Chinese language factsheet

Written on 1 February, 2021


Around 1.3 billion people speak Chinese and roughly 917 million of those speak Mandarin, making it the most spoken language in the world.

Chinese is a group of language varieties that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages.

Five interesting facts about the Chinese language:

1. Chinese is one of the oldest written languages in the world, stretching back to around 6000 years ago and has remained mostly the same since it was standardised in the third century BC.

2. Chinese has no cases, genders, tenses or plurals.

3. There are over 80,000 Chinese characters, although only around 2000 – 4000 of those are in regular everyday use.

4. Chinese is a tonal language meaning that a word’s pitch can drastically affect its meaning.

5. Simplified Chinese was created by the Chinese government in the 1950s to encourage literacy.

Experts in Chinese translation services

If you would like to work with a professional translation agency for the translation of your documents from Chinese to English or English to Chinese, please do get in touch with the award-winning team at Surrey Translation Bureau.

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Surrey Translation Bureau

As an award winning ISO certified translation agency in t, we offer language services to corporates, professional organisations, public bodies, individuals and other translation agencies. We have experience translating across almost all world languages and work with specialists in a wide range of fields including medical, legal, technical, marketing, financial, science, the EU and environment.

STB’s mission today is to provide high-quality and customised language solutions for any client – whatever their size – who wants to thrive in the dynamic global market or who simply wants to communicate more effectively with their customers and suppliers overseas.