Are 'Mandarin' and 'Chinese' and 'Mandarin Chinese' the same?

May 02, 2010 | Posted by Chris

There is no difference, really. "Chinese" is a blanket term for any dialect of Chinese, and Mandarin, long promoted as the lingua franca of China, is the most commonly spoken dialect. Therefore "Mandarin" and "Chinese" are generally interchangeable terms.

However, since Cantonese and other dialects like Shanghainese are technically also "Chinese," it is most accurate to refer to each dialect by its specific name.

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