Common Knowledge of Chinese Culture

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Chinese is one of the most simplest, while at the same time one of the most difficult, languages in the world: most simple from the almost entire absence of these inflectional forms; most difficult from the combination of different languages under one heading of Chinese; such for instance as the book language in its two or three different forms, the Colloquial or spoken language in its different vernaculars, and in its tones. Some people go so far as to say that Chinese has no grammar. The language may be divided into the following:

The ancient style: the classics are written in this style: sententious, concise, vague, and often unintelligible without explanation.

The literary style: more diffuse, and consequently more intelligible; it might be described as poetry written in prose on account of rhythmus.

The spoken style: They are divided into numerous dialects. The most common one is Mandarin.


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