The Manchu language is a Tungustic language and it was the native language of the Manchu people before and during the Qing dynasty. The Manchus are the ethnic minority in China that overthrew the Ming dynasty in 1644 and took over the country. When they ruled, they formed the Qing dynasty. Manchu uses a version of the Mongolian script that was changed to better suit the language. For the first 200 years, it was the official language in the courts, although commoners still spoke Chinese. However, during the mid-1800s, it became more common for the Manchu nobles to speak Chinese as their first language. As a matter of fact, China's last emperor, Aisin Gioro Puyi, knew very little Manchu and spoke Chinese as his first language. Nonetheless, Manchu was still written alongside Chinese in official documents until the end of Imperial China. Even though China today has 10 million Manchus, only 20 people speak Manchu today. This makes Manchu a critically endangered language. Almost all Manchus today speak Mandarin Chinese as their first language.
- "Manchu alphabet and language". omniglot.com. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
- Weers, Nicole (29 June 2016). "Saving the Manchu language: 9 critically endangered languages from around the world". The Strait Times. Retrieved 12 January 2019.