Manchu phrasebook

Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.

Manchu () is the indigenous language of Manchuria. Until 1911, it was an official language of China under the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty (). However, the language rapidly declined after the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, in which the dynasty was overthrown. The language was in decline even during the Qing era, as many Han Chinese migrated to Manchuria. This process was accelerated by persecution against Manchus by Chinese Revolutionaries, persecution by the Japanese during the Manchukuo Era, and by the Cultural Revolution.

Consequently, even though there are about 10 million Manchus today, only about a million can speak the language and only about 70, mostly elderly in isolated villages, can speak it natively. Manchus live mainly in the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning, and parts of Inner Mongolia. The Xibe language spoken in Qapqal Xibe Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang is closely related to Manchu and is therefore mutually intelligible. Virtually every Manchu speaker is also able to speak Mandarin, so learning Manchu is generally not necessary to communicate, though as with almost any language, attempts by outsiders to speak it are always appreciated.

Pronunciation guide

Phrase list