Language

The official language of China is Putonghua (literally common tongue, based on the dialect spoken in Beijing, and known outside China as Mandarin Chinese. Putonghua doesn't specifically belong to many one region, and is used across the country for communication between speakers of China's numerous dialects. Unlike other dialects, such as Cantonese, Putonghua can be used throughout China. Since the vast majority of Chinese people do not understand English, it is largely useless for communication outside of hotels. The tonal nature of Putonghua makes it difficult For English speakers to become accustomed to the language. Pinyin, a Romanization system, helps in the recognition of sounds and has diacritical marks to indicate tone.