More than one billion people speak Chinese as their first language — that’s more than any other population in the world! UNESCO (part of the United Nations) first created Chinese Language Day in 2010 to celebrate Chinese as one of the six official languages of the United Nations. We’ve enjoyed it every year since on April 20. The day also celebrates Cangjie, who invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago. Legend says that when Cangjie finished, the gods rained grain upon the earth.
The Chinese language is known as one of the most complex languages to learn, but it is deeply rooted in history and has existed for thousands of years. So, who created the Chinese language?
How has it persisted for so long? What’s so important about the Chinese language? This day is Chinese Language Day, a day all about learning its history and convincing others to use Chinese with friends, at work or at home.
History of Chinese Language Day
The Chinese language has existed for thousands of years. Chinese formed from the Sino-Tibetian language family. Due to its complexity, its origins remain unknown as to when it separated itself from that family. It is believed however that the origins of the Chinese language are credited to Cangjie.
They were one of the first official historians to invent Chinese characters when the Yellow Emperor first began his reign. Despite this credit, different dialects formed throughout the provinces of China. Much of the influence of archaic Chinese, spoken during the early and middle 11th to 7th centuries B.C., isn’t seen much in modern Chinese.
During the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties or 7th through 10th centuries A.D., connections can be made more easily to modern Chinese languages. Distinct writing styles can be noted thanks to historians during those centuries that served the Emperors.
Chinese Language Day is celebrated on this day to honor Cangjie. Founded by the United Nations, Chinese Language Day also celebrates multilingualism and cultural diversity.
They aim to educate people about the history of the Chinese language. Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language.
Today, many members of the United Nations work with Chinese as a functional language. They also aim to teach people around the world the benefits that learning the Chinese language can have.
How to Celebrate Chinese Language Day
Celebrate Chinese Language Day by trying to learn Chinese! Online programs or colleges courses can give you plenty of opportunities to learn the Chinese language in all of its complexities.
If you know Chinese, then put it on your resume and try and use it in your work to see what connections you can make with others.
Help teach other people Chinese and teach them about the history of the Chinese language. Share this holiday with your friends and family and help others appreciate the Chinese language.