Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a character—in theatre, film, radio, or any other medium that makes use of the mimetic mode. Acting involves a broad range of skills, including a well-developed imagination, emotional facility, physical expressivity, vocal projection, clarity of speech, the ability to interpret drama. Acting demands an ability to employ dialects, improvisation and emulation, stage combat. Many actors train at length in specialist colleges to develop these skills; the vast majority of professional actors have undergone extensive training. Actors and actresses will have many instructors and teachers for a full range of training involving singing, scene-work, audition techniques, acting for camera. Most early sources in the West that examine the art of acting discuss it as part of rhetoric. One of the first known actors is believed to have been an ancient Greek called Thespis of Icaria. Writing two centuries after the event, Aristotle in his Poetics suggests that Thespis stepped out of the dithyrambic chorus and addressed it as a separate character.
Before Thespis, the chorus narrated. When Thespis stepped out from the chorus, he spoke. To distinguish between these different modes of storytelling—enactment and narration—Aristotle uses the terms "mimesis" and "diegesis". From Thespis' name derives the word "thespian". A professional actor is someone, paid to act. Professional actors sometimes undertake unpaid work for a variety of reasons, including educational purposes or for charity events. Amateur actors are those. Not all people working as actors in film, television, or theatre are professionally trained. Bob Hoskins, for example, had no formal training before becoming an actor. Conservatories and drama schools offer two- to four-year training on all aspects of acting. Universities offer three- to four-year programs, in which a student is able to choose to focus on acting, whilst continuing to learn about other aspects of theatre. Schools vary in their approach, but in North America the most popular method taught derives from the'system' of Konstantin Stanislavski, developed and popularised in America as method acting by Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, others.
Other approaches may include a more physically based orientation, such as that promoted by theatre practitioners as diverse as Anne Bogart, Jacques Lecoq, Jerzy Grotowski, or Vsevolod Meyerhold. Classes may include psychotechnique, mask work, physical theatre and acting for camera. Regardless of a school's approach, students should expect intensive training in textual interpretation and movement. Applications to drama programmes and conservatories involve extensive auditions. Anybody over the age of 18 can apply. Training may start at a young age. Acting classes and professional schools targeted at under-18s are widespread; these classes introduce young actors to different aspects of acting and theatre, including scene study. Increased training and exposure to public speaking allows humans to maintain calmer and more relaxed physiologically. By measuring a public speaker’s heart rate maybe one of the easiest ways to judge shifts in stress as the heart rate increases with anxiety; as actors increase performances, heart rate and other evidence of stress can decrease.
This is important in training for actors, as adaptive strategies gained from increased exposure to public speaking can regulate implicit and explicit anxiety. By attending an institution with a specialization in acting, increased opportunity to act will lead to more relaxed physiology and decrease in stress and its effects on the body; these effects can vary from hormonal to cognitive health that can impact quality of life and performance Some classical forms of acting involve a substantial element of improvised performance. Most notable is its use by the troupes of the commedia dell'arte, a form of masked comedy that originated in Italy. Improvisation as an approach to acting formed an important part of the Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski's'system' of actor training, which he developed from the 1910s onwards. Late in 1910, the playwright Maxim Gorky invited Stanislavski to join him in Capri, where they discussed training and Stanislavski's emerging "grammar" of acting.
Inspired by a popular theatre performance in Naples that utilised the techniques of the commedia dell'arte, Gorky suggested that they form a company, modelled on the medieval strolling players, in which a playwright and group of young actors would devise new plays together by means of improvisation. Stanislavski would develop this use of improvisation in his work with his First Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. Stanislavski's use was extended further in the approaches to acting developed by his students, Michael Chekhov and Maria Knebel. In the United Kingdom, the use of improvisation was pioneered by Joan Littlewood from the 1930s onwards and by Keith Johnstone and Clive Barker. In the United States, it was promoted by Viola Spolin, after working with Neva Boyd at a Hull House in Chicago, Illinois. Like the British practitioners, Spolin felt that playing games was a useful means of training actors and helped to improve an actor's performance. With improvisation, she argued, people may find expressive freedom, since they do not know how an improvised situation will turn out.
Improvisation demands an open mind
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film and television; the analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art. In ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval world, the time of William Shakespeare, only men could become actors, women's roles were played by men or boys. After the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. In modern times in pantomime and some operas, women play the roles of boys or young men. After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were used interchangeably for female performers, but influenced by the French actrice, actress became the used term for women in theater and film.
The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with -ess added. When referring to groups of performers of both sexes, actors is preferred. Actor is used before the full name of a performer as a gender-specific term. Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the post-war period of the 1950 and'60s, when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed; when The Observer and The Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated "Use for both male and female actors. The guide's authors stated that "actress comes into the same category as authoress, manageress,'lady doctor','male nurse' and similar obsolete terms that date from a time when professions were the preserve of one sex.". "As Whoopi Goldberg put it in an interview with the paper:'An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything.'" The UK performers' union Equity has no policy on the use of "actor" or "actress". An Equity spokesperson said that the union does not believe that there is a consensus on the matter and stated that the "...subject divides the profession".
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times stated that "Actress" remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients. With regard to the cinema of the United States, the gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the silent film era and the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code, but in the 2000s in a film context, it is deemed archaic. However, "player" remains in use in the theatre incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company, such as the American Players, the East West Players, etc. Actors in improvisational theatre may be referred to as "players". In 2015, Forbes reported that "...just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female...". "In the U. S. there is an "industry-wide in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male's dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that."
Forbes' analysis of US acting salaries in 2013 determined that the "...men on Forbes' list of top-paid actors for that year made 21/2 times as much money as the top-paid actresses. That means that Hollywood's best-compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made." The first recorded case of a performing actor occurred in 534 BC when the Greek performer Thespis stepped onto the stage at the Theatre Dionysus to become the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, Grecian stories were only expressed in song, in third person narrative. In honor of Thespis, actors are called Thespians; the male actors in the theatre of ancient Greece performed in three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Western theatre developed and expanded under the Romans; the theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, acrobatics, to the staging of situation comedies, to high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies.
As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries, the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Records show that mime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies and other entertainments were popular. From the 5th century, Western Europe was plunged into a period of general disorder. Small nomadic bands of actors traveled around Europe throughout the period, performing wherever they could find an audience. Traditionally, actors were not of high status. Early Middle Ages actors were denounced by the Church during the Dark Ages, as they were viewed as dangerous and pagan. In many parts of Europe, traditional beliefs of the region and time period meant actors could not receive a Christian burial. In the Early Middle Ages, churches in Europe began staging dramatized versions of biblical events. By the middle of the 11th century, liturgical drama had spread from Russia to Scandinavia
A stunt performer referred to as a stuntman, stuntwoman or daredevil, is a trained professional who performs stunts as a career. These performers appear in films or on television, as opposed to a daredevil, who performs for a live audience; when they take the place of another actor, they are known. A stuntman performs stunts intended for use in a motion picture or dramatized television. Stunts seen in films and television include car crashes, falls from great height and explosions. There is an inherent risk in the performance of all stunt work. There is maximum risk. In filmed performances, visible safety mechanisms can be removed by editing. In live performances the audience can see more if the performer is genuinely doing what they claim or appear to do. To reduce the risk of injury or death, most stunts are choreographed or mechanically-rigged so that, while they look dangerous, safety mechanisms are built into the performance. Despite their well-choreographed appearance, stunts are still dangerous and physically testing exercises.
From its inception as a professional skill in the early 1900s to the 1960s, stunts were most performed by professionals who had trained in that discipline prior to entering the movie industry. Current film and television stunt performers must be trained in a variety of disciplines including martial arts and stage combat, must be a certified trained member of a professional stunt performers organisation first, in order to obtain the necessary insurance to perform on stage or screen; this allows them to better break down and plan an action sequence, physically prepare themselves, incorporate both the safety and risk factors in their performances. However when executed there is still strain and performing stunts results in unplanned injury to the body. Daredevils are distinct from stunt performers and stunt doubles. Daredevils perform for an audience. Live stunt performers include escape artists, sword swallowers, glass walkers, fire eaters, trapeze artists, many other sideshow and circus arts.
They include motorcycle display teams and the once popular Wall of Death. The Jackass films and television series are well-known and prominent recorded examples of the act in modern cinematography; some people, such as Buster Keaton, Harry Houdini, Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar, Pawan Kalyan, Tony Jaa, Jayan, act as both stunt performers and daredevils at various parts of their career. The earliest stunt performers were travelling entertainers and circus performers trained gymnasts and acrobats; the origin of the original name, the French language word cascadeur, may have been derived from the requirement to fall in a sequence of movements during a scene or stunt involving water Later, in the German and Dutch circus use of the word Kaskadeur, it meant performing a sequential series of daring leaps and jumps without injury to the performer. This acrobatic discipline required long training in the ring and perfect body control to present a sensational performance to the public; the word stunt was more formally adopted during the 19th-century travelling vaudeville performances of the early Wild West shows, in North America and Europe.
The first and prototypical Wild West show was Buffalo Bill's, formed in 1883 and lasting until 1913. The shows, which involved simulated battles with the associated firing of both guns and arrows, were a romanticized version of the American Old West. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, stage combat scenes of swordplay in touring theatrical productions throughout Europe, the Commonwealth of Nations and North America were created by combining several known, generic routines known as "standard combats". During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fencing masters in Europe began to research and experiment with historical fencing techniques, with weapons such as the two-handed sword and smallsword, to instruct actors in their use. Notable among these revivalist instructors were George Dubois, a fight director and martial artist from Paris who created performance fencing styles based on gladiatorial combat as well as Renaissance rapier and dagger fencing. Egerton Castle and Captain Alfred Hutton were part of a wider Victorian era group based in London, involved in reviving historical fencing systems.
Circa 1899–1902, Hutton taught stage fencing classes for actors via the Bartitsu Club, where he served on the Board of Directors and learned the basics of jujutsu and the Vigny method of stick fighting from his fellow instructors. By the early 1900s, the motion picture industry was starting to fire-up on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, but had no need for professional stunt performers. First, motion pictures were so new that if the producer had a budget for performers, there were more than enough applicants willing to do the scene for free. For instance, if you needed a shot of someone on a steel beam 1,000 feet up on a New York skyscraper there was always some willing to do the scene for real, for free. Second, the Spanish–American War had just ended, there were many physically fit and trained in the handling of firearms young men looking for some work. Thirdly, the former wild west was now not only tamed, but starting to be fenced in reducing the need for and pay of the former cowboys; the first picture which used a dedicated stunt performer is debated, but occurred somewhere between 1903 and 1910.
The first possible appearance of a stunt-double was Frank Hanaway in The Great Train Robber
Lam Ching-ying was a Hong Kong stuntman, film producer, action director and director. A physically talented and graceful martial artist, Lam was best known for playing the stoic Taoist priest in Mr. Vampire, he had a reputation for being disciplined, headstrong and self-willed. As an actor, action choreographer, martial artist, teacher he touched many people with his candor and uncompromising professionalism. Lam died in 1997 of liver cancer and left behind a lasting cinematic legacy, which can be enjoyed and respected by generations all over the world, he was born Lam Gun-bo on 27 December 1952 in Hong Kong. His family originated in the People's Republic Of China. Both of his parents made a living by doing catering services. Lam was the third child of six children, his family was poor, his parents weren't educated. Lam attended Shun Yi Association Elementary School in Hong Kong, but dropped out after 2 years, his father sent him to Chun Chau Drama Society to learn the Peking Opera style under the guidance of Madame Fan Fok Fa.
Due to his slender and fragile body structure, Lam specialized in female roles and performed stunt-doubling for actresses. However, he was reported as a mischievous and disobedient child. Thus, after half a year of training, Madame sent him on stage to express himself and control his drive. Lam's first show was called "White Beach", he realized. Through a friend's introduction, Lam joined the film industry. At age 17, Lam became a stuntman and martial arts coach at the Shaw Brothers Studio. Due to his slender build, he was called upon to substitute female actors, he received $HK60 a day, $HK20 of which went to his master, another $HK20 he took home to his parents. Lam used the remaining money to treat his brothers to snacks. Lam once mentioned. There was a story that Lam challenged Bruce Lee in a hotel room because he didn't believe Lee was as strong as the rumors said. Lam put a pillow over his chest and stomach Bruce struck the pillow and sent him flying across the room. Bruce Lee was so impressed.
Lam was 19 at the time. Lam started to work as an co-action choreographer, personal assistant to Bruce Lee on Lee's movies including The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon, Game of Death. In his youth, Lam always got into fights. During the filming of "The Big Boss", Lam was arrested for fighting, Lee had to bail him out of jail. Despite having little education, Lam impressed Lee with interesting philosophical discussions. Although they hardly talked about their relationship, Lee liked good conversations, this self-willed young man soon became Lee's favorite; when Lee died, Lam was devastated. He joined Hung's stuntman association. Lam worked behind the camera as assistant director and became Sammo's right-hand man of the stunt team, his talent as an actor and martial artist was revealed in The Magnificent Butcher. Lam played the fan-wielding assassin. In 1982, Lam won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Director, in the film Prodigal Son. Prodigal Son featured what is acknowledged as among the best Wing Chun caught on film, performed by Lam.
Lam played the strict kung fu master Leung Yee-tai. This was his most historic role. Lam shaved his own eyebrows to give Master Leung a more feminine portrayal, he was able to bring a sweet quality to this sharp and hard-nosed character. He played a frail, elderly Taoist priest in The Dead and the Deadly. Lam's star did not rise until 1985, with the release of Mr. Vampire, the movie that fueled the hopping vampire genre. Lam was nominated for Best Actor for his role as the Taoist priest; the character was an engaging mixture of naivety and stoic authority, became a favorite for audiences. Lam was to reprise this role many times throughout his career. Shortly after the release of Mr. Vampire, the Golden Harvest film company attempted to make an English version of the movie with Tanya Roberts and Jack Scalia. Lam's role was played by longtime kung fu film actor Yuen Wah. Due to various difficulties, the film was never made. In the following years, Lam starred as the Taoist Priest in countless sequels and spin-offs of Mr. Vampire such as Mr. Vampire II, Mr. Vampire III, Vampire Vs. Vampire, Magic Cop, Encounters of the Spooky Kind II He appeared in different movie genres such as The Return of Pom Pom, School on Fire, Painted Faces, Her Vengeance.
Lam proved. It is argued that whether the huge success of Mr. Vampire was the best thing that happened in his career because it forever typecast him as the vampire slayer, yet Lam had many mind-stirring portrayals in other movie genres. In 1989, Lam directed his first movie Vampire Vs. Vampire; the movie starred him as the usual One Eyebrow Priest, Chin Siu Ho and Liu Fong as his naughty disciples. Due to the production cost going over budget, he didn't take his director's fee; the movie showed light of his moving-making style, prone to realistic fights and dark humor. The movie didn't become a huge success, but his candor made people re-think the purposes of film-making, it suggested new ideas in the genre which influenced other Hong Kong ghos
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua
In gymnastics, the floor refers to a specially prepared exercise surface, considered an apparatus. It is used by both male and female gymnasts; the event in gymnastics performed on floor is called floor exercise. The English abbreviation for the event in gymnastics scoring is FX. A spring floor is used in all of gymnastics to provide more bounce. Cheerleading uses spring floors for practice; the sprung floor used for indoor athletics, however, is designed to reduce bounce. The apparatus originated as a'free exercise' for men similar to the floor exercise of today, it wasn't until 1948. Most competitive gymnastics floors are spring floors, they contain springs and/or a rubber foam and plywood combination which make the floor bouncy, soften the impact of landings, enable the gymnast to gain height when tumbling. Floors have designated perimeters—the "out of bounds" area is always indicated by a border of white tape or a differently colored mat; the allowed time for a floor exercise is up to 70 seconds for males and up to 90 seconds for females.
Unlike men, women always perform routines to music. Measurements of the apparatus are published by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique in the Apparatus Norms brochure; the dimensions are the same for female competitors. Performance area: 1,200 centimetres x 1,200 centimetres ± 3 centimetres Diagonals: 1,697 centimetres ±5 centimetres Border: 100 centimetres Safety zone: 200 centimetres Floor exercise routines last up to 90 seconds; the routine is choreographed in advance, is composed of acrobatic and dance elements. This event, above all others, allows the gymnast to express her personality through her dance and musical style; the moves that are choreographed in the routine must be precise, in sync with the music and entertaining. At the international elite level of competition, the composition of the routine is decided by the gymnast and her coaches. Many gymnasiums and national federations hire special choreographers to design routines for their gymnasts. Well-known gymnastics choreographers include Lisa Luke, Adriana Pop, Nancy Roche, Geza Pozar.
Others opt to choreograph their FX routines in-house. Some gymnasts adopt a new FX every year, it is not uncommon for coaches to modify a routine's composition between meets if it is used for an extended length of time. It is uncommon for gymnasts to use more than one different FX routine in the same season but it is not unheard of, like at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta for instance, Russian Dina Kotchetkova's routine in the FX event finals had different music and composition than that of her all-around exercise; the music used for the routine is the choice of the gymnast and her coaches. It may be of any known musical style and played with any instrument, but it may not include spoken words or sung lyrics of any kind. Vocalization is allowed, it is the responsibility of the coach to bring the music to every competition on CD. Scores are based on difficulty, demonstration of required elements, overall performance quality. Deductions are taken for poor form and execution, lack of required elements, falls.
The gymnast is expected to use the entire floor area for her routine, to tumble from one corner of the mat to the other. Steps outside the designated perimeters of the floor incur deductions; the gymnast will incur a deduction if there are lyrics in the music. For detailed information on score tabulation, please see the Code of Points article Routines can include up to four tumbling lines, several dance elements and leaps. A floor routine must consist of at least: Connection of two dance elements Saltos forward/sideways and backward Double saltos Saltos with a minimum of one full twist A floor exercise for men is made up of acrobatic elements, combined with other gymnastic elements of strength and balance and handstands; the routine must be choreographed forming a harmonious rhythmic exercise using the whole floor area. The whole routine may last no longer than 70 seconds; as with other gymnastic events, scores are based on difficulty and overall performance quality. Deductions are taken for lack of flexibility, not using the whole floor area, pausing before tumbling lines, using the same diagonal more than twice.
Handstand skills must show gymnasts' intent clearly. A floor routine should contain at least one element from all element groups: I. Non-acrobatic elements II. Acrobatic elements forward III. Acrobatic elements backwards, & Arabian elementsThe dismount can come from any element group other than group I. Floor exercises is a category in the rhythmic gymnastics, but it considers only the youngest gymnasts, up to 10 years old, who perform their routines freehand, which means without any apparatus, their length and content is still specified and differs in each age category. Acro dance, which incorporates many FX elements in a dance context. Gym floor cover Performance surface Sprung floor Wushu, which uses a floor. Acrobatic gymnastics Tumbling Drills The 2006 Code of Points US Gym Net's glossary of floor skills US Gym Net's glossary of hops and leaps FM Online - Floor Instructions Description of gymnastics technique by animation
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent