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Language Overview: In everyday use Mandarin refers to Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin, which is based on the particular Mandarin dialect spoken in Beijing. Standard Mandarin functions as the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China, the official language of the Republic of China
Regions Spoken: The official language of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and one of the four official languages of Singapore. "Chinese"?in practice Standard Mandarin?is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Population: 885 million (first language speakers) and a total number of speakers: 1,365,053,000
Dialects: Like all other varieties of Chinese, there is significant dispute as to whether Mandarin is a language or a dialect.
Brief History: Until the mid-20th century, most Chinese people living in southern China spoke only their local language. Beijing Mandarin became dominant during the Manchu-ruling Qing Dynasty. This situation changed with the widespread introduction of Standard Mandarin as the national language, to be used in education, the media, and formal situations in both the PRC and the ROC (but not in Hong Kong). As a result, Standard Mandarin can now be spoken intelligibly as a second language by most younger people in Mainland China and Taiwan.
Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.
Because most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is also referred to as the "northern dialects".
When the Mandarin group is taken as one language, as is often done in academic literature, it has more native speakers (nearly a billion) than any other language.