Chinese Language Week

Officially launched in 2014-  New Zealand Chinese Language Week aims to bridge the gap between China and New Zealand, to grow a strong relationship between our two nations. The 16th to 22nd October 2017 is Chinese Language Week.

Did you know ... ?

- Statistically, around 4% of Kiwi's speak Chinese. Around 1.2bn people - 16% of the worlds population - speak some form of Chinese globally. 

– 'Chinese' is a term used to describe a group of similar languages. Spoken Chinese is separated into five main groups:  Mandarin, Yue (which includes Cantonese), Min, Wu and Hakka. There are more than 200 dialects from different parts of China

- The Chinese 'alphabet' has over 7000 characters! Although you'd only need to know about 900 to read a daily newspaper. The characters are not phonetic and are pronounced

- Chinese is written in columns and should be read from the top to the bottom of the page. Traditionally, you started with the column on the right but today it is more common to start on the left

Culture and language

Like te reo Maori, Chinese culture is deeply rooted in their language and this week of celebration will, of course, include both. There will be singing performances, story-telling and art exhibits in Auckland and Wellington. This week also coincides with the Chinese moon festival.

Throughout the year there are on-going language lessons on radio, language seminars, library corners, essay competitions and training courses for professionals. Click here to learn about events near you!