A weighing scale is a device to measure weight or mass. These are known as mass scales, weight scales, mass balance, weight balance, or scale, balance, or balance scale; the traditional scale bowls suspended at equal distances from a fulcrum. One plate holds an object of unknown mass, while known masses are added to the other plate until static equilibrium is achieved and the plates level off, which happens when the masses on the two plates are equal. A spring scale will make use of a spring of known stiffness to determine mass. Suspending a certain mass will extend the spring by a certain amount depending on the spring's stiffness; the heavier the object, the more the spring stretches, as described in Hooke's law. Other types of scale making use of different physical principles exist; some scales can be calibrated to read in units of force such as newtons instead of units of mass such as kilograms. Scales and balances are used in commerce, as many products are sold and packaged by mass; the balance scale is such a simple device that its usage far predates the evidence.
What has allowed archaeologists to link artifacts to weighing scales are the stones for determining absolute mass. The balance scale itself was used to determine relative mass long before absolute mass; the oldest evidence for the existence of weighing scales dates to c. 2400–1800 B. C. in the Indus River valley. Prior to that, no banking was performed due to lack of scales. Uniform, polished stone cubes discovered in early settlements were used as mass-setting stones in balance scales. Although the cubes bear no markings, their masses are multiples of a common denominator; the cubes are made of many different kinds of stones with varying densities. Their mass, not their size or other characteristics, was a factor in sculpting these cubes. In Egypt, scales can be traced to around 1878 B. C. but their usage extends much earlier. Carved stones bearing marks denoting mass and the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for gold have been discovered, which suggests that Egyptian merchants had been using an established system of mass measurement to catalog gold shipments or gold mine yields.
Although no actual scales from this era have survived, many sets of weighing stones as well as murals depicting the use of balance scales suggest widespread usage. In China, the earliest weighing balance excavated was from a tomb of the State of Chu of the Chinese Warring States Period dating back to the 3rd to 4th century BC in Mount Zuojiagong near Changsha, Hunan; the balance was made of wood and used bronze masses. Variations on the balance scale, including devices like the cheap and inaccurate bismar, began to see common usage by c. 400 B. C. by many small merchants and their customers. A plethora of scale varieties each boasting advantages and improvements over one another appear throughout recorded history, with such great inventors as Leonardo da Vinci lending a personal hand in their development. With all the advances in weighing scale design and development, all scales until the seventeenth century AD were variations on the balance scale; the standardization of the weights used – and ensuring traders used the correct weights – was a considerable preoccupation of governments throughout this time.
The original form of a balance consisted of a beam with a fulcrum at its center. For highest accuracy, the fulcrum would consist of a sharp V-shaped pivot seated in a shallower V-shaped bearing. To determine the mass of the object, a combination of reference masses was hung on one end of the beam while the object of unknown mass was hung on the other end. For high precision work, such as empirical chemistry, the center beam balance is still one of the most accurate technologies available, is used for calibrating test masses; the balance was the first mass measuring instrument invented. In its traditional form, it consists of a pivoted horizontal lever with arms of equal length – the beam – and a weighing pan suspended from each arm; the unknown mass is placed in one pan and standard masses are added to the other pan until the beam is as close to equilibrium as possible. In precision balances, a more accurate determination of the mass is given by the position of a sliding mass moved along a graduated scale.
Technically, a balance compares weight rather than mass, but, in a given gravitational field, the weight of an object is proportional to its mass, so the standard masses used with balances are labeled in units of mass. Unlike spring-based scales, balances are used for the precision measurement of mass as their accuracy is not affected by variations in the local gravitational field. A change in the strength of the gravitational field caused by moving the balance does not change the measured mass, because the moments of force on either side of the beam are affected equally. A balance will render an accurate measurement of mass at any location experiencing a constant gravity or acceleration. Precise measurements are achieved by ensuring that the balance's fulcrum is friction-free, by attaching a pointer to the beam which amplifies any deviation from a balance position. For greatest accuracy, there needs to be an allowance for the bu
History of writing in Vietnam
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Vietnamese literature, governmental and religious documents and temple signs were written in classical Chinese, using Chinese characters or chu han. This had been done since at least 111 BC. Since as early as the 8th century novels and poetry in Vietnamese were written in the chữ nôm script, which used Chinese characters for Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary and an adapted set of characters for the native vocabulary with Vietnamese approximations of Middle Chinese pronunciations; the two scripts coexisted until the era of French Indochina when the Latin alphabet quốc ngữ script became the written medium of both government and popular literature. In Vietnamese, Chinese characters go by a variety names: chữ Hán: "words from Han Chinese", Hán tự: "Han characters/words". Hán văn: "Han literature" denotes Chinese language literature; the Vietnamese word chữ is derived from a Middle Chinese pronunciation of 字, meaning'character'. Sino-Vietnamese refer to cognates or terms borrowed from Chinese into the Vietnamese language preserving the phonology of the original Chinese.
As for syntax and vocabulary this Sino-Vietnamese language was no more different from the Chinese of Beijing than medieval English Latin was different from the Latin of Rome. The term Chữ Nôm refers to the former transcription system for vernacular Vietnamese-language texts, written using a mixture of original Chinese characters and locally coined nôm characters not found in Chinese to phonetically represent Vietnamese sounds." However the character set for chữ nôm is extensive, containing up to 20,000 logograms, many are both arbitrary in composition and inconsistent in pronunciation. Hán Nôm may mean both Hán and Nôm taken together as in the research remit of Hanoi's Hán-Nôm Institute, or refer to texts which are written in a mixture of Hán and Nôm, or some Hán texts with parallel Nôm translations. There is a significant orthographic overlap between Hán and Nôm and many characters are used in both Hán and Nôm with the same reading, it may be simplest to think of Nom as the Vietnamese extension of Han characters.
The term chữ. During Chinese domination period from 111 BC to 938 AD, Vietnam was under Chinese rule and so Chinese characters or Chu Han were used for writing. In most cases, formal writings were done in the language of Classical Chinese. Chinese was used extensively used in government and administration for entry via the Confucian examination system in Vietnam, conducted in van ngon. Chinese was the language of medicine, religion and high literature such as poetry. According to Dao Duy Anh, Vietnam started to have Chinese studies when Shi Xie taught Vietnamese people to write. In this period of over a thousand years, most of the inscriptions written on steles are in Chinese characters. During this period, Vietnamese existed as an oral language, before the creation of the Chu Nom script to preserve and circulate less serious poetry and narrative literature; these writings were at first indistinguishable from contemporaneous classical Chinese works produced in China, Korea, or Japan. These include the first poems in chữ nho by the monk Khuông Việt, the Nam Quốc Sơn Hà, many Confucian and Buddhist scriptures.
It has been suggested that Chinese characters were present in Vietnam before 111 BC, based on the interpretation of the inscription considered as a word on a dagger. However, more research needs to be done. Moreover on the Dong Son bronze drums used between 700 BC-100 AD, supposed inscriptions have yet to be deciphered. Between 939-1919, Chu Han continued to be used as the major means of writing among scholars and in government. In Vietnam, classical Chinese texts were read with the vocalization of Chinese text as such, equivalent to the Chinese on-yomi in Japanese kambun or the assimilated vocalizations in Korean hanmun; this occurred alongside the diffusion of Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary into the vernacular Vietnamese language, created a Sinoxenic dialect. The Sinologist Edwin G. Pulleyblank was the one of the first linguists to employ "Sino-Vietnamese" to recover the earlier history of Chinese. From the 13th Century the dominance of Chu Han began to be challenged by Chu Nom, a system of modified and invented characters modeled loosely on Chinese characters.
Unlike the system of chữ nho, allowed for the expression of purely Vietnamese words, was created in Vietnam at least as early as the 13th century. However, the earliest known use of chu Nom is documented to be from the 8th century. While designed for native Vietnamese speakers, chữ nôm required the user to have a fair knowledge of chữ Hán, thus chữ nôm was used for literary writings by cultural elites, while all other official writings and documents continued to be written in classical Chinese until the 20th century. Though technically different from chu Han, it is simplest to think of it as a descendant of chu Han--with modifications thereof as well as new Vietnamese-coined logograms. Together, they are called Han Nom. Quoc Ngu is the currently-used script of
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
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
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Taiwan the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy, not a member of the United Nations; the island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan; the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands.
In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system; as a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC; as of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 16 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is urbanised, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked in terms of civil and political liberties, health care and human development. Various names for the island of Taiwan remain in use today, each derived from explorers or rulers during a particular historical period; the name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa. The name Formosa "replaced all others in European literature" and remained in common use among English speakers into the 20th century. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan", after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Taivoan people, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Teijoan, etc.
This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar and nearby area. The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, seen in various forms in Chinese historical records; the area occupied by modern-day Tainan represented the first permanent settlement by both European colonists and Chinese immigrants. The settlement grew to be the island's most important trading centre and served as its capital until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name became official as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development the entire Formosan mainland became known as "Taiwan". In his Daoyi Zhilüe, Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it closest to Penghu. Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; the name appears in the Book of Sui and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or Luzon. The official name of the state is the "Republic of China".
Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had withdrawn to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War, it was referred to as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China", it was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts ROC government publications, the name is written as "
Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean; the region is the only part of Asia that lies within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia known as Indochina, comprising parts of Northeast India, Laos, Thailand and West Malaysia. Maritime Southeast Asia known as Nusantara, the East Indies and Malay Archipelago, comprises the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, East Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands. Taiwan is included in this grouping by many anthropologists; the region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with both heavy seismic and volcanic activities.
The Sunda Plate is the main plate of the region, featuring all Southeast Asian countries except Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern Laos, northern Vietnam, northern Luzon of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar and peninsular Malaysia are part of the Alpide belt, while the islands of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Both seismic belts meet in Indonesia, causing the region to have high occurrences of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Southeast Asia covers about 4.5 million km2, 10.5% of Asia or 3% of earth's total land area. Its total population is about 8.5 % of the world's population. It is the third most populous geographical region in the world after East Asia; the region is culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Ten countries in the region are members of ASEAN, a regional organization established for economic, military and cultural integration amongst its members; the region, together with part of South Asia, was well known by Europeans as the East Indies or the Indies until the 20th century.
Chinese sources referred the region as 南洋, which means the "Southern Ocean." The mainland section of Southeast Asia was referred to as Indochina by European geographers due to its location between China and the Indian subcontinent and its having cultural influences from both neighboring regions. In the 20th century, the term became more restricted to territories of the former French Indochina; the maritime section of Southeast Asia is known as the Malay Archipelago, a term derived from the European concept of a Malay race. Another term for Maritime Southeast Asia is Insulindia, used to describe the region between Indochina and Australasia; the term "Southeast Asia" was first used in 1839 by American pastor Howard Malcolm in his book Travels in South-Eastern Asia. Malcolm only included the Mainland section and excluded the Maritime section in his definition of Southeast Asia; the term was used in the midst of World War II by the Allies, through the formation of South East Asia Command in 1943.
SEAC popularised the use of the term "Southeast Asia," although what constituted Southeast Asia was not fixed. However, by the late 1970s, a standard usage of the term "Southeast Asia" and the territories it encompasses had emerged. Although from a cultural or linguistic perspective the definitions of "Southeast Asia" may vary, the most common definitions nowadays include the area represented by the countries listed below. Ten of the eleven states of Southeast Asia are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while East Timor is an observer state. Papua New Guinea has stated that it might join ASEAN, is an observer. Sovereignty issues exist over some territories in the South China Sea; some southern parts of Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan, are considered as part of Southeast Asia by some authors. * Administrative centre in Putrajaya. Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely Mainland Southeast Asia and Maritime Southeast Asia. Mainland Southeast Asia includes: Maritime Southeast Asia includes: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are geographically considered part of Maritime Southeast Asia.
Eastern Bangladesh and Northeast India have strong cultural ties with Southeast Asia and sometimes considered both South Asian and Southeast Asian. Sri Lanka has on some occasions been considered a part of Southeast Asia because of its cultural ties to mainland Southeast Asia; the rest of the island of New Guinea, not part of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, is sometimes included, so are Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands, which were all part of the Spanish East Indies with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the region the Philippines. The eastern half of Indonesia and East Timor are considered to be biogeographically part of Oceania due to its distinctive faunal features. New Guinea and its surrounding islands are geologically considered as a part of Australian continent, connected via the Sahul Shelf; the region