1 Chinese holds the top position as the most used mother tongue. In 2020， the number of Chinese native speakers totalled about 1，000 million people. Just imagine how many more people you？蒺d be able to talk to after learning some Chinese！ Let？蒺s take a look at several facts you should know about this complicated and very different language.
2 Chinese has different calligraphy （书法） styles. There are several traditional forms of Chinese calligraphy. They are considered classical arts and representatives of Chinese art styles. The most popular calligraphy style is the seal character （篆体） style developed by the Han people. It first appeared during the Zhou Dynasty and remains popular among calligraphy artists today.
3 Chinese has the most similar sounding words. Thanks to its unique sound system， Chinese is filled with similar sounding words. This makes it quite difficult for non？鄄native speakers to differentiate between words and sound combinations. When you add in the tones， it makes Chinese one of the most difficult languages to listen to and understand. Not being exposed to these similar sounds， English speakers often find it impossible to pick out the differences.
4 It？蒺s the only modern pictographic （象形） language. The Chinese language was developed using images. Many Chinese characters we use today come from ancient drawings of the items they are meant to describe. This can be very helpful for those learning Chinese for the first time. A common example is the word for mountain “shan， 山”. The three points of the character are meant to resemble the three peaks of a mountain ridge.
5 Chinese remains one of the oldest languages in use. The origin of Chinese comes from the discovery of the famous Oracle Bones. These bones date from the Shang Dynasty. With such a rich history， Chinese has obviously undergone many changes and influences due to wars and cultural shifts. However， the language has continued to grow.
6 Borrowed words from English might sound familiar. Thanks to an increase in exposure to Western culture， Chinese has many loanwords， or words borrowed from English， in use today. Some examples include kafei （咖啡）， shafa （沙發） ， qiaokeli （巧克力） and so on.
Ⅰ. Decide if each statement is true （T） or false （F）.
（ ）1. Chinese had about 1，000 million foreign speakers in 2020.
（ ）2. The seal character style was developed by the Han people.
（ ）3. The existence of similar sounding words in Chinese is due to its unique sound system.
（ ）4. Chinese can imitate the images of different items.
（ ）5. The underlined word “undergone” in paragraph 5 can be replaced by “looked through”.
（ ）6. Chinese is open to foreign language to some extent.
Apart from these basic facts mentioned in the text， do you know any other facts about Chinese？
Ⅰ. Memorize some text？鄄centered chunks
mother tongue 母语
the number of ……的数量
native speakers 母语使用者
take a look at 看……
thanks to 多亏了……;由于……
differentiate between...and... 区分……和……
be exposed to 接触……
pick out 挑出
for the first time 第一次
date from 追溯至……
Ⅱ. Discover the useful structure in the text
“find it + adj. + to do...”句型，意为“发现做某事……”，能用于此結构中的动词还有make、think、consider、believe等。
Not being exposed to these similar sounds， English speakers often find it impossible to pick out the differences. 由于没有接触到这些类似的发音，说英语的人经常会发现很难找出它们的区别。