ap chinese study guides

2.2 Language and Cultural Identity 🆔

#dialects

#pinyin

#immigration

#diversity

#population

⏱️  4 min read

written by

Emily Guo

emily guo

October 29, 2020


2.2: 🇨🇳 Language and Cultural Identity 🆔

Chinese Language

Even though this AP course is labeled as AP Chinese, technically it is Mandarin and Cantonese. Both use the same characters, except that Mandarin usually uses simplified Chinese instead of traditional characters. There are also many other dialects in China. Here is a map of all the relative regions and their dialects:

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-4oqt9Ctw0xWd.png?alt=media&token=c0d9832e-c6d3-4afe-a26d-166ef827bac0

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Dialects🗣️ in China are much like how Americans use specific words based on their region. However, pronunciations of things do get more and more different and harder to understand (if you learn basic Mandarin) the farther South you go. It's a lot like an accent! Dialects are known as 方言 (fāngyán).

Mandarin from 北京 (běijīng) is usually taught in many schools aside from the dialect of that specific region. This dialect tends to add a lot of 儿 sounds at the end of words.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-ZWIrk2urYEgA.png?alt=media&token=48823415-b81d-4cab-b7b4-c431bddafad1

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Chinese Alphabet 🔤

A Chinese alphabet doesn't technically exist, although the 拼音 (Pinyin) system exists. It's used to transcribe through transcription. It was created in the 1950s and uses the Latin alphabet. It uses four tone marks to represent the tones 🔊, typically over vowels in a words. 汉语拼音 is the official name, where 汉语 (hànyǔ) quite literally means "the spoken language of the Han people" as that is the largest ethnic group in China.

The complicated aspect is that the pronunciations of the letters are MUCH different than English. Here is a list of the 100 most used Chinese characters and their Pinyin equivalents:

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-ASBeLTFL1ksp.png?alt=media&token=2ca52164-7f14-4dfc-98ec-6f8cef16013f

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

💁 Immigration and Emigration 👣

In the past couple of years, the number of people immigrating to China has increased. In 2018, there were 95 million foreigners border crossed China (including those who immigrated ✈️). In the same year, the National Immigration Agency (in China) 国家移民管理局 (guójiā yímín guǎnlǐ jú) was established.

Back in 2012, the Exit-Entry Law was passed, which includes information on immigration, naturalization, refugees, etc. Illegal immigration details were added later.

☀️Fun Fact: China became a member of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2016!

After the effects of the One-Child policy, the structure of the population in China changed profoundly. It's estimated that by 2030, there will be 1/4 of China's population to be over 60. The labor force is continuously shrinking, causing a need for more foreign immigration to support the economy. The Chinese government has previously not been willing to seek help by increasing and promoting immigration into China, however, that may need to change.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-VJMwJP8UY5NY.png?alt=media&token=675ea8d5-ea8c-4cb8-8718-a57af4610233

Image Courtesy of Merics

The image above displays the recent growth of foreigners (外国人(wàiguó rén) or 老外(lǎowài)) in Shanghai, China's biggest city 🏙️, which also holds about a quarter of the foreign population in China. At about the year 2000, there is a clear jump in the number of foreigners in China.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-KT55xglo9n3h.png?alt=media&token=121349d7-8074-40e6-a89f-1cadfc161df0

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Visas (签证(qiānzhèng)) in China fall under very defined categories. You can get a tourist, business, non-commerce, work, study, private, family, crew, or group visa. You are supposed to stay in the defining borders of your visa and not do what is not given by your visa.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-8T9fOsShdPDZ.png?alt=media&token=bdcce0de-0222-47b0-9bf7-24c28ed3f83e

Image Courtesy of China File

China currently has the fourth largest number of emigrants. In 2013, there were 9.34 million people who emigrated from China. More and more of the wealthy Chinese emigrate or plan to emigrate. About 47% of the rich in China plan to emigrate within the next five years based on a survey by Barclays in 2014. The top locations that they do emigrate to are the US and Canada. However, since they are spending and investing much of their wealth out of China, the country's wealth is decreasing.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-oR8ZPukVkENl.png?alt=media&token=7d9a93a4-7099-4c77-b0d9-d4d49455e2d0

Image Courtesy of China File

🧑🏻🧑🏼 Diversity 🧑🏽🧑🏾🧑🏿

There are a total of 56 ethnic groups (民族(mínzú)) in China. The majority of people in China are part of the Han ethnic group, taking up about 91.51% of the population. The rest of the 55 ethnic groups make up the remaining 8.49% of the population, which is about 105 million people. The second highest ethnic group in China🇨🇳 is the Zhuang, at 1.27% of the population. The rest of the ethnic groups all fall below 1% of the total Chinese population.

Below is an image showing some of the ethnic (ethnolinguistic) groups in China and their relative locations.

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-WMyBg7xcOopA.png?alt=media&token=f7f4c1be-52e2-4d4c-aa4d-cded17fff972

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Strive for Five Vocab! 🔑🔑

  • 中文(zhōngwén)- Chinese

  • 普通话(pǔtōnghuà)- Mandarin

  • 广东话(guǎngdōng huà)/粤语(yuèyǔ)- Cantonese

  • 方言(fāngyán)- Dialect

  • 英语(英语)- English

  • 母语(mǔyǔ)- Native Language/Mother Tongue

  • 双语(shuāngyǔ)- Bilingual

  • 汉语(hànyǔ pīnyīn)- Chinese Pinyin

  • 外语(wàiyǔ)- Foreign Language

  • 字(zì)/词(cí)- Word

  • 学校(xuéxiào)- School

  • 学习(xuéxí)- To Learn

  • 教(jiào)- Teach

  • 外来移民(wàilái yímín)- Immigration

  • 向外移民(xiàng wài yímín) - Emigration

  • 国家移民管理局(guójiā yímín guǎnlǐ jú)- National Immigration Agency

  • 外国人(wàiguó rén)/老外(lǎowài)- Foreigners

  • 签证(qiānzhèng)- Visa

  • 美国(měiguó)- United States of America

  • 加拿大(jiānádà)- Canada

  • 民族(mínzú)- Ethnic Group

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