Chinese language in the United States
|^a Foreign-born population only|
Chinese, mostly Yue dialects including Taishanese and Cantonese, is the third most-spoken language in the United States, almost completely spoken within Chinese American populations and by immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, especially in California. Over 2 million Americans speak some variety of Chinese, with Standard Chinese becoming increasingly common due to immigration from mainland China and Taiwan.
In New York City, although Mandarin is spoken as a native language among only ten percent of Chinese speakers, it is used as a secondary dialect and is replacing Cantonese as their lingua franca. In addition, immigration from Fujian is bringing an increasingly large number of Min speakers. Wu dialects, previously unheard of in the United States, are now spoken by a minority of recent Chinese immigrants hailing from Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai.
Although Chinese Americans grow up learning English, some teach their children Chinese for a variety of reasons including preservation of an ancient civilization, preservation of a unique identity, pride in their cultural ancestry, desire for easy communication with them and other relatives, and the perception that Chinese will be a very useful language as China's economic strength increases. Cantonese, historically the language of most Chinese immigrants, is the third most widely spoken non-English language in the United States.
About 40% of all Chinese-speakers in the United States live in California.
- "Appendix Table 2. Languages Spoken at Home: 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2007.". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Detailed Language Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for Persons 5 Years and Over --50 Languages with Greatest Number of Speakers: United States 1990". United States Census Bureau. 1990. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Language Spoken at Home: 2000". United States Bureau of the Census. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates: Language spoken at home by ability to speak English for the population 5 years and over". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
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- Lai, H. Mark (2004). Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions. AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7591-0458-1.
- García, Ofelia; Fishman, Joshua A. (2002). The Multilingual Apple: Languages in New York City. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-017281-X.
- Lai, H. Mark (2004). Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions. AltaMira Press. ISBN 0759104581. need page number(s)
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