Visual Encyclopedia

Chinese as a foreign language

Chinese as a foreign or second language is the study of the Chinese varieties by non-native speakers. Increased interest in China from those outside has led to a corresponding interest in the study of Standard Chinese ("Mandarin") as a foreign language, the official language of mainland China and Taiwan. However, the teaching of Chinese both within and outside China is not a recent phenomenon. Westerners began learning different Chinese varieties in the 16th century. Within China, Mandarin became the official language in the early 20th century. Mandarin also became the official language of Taiwan when the Kuomintang took over control from Japan after World War II.

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