There are over 850 million speakers of Mandarin worldwide, making it easily the most spoken language on earth.
Mandarin is spoken in the southwestern and northern China, and most Chinese people know at least some Chinese. It is the official language of China, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
For many non-Chinese, the Chinese term is used to designate a common spoken throughout China. This confusion is understandable Westerners, who are used to having a single language and mutually intelligible throughout the country. However, no such language, China and the use of the term "Chinese" to describe the language is misleading. Mandarin comes closest to meeting that people tend to say when using the "Chinese" to describe a language, but despite that differ significantly from the concept of most Western language.
Rarely, native speakers of Mandarin dialects designate their regions such as Mandarin, but instead use the regional name, such as Beijing Mandarin, spoken or Jiao Liao. The Mandarin term is reserved for describing the form of Standard Mandarin is the official language in China, which is taught in schools. Mandarin Chinese position is a good example of what is known as a dialect continuum-Mandarin dialects spoken throughout China do not always have clear boundaries, rather than moving more and more of a source, with neighboring dialects being mutually intelligible usually, but becomes more difficult to understand than the distance increases slowly evolving, until finally spent some distance communication becomes impossible.
The idea of an official language standard in China is old, dating back at least the Ming dynasty in the fourteenth century. With an area as vast as China and various cultural groups living under one banner, it was inevitable that many languages would flourish. To promote a functioning bureaucracy, therefore, it was necessary to achieve a compatible language "Tribunal" in which to perform official communications issues between states and provinces.
The modern movement to standardize the language began in the early twentieth century and continued by the revolution of 1949. Shortly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, Standard Mandarin is taught in schools and used in the mainstream media, leading to high levels of literacy in the national standard. Mandarin is a tonal language, with the tones used to pronounce the words that make up a large part of the semantic value of the word itself. This tends to give a lot of difficulty for speakers of non-tonal in second language acquisition in Mandarin and is the source of much confusion and failures in humorous discourse.