Languages of ChinaPeople’s Republic of China, Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo. 1,312,979,000. 55 official minority nationalities total 123,330,000 or 9% of the population (2005). Han Chinese 1,182,950,000 or 91% (2005). National or official languages: Mandarin Chinese, regional languages: Daur, Kalmyk-Oirat, Lu, Peripheral Mongolian, Central Tibetan, Uyghur, Xibe. Literacy rate: 91% (2003). Immigrant languages: American Sign Language, Central Khmer (1,000), Parsi (5,000), Portuguese (8,980). Information mainly from J. Dreyer 1976; J. Evans 1999; J. Janhunen 1989, 2003; J. Matisoff, S. Baron and J. Lowe 1996; Ostapirat 2000; J-O Svantesson 1989, 1995, 2003; S. Wurm, B. T’sou, D. Bradley, Li Rong, Xiong Zhenghui, Zhang Zehnxing, Fu Maoji, Wang Jun and Dob 1987. Blind population: 2,000,000. Deaf population: 20,040,000 (China Disabled Persons’ Federation 2006). Deaf institutions: There are 550 schools for the deaf in addition to 683 special education schools in mainland China, some of which have classes for the deaf. The number of individual languages listed for China is 293. Of those, 292 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers.
Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com/.