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Work plan hopes for more than 80% of Chinese to speak Mandarin by 2020

By Zhao Xinying | | Updated: 2016-09-13 19:58

The proportion of Chinese people who can communicate in Mandarin Chinese is expected to exceed 80 percent by the year 2020, according to a work plan for popularizing Mandarin during the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).

The work plan was released by the National Language Committee together with the Ministry of Education in Beijing on Tuesday.

Statistics from the language committee showed that as of 2015, more than 70 percent of people across China can use Mandarin Chinese for purpose of daily life. However, at the end of the 20th century, the proportion was 53 percent.

Yao Xishuang, director of the Education Ministry's department of language and character management, said a lot of efforts were made during the past decade to popularize the use of Mandarin – a universal language in China – among people from across the country.

Among the efforts is the Mandarin Chinese Week, an event launched in 1997 to help people from different ethnic groups to learn to use Mandarin Chinese.

This year, the event was held from Sept 8 to 14, for the 19th time. Some outstanding learners from ethnic groups like Uygur and Tibetan were asked to share their experiences and benefits of learning the language.

The work plan also included increasing efforts to protect the languages of the country's other ethnic groups, particularly some endangered ones.

"The languages of ethnic groups are part of the Chinese language and culture and we will try to work out more scientific and effective ways to prevent them from dying out," Yao said.

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