Mapping a Language: Where is Mandarin Spoken?

Mandarin is the official language of Mainland China. However, with China being an economic giant globally, the language has spread far and wide. Not only neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore speak Mandarin, but other continents too. Besides that, a vast Chinese population lives abroad in countries like the US and the UK. It leads to the influence of Mandarin in the local regions. 

Today, we will show you where Mandarin is spoken other than in Mainland China. Let’s get started.

What is the Mandarin Language?

Before we get to the places of people speak mandarin, let me brief you about the language. Mandarin is a language that dates back to three thousand years ago. It has unique characters and four different tones. After a few thousand years, the characters developed into proper characters for learning. So, it is pretty easy for beginners to learn it. Let’s see some of the Mandarin phrases for starters.

Mandarin Phrases

These are a few simple Mandarin phrases that you can learn. 

  1. 你好 (Nǐ hǎo)

This phrase refers to ‘good day.’ It is suitable for you to say this to someone you first met as a greeting.

  1. 谢谢你 (Xiè xiè nǐ)

谢谢你 (Xiè xiè nǐ) means ‘thank you’. It is easy to learn as it is a direct translation. 谢谢 means ‘thank’ and 你 means ‘you.’

  1. 不客气 (Bù kè qí)

We will generally reply ‘you’re welcome’ after 谢谢你 (Xiè xiè nǐ). In Mandarin, you’re welcome is 不客气 (Bù kè qí).

  1. 早上好 (Zǎo shang hǎo)

To greet someone in the morning, you can use 早上好 (Zǎo shang hǎo). It means good morning in Mandarin.

  1. 我的名字是 (Wǒ de míng zì shì)

You can use 我的名字是 (Wǒ de míng zì shì) to introduce yourself. However, you have to add your name at the end of the phrase. It meant by ‘my name is.’ 

Countries That Speak Mandarin

Many countries are known for Mandarin-speaking citizens. Let’s get to the countries.


China is the first in the list of the mandarin speaking countries as the language originated there. With the largest populated countries in the world recording 1.4billion people, every of its citizen spoke Mandarin.

There are many dialects of Mandarin that the Chinese speak in China. The most well-known spoken dialect is known as the Beijing Dialect. It is known to be prestigious as it was spoken by nobility back in the day.


The neighboring country of China, the citizen of Taiwan, also speaks Mandarin. It is also the official national language of the country. As the language was introduced to the people after China took over Taiwan, they kept the language and speak it until today.

The only key difference between China’s Mandarin and Taiwan’s Mandarin is the characters. China uses simplified Chinese in its writing. Meanwhile, Taiwan uses traditional Chinese.


Even though Singapore has four official languages, including Mandarin, Mandarin is still widely spoken in the country. As most citizens of Singapore are of Chinese descent, the language has been passed down by generations. 

Nearly 1.2 million people speak the language, and half of them speak various Mandarin. The Singaporean citizens speak the varieties such as Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese as their home languages.


Several Chinese descents resulted from the move of Chinese from China back in early 1900. Hence, there is much Chinese descent who still speaks Mandarin in Malaysia, with a total of 1.9 million Malaysian speaking Mandarin.

Like other countries mentioned above, Malaysian Chinese also uses dialects. Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, and Teochew are used alongside Mandarin in daily conversations, especially in states such as Selangor and Penang.

Non-Mandarin Speaking Countries

Aside from countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, where Chinese is spoken widely, other countries also use the language even though it is not the official language. Let’s see which countries they are in.

  1. United States of America

Mandarin is widely spoken in the Chinese community. Especially in New York City’s Chinatown, mandarin is spoken in a Cantonese dialect.

  1. Canada

Cities like Toronto and Vancouver have many Chinese citizens that speak Mandarin. There are more than 1.7 million people in Canada that speaks Mandarin.

  1. United Kingdom

Mandarin is a popular language to learn in the UK. In 2018, more than 4000 students took the language course while in school. 

  1. Australia

Many people in Australia also speak Mandarin, especially at home. To the latest record, more than 600,000 people in Australia speak Mandarin.

  1. New Zealand 

Mandarin is the fourth-most-spoken language in New Zealand. Around 53,000 of the citizens are fluent in Mandarin.

  1. Mexico

Many universities in Mexico offer Mandarin courses. Students are known to take their career paths in China.

  1. Nigeria

There are a large number of Chinese citizens living in Nigeria. 20,000 of them speak Mandarin that is of Hakka ancestry.

  1. Thailand

In Thailand, almost all ethnic Chinese speaks Mandarin even though the official language is Siam. It is more common to see older Chinese speak Mandarin.

  1. India

There is a small population of Chinese in India who speaks Mandarin. They use the language in daily conversation in the Chinatown of Kolkata.

  1. Germany

Germany also recorded around 110,000 of Chinese descent. They still speak Mandarin with each other in daily communication.

Final Thoughts

It is clear to see that Mandarin is spoken widely worldwide. It is still popular whether from the originated country, China, or other foreign countries! You should try to learn this exciting language too!

I hope this article gives you a better insight into where Mandarin is spoken. Subscribe to us to know more anything about Mandarin! You can also read the articles below for some fun Chinese language knowledge: