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Chinese (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Hànyǔ or also 中文; 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 changed much .... 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 January 2022

Atomic Habits e-book Download

Atomic Habits

James ClearOctober 16, 2018$14.99

The #1 New York Times bestseller . Over 3 million copies sold! Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James ...

Enough Already e-book Download

Enough Already

Valerie BertinelliJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

Beloved actress, Food Network personality, and New York Times bestselling author Valerie Bertinelli reflects on life at sixty and beyond. Behind the curtain of her happy on-screen ...

Robert B. Parker's Bye Bye Baby e-book Download

Robert B. Parker's Bye Bye Baby

Ace AtkinsJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

Boston PI Spenser takes on a new case in this installment in Robert B. Parker's iconic New York Times bestselling series. Carolina Garcia-Ramirez is a rising star in national politics, takin...

A Wallflower's Guide to Becoming a Bride e-book Download

A Wallflower's Guide to Becoming a Bride

Eva Devon, Tamara Gill & Stacy ReidOctober 14, 2021$0.99

A Wallflower's Kiss by Eva Devon Lady Ophelia is the last of her sisters to be unmarried! She knows she has to find a husband, but she's been on the shelf for three seasons. When she finds a...

The Cardinal of the Kremlin e-book Download

The Cardinal of the Kremlin

Tom ClancyMay 20, 1988$1.99

In this electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from Tom Clancy, a silent war between the USA and Russia will decide the fate of the world—and Jack Ryan is behind enemy lines. ...

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo e-book Download

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...

Lightning in a Mirror e-book Download

Lightning in a Mirror

Jayne Ann KrentzJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

The final installment in the chilling Fogg Lake trilogy by  New York Times  bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz.   Olivia LeClair's experiment with speed dating is not going w...

Invisible e-book Download

Invisible

Danielle SteelJanuary 4, 2022$14.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this riveting novel from Danielle Steel, a gifted young woman must grapple with the legacy of a troubled childhood in order to pursue her dreams. Ant...

Made in Manhattan e-book Download

Made in Manhattan

Lauren LayneJanuary 18, 2022$11.99

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Central Park Pact comes a reverse My Fair Lady for the modern era about a pampered and privileged Manhattan socialite who must teach an unpo...

Forever Lies e-book Download

Forever Lies

Kathleen BrooksJanuary 18, 2022$4.99

Greer Parker had her life planned out. She’d follow in her father and brothers’ FBI footsteps, and then she’d become the first female director. Now on loan to the president’s off-the...

Reminders of Him: A Novel e-book Download

Reminders of Him: A Novel

Colleen HooverJanuary 20, 2022$5.99

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna bur...

Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp e-book Download

Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp

Helga Weiss & Neil BermelApril 22, 2013$2.99

A New York Times Bestseller "A sacred reminder of what so many millions suffered, and only a few survived." —Adam Kirsch, New Republic In 1939, Helga Weiss was a young Jewish schoolgirl in...

November 9 e-book Download

November 9

Colleen HooverNovember 10, 2015$10.99

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us and All Your Perfects returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse. Fallon meets Ben, an ...

Ugly Love e-book Download

Ugly Love

Colleen HooverAugust 5, 2014$10.99

From Colleen Hoover, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us, a heart-wrenching love story that proves attraction at first sight can be messy. When Tate Collins meets air...

Autopsy e-book Download

Autopsy

Patricia CornwellNovember 30, 2021$14.99

In this relaunch of the electrifying, landmark #1 bestselling thriller series, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta hunts those responsible for two wildly divergent and chilling murders....

A Flicker in the Dark e-book Download

A Flicker in the Dark

Stacy WillinghamJanuary 11, 2022$14.99

“A smart, edge-of-your-seat story with plot twists you’ll never see coming. Stacy Willingham’s debut will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime.” —Karin Slaughter When Chlo...

Fleeced e-book Download

Fleeced

Carol Higgins ClarkOctober 23, 2001$1.99

Regan Reilly is back. The smart, saucy sleuth featured in all of Carol Higgins Clark's bestselling novels was last seen in Deck the Halls, the holiday thriller Carol wrote with her mother, M...

To Wake the Giant e-book Download

To Wake the Giant

Jeff ShaaraMay 19, 2020$2.99

The New York Times bestselling master of military historical fiction tells the story of Pearl Harbor as only he can in the first novel of a gripping new series set in World War II’s Pacifi...

The Summer Proposal e-book Download

The Summer Proposal

Vi KeelandJanuary 10, 2022$3.99

From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Vi Keeland comes a new, sexy standalone novel. The first time I met Max Yearwood was on a blind date. Max was insanely gorgeous, funny, and our chem...

The Runaway e-book Download

The Runaway

Nick PetrieJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

"Petrie has a preternatural talent for ratcheting up suspense."-- New York Times Book Review   When Peter Ash rescues a stranded woman, he finds she ’ s in far deeper trouble than he ...

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 A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a B...

Electric Idol e-book Download

Electric Idol

Katee RobertJanuary 18, 2022$9.99

He was the most beautiful man in Olympus. And if I wasn't careful, he was going to be my death. *A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Psyche and Eros that's as sinful as it is sweet.* In th...

Things I Should Have Said e-book Download

Things I Should Have Said

Jamie Lynn SpearsJanuary 18, 2022$13.99

  In this intimate memoir, actress and musician Jamie Lynn Spears opens up for the first time, telling her unfiltered story on her own terms.   You’ve read the headlines, but you...

Evangeline's Power Trio e-book Download

Evangeline's Power Trio

Anna LoresMarch 16, 2020$0.99

At the top of her game as a prestigious attorney, Evangeline Zanipolo walked away from it all. Despite an obvious lack of skill, she tries her hand as a massage therapist. But professional s...

And I Love Her e-book Download

And I Love Her

Marie ForceMarch 3, 2015$1.99

A Green Mountain Romance from the New York Times bestselling author of I Saw Her Standing There . As the oldest of the ten Abbott siblings, Hunter prides himself on his ability to solve othe...

Unforgettable In Love (The Maverick Billionaires, Book 7) e-book Download

Unforgettable In Love (The Maverick Billionaires, Book 7)

Bella Andre & Jennifer SkullyJanuary 20, 2022$5.99

Lyssa Spencer is the apple of the Maverick Billionaire's eyes, the sister they adore and vow to protect. But Lyssa isn’t a little girl anymore, and she wishes they could see she’s a grow...

Cupid Get's Struck e-book Download

Cupid Get's Struck

Alexa RileyJanuary 16, 2022$2.99

Astrid is finally back home after finishing culinary school and ready for her first job interview. There's something familiar about her new boss, and it's pulling at her heartstrings.  ...

State of Terror e-book Download

State of Terror

Louise Penny & Hillary ClintonOctober 12, 2021$6.99

AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER​ Named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People , Associated Press, Time , Los Angeles Times , Parade , St. Louis Post-Dispatch , ...

The Midnight Library e-book Download

The Midnight Library

Matt HaigSeptember 29, 2020$9.99

The New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent ( London) Ten Best Books of the Yea...

Wish You Were Here e-book Download

Wish You Were Here

Jodi PicoultNovember 30, 2021$14.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit...

The Bat e-book Download

The Bat

Jo NesbøJuly 2, 2013$1.99

The electrifying first installment of the Harry Hole series.   Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case.  Harry is free to offe...

Rich Dad Poor Dad e-book Download

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Robert T. KiyosakiSeptember 18, 2015$7.99

In Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, Robert Kiyosaki shares the story of his two dad: his real father, whom he calls his ‘poor dad,’ and the father of his best...

The Daughters of Foxcote Manor e-book Download

The Daughters of Foxcote Manor

Eve ChaseJuly 21, 2020$1.99

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER, “A captivating mystery: beautifully written, with a rich sense of place, a cast of memorable characters, and lots of deep, dark secrets.”—Kate Morton, New...

End of Days e-book Download

End of Days

Brad TaylorJanuary 11, 2022$14.99

Pike Logan must stop a deranged killer hell-bent on igniting an international conflagration in this explosive, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former specia...

Skin of the Night e-book Download

Skin of the Night

C.K. BennettMay 11, 2021$2.99

A modern woman scares people. Her drive, her ambition, her independence. She’s an enigma, and people often hate what they don’t understand. But, to William, she's the perfect woman,...

Verity e-book Download

Verity

Colleen HooverOctober 5, 2021$10.99

Verity —the  #1 national bestseller— is the "sublimely creepy" psychological thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover (Tarryn Fisher, New York Times be...

The Eye of the World e-book Download

The Eye of the World

Robert JordanSeptember 15, 2000$2.99

The Wheel of Time is now an original series on Prime Video, starring Rosamund Pike as Moiraine! The Eye of the World , the first novel in Robert Jordan's #1 New York Times bestselling epic f...

Targeted e-book Download

Targeted

Stephen HunterJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hunter returns with a taut, white-knuckled thriller featuring master sniper Bob Lee Swagger as he protects a group of poli...

Before She Disappeared e-book Download

Before She Disappeared

Lisa GardnerJanuary 19, 2021$9.99

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a propulsive thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing p...

Zingerman's Bakehouse e-book Download

Zingerman's Bakehouse

Amy Emberling & Frank CarolloOctober 3, 2017$3.99

This is the must-have baking book for bakers of all skill levels. Since 1992, Michigan's renowned artisanal bakery, Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, has fed a fan base across the United S...

The Judge's List e-book Download

The Judge's List

John GrishamOctober 19, 2021$14.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Investigator Lacy Stoltz follows the trail of a serial killer, and closes in on a shocking suspect—a sitting judge—in “one of the best crime reads of ...

One Step Too Far e-book Download

One Step Too Far

Lisa GardnerJanuary 18, 2022$14.99

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a chilling thriller about a young man gone missing in the wilderness of Wyoming…and the secrets uncovered by the desperate effort to...

The Night of the Party e-book Download

The Night of the Party

Anna-Lou WeatherleyJanuary 12, 2022$0.99

‘ Wow, Wow, Wo w… What a read!... I could not put this book down … I devoured every word, every page and every chapter. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.’ Goodreads Reviewe...

The Maid e-book Download

The Maid

Nita ProseJanuary 4, 2022$13.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think ...

Dark Sky e-book Download

Dark Sky

C. J. BoxMarch 2, 2021$1.99

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett must accompany a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip--but soon learns that he himself may be the hunted--in the thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times be...

Just One Spark e-book Download

Just One Spark

Carly PhillipsJanuary 18, 2022$4.99

He’s a playboy rock star who needs a fake girlfriend. Except the only one available already stole his heart. Dash Kingston is living the rock ‘n’ roll dream. Fame, money, groupies, rol...

The Horsewoman e-book Download

The Horsewoman

James Patterson & Mike LupicaJanuary 10, 2022$14.99

Emotions rule us all—and turn two women’s lives into a ride they can barely control in this “hugely entertaining, riveting page-turner.” —#1 bestselling author Louise Penny Ma...

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 ...

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 BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY REAL SIMPLE AND VOGUE A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED, BEST BOOK OF SUMMER SELECTED BY * VOGUE * USA TOD...

I Know a Secret: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel e-book Download

I Know a Secret: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

Tess GerritsenAugust 15, 2017$1.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles—the inspiration for the smash hit TNT series—continue their bestselling crime-solving streak, as they pursue a shadowy psychopa...

Best Seller Foreign Service Institute Dicendi Audio Books of January 2022

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

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Will (Unabridged) audiobook
Will (Unabridged)Will Smith$19.99

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck audiobook
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ckMark Manson$14.99

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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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The Four Agreements (Unabridged) audiobook
The Four Agreements (Unabridged)Don Miguel Ruiz$8.99

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It Ends with Us (Unabridged) audiobook
It Ends with Us (Unabridged)Colleen Hoover$12.99

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Extreme Ownership audiobook
Extreme OwnershipJocko Willink & Leif Babin$14.99

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The 48 Laws of Power audiobook
The 48 Laws of PowerRobert Greene$19.99

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