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What you call "literary Chinese" is actually classical Chinese, a rather static language that evolved 2500 years ago and has since been used as a model language in education, rituals and other rather fixed events. Classical Chinese is therefore akin to Latin in Europe, actually covering approximately the same time span and the same usage. You can pronounce ...


The difference between vernacular Chinese and literary Chinese is all about written form. It has nothing to do with spoken language (mandarin or other dialects). Therefore we should say vernacular written form and literary written form. The fact is that the literary written form is not for a natural human language at all. It is just for the official ...

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