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Have you ever wanted to hear what some of the more obscure dialects sound like?


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I came across this website on the net which contains audio recordings in many different world languages. The section on China is pretty comprehensive, with samples from regional variants of Mandarin, other dialects and even minority languages.

I'm sure some of you will find this interesting. I found it fun listening to the Shanghainese and actually being able to understand some of it. :D

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Wow! The sheer number is absolutely amazing. I can't imagine the amount of work that was put into that project go out and find some of those obscure dialects/languages.

Very good find!

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It is worth pointing out that it is a highly evangelical Christian propaganda website. Isn't it strange. So much work to track down native speakers of all these Chinese languages and dialects and they all want to talk about some mythical Palestinian from 2000 years ago. What about the price of vegetables?

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How much can you understand? I can understand all of Mandarin and Shanghainese, and 90+% of the Sichuanese (which sounds like Mandarin with an accent to me). But I can't understand the Cantonese at all (except the “各位朋友” at the start).

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Why the attack? Have they done anything to you? Can't we just admire the work that was done even if you don't believe in the same thing?

I was afraid it would turn into a bash. I have a good atheist friend who said he used to spend a lot of time bashing Christians and esp. Evangelicals until he realized he was preaching and butting into others beliefs just as much as they were or worse. (his words)

If they have Christianity as a motivation then so be it. It has produced remarkable results and doesn't affect you. (not to mention it does no good here, you won't change anyone's mind, and you might just be offending people. Pointing out the bias or propaganda as you call it is one thing - attacking the representation of faith of for millions of people is another. Kids may believe in Santa but I don't think you would find it neccessary to run up to all of them and convert them by telling them he is a myth right? Not comparing Jesus to Santa btw but in frame of reference they both are things you don't believe in. Others have different opinions.) They do the work so they can pick the topic. Seems fair.

Also, kind of throws the topic off a little and changes the tone. Too many boards degenerate down to political / religious debates on every topic.

Maybe if you just said, "I'm not a Christian, it sure would be nice if the had some other topics of interest it would me nice. It's just not relevant to me. Something more relevant would be . . ." it would still get your point across, be on topic, and keep the atmosphere relaxed for everyone.

Sorry you had a bad Christmas. (read your blog - street sweepers and all; nice blog btw)

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I agree with Liuzhou that a heads up that it was hardcore Christian website would of been nice. I was looking forward to listening to the various dialect recordings, not a website promoting Christianity. As soon as I saw what it was, I felt that the description didn't fully fit the content of the website.

It would be like starting a thread saying that "this" website has a cultural exchange between two young women. Upon clicking on the link, we'd discover that it was 2 girls 1 cup.

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OK, firstly let me say I do not believe in religion, and I don't give much credence to the informational content of that site.

However, the objective of my initial post was to draw attention to a website containing sound files of obscure chinese dialects, so that anyone, especially non-native speakers, would have a chance of hearing what some of these dialects sound like. Now perhaps I am wrong, but I suspect that most people when listening to anything other than non-standard Mandarin will not be able to understand what they are saying anyway. And therefore, the actual content of the sound file is somewhat irrelevant.

Furthermore, I have not created any applets to open unwanted pages on your screen. If the theme puts of off listening to the files, then the solution is simple - don't click on the links.

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Without actually having heard the files: Who cares that they talk about Christian subjects.

First, they have to say something, and it's best to have all speakers talk about something similar. If one sings a folk song, one tells a ghost story, and a third talks about grocery prices, you don't get much of a comparison, so it's best to pick one subject. I know of another web site that shows the scripts of different languages by showing the Declariation of Human rights. That's also western-centric. But you have to pick something.

Second, there are good and bad sides to religion, but when people do good and interesting linguistic work out of religious motives, I'd still say that's a good thing. A lot of work on Chinese was done by missonaries. They have their reasons to do this work, and we might disagree with their motives, but we can still be happy with the work they did. After all, nobody else seems to have done it.

The only objection I would have against using Christian texts for such things is that they contain a lot of wailai names.

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The only objection I would have against using Christian texts for such things is that they contain a lot of wailai names.

Don't worry. The only 外来名 I heard in the clips was 耶稣.

Upon clicking on the link, we'd discover that it was 2 girls 1 cup.

Come on. You can't be serious about comparing Christian evangelism to 2 girls 1 cup, which is about fecal matter eating.

As an atheist who has read a fair amount about Christianity, I find these recording more amusing than anything else because it's novel (for me at least) to hear people talking about saving souls in Chinese. And I don't think these clips are hardcore at all. Just a very basic Christian message. Nothing about the Pope not being a Christian or the world being created in a week -- if by hardcore, you meant it's fundamentalist. Maybe you have some personal issues with Christianity that you are projecting on this material.

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