The Chinese language is spoken in the People's Republic of China, in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, and many other regions with Chinese communities, such as Australia and New Zealand or the United States of America.
With an estimated total of more than 1.3 billion native speakers (more than one fifth of the world's population), the Chinese language is considered the most important world language in terms of the number of native speakers. The main dialect with about 800 million native speakers is called "Mandarin". Mandarin is the official language of the PR China, Taiwan, and Singapore, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
I started learning Chinese in 2000, when I began my university education at the School of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (FASK Germersheim). During my university studies I attended additional intensive language courses and I was a member of the committee for the development of a German version of Wenlin, a Chinese dictionary software.
From August 2002 to July 2003, I was engaged as a lecturer for oral and written German, as well as German culture, by Shandong University in Jinan, China. From August 2003 to July 2004, I worked at Jiangsu Teachers University of Technology in Changzhou, China, as a lecturer for English language and culture.
The intensive language and translation training that I received at university, as well as the two years in China, several visits to Singapore, and the steady contact with Chinese speakers have helped me a lot in my quest to constantly broaden my knowledge of the Chinese language.