ChineseChinese constitutes a separate branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken by more people than any other language in the world, with about 1.3 billion native speakers. There are also large communities of Chinese speakers in Thailand, Malaysia, United States, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada, Korea, Myanmar, the Philippines and Australia.
Standard Mandarin is the most widespread version of Chinese and the official language of China. It is spoken by nearly three-fourth of all Chinese speakers. Chinese dialects by approximate number of native speakers are Wu (150-160 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million), Min (50 million), Hsiang (Xiang) (50 million) and Hakka (35 million).
There is a difference in written Chinese between mainland China and Taiwan. Whereas simplified characters are used in China, traditional characters are common in Taiwan and also partly in Hong Kong.
The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history.