In Ming and Qing dynasty, official speech as a national standard, was used at the royal courts as a Koiné language, to solve the mutual unintelligibility of different Chinese varieties.
The speech finally became Modern Standard Mandarin.
Most linguists classify all varieties of Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family, together with Burmese, Tibetan and many other languages spoken in the Himalayas and the Southeast Asian Massif.
Although the relationship was first proposed in the early 19th century and is now broadly accepted, reconstruction of Sino-Tibetan is much less developed than that of families such as Indo-European or Austroasiatic.
The internal diversity of Chinese has been likened to that of the Romance languages, but may be even more varied. Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, and even dialect groups within Min Chinese are not mutually intelligible.
There are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken by far is Mandarin (about 960 million, e.g. Although some, for example like Xiang and certain Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility. Standard Chinese (Pǔtōnghuà/Guóyǔ/Huáyǔ) is a standardized form of spoken Chinese based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin.
After the fall of the Northern Song dynasty, and during the reign of the Jin (Jurchen) and Yuan (Mongol) dynasties in northern China, a common speech (now called Old Mandarin) developed based on the dialects of the North China Plain around the capital.Difficulties have included the great diversity of the languages, the lack of inflection in many of them, and the effects of language contact.In addition, many of the smaller languages are spoken in mountainous areas that are difficult to reach, and are often also sensitive border zones.The Chinese language has spread to neighbouring countries through a variety of means.Northern Vietnam was incorporated into the Han empire in 111 BCE, marking the beginning of a period of Chinese control that ran almost continuously for a millennium.