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[bahyhwah] /ˈbaɪhwɑ/
a colloquial form of written Chinese based on the spoken language, in use especially since 1917.
Compare wen-yen.
< Chinese báihuà, equivalent to bái plain, pure, white + huà word, talk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for pai-hua


vernacular style of Chinese that was adopted as a written language in a movement to revitalize the Classical Chinese literary language and make it more accessible to the common people. Started in 1917 by the philosopher and historian Hu Shi, the baihua literary movement succeeded in making baihua the language of textbooks, periodicals, newspapers, and public documents, thus causing a definite change in Chinese cultural life.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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