- Also known as: topolect and 方言 (fāngyán).
The word "dialect," as applied to Chinese, is likely to have one of two main meanings:
- A regional variation of standard Chinese, such as the Chinese spoken in Beijing, or Shanghai, or Chengdu, or Taipei.
- The traditionally spoken language of a region of Greater China, AKA topolect or 方言 (fāngyán), which may or may not be mutually intelligible with standard Mandarin.
Local dialects will affect the Mandarin used in a particular region, and so it is important for a learner to have some understanding of the features of the local dialect. See also Mandarin accents.