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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 16:30, March 23, 2006
18mln Chinese take Chinese language test
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Eighteen million Chinese have taken the Chinese language (Putonghua) test in nearly 11 years, the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decision taken by the State Council, or the central government, to simplify Chinese characters and popularize Mandarin Chinese.

In 1994, a nationwide training and testing center of Chinese (Putonghua) was launched for civilians.

"Putonghua (Chinese) is the common language of the Han ethnicity as well as the common language of China," said linguist Zhou Youguang, adding that the "promotion of a common language is needed for industrialization spread of information."

Meanwhile, a growing number of foreigners have begun learning the Chinese in or outside China. The latest survey disclosed by the United Nations revealed that the Chinese is the second most common language next only to English in the world.

Source: Xinhua

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