Throughout most of the history of China, the nation’s capital has been in the Mandarin area, which made the dialects of the language extremely influential. From approximately the fourteenth century, various forms of Mandarin have been used as the lingua franca of the nation.
Early in the twentieth century, a standard form of Mandarin was adopted formally as the national language. This form was based on the Beijing dialect but incorporated different elements from several other Mandarin dialects.
The modern form of Mandarin has evolved from Old Mandarin and although there are many differences, there are certain features and characteristics which are easily recognizable.