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Regional differences in Mandarin prononciation


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I was surprised to learn relatively recently that the trend in Southern pronunciation is zh->z and ch->c instead of the other way around. My mother is one of those rare Chinese speakers who shifts the other way, c->ch and z->zh/j(this one is the most annoying), although she says "s" instead of "sh". However, she was born and raised in Thailand and learned Mandarin at a Bangkok Chinese school. Most of the Chinese(including my parents) in Thailand are from the Chaozhou region and speak 潮州话(Teochew) at home, which is similar to 闽南 and the native Taiwanese dialects. I don't speak any Teochew myself, but perhaps its similarity to the Taiwanese dialects could explain your teacher pronouncing words in this way. I also remember a French-Chinese guy in Beijing who spoke Wenzhou dialect and also did the c->ch but sh->s shift, although thankfully his z's were better.

On the other hand, it could have absolutely nothing to do with Teochew, and more to do with the Thai language - there is absolutely no sound like "z" or "c" in Thai, and all of the Thai-language Chinese textbooks I've seen use a very simple transliteration system - they simply map the "z", "zh", and "j" to the "j"(จ) sound and the "c", "ch", and "q" sounds to the "ch"(ช) sound. As you might have guessed, there is no "sh" sound in Thai. Also, the Mandarin flat tone(1) is mapped to the Thai middle flat tone since they lack a high flat tone. Can't imagine your teacher having Thailand roots, though.

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New Zealand: Sometimes the New is translated into Chinese, so it's a "meaning" translation, whereas sometimes Niu is substituted for the word "New" because phonetics is used, so it's a "sound" translation. Some other examples of other locations, where there's 2 translations in Chinese:

Not exactly. Of course China has an official translation and so does Taiwan. China: xinxilan, Taiwan: niuxilan. Niuxilan would be wrong on the mainland.

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  • 2 weeks later...

it's really a complicated question.

i from wuhan,a city in the central china.in my experience, the people from different part of the country speak different kinds of putonghua.they speak putonghua with their own local accent. and i think as a foreigner, you'd better learn putonghua taught by beijinger. because many years ago, government set the standard of official language putonghua based on beijing dialect. so you'd better first handle the standard

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