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Regional accents of mandarin


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huisheng:Taiwanese Mandarin sounds fine to my ears except young women's uptalk, which is commonly used among those who pretend to be cute.

What is young women's uptalk? Is that flirting? I thought Taiwanese women like using a lot of 啦,吼 etc onomatopoeia..as part of their culture.

wushijiao:Two of my friends are female presenters on that station (on the morning shows).
wow!... Any of these?【China: ♀ 吴小莉,陈鲁豫 ,陈晓楠 ,谢亚芳 ,令狐列 】 【or even Taiwan:,陈玉佳 (佳佳), 周瑛琦 ,曾瀞漪 】I can listen to these for hours and never get bored..

Most of the males have clear voices too except for 阮次山. With him the problem is not so much that his voice is not clear or accented, it is not but you can sort of adapt to that after awhile but its just that he doesn't seem to be able to speak fluently! When you are upset at your own fluency, your pronunciation etc.. it is nice to come back and watch 阮次山!! :mrgreen: That sort of makes you more able to forgive yourself. :lol: Although 啊 阮 is a bit on the old side and most of what you normally expect from the 30's and 40's individuals shouldn't apply to him. He must have a lot of other important unseen attributes or "connections" for ifeng to keep him on, especially since he is not just a news reader like 简福疆 .Those without a pure news reading job need more versatility eg 胡一虎 or 何亮亮 。。。 But anyway you can find the rest here http://phtv.ifeng.com/star/

wushijiao:Besides that, I think the two biggest factors in understanding accented Putonghua is just simple exposure time of listening practice to the particular accented type of speech (you can gain exposure by chatting with folks or by watching local TV, dramas...etc), and the second factor is one's vocabulary level.

I couldn't agree more with these two points. I think you must also love learning putonghua. If you don't a lot of it seems like something you wish you could avoid.

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""Could you please provide a few examples of such a Chinesepod podcast as all the pods I listened to are definitely far from "perfectly pronounced mandarin". This is actually the main reason I do not use Chinesepod, however I would love to if you could point out some pods that do not include "jenny" (?) as an example. "

Jenny's accent is perhaps not perfect but it must be said to be very standardized. If every one in China spoke like Jenny, it would be a peice of a cake to understand mandarin.

You will not find many persons who can speak better. Even in Beijing most people cannot speak completely standardized since they speak more beijinghua rather than standardized putonghua."

I completely disagree with you. I lived and studied Mandarin both in Taiwan and on the mainland and had teachers with far better grasp of tones and pronunciation. Either way, you should not confuse "what you can find on some streets" and "what's effective for a learner of the language". As an example, perhaps the "native Chinese speaker" pronounces 桁 heng2 with pronunciation and tone that another "native Chinese speaker" would guess is heng2, but for a learner of the language it would sound more like "hen3". To clarify, this learner of the language could have easily hear "heng2" from another "native Chinese speaker" whom I'd consider a "better teacher for the purpose of teaching Mandarin". This is not to say that the student should only be exposed to the "better kind of teacher". Sure, at some point it's mandatory to get exposure to all sorts of "mandarin".

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Just my input on this topic. Sort of responding to several posts at once, so I'm not gonna quote...

*On 广东 accent - I took a trip to 广东 (深圳 and 广州) after studying for several months in the neighboring province of 福建. The 普通话of the average 广东人 was sooo hard to understand!! I remember going to a 网吧 with one of my friends, and at first we couldn't tell if the 服务员 was speaking 普通话 or 广东话. I think she said 押金 as "yat jing", it was really weird.

*On the 上海 accent - I believe a few previous posts mentioned how 上海人 tend to use 上海话 whenever possible. I have a friend who was born in 上海 and moved to the States when she was about 11. She went back to 上海 over last summer, and when she came back I asked if her 普通话 got better, and she said no, but she practiced 上海话 a lot! On a related topic, I've talked to a lot of people here in Xiamen about the use of 闽南话, the local dialect. It seems like in a lot of instances, even when two people can speak 闽南话, they will choose to have conversations in 普通话. I talked to a boyfriend/girlfriend pair who are both from 福建 and can speak 闽南话, but they claim they always speak to each other in 普通话 and even think in 普通话. This seems to be quite a contrast to the prevalence of 上海话 in 上海。

*On the "standard" accent - since I have been studying in the south for almost a year, my 普通话 has been influenced a little by the local accent, which is very similar to the Taiwanese accent (since 台语 and 闽南话 are very similar/about the same). Granted most educated southern Chinese speak fairly decent 普通话 and don't make the c,z,s/ch,zh,sh mistakes so characteristic of heavier southern/Taiwanese accents. But still, their accents generally lack the 儿化 sound of the 北方 accents。 So I have actually come to prefer the southern accent and find the 儿化 of northern accents kind of unpleasant. What really bugs me is when some of my teachers, many of whom come from the north, insist that some words HAVE to have an 儿 on the end or else it's WRONG (for example, 一点儿, 馅儿,口味儿). Even Southerners who have an otherwise standard accent never talk like this, and I almost feel like the strict promotion of 儿化 is a form of northern elitism. Last semester, my 听力 teacher had a very heavy southern accent, and a lot of the students in my class (lots of SE Asians) had similar accents. So I was caught off guard when our final exam contained recordings with heavy 北京 accents. One recording was about 哥们 (which the speakers pronounced 哥儿们儿), and I just had no clue what it was talking about. I was kind of pissed that I did poorly on the exam...:evil:

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Regarding the slow death of 閩南話 in 廈門, I feel it's due to lack of pride or confidence amongst its speakers. They probably regard it as a local, village language with no value beyond the confines of their village. In contrast, 廣東話 and 上海話 is still alive and kicking due to its speakers. The latter is more fascinating since it thrives well despite repression by 普通話 thanks to national policy. Knowing their language is likely to get you better business when transacting with them. I suspect that with 閩南話 speakers, knowing the lingo might not help much.

But this slow death is taking place amongst the younger generation really. Places like Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia (which have a huge population of 福建 descent chinese) seem to exhibit the same phenomena. Singapore may have nearly obliterated dialects with the speak mandarin campaign whilst Taiwan is recovering 台語 after many years of repression during the military kuomintang years.

Why do 閩南話 speakers sell out their language?

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calibre, I agree with most of what you said. My Shanghai friend said that if you don't speak Shanghaiese, you're likely to get ripped off by local merchants, which was one of the reasons that she spoke Shanghaiese so much when she was in Shanghai. And I think possibly one of the reasons Shanghaiese has been so resilient despite pro-普通话 policies is because Shanghai has been one of the most affluent cities in China for quite some time, whereas many of the areas on the mainland where 闽南话 is spoken have not enjoyed such prosperity. So Shanghaiese, and the Shanghai accent in Mandarin, has become more of a prestigious dialect/accent.

广东话 has no doubt benefited greatly from the prosperity of HK and the standardization of Cantonese in HK under the British. I'm not very familiar with the status of 广东话 in 广东省。 I would imagine that, due to it's proximity to HK and the availability of movies/TV from HK, the Cantonese spoken in much of 广东 is fairly standard (or at least mutually intelligible), but someone who is more knowledgeable about Guangdong can correct me on that.

One reason that 闽南话 might not be spoken as much is that there are other dialects spoken in Fujian (notably Hakka in the western part of the province) and also that there are many subdivisions of the 闽 dialect family, and even subdivisions of 闽南话, that are not mutually intelligible (ie. - Teochew and Amoy). So it seems like many young people from Fujian, especially from the larger cities and areas where dialects overlap, grew up with classmates and neighbors who did not speak their dialect, and thus grew accustomed to using 普通话 even in informal situations. Of course, I also have friends who grew up in more homogeneous areas, where the teacher might have even taught class in 闽南话!But this seems to be much less common. After reflecting on this topic some more, I can understand why a 闽南话 speaker might speak 普通话 even with other 闽南话 speakers, due to growing up with friends who could not speak 闽南话.

:D Chinese dialects are just so interesting! But it seems like there is relatively little information on them available in the West. I'm thinking about doing my senior thesis on the status of 闽南话,and I'm already really excited about it (imanerd), even though I'm only a sophomore, haha

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I'm pretty sure that Shanghainese students too grew up with classmates who didn't know their dialect too. But instead of conforming to 普通話, the classmates had to learn the local dialect instead! So it's a matter of the powers that be.

I'm aware of 閩南話 being a southern 福建 language with many different variations like 漳州,泉州,etc with a lack of standardisation. It reminds me of bahasa where its spoken quite differently in indonesia, malaysia and brunei. There is a 閩南話 media that is somewhat thriving. And I do believe that it can help bridge the gap between the regional languages.

See this famous 閩南話 song:

In the case of 廣東話, its pretty much alive in the bordering areas of mainland china and HK despite the influx of new immigrants from different parts of china. If the locals find you speaking it poorly, they switch to mandarin. And then its hard to actually convince them to use their dialect with you unless you actually show significant improvement. But how do you start when they're not giving you a chance? My experience does tell me that the cantonese are proud of their language.

To be fair, a local should use mandarin when dealing with a non-local who's just passing by the local's city for communication sake. After all the non-local is likely to be a speaker of another dialect. But the non-local should learn the local lingo if he's intending to settle down there instead of hiding behind mandarin all the time! He loses out in the end.

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