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Seeking: Resources for Changsha and Shaoyang languages


NinKenDo

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Hey guys. I know this is a bit of a longshot, but my girlfriend is from Changsha/Shaoyang. Her parents both speak Mandarin, and her Grandparents both speak it to some degree too. But she communicates with them primarily in Changsha and Shaoyang Hua. I would like to build a functional understanding of these dialects at least. So that I can be closer with my potential future family.

 

Resources in Mandarin are better than nothing. But if there's something in English that would be amazing. Again, I know it's a longshot.

 

 

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abcdefg

 

5 hours ago, NinKenDo said:

I would like to build a functional understanding of these dialects at least. So that I can be closer with my potential future family.

 

I imagine you'll need to just pick it up as you go along. It's a noble idea, but I doubt that learning their local language is actually practical unless you go there and live full time where it's spoken. 

 

I tried learning elementary bits of Hani language (a Yunnan minority.) Gave it up after a short while. Not only are the words and grammar different, but the thought process behind quite a few elements of it are different as well. 

 

Me -- How do you say 你好 in Hani language?

Girlfriend -- Oh, we never say that. 

Me -- You must be kidding. What if your mother walks through the door after having gone into the village to buy stuff?

Girlfriend -- "x5rg#bf55p%w9b." That means 哦,你回来了。

 

And the speech she and her friends from the same mountain hamlet use is different from the Hani language that her married sister who lives on the next mountain uses with her husband's family and friends. And the Yi minority people who live on those two mountains struggle to talk among themselves as well as with their Hani neighbors. 

 

Commerce and better roads have served to diminish these language barriers, but they still exist. The school systems come up against it during the elementary years. It's an interesting business. 

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HuayangAcademy

From my time in Changsha I remember the people referring to the local Dialect as Xiang Hua ( to do with the Xiang river that runs through Changsha ) 

Honestly I think it is one of the more difficult dialects as it is not just differing pronunciation but there are many different words and structures used to make sentences. 

 

Best to pick up bits and pieces and learn standard Chinese

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happy_hyaena
2 hours ago, abcdefg said:

 

I imagine you'll need to just pick it up as you go along. It's a noble idea, but I doubt that learning their local language is actually practical unless you go there and live full time where it's spoken. 

 

I tried learning elementary bits of Hani language (a Yunnan minority.) Gave it up after a short while. Not only are the words and grammar different, but the thought process behind elements of are often different as well. 

 

Wouldn't learning the Hani language, a completely different language from a different language family, be naturally fundamentally more difficult than learning a 方言?

 

Of course, I would recommend OP to master Mandarin first, and then see how far he can go using the resources in that language, or maybe paying someone to teach him using a real life tutor or iTalki.

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abcdefg
2 hours ago, happy_hyaena said:

Wouldn't learning the Hani language, a completely different language from a different language family, be naturally fundamentally more difficult than learning a 方言?

 

Yes I think so. To my ear, there isn't much overlap even with Kunminghua 昆明话, even less with standard Putonghua. Very few familiar sounds, the tones are all different, plus I hear clicks and sounds almost resembling bird calls. My GF has told me it's basically impossible for an outsider to learn except for a random word here or there. I don't think she is exaggerating.  

 

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I recommend you the following resources:

- 长沙话方言志
- 长沙方言词典
- (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 162) Yunji Wu-A Synchronic and Diachronic Study of the Grammar of the Chinese Xiang Dialects-De Gruyter Mouton (2005) (includes Shaoyang dialect as well as other Xiang Dialects)

 

You can find them all here:

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/o9q0ztjrt0dge/湘語

 

To practice listening you can search for 越策越开心 on youtube, it's a very popular show from Hunan; C-Block (hiphop group) also has many songs in Changsha dialect.

 

Some common vocabulary (Changsha Dialect):

自家 (自己)
别个(别人)
么子(什么)what
箇/咯(这)this
何解 (为什么)why
好多(多少)how much
一路(一起)together
莫(不要)don't
齿(理)她何解不齿人啰?(她为什么不理人啦)
咸(都)
乐(开玩笑)莫拿我乐啰(不要拿我开玩笑) 
冇(没有)
宝气(傻气)小李伢子硬是有点宝气
堂客(老婆)wife
娭毑(祖母)
肚里(里面)
何至/何址(哪里)where 你到何至去?(你到哪里去)
何得了(怎么办)
何是(怎么)how
 

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A listening resource can be found at http://www.pearstories.org/

 

This is part of a larger project to look at story-telling across the globe, but as a listening resource it offers recordings with transcriptions of native speakers in seven different Chinese dialects, including Changsha Xiang.

 

You can stream or download the recordings and transcripts. I've attached the first one as an example.

CS01.rtf

CS01.wav

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Wow. Thanks guys. Sorry I disappeared after posting, I honestly thought I would come back to this thread here and there over the next week and see maybe 1 response and a bunch of ghost views. This community is really next level.

 

Thanks for words of encouragement, and warnings about the challenge ahead. Hahahaha. Couple threads here

 

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Changsha dialect being called Xiang.

 

Interesting. Makes sense since it's part of the Xiang family of languages, assuming the tone is the same. Wonder if they call other Xiang languages Xiang too.

 

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Monumental task.

 

Yeah, it is really. Imagine my dismay when I realised that learning Mandarin would not fully integrate me into the family dynamics. Then imagine my dismay when I realised they're using TWO other languages in addition to Mandarin. But I love a challenge, and I'd always intended to learn some fangyan, so this is a good excuse.

 

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Master Mandarin first (then use resources in that language).

 

Yeah probably. obviously Mandarin is my main focus anyway, but I really want to start gathering resources early, because I'm sure there's not that many out there, and they're not gonna be super easy to find. Also, I'm not quite so interested in being able to speak either fangyan pretty much at all at the moment. I just want to get a feel for the phonology, which will make loanwords from and cognates with Mandarin easier to spot, and some of the basic sentence patterns and every day vocabulary. Beyond that, I would probably need to go there, although I believe a few of my Chinese speaking acquaintances actually speak Changsha dialect very fluently. So there's some hope there.

 

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People giving resources.

 

Thank you so much, each one of you exceeded my expectations for the whole thread.

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