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Reading a Shanghainese Novel


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Hi All!


I often use the Publishing Perspectives China Bestseller list to find new books to read (https://publishingperspectives.com/2024/02/china-bestsellers-in-january-fond-memories-drive-sales/) and this month I was super excited to come across a book I hadn't heard of before that looked really interesting, "Blossoms Shanghai". I was about to choose this as my next book until I came across this Wikipedia article which states that it's written in Shanghainese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Yucheng. That leads me to a couple of questions: (1) does anyone know if this book is really written 100% in Shanghainese? This Publishing Perspectives list says it's currently #14 on the China bestsellers list, but that seems hard to imagine if it's written in a language that (based on some quick math I found online) only about 1% China's population actively speaks. (2) Per #1, if the standard version really is written in Shanghainese, does anyone know if there a Mandarin version? Amazon just shows the languages for the two versions they carry as "Chinese" so I have been unable to differentiate myself. Finally (3) If the standard version really is 100% Shanghainese, how hard would it be for me to read that version, given that I can read Mandarin novels pretty fluently at this point? Based on my initial research, my guess is really, really hard (one article I found said that Mandarin and Shanghainese words only overlap like 25%) which would mean 75%+ unknown works and I know from experience that even 10%+ can be a major struggle.


If, by some chance, this book is only partially in Shanghainese, I'm actually super excited to learn a few new phrases, but I don't think I'm up to the challenge of trying to learn a whole new dialect just to read one book.


Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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The Baidu article suggests it's got a lot of dialect colour rather than actually being written in a full attempt at Wu Chinese:



From 繁花(金宇澄创作的长篇小说)_百度百科 (baidu.com)

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