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Mandarin Chinese

Major branch of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China

Mandarin is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin languages and dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as Northern Chinese. Many varieties of Mandarin, such those of the Southwest and the Lower Yangtze, are not mutually intelligible or are only partially intelligible with the standard language. Nevertheless, Mandarin is often placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers.

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