In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language. It was used as early as in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. The former was a national prestige variety, while the latter was the legal standard. Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, which is close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", which is the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably.
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Chinese Food Vocabulary
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