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Wenzhou dialect being used in secret communications


bhchao
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It does sound a tad like Shanghainese especially when he say 鱼 and 水. Well maybe someone who can actually speak Shanghainese will be able to confirm that and identify more.

My wife is Shanghainese and she said that she couldn't understand a word of that video in bhchao's link.

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It doesn't necessarily mean that she has to understand it. You can just watch the video with close attention to the subtitle and I think it shouldn't be too hard to tell a few characters do sound similar to Shanghainese (than to Mandarin) in Wenzhouhua, even if you are not a native speaker.

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It does sound a tad like Shanghainese especially when he say 鱼 and 水.

Only these words sound like Shanghainese, I think. There are words with sounds similar to Mandarin, too, but you wouldn't say that Wenzhouhua sounds like Mandarin, so it's a stretch to say it sounds like Shanghainese.

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It doesn't necessarily mean that she has to understand it. You can just watch the video with close attention to the subtitle and I think it shouldn't be too hard to tell a few characters do sound similar to Shanghainese (than to Mandarin) in Wenzhouhua, even if you are not a native speaker.

It is closer to Shanghainese than to Mandarin but if Shanghainese people can't understand a word of it without the subtitles then it means that they are still very different. Anyway without the subtitles I just could understand the 謝謝 at the end.

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  • 2 years later...

I really want to learn to speak Wenzhou dialect but its so hard. The most difficult part is that there is no standard. After hours on the internet finding every thing my boyfriend from wenzhou informed me that some pronunciation was taught "incorrectly". But its hard to say if that's the problem or if its that every street has its own slight variation. And yes Shanghainese  and wenzhouhua are very different. Two of my friends from different parts of wenzhou can barely understand each other. 

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  • 3 years later...
On 4/19/2011 at 8:53 AM, David Wong said:

What makes Wenzhouhua more difficult than say Fuzhouhua to a non-native?

 

I laughed when I read this because after living with a Fuzhouhua speaker for almost 3 years, I still found it the hardest language ever.

 

Now I'm married and my husband speaks Wenzhouhua to his parents and friends on the phone...and I still kinda think Fuzhouhua might be harder than Wenzhouhua.

 

Yeah, they're both very difficult compared to Mandarin, but everyone approaches languages differently and will feel that certain aspects are harder than others. For me I realized that I wouldn't be able to speak much Fuzhouhua when I found out that 飞 is bui and 飞机 is heigi. This phenomenon came up constantly where the same word would have a different pronunciation depending on context (yes Mandarin has the same but not nearly as often).

 

Wenzhouhua has a similar thing going on, but instead of the initial changing depending on context, it's the tone, and this is usually what trips up a lot of Chinese 外地人 who for whatever reason want to learn Wenzhouhua. The tone system is so infamously complicated that many studies have been done just on tone sandhi alone. The best way to learn is to just get used to it from speaking often, rather than trying to memorize the rules...

Personally the hardest thing I find about Wenzhouhua is...so many words sound nearly identical!! Constantly mixing up 现在 & 这样, and 大 & 抱 & 头, and 吃 & 眙 (看)....

 

This book is amazing for anyone interesting in learning Wenzhouhua: 温州话 by 沈克成, ISBN: 9787552607086

It has every phrase and word you can think of and just has long lists organized by subject. Plus example sentences, and very detailed sections on pronunciation. You'd still need the help of a patient native speaker to help with tones, though.

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  • 1 month later...

Bao, thanks for the tip on the book, although the link doesn't seem to open on taobao (I'm in mainland China). could you post a picture of the book cover? I can't find it on the internet anywhere. also wondering if you've had any experience of the wenzhouhua glossika course?

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Edelweis, thanks, that's the one!

 

11 hours ago, 滕腾勝 said:

also wondering if you've had any experience of the wenzhouhua glossika course?

 

Actually have never heard of glossika. I just looked it up but can't seem to find their Wenzhouhua course, just a dictionary with readings in Wenzhouhua and a bunch of other dialects, is there a proper course? Would love to take a look...

 

Also, if you plan on getting the book I mentioned, be aware that it's full of phrases that (it seems) only the older generations use by now. My husband looked through one of the lists and said no one would use a lot of those words, but going through the same words with an 86-year-old grandma she knew every one. As is the case with most dialects unfortunately, they're all losing many traditional vocabulary. All the more reason to have native speakers go through these things with you.

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