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Chinese (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Hànyǔ or also 中文; 申文; Zhōngwén, especially for the written language) is a group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages, spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China. About 1.3 billion people (or approximately 16% of the world's population) speak a variety of Chinese as their first language.The spoken varieties of Chinese are usually considered by native speakers to be variants of a single language. Due to their lack of mutual intelligibility, however, they are classified as separate languages in a family by linguists, who note that the varieties are as divergent as the Romance languages. Investigation of the historical relationships among the varieties of Chinese is just starting. Currently, most classifications posit 7 to 13 main regional groups based on phonetic developments from Middle Chinese, of which the most spoken by far is Mandarin (with about 800 million speakers, or 66%), followed by Min (75 million, e.g. Southern Min), Wu (74 million, e.g. Shanghainese), and Yue (68 million, e.g. Cantonese). These branches are unintelligible to each other, and many of their subgroups are unintelligible with the other varieties within the same branch (e.g. Southern Min). There are, however, transitional areas where varieties from different branches share enough features for some limited intelligibility, including New Xiang with Southwest Mandarin, Xuanzhou Wu with Lower Yangtze Mandarin, Jin with Central Plains Mandarin and certain divergent dialects of Hakka with Gan (though these are unintelligible with mainstream Hakka). All varieties of Chinese are tonal to at least some degree, and are largely analytic. The earliest Chinese written records are Shang dynasty-era oracle bone inscriptions, which can be dated to 1250 BCE. The phonetic categories of Old Chinese can be reconstructed from the rhymes of ancient poetry. During the Northern and Southern dynasties period, Middle Chinese went through several sound changes and split into several varieties following prolonged geographic and political separation. Qieyun, a rime dictionary, recorded a compromise between the pronunciations of different regions. The royal courts of the Ming and early Qing dynasties operated using a koiné language (Guanhua) based on Nanjing dialect of Lower Yangtze Mandarin. Standard Chinese (Standard Mandarin), based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, was adopted in the 1930s and is now an official language of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), one of the four official languages of Singapore, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The written form, using the logograms known as Chinese characters, is shared by literate speakers of mutually unintelligible dialects. Since the 1950s, simplified Chinese characters have been promoted for use by the government of the People's Republic of China, while Singapore officially adopted simplified characters in 1976. Traditional characters remain in use in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and other countries with significant overseas Chinese speaking communities such as Malaysia (which although adopted simplified characters as the de facto standard in the 1980s, traditional characters still remain in widespread use). Classification Linguists classify all varieties of Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family, together with Burmese, Tibetan and many other languages spoken in the Himalayas and the Southeast Asian Massif. Although the relationship was first proposed in the early 19th century and is now broadly accepted, reconstruction of Sino-Tibetan is much less developed than that of families such as Indo-European or Austroasiatic. Difficulties have included the great diversity of the languages, the lack of inflection in many of them, and the effects of language contact. In addition, many of the smaller languages are spoken in mountainous areas that are difficult to reach and are often also sensitive border zones. Without a secure reconstruction of proto-Sino-Tibetan, the higher-level structure of the family remains unclear. A top-level branching into Chinese and Tibeto-Burman languages is often assumed, but has not been convincingly demonstrated. History The first written records appeared over 3,000 years ago during the Shang dynasty. As the language evolved over this period, the various local varieties became mutually unintelligible. In reaction, central governments have repeatedly sought to promulgate a unified standard. Old and Middle Chinese The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from around 1250 BCE in the late Shang dynasty. Old Chinese was the language of the Western Zhou period (1046–771 BCE), recorded in inscriptions on bronze artifacts, the Classic of Poetry and portions of the Book of Documents and I Ching. Scholars have attempted to reconstruct the phonology of Old Chinese by comparing later varieties of Chinese with the rhyming practice of the Classic of Poetry and the phonetic elements found in the majority of Chinese characters. Although many of the finer details remain unclear, most scholars agree that Old Chinese differs from Middle Chinese in lacking retroflex and palatal obstruents but having initial consonant clusters of some sort, and in having voiceless nasals and liquids. Most recent reconstructions also describe an atonal language with consonant clusters at the end of the syllable, developing into tone distinctions in Middle Chinese. Several derivational affixes have also been identified, but the language lacks inflection, and indicated grammatical relationships using word order and grammatical particles.Middle Chinese was the language used during Northern and Southern dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th through 10th centuries CE). It can be divided into an early period, reflected by the Qieyun rime book (601 CE), and a late period in the 10th century, reflected by rhyme tables such as the Yunjing constructed by ancient Chinese philologists as a guide to the Qieyun system. These works define phonological categories, but with little hint of what sounds they represent. Linguists have identified these sounds by comparing the categories with pronunciations in modern varieties of Chinese, borrowed Chinese words in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and transcription evidence. The resulting system is very complex, with a large number of consonants and vowels, but they are probably not all distinguished in any single dialect. Most linguists now believe it represents a diasystem encompassing 6th-century northern and southern standards for reading the classics. Classical and literary forms The relationship between spoken and written Chinese is rather complex ("diglossia"). Its spoken varieties have evolved at different rates, while written Chinese itself has chan.... Discover the Foreign Service Institute Dicendi popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Foreign Service Institute Dicendi books.

Best Seller Foreign Service Institute Dicendi Books of October 2021

The Last Thing He Told Me e-book Download

The Last Thing He Told Me

Laura DaveMay 4, 2021$13.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER SELECTION OF THE REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED, BEST BOOK OF SUMMER SELECTED BY * VOGUE * USA TODAY * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * CNN * TOWN & ...

Better Off Dead e-book Download

Better Off Dead

Lee Child & Andrew ChildOctober 26, 2021$14.99

Jack Reacher is back in a brand-new page-turning thriller from acclaimed #1 bestselling authors Lee Child and Andrew Child. Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that m...

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Kat Dubois Chronicles: Books 1-3

Lindsey Sparks & Lindsey FairleighAugust 24, 2021$0.99

This collection includes nearly 200,000 words of kick-ass action, mystery, magic, and sass: Book 1: Ink Witch Book 2: Outcast Book 3: Underground The gods are gone. Her brothe...

The Christmas Walk Caper: A Mac and Millie Mystery e-book Download

The Christmas Walk Caper: A Mac and Millie Mystery

JB MichaelsOctober 25, 2020$0.99

Add 'Catch a killer’ to your Christmas to-do list! Meet Mac, a retired hero cop with writer’s block and a penchant for trouble. What holiday hijinks will he get himself into? Probably a ...

Reflections on the Psalms e-book Download

Reflections on the Psalms

C. S. LewisFebruary 14, 2017$1.99

A repackaged edition of the revered author’s moving theological work in which he considers the most poetic portions from Scripture and what they tell us about God, the Bible, and faith. In...

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Vanderbilt

Anderson Cooper & Katherine HoweSeptember 21, 2021$14.99

New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary Ame...

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Second Chance Contract

M. RobinsonAugust 31, 2021$4.99

From Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author M. Robinson comes a standalone best friend’s baby sister, second chance billionaire romance. She was my best friend's little siste...

Mercy e-book Download

Mercy

David BaldacciNovember 16, 2021$14.99

The #1 New York Times bestselling author with 150 million copies sold worldwide returns with his next blockbuster thriller featuring FBI Agent Atlee Pine.

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Christmas at Grandma's

Gooseberry PatchJune 2, 2015$1.99

Simple recipes that capture the traditional holiday celebrations we remember from Grandma's house. Everything you need for a good old-fashioned Christmas, with chapters like Waking Up at Gra...

The Farm in the Green Mountains e-book Download

The Farm in the Green Mountains

Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer, Elisa Albert, Ida H. Washington & Carol E. WashingtonMay 2, 2017$1.99

The charming, return-to-the-land memoir of a refugee family who flees Nazi Germany and finds their true home in the backwoods of rural Vermont Alice and Carl Zuckmayer lived at the...

Temptation After Dark e-book Download

Temptation After Dark

Marie ForceOctober 12, 2021$5.99

Cooper James and Gigi Gibson take the lead in the next Gansett Island novel! Find out what happened on their crazy first date and whether these two can make a go of it after Gigi finishes sh...

2 Sisters Detective Agency e-book Download

2 Sisters Detective Agency

James Patterson & Candice FoxOctober 5, 2021$11.99

From the world's #1 bestselling author comes a thrilling new standalone novel where a detective duo of sisters finds themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous and lawless group. Attorney R...

The President's Daughter e-book Download

The President's Daughter

James Patterson & Bill ClintonJune 7, 2021$4.99

All Presidents have nightmares.  This one is about to come true. A rocket ride of a thriller—the #1  New York Times  bestselling blockbuster by President Bill Clinton and Ja...

Summer at Hideaway Key e-book Download

Summer at Hideaway Key

Barbara DavisAugust 4, 2015$2.99

From the author of The Wishing Tide comes a stunning new novel about two summers, one journal, and the secrets that can break and open our hearts....   Pragmatic, independent Lily St. C...

Beloved e-book Download

Beloved

Toni MorrisonAugust 12, 1987$1.99

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding  New York Times bestseller transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, ...

The Storyteller e-book Download

The Storyteller

Dave GrohlOctober 5, 2021$14.99

So, I've written a book. Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to ...

The Love Hypothesis e-book Download

The Love Hypothesis

Ali HazelwoodSeptember 14, 2021$9.99

The Instant New York Times Bestseller! As seen on THE VIEW! A BuzzFeed Best Summer Read of 2021 When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it thr...

On Language e-book Download

On Language

Noam ChomskyFebruary 7, 2017$1.99

The two most popular titles by the noted linguist and critic in one volume—an ideal introduction to his work.   On Language  features some of Noam Chomsky’s most informal and h...

Winter Moon e-book Download

Winter Moon

Dean KoontzDecember 29, 1993$1.99

"Koontz is brilliant in the creation of his characters and in building tension." CHICAGO SUN-TIMES In Los Angeles, a hot Hollywood director, high on PCP, turns a city street into a fiery apo...

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The Butler

Danielle SteelOctober 5, 2021$14.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Two different worlds and two very different lives collide in Paris in this captivating novel by Danielle Steel. Joachim von Hartmann was born and raised in Buen...

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A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich

Lucas Delattre & George A. Holoch, Jr.December 1, 2007$1.99

The fascinating true story of a German bureaucrat who worked secretly with the Allies during World War II.   In 1943 a young official from the German foreign ministry contacted Allen Du...

Finding My Reason e-book Download

Finding My Reason

Claudia BurgoaOctober 19, 2016$0.99

I expect my best buddy’s wedding to be a bust until the beautiful bartender asks me if I could use something stiff. Trust me, “getting something stiff” is the least of my worries. One ...

Peril e-book Download

Peril

Bob Woodward & Robert CostaSeptember 21, 2021$14.99

The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author ...

Verity e-book Download

Verity

Colleen HooverOctober 5, 2021$5.99

A "sublimely creepy" psychological thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover (Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author). Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer...

Dune e-book Download

Dune

Frank HerbertSeptember 1, 1975$9.99

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bau...

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Apples Never Fall

Liane MoriartySeptember 14, 2021$14.99

#1 New York Times Bestseller From Liane Moriarty, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers , comes Apples Never Fall , a novel that looks at mar...

The Lincoln Highway e-book Download

The Lincoln Highway

Amor TowlesOctober 5, 2021$14.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick “Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” — The New York Times Book Review   ...

Foul Play e-book Download

Foul Play

Stuart WoodsOctober 5, 2021$14.99

In the latest action-packed thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington faces down a persistent rival. Stone Barrington is nearing his New York City abo...

The Jailhouse Lawyer e-book Download

The Jailhouse Lawyer

James Patterson & Nancy AllenSeptember 20, 2021$14.99

From James Patterson, the world's #1 bestselling author: a young lawyer takes on the judge who is destroying her hometown—and ends up in jail herself. In picture-perfect Erva, Alabama, the...

It Ends with Us e-book Download

It Ends with Us

Colleen HooverAugust 2, 2016$11.99

In this “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author) from the #1 New ...

Wylde e-book Download

Wylde

Sawyer BennettMay 12, 2020$0.99

There’s a reason they call me Wylde and it’s not just because it’s my last name. I might be one of the newest players on the Arizona Vengeance team, but I’m no stranger to the celebr...

The Wish e-book Download

The Wish

Nicholas SparksSeptember 28, 2021$14.99

With exclusive travel photos and a special letter from the Author, only available for e-readers. From the author of The Longest Ride and The Return comes a novel about the enduring legacy of...

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Bridal Favors Series Boxed Set (Three Historical Romance Novels in One)

Jade LeeMarch 10, 2020$0.99

A Box of Scheming, Sizzling, Regency Romance from author Jade Lee Lady Gwendolyn is walking down the aisle one rogue at a time in Engaged in Wickedness. Lady Helaine is entranced with Viscou...

Desire Lines e-book Download

Desire Lines

Christina Baker KlineFebruary 1, 2011$1.99

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about friendship and the memories that haunt us. On the night of her high school graduation, K...

The Scarlet Ruse e-book Download

The Scarlet Ruse

John D. MacDonald & Lee ChildAugust 12, 1983$2.99

Travis McGee is too busy with his houseboat to pay attention to the little old man with the missing postage stamps. Except these are no ordinary stamps. They are rare stamps. Four hundred th...

The Bullet Journal Method e-book Download

The Bullet Journal Method

Ryder CarrollOctober 23, 2018$1.99

New York Times  bestseller!  There’s a reason this system for time management, goal setting, and intentional living has been adopted by millions around the globe: it works. Not o...

Bayou Bodyguard e-book Download

Bayou Bodyguard

Jana DeLeonMarch 16, 2020$1.99

Two people investigate the mysteries buried deep in the bayou in this reader favorite from New York Times bestselling author Jana DeLeon… Bodyguard Brian Marcentel knew Justine Chatry had ...

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances e-book Download

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances

Ellen CooneyAugust 5, 2014$1.99

“Love is a great teacher and we are all a little unadoptable. Readers of Garth Stein and Carolyn Parkhurst will adore this” ( Library Journal ).   A People Best New Book of the Week...

Silverview e-book Download

Silverview

John le CarréOctober 12, 2021$14.99

In his last completed novel, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years—the secret world itself. Named a most anticipated book of the fa...

State of Terror e-book Download

State of Terror

Louise Penny & Hillary ClintonOctober 12, 2021$14.99

Named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People , Associated Press, Time , Los Angeles Times , Parade , St. Louis Post-Dispatch , The Guardian , Publishers Weekly , and more...

Brother Cadfael's Penance e-book Download

Brother Cadfael's Penance

Ellis PetersAugust 5, 2014$1.99

To save his estranged son, a monk risks breaking his vows in this “moving and suspenseful” entry in the Silver Dagger Award–winning medieval mystery series ( Booklist ). For Brother Ca...

Cloud Cuckoo Land e-book Download

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Anthony DoerrSeptember 28, 2021$14.99

Finalist for the 2021 National Book Award! From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See , perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, co...

Final Girls e-book Download

Final Girls

Riley SagerJuly 11, 2017$1.99

THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “If you liked  Gone Girl , you’ll like this.”—Stephen King   Ten years ago, six friends went on vacation. One made it out alive…...

Freed e-book Download

Freed

E L JamesJune 1, 2021$4.99

An instant #1 New York Times , USA Today , Wall Street Journal , and international bestseller! Relive the sensuality, the romance, and the drama of Fifty Shades Freed through the thoughts, r...

Crossroads e-book Download

Crossroads

Jonathan FranzenOctober 5, 2021$14.99

Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads . It’s December 23, 1971, and...

Enemy at the Gates e-book Download

Enemy at the Gates

Vince Flynn & Kyle MillsSeptember 14, 2021$14.99

Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top operative, searches for a high-level mole with the power to rewrite the world order in this riveting thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flyn...

Last Girl Ghosted e-book Download

Last Girl Ghosted

Lisa UngerOctober 5, 2021$12.99

"A five-alarm fire of a situation…the surprises keep coming." —The New York Times   Secrets, obsession and vengeance converge in this riveting thriller about an online dating match ...

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taylor Jenkins ReidJune 13, 2017$13.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “If you ’ re looking for a book to take on holiday this summer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has got all the glitz and glamour to make it a perfect beach r...

The Judge's List e-book Download

The Judge's List

John GrishamOctober 19, 2021$14.99

Nonstop suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author: Investigator Lacy Stoltz follows the trail of a serial killer, and closes in on a shocking suspect—a sitting judge.  &#...

Worst Boss Ever e-book Download

Worst Boss Ever

J. S. CooperOctober 17, 2021$4.99

During the day, I work for Dylan Mccallister. The hunky billionaire who became CEO of his own company at thirty. He may be one of the hottest men I've ever met in my life, but he's also the ...

Best Seller Foreign Service Institute Dicendi Audio Books of October 2021

Greenlights (Unabridged) audiobook
Greenlights (Unabridged)Matthew McConaughey$14.99

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The Storyteller audiobook
The StorytellerDave Grohl$19.99

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The Turn of the Key (Unabridged) audiobook
The Turn of the Key (Unabridged)Ruth Ware$4.99

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Dune audiobook
DuneFrank Herbert$26.99

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The Wish audiobook
The WishNicholas Sparks$14.99

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Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (Unabridged) audiobook
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (Unabridged)James Clear$14.99

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State of Terror (Unabridged)Louise Penny & Hillary Rodham Clinton$16.99

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Rich Dad Poor Dad: 20th Anniversary Edition: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (Unabridged) audiobook
Rich Dad Poor Dad: 20th Anniversary Edition: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (Unabridged)Robert T. Kiyosaki$12.99

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Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds (Unabridged) audiobook
Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds (Unabridged)David Goggins$21.99

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The Lincoln Highway: A Novel (Unabridged) audiobook
The Lincoln Highway: A Novel (Unabridged)Amor Towles$16.99

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