The Chinese language is known as one of the most complex languages to learn, but it is deeply rooted in history and has existed for thousands of years. So, who created the Chinese language?
How has it persisted for so long? What’s so important about the Chinese language? This day is Chinese Language Day, a day all about learning its history and convincing others to use Chinese with friends, at work, or at home.
History of Chinese Language Day
The Chinese language has existed for thousands of years. Chinese formed from the Sino-Tibetian language family. Due to its complexity, its origins remain unknown as to when it separated itself from that family. It is believed however that the origins of the Chinese language are credited to Cangjie.
They were one of the first official historians to invent Chinese characters when the Yellow Emperor first began his reign. Despite this credit, different dialects formed throughout the provinces of China. Much of the influence of archaic Chinese, spoken during the early and middle 11th to 7th centuries B.C., isn’t seen much in modern Chinese.
During the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties or 7th through 10th centuries A.D., connections can be made more easily to modern Chinese languages. Distinct writing styles can be noted thanks to historians during those centuries that served the Emperors.
Chinese Language Day is celebrated on this day to honor Cangjie. Founded by the United Nations, Chinese Language Day also celebrates multilingualism and cultural diversity.
They aim to educate people about the history of the Chinese language. Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language.
Today, many members of the United Nations work with Chinese as a functional language. They also aim to teach people around the world the benefits that learning the Chinese language can have.
CHINESE LANGUAGE DAY TIMELINE
Canjie invented the written Chinese language.
Mandarin became the national language after Dr. Sun Yat Sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty.
Still, the UN did not commonly use Chinese at first. The situation improved after the People’s Republic of China regained lawful rights in the UN 25 years later.
The UN Security Council would soon follow suit — making Chinese its “working language” in 1974. After that, more and more UN offices and staff members began to work with Chinese.
Around 1.3 billion people speak some form of Chinese — ranking it No. 1 in the world. Standard Mandarin remains the official language in the largest part of mainland China and Taiwan. It’s also an official idiom of the United Nations.
CHINESE LANGUAGE DAY DATES