Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used by the Mainland China, Taiwan, and is one of the four official languages of Singapore.
In both mainland China and Taiwan, the use of Standard Mandarin as the medium of instruction in the educational system and in the media has contributed to the spread of Standard Mandarin. As a result, Standard Mandarin is now spoken fluently by most people in Mainland China and in Taiwan. However in Hong Kong, due to historical and linguistic reasons, the language of education and both formal and informal speech remains the local Standard Cantonese but standard Mandarin is becoming increasingly influential.
In everyday use, Mandarin refers usually to just Standard Mandarin (Putonghua/Guoyu). In its broader sense, Mandarin is a diverse group of related dialects, some less mutually intelligible than others. Like all other varieties of Chinese, there is significant dispute as to whether Mandarin is a language or a dialect. See Identification of the varieties of Chinese for more on this issue.
There are estimated to be 885 million total first language speakers.
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