Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Suzhou dialect materials?


spitz
 Share

Recommended Posts

Does anybody know of any materials to learn Suzhou-hua that go beyond a simple list of phrases and words?

I'm looking for something with enough grammatical explanations, so that I can move on from mere parroting to constructing my own sentences .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

You could try 普通話対照上海語・蘇州語学習と研究 (宮田一郎、許宝華、銭乃栄 編著;光生館 1984;3,800円). It's handwritten, but a good start nevertheless. I think I saw a copy in ジュンク堂 in 池袋 a little while ago. Even if it's not it stock, you can probably order it from them. Or try one of the Chinese book stores in 神保町 like 東方書店.

Although it's not 蘇州話, you could also try 基礎からの上海語 (金丸邦三 監修、呉悅 著;大学書林;平成9年;6,000円). This one is definitely still on the shelves of various bookstores. It's a bit expensive, but very comprehensive, and would give you a good base to work from in the absence of anything else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips, Mugi and roddy.

It hadn't even occurred to me that there could be some materials written in Japanese. I'll definitely check that handwritten book out.

KoMo-Tan, sorry, but I cannot make heads or tails of what you are saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those materials are out there... the best one for beginners is hiding away inside other books, as long as you know Mandarin then you can use it.

The 汉语方言词汇 is widely available in China, It is an indexed dictionary of 905 words and grammar patterns for 18 different dialects, and 蘇州話 is one of them. It also has a guide to tone sandhi, but I found it rather confusing. You could get a course in the Shanghai dialect and then go through this book looking up the basic vocabulary that is different. If you manage to get 950 words under you belt, I think that would be a good start. The 漢語方言概要 also contains a basic description of the dialect, but I forget how many pages it is. Both of these books have been reprinted in the last few years and are easy to find.

If you can get hold of a copy of the 蘇州話音儅 that would be helpful too. It is a one of a series of short descriptions of about thirty different dialects, with recordings of all the initials, finals and tones, 55 sentences to illustrate grammatical patterns and 182 basic words. The booklet contains transcriptions of all of these as well as a table of homophonous characters. The series was published in 1997 though, and is hard to get hold of. The Japanese bookshop mentioned above might have it, as they seemed to have loads of obscure books on China that are out-of-print. I might add that the booklet smells like Chinese books used to.... nice and inky. I kind of miss that now.

After that there is the 苏州方言词典 as well, but it only contains words in the dialect that are different from Mandarin.

The most difficult thing about learning this dialect is that the tone sandhi rules seem to be more difficult than those of Shanghai.

I hope you enjoy learning it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you really wanna learn a dialect, you'd better put yourself into the environment.

or else it will be hard. Wu Dialect (including shanghainese, suzhou dialect, hangzhou dialect and so on) is relatively easier for a Japanese to manage than standard chinese. You really gonna find more commons in Wu Dialect and Japanese than standard Chinese and Japanese, especially pronunciation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen those books mentioned above, but as a learner of Shanghainese, I've found most (if not all) books to be pretty poor.

In terms of grammar, Wu dialects seem to be fairly close to Mandarin, and as most learners will be chinese, no books really bother to thoroughly lay out the grammar of the dialects.

The main differences are in vocabulary and pronunciation which are hard to learn from books anyway. So my suggestion is, if you can, just try to find some friends from Suzhou and ask them to help you with Suzhouhua. When speaking, just use Mandarin grammar until you notice the differences with Suzhouhua.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am with you, anonymoose.

There will not be a single problem, if you put Wu dialect into mandarin grammars. And, in fact, that's exactly lots of new generations are doing. hehe, on the other hand, that's also what worries me a bit. Becuz Wu dialect is really gradually being assimilated by the Mandarin, though the procedure is slow.

I really hope Shanghainese can be well protected as Cantonese. And I am really very happy to see you some forengers learning it. :D

hehe, the best way to learn a language is absolutely to put yourself into the environment. Life is the source, not book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I truly LOVE Suzhou dialect! My husband is from Suzhou so I hear the dialect everytime he calls home and obviously when we go to China to visit his family:D

I want to learn Suzhou dialect, it's so beautiful. But where to begin? I'm still pretty much a beginner with Mandarin:oops: But I do spend all my time in China in Suzhou and the surrounding area so learning a dialect might be even more useful than focusing on mandarin:conf

Any suggestions? It's embarrasing to ask my husband to teach me:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any suggestions? It's embarrasing to ask my husband to teach me

I think you'll not be able to find any books on Suzhouhua. Even in China, I doubt there are more than one or two, and those are certain to be in Chinese only.

So I think your only option is to learn from other people, and that inevitably means your husband, unless you are in Suzhou.

I strongly recommend you learn Mandarin properly first. Even if you spend most time in China in Suzhou, most people will be able to speak Mandarin, but certainly not everybody in Suzhou will be able to speak Suzhouhua. The people who may not be able to speak Mandarin well will be the elderly, and if your husband has many elderly relatives, then I can understand why you may wish to learn Suzhouhua also. But unless you can find someone competent at teaching it, I don't think you'll have that option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm learning a lot of dialect by listening to my husband and his family, but that only means learning to understand some words. It would be good to have something written about how to speak it:conf I can't really bring my husband on the train to work and ask him be a parrot to teach me:lol: And it's difficult for him to explain things too, he grew up speaking it so he doesn't really pay attention to how to do it. Just like I wouldn't be able to explain to people on here how to pronounce skjorta (swedish for shirt):oops:

I only spend about 1 month/year in Suzhou. But hopefully one day my husband and I will move there for at least 6 months. Then I'll probably learn a lot:D

Right now it would just be fun to learn some, as a surprise for my chinese family:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with Wu dialects, unless you had an intense personal interest in learning it (like a husband/wife from the area). As anonymoose said, it would make much more sense to learn Mandarin first.

With that said, it would seem like the best bet might be to use Shanghainese learning materials, and then ask a native Suzhou speaker what the differences are. (And who knows, asking them to point out errors in your book might be a good way to stimulate their interest and teach you for free.)

By the way, I've noticed that they seem to have pretty decent sections on Shanghaiese materials in many HK bookstores. One three-part series in particular seemed to have a beginner/ intermediate/ advanced (business) focus (with CD's), and it looked pretty good. I can't remember the name of that series at the moment, but I could do a write up of that beginner book at least, if anyone is interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I've noticed that they seem to have pretty decent sections on Shanghaiese materials in many HK bookstores. One three-part series in particular seemed to have a beginner/ intermediate/ advanced (business) focus (with CD's), and it looked pretty good. I can't remember the name of that series at the moment, but I could do a write up of that beginner book at least, if anyone is interested.

Could you provide us the name of the series?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I've noticed that they seem to have pretty decent sections on Shanghaiese materials in many HK bookstores. One three-part series in particular seemed to have a beginner/ intermediate/ advanced (business) focus (with CD's), and it looked pretty good. I can't remember the name of that series at the moment

It wouldn't be the series that has 上海話生活通 in it by any chance, would it?

As far as I know, there is also a fourth book out now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like I'll have to dive into that huge bookstore in 上海 again next time I'm in China. I've asked my husband a bit about the dialect, and he wouldn't be able to write a word down in letters in his dialect:lol: I did however find a book in Beijing this may. It compared Mandarin, Shanghai dialect and Cantonese. But it was not a big book, and not too many words and phrases in it:-?

I know a lot of people might think it's better to master mandarin first. But for me... Well, I'm only really in Suzhou and Shanghai when I'm in China, and everyone I might need to communicate with speaks dialect and they always communicate in dialect when talking with eachother. I'd rather not have them to speak mandarin just because I'm there:lol: Should I be out of Wu area, my husband can always translate just as he as to do ALL THE TIME now. I'm going to speak both mandarin and some dialect eventually. But I have noticed that some words are just easier in dialect than mandarin. So probably I'll learn a mix to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wouldn't be the series that has 上海話生活通 in it by any chance, would it?

That very well might be it, but I'll double check sometime this week.

RuiXue, I didn't want to deter you from learning Suzhouhua. If your husband and his family and friends speak the dialect, then that might just be that perfect environment for learning it. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sure is the perfect environment:lol: I only really hear mandarin when watching CCTV when I'm in China, other than that I mostly hear Suzhou dialect:D

Oh, and if you are in Suzhou or visit Suzhou, make sure to watch one of the local TV channels at 10pm. I can't remember which TV channel it is, but you won't miss it when finding it:lol: A totally hilarious TV-show, in dialect, by a local Pingtan performer who's also very good at being funny and making parody of everything:lol: Even if I only understand very little dialect, and I'm not fast enough to read the subtitles (which is also quite over my current level of Chinese reading), I laugh until I have tears in my eyes when watching that show! Also a good way to learn I've noticed:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

上海話生活通- that was indeed the book. Also in the series is 上海話旅游通, and 上海話商務通。

I ended up not buying the book (because I probably wouldn't use it) but the dialogues and vocab and overall presentation all looked very good. The major drawback, however, is that the book is intended for Chinese people, so there's no English. So, it's probably a good resource for those who already know Chinese, but probably less ideal for those who might be just starting.

http://www.hkbookcity.com/showbook2.php?serial_no=117

http://www.hkbookcity.com/showbook2.php?serial_no=77570

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm that might well be worth a trip to HK unless I can find it in Shanghai area, or find something similar. As for it being intended for Chinese to use isn't much of a problem for me since I'm married to a walking dictionary:lol: And my walking dictionary happens to speak both mandarin and Suzhou dialect (he's just completely unable to write his dialect down in letters).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...