎
 Welcome !
 xìe xìe 谢谢
 Thanks
 nǐ hǎo mǎ 你好吗?
 How are you?
 zài jiàn   再见
 Good bye !
 duì bù qǐ 对不起
 I’m sorry.
 méi wèn tí 没问题
 No problem !
 wǒ bù zhī dào 我不知道
 I don’t know.
 shì/ bù 是/ 不
 Yes / No
 bié dān xīn 别担心
 Don’t worry !
 wǒ ài nǐ 我爱你
 I love you
What Happens If I Get Sick In North Korea?TOP

There is a foreigner’s hospital in the capital Pyongyang, and as a foreign tourist you can receive better medical care there than other hospitals of the country. It even has several infirmary clinics stationed in or near the hotels of the city where foreign patients can seek immediate medical help. For hospitals outside of Pyongyang, medical treatment may be hard to obtain due to the lack of medical resources. So we strongly recommend you bringing a simple first aid kit with painkillers, medicine for diarrhea, aspirin or a plaster/band etc. And also make sure you have sufficient supplies.

Please note: we ChinaTours cannot be held responsible for your medical costs overseas. Generally, the cost of medical treatment in North Korea is extremely high for foreigners. So we suggest you purchase travel insurance before your trip.

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