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Chinese Dialects

11 February 2008

For thousands of years, Chinese people speak in hundreds different dialects, but use only one written system, Han Character (汉字), which makes the written communication and culture inheritance possible. The separation of the written and spoken forms of the Chinese language provides a tie that holds the Chinese people together while gives a space for different expressions in daily lives.

The following is a brief overview of today’s Chinese dialects:

1, Northern Dialect (also called Mandarin)

The official tongue of China, mainly based on Beijing dialect.

2, Jiangsu Dialect (also called Wu Dialect)

Mainly based on Suzhou dialect, which in a way is closer to the Song mandarin than that of the northern dialect. Song Dynasty (960-1279) is the most economically, culturally and intellectually developed period in Chinese history with vast volume of written materials produced during that time. Jiangsu Dialect agian branches into many different sub-dialects, and Shanghai dialect is one of them.

3, Anhui Dialect (also called Hui Dialect)

Mainly used by people in Anhui province.

4, Jiangxi Dialect (also called Gang Dialect)

Mainly used by people in Jianxi Province.

5, Hunan Dialect (also called Xiang Dialect)

Mainly used by people in Hunan Province

6, Gujian Dialect (also called Minnan Dialect)

Mainly sued by people in Fujian and Taiwan Provinces

7, Kejia Dialect

Mainly ethnicaly based (by Kejia ethnic people). People who speak this particular form of dialect can be found in Fujian, Taiwan and other southern provinces.

8, Cantoneses

Mainly used by people in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong.

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Let's Learn Chinese, Dialects

A mice gets drunk and becomes very brave. When he sees a cat approaching, he stands in the cat's way and shouts out his challenge, "Hi you scoundrel, know what, I'm here to stay. Think you're a big guy, eh? Come and try me!"

The following are some Chinese ways of saying that in the scenario that our daring mice is a multi-dialect genius:

Beijing dialect:

“今儿爷就站这儿了, 别看你丫(小子)个儿不小, 丫你动我一 (下) 试试!

Tianjing dialect:

“近儿(今天)我奏(就)賛(站)届咳儿(这儿)了, 甭看你葛(个)大, 你动我一(下)四四(试试)!

Shandong dialect:

“今日老子倭(我)就站者尼(这里), 甭看尼 (你) 长地镐(长得高), 尼 (你) 敢招呼(挑战)倭(我)使使(试试)!

Shaanxi dialect:

“今儿鄂(我)奏(就)立到这儿, 保(别)看你娃(小子)陪瓜子美(长得大), 你娃(小子)把鄂动嘎子(动一下子)!

Sichuan dialect:

“今天老子就站到这堂沟(这地方), 不要以为你长得莽戳戳的(大高个), 你碰哈我告一哈(碰一碰试试)!

Shanghai dialect:

“今早 (今天) 我就列了个搭(站在这儿), 弗要可侬(不要看你)模子嘎笃哦(个子这么大), 侬(你)傍傍(碰碰)我似似可诺(试试看)!

Suzhou dialect:

“今哉(今天)偶(我)具(就)登了该笃(站在这儿), 覅可乃(别看你)长得结棍(高大健壮), 乃(你)啊要傍傍(碰碰)偶(我)似似可哪(试试看)!


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