State Council Instruction concerning Spreading Putonghua

6 February 1956

Premier Zhou Enlai

Chinese is the main language of our country, and it is also the language used by the most people around the world, moreover, it is one of the most developed languages worldwide. Language is a tool for communication, and is also a tool for social struggle and development. At present, Chinese is serving the great undertaking of Socialist construction conducted by our country’s people. Learning Chinese well, has an important significance to our country’s Socialist undertaking.

Because of historical reasons, the development of Chinese has not yet reached a stage of complete unification. Many gravely diverging dialects have hampered conversation between people from different regions, creating many inconveniences in the undertaking of Socialist construction. Some ununified or ungrammatical phenomena in the language do not only exist orally, but also exist in writing. In written language, and even in publications, the confusion in vocabulary and grammar is rather grave. For the sake of our country’s political, economic, cultural and national defence progress and development, these phenomena must be effectively eliminated.

The basis for unifying Chinese already exists, this is the Putonghua with Beijing pronunciation as standard pronunciation, northern speech as basic dialect, and with model modern vernacular prose writings as grammatical standard. Spreading this Putonghua in the culture and education system and in all aspects of the people’s lives, is an important way to stimulate Chinese to achieve complete unification. For this purpose, the State Council instructs the following:

(1) Starting in the autumn of 1956, apart from ethnic minority regions, teaching of Putonghua will begin in the language courses of primary and secondary schools nationwide, without exception. By 1960, primary school students in the third year or higher, secondary school and normal school students should basically be able to speak Putonghua, all primary and normal school teachers should use Putonghua to teach, secondary and vocational school teachers should also basically use Putonghua to teach. All higher education language teaching should also add Putonghua content. Secondary and higher education school students who are about to graduate and young teachers and assistant teachers in higher education schools, if they cannot yet speak Putonghua, should conduct short-time supplementary study, for the convenience of their work. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education should separately decide on specialized plans to forcefully strengthen all school levels’ Chinese education and stimulate the standardization of Chinese, and report them to the State Council for approval and implementation.

(2) The language and literature course in cultural education of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops and language and literature courses in all school levels subordinate to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army should all use Putonghua for teaching. Soldiers, within one year of enlisting in the military, or all levels’ military school students, within one year of starting school, should all learn to use Putonghua. All organs’ part-time school language and literature teaching should have Putonghua as the norm.

(3) All local Youth League branches and all levels’ labour union organizations should adopt appropriate and effective means do spread Putonghua among the youth and among workers. Youth League members should set a pioneering example in learning and spreading Putonghua. Culture coaching schools in factories (and first and foremost large factories), culture coaching classes and through-the-year spare time schools’ high level classes in the countryside should all, as far as possible and progressively spread Putonghua teaching.

(4) Radio and television stations in all localities nationwide should cooperate with all localities’ work committees for spreading Putonghua, and organize Putonghua lectures. All broadcasting stations in dialect regions, in their regular broadcast programming, must appropriately include programmes using Putonghua, in order to help the local listeners to progressively learn to understand Putonghua and learn to speak Putonghua. Nationwide broadcasting personnel and nationwide film actors, professional theatre actors and vocal music (song) performers, must all receive Putonghua training. Among Beijing opera and other opera performers, Putonghua should also be progressively spread.

(5) The editorial personnel of newspaper publishers, news agencies, magazine publishers and publishing houses nationwide, should lean Putonghua and common knowledge of grammar and rhetoric, and strengthen writing style editing work over contributions. The Ministry of Culture should supervise Central first-level and all local levels’ publishing organs to appoint personnel to be responsible, establish systems, train cadres, formulate plans, and in two to five years respectively basically eliminate the phenomenon of confusion that should not be there in publications’ wording and phrasing.

(6) Nationwide railway, communications, post and telegraph undertaking service personnel, service personnel of commercial enterprises in large cities and mining areas, work personnel of hygiene undertakings in large cities and mining areas, police in large cities and mining areas, work personnel in judicial organs, journalists of newspaper publishers and news agencies, work personnel in cultural centres and stations, and work personnel in county-level or higher organs and organizations, should all learn Putonghua. All abovementioned corresponding organs should differentiate situations, formulate concrete plans concerning their subordinate work personnel learning Putonghua, and are responsible for implementation, enabling all their subordinate work personnel who regularly come in contact with the masses in all aspects to master Putonghua within a certain time.

(7) All foreign exchange translation personnel, apart from special requirements, should use Putonghua to translate without exception.

(8) The Chinese Character Reform Committee should, in the first half of 1956, complete the Hanyu Pinyin Scheme, in order to convenience Putonghua teaching and character transcription.

(9) In order to assist the teaching of Putonghua, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Language Research Centre should compile a Putonghua pronunciation dictionary with correct pronunciation standards as objective in 1956, and in 156 compile a modern Chinese dictionary with correct vocabulary standards as objective, and, in consultation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, organize the forces of all localities’ normal schools and university language departments, to complete the preliminary investigation work of every county’s dialect nationwide in 1956 or 1957. All provincial education offices should, within 1956, according to the characteristics of all provincial dialects, compile booklets on learning Putonghua for the people in those provinces. The Ministry of Education and the Broadcast Undertaking Bureau should record large numbers of recordings teaching Putonghua. The Ministry of Culture should produce films propagating Putonghua and teaching Putonghua within 1956.

(10) In order to foster cadres for the work of spreading Putonghua, the Ministry of Education should regularly organize Putonghua pronunciation research classes, train all localities’ secondary and normal school language teachers and administrative education cadres, all organs, organizations and troops should also delegate appropriate cadres to participate in training. At the same time, all provincial, city and county administrative education organs shall also generally organize Putonghua pronunciation short-term training classes, to train primary and secondary school and normal school language teachers in all localities, local organs, organizations and troops should also send appropriate cadres to participate in study.

(11) The State Council sets up a Putonghua Spreading Work Committee, to uniformly lead the nationwide work to spread Putonghua. Its daily work is to be conducted by the Chinese Character Reform Committee, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Language Research Centre according to the division of work: the Chinese Character Reform Committee is responsible for overall work planning, guidance and inspection; the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education are responsible for leadership over Putonghua teaching in all levels’ schools and part-time schools, the training of Putonghua teachers and the provision of Putonghua teaching materials; the Ministry of Culture is responsible for language standardization work in publications, the publishing of books and periodicals related to Putonghua and the production of recordings and films; the Language Research Centre is responsible for researching and propagating Putonghua pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar standardization. All provincial and city Peoples Committees should set up similar committees, with all provincial and city education offices or bureaus as the regular work organs.

(12) All ethnic minority regions should energetically spread Putonghua among the Han people in all regions. All ethnic minority schools’ Chinese education should have Chinese Putonghua as standard. Chinese broadcasts on ethnic minority regions’ radio stations should use Putonghua as much as possible. All autonomous region People’s Committees may set up work committees to spread Putonghua, in order to uniformly lead the work to spread Putonghua among the people in autonomous regions who speak Chinese.

国务院关于推广普通话的指示
总理 周恩来

汉语是我国的主要语言,也是世界上使用人数最多的语言,并且是世界上最发展的语言之一。语言是交际的工具,也是社会斗争和发展的工具。目前,汉语正在为我国人民所进行的伟大的社会主义建设事业服务。学好汉语,对于我国的社会主义事业的发展具有重大的意义。

由于历史的原因,汉语的发展现在还没有达到完全统一的地步。许多严重分歧的方言妨碍了不同地区的人们的交谈,造成社会主义建设事业中的许多不便。语言中的某些不统一和不合乎语法的现象不但存在在口头上,也存在在书面上。在书面语言中,甚至在出版物中,词汇上和语法上的混乱还相当严重。为了我国政治、经济、文化和国防的进-步发展的利益,必须有效地消除这些现象。

汉语统一的基础已经存在了,这就是以北京语音为标准音、以北方话为基础方言、以典范的现代白话文著作为语法规范的普通话。在文化教育系统中和人民生活各方面推广这种普通话,是促进汉语达到完全统一的主要方法。为此,国务院指示如下:

(一)从1956年秋季起,除少数民族地区外,在全国小学和中等学校的语文课内-律开始教学普通话。到1960年,小学三年级以上的学生、中学和师范学校的学生都应该基本上会说普通话,小学和师范学校的各科教师都应该用普通话教学,中学和中等专业学校的教师也都应该基本上用普通话教学。各高等学校的语文教学中也应该增加普通话的内容。中等学校、高等学校的就要毕业的学生和高等学校的青年教师、助教,如果还不会说普通话,应该进行短期的补习,以便于工作。教育部和高等教育部应该分别定出大力加强各级学校汉语教学、促进汉语规范化的专门计划,报国务院批准施行。

(二)中国人民解放军部队文化教育中的语文课和中国人民解放军所属各级学校的语文课,都应该用普通话教学。战士入伍一年之内,各级军事学校学员入学-年之内,都应该学会使用普通话。各机关业余学校中的语文教学,也都应该以普通话为标准。

(三)青年团的各地支部和工会的各地组织,都应该采用适当的和有效的方式,在青年中和工人中大力推广普通话。青年团员在学习和推广普通话方面应该起带头作用。工厂(首先是大工厂)中的文化补习学校、文化补习班和农村中的常年民校的高级班,都应该尽可能地、逐步地推广普通话的教学。

(四)全国各地广播电台应该同各地的推广普通话工作委员会合作,举办普通话讲座。各个方言区域的广播站,在它们的日常播音节目中,必须适当地包括用普通话播音的节目,以便帮助当地的听众逐步地听懂普通话和学习说普通话。全国播音人员、全国电影演员,职业性的话剧演员和声乐(歌唱)演员,都必须受普通话的训练。在京戏和其他戏曲演员中,也应该逐步地推广普通话。

(五)全国各报社、通讯社、杂志社和出版社的编辑人员,应该学习普通话和语法修辞常识,加强对稿件的文字编辑工作。文化部应该监督中央一级的和地方各级的出版机关指定专人负责,建立制度,训练干部,定出计划,分别在两年到五年内基本上消灭出版物上用词和造句方面的不应有的混乱现象。

(六)全国铁路、交通、邮电事业中的服务人员,大城市和工矿区的商业企业中的服务人员,大城市和工矿区的卫生事业中的工作人员,大城市和工矿区的警察,司法机关中的工作人员,报社和通讯社的记者、文化馆站的工作人员,县级以上的机关团体的工作人员,都应该学习普通话。上述各有关机关应该分别情况,定出关于所属工作人员学习普通话的具体计划,并负责加以执行,使它们所属的一切经常接近各方面群众的工作人员在一定时期内都学会普通话。

(七)一切对外交际的翻译人员,除了特殊的需要以外,应该一律用普通话进行翻译。

(八)中国文字改革委员会应该在1956年上半年完成汉语拼音方案,以便于普通话的教学和汉字的注音。

(九)为了帮助普通话的教学,中国科学院语言研究所应该在1956年编好以确定语音规范为目的的普通话正音词典,在1958年编好以确定词汇规范为目的的中型的现代汉语词典,并且会同教育部和高等教育部,组织各地师范学院和大学语文系的力量,在1956年和1957年完成全国每一个县的方言的初步调查工作。各省教育厅应该在1956年内,根据各省方言的特点,编出指导本省人学习普通话的小册子。教育部和广播事业局应该大量灌制教学普通话的留音片。文化部应该在1956年内摄制宣传普通话和教学普通话的电影片。

(十)为了培养推广普通话工作的干部,教育部应该经常举办普通话语音研究班,训练各地中学和师范学校的语文教师和教育行政干部,各机关、团体、部队也应该派适当的干部参加受训。同样,各省、市和县的教育行政机关也应该普遍地举办普通话语音短期训练班,训练各地中小学和师范学校的语文教师,当地机关、团体、部队也应该派适当的干部参加学习。

(十一)国务院设推广普通话工作委员会,统一领导全国的推广普通话工作。它的日常工作,由中国文字改革委员会、教育部、高等教育部、文化部、中国科学院语言研究所分工进行:中国文字改革委员会负责整个工作的计划、指导和检查;教育部和高等教育部负责全国各级学校和业余学校的普通话教学的领导,普通话师资的训练和普通话教材的供应;文化部负责出版物上的语言规范化工作、有关普通话书刊的出版和留音片、电影片的生产;语言研究所负责普通话语音、词汇、语法的规范的研究和宣传。各省、市人民委员会都应该设立同样的委员会,并以各省、市的教育厅、局为日常工作机关。

(十二)各少数民族地区,应该在各地区的汉族人民中大力推广普通话。各少数民族学校中的汉语教学,应该以汉语普通话为标准。少数民族地区广播电台的汉语广播应该尽量使用普通话。各自治区人民委员会可以根据需要设立推广普通话工作委员会,以便统一领导在各自治区的说汉语的人民中推广普通话的工作。