Standard Mandarin – also known as Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese or Standard spoken Chinese – is the official modern Chinese spoken language used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Singapore.
The phonology of Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which in turn belongs to Mandarin, a large and very diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. The vocabulary is largely drawn from this group of dialects. The grammar of Standard Mandarin is standardized to the body of modern literary works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the same tradition of the Mandarin group of dialects with some notable exceptions. As a result, Standard Mandarin itself is usually just called "Mandarin" in non-academic, everyday usage. However, linguists use "Mandarin" to refer to the entire group of dialects. This convention will be adopted by the rest of this article.
Standard Mandarin is officially known in the People's Republic of China as Pǔtōnghuà (Simplified Chinese: 普通话; Traditional Chinese: 普通話, literally "common speech"), in the Republic of China (Taiwan) as Guóyǔ (Traditional Chinese: 國語; Simplified Chinese: 国语, literally "national language"), and in Malaysia and Singapore as Huáyǔ (Traditional Chinese: 華語; Simplified Chinese: 华语, literally "Chinese (in a cultural sense) language"). All three terms are used interchangeably in Chinese communities around the world.
From: wikipedia - Standard Mandarin Chines