See also: mandarin and mandarín


English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:


Calque of Chinese 官話 (Guānhuà, spoken language of the mandarins). An extension of mandarin (bureaucrat of the Chinese Empire) to the language used by the imperial court and sometimes by imperial officials elsewhere. As such, it was adopted as a synonym for Modern Standard Chinese in the 20th century. The term became ambiguous, however, as its use was extended to the various Northern dialects of Chinese.



Mandarin (uncountable)

  1. Standard Mandarin, an official language of China and Taiwan, and one of four official languages in Singapore; Putonghua, Guoyu or Huayu
    • 2014, David Eimer, The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China[1], Bloomsbury USA, →ISBN, page 75:
      Far fewer people understood Mandarin in Hotan than anywhere else I'd been in Xinjiang. It made getting around difficult, as not only did the taxi drivers fail to understand what I was saying, but they couldn't read an address either. Most ignored or didn't know the Chinese names given to the streets anyway.
  2. A branch of the Chinese languages, consisting of many dialects; Guanhua or Beifanghua.
    • 1978 January 8, L. Chen, “What they say of Peiping rule”, in Free China Weekly[2], volume XIX, number 2, Taipei, page 3:
      "Two, three, four, five, south! Six, seven, eight, nine, north!" Strange as it may sound, this is the way the people on the Chinese mainland complain about the lack of clothes, food and other necessities.
      Absent from the phrases are "one" and "ten"—"i" and "shih" in Chinese Mandarin. The words for "clothes" and "food" sound alike. Also missing are "east" and "west." Their Chinese equivalents when put together as "tung-hsi," stand for "things," "objects" or "matters."

Usage notesEdit

  • Standard Mandarin (language of the media and education) and Mandarin Chinese (the group of Northern Chinese dialects together with Standard Mandarin) are not always interchangeable and are referred to differently in Chinese (as an extreme example, Dungan is completely unintelligible to speakers of Standard Mandarin, yet both are varieties of Mandarin Chinese). Both are a part of the broader group of languages (see Chinese: Zhongwen, Hanyu), dialects, or topolects.



See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit





Mandarin m (genitive Mandarins or Mandarines, plural Mandarine)

  1. mandarin (Chinese Imperial official)


  • Hungarian: mandarin

Proper nounEdit

Mandarin n (genitive Mandarins)

  1. Mandarin, standard Chinese