Linguistic Diversity in China
- Overview of Chinese Dialects (ppt)
- Demo of Old Chinese 上古汉语 (1100 BC to 220 AD)(Shang to Han)
- Demo of Middle Chinese 中古汉语 (220 to 1279) (Three kingdoms to Tang and Song）
- Yuenren Chao’s recording in 1955 in Standard Mandarin, Changzhou Wu, Sichuan Mandarin in his classic textbook Mandarin Primer, Lesson 22 Studying the Chinese Classics.
Revolutionary Leaders’ Accents
- Chairman Mao’s Speech in the Tian’anmen Square in 1949 (04:00)
- Imitating Chairman Mao’s Hunan accent in the documentary Readymade 《现成品》(2009) (04:44)
- Jane Eyre in Sichuan Mandarin (0:32) [Jane Eyre, speaking Zhongjiang 中江 Mandarin, asks Rochester about the previous night, and he responds in Chengdu Mandarin that he lost big (xibe 洗白) playing mahjong]
- Tom and Jerry in Sichuan Mandarin (1:40) [In this episode “The New Sworn Brotherhood in the Peach Garden” (“Xin taoyuan sanjieyi” 新桃园三结义), the mouse speaks Chengdu Mandarin while the cat and the dog speak Zhongjiang 中江 and Zigong 自贡 Mandarin respectively.]
- Hero in Shandong Mandarin (3:00) [The dubbed clip title became《陈年米饭铺》 The Rotten Restaurant, and Jet Li became a sales manager of a fly-by-night company.]
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Shandong Mandarin (the beginning scene, 3:40; the school scene, 2:00) [The dubbed title became 《牛筋轶事》The Anecdotes of the Beef Tendon (punning as Oxford), and the version became a new story of how a local professional school illegally recruits as many students as possible to make a profit.]
- 《虎口脱险》 La Grande Vadrouille in Shandong Mandarin (2:23) [the German officer responds to the nun in Jinan Mandarin: “Just had an egg bun with a Shandong-style sweet sauce. Awesome!” (吃了个鸡蛋包弄了碗甜沫，杠赛了！)]
Slang and Expletive
- One of the most distinctive features of a language or a dialect
- They are the very first Cantonese words Ah Guang teaches his Henan wife Xiang Lan in the Cantonese Sitcom Native Husbands with Outsider Wives: for example, 痴线 ci sin (idiot), 戅居 ngong geoi (asinine, stupid), and 点极都不明 dim gik dou dim m ming (blockhead, literally meaning “one who still can’t get it no matter how hard you explain”).
Language and Gender
- Yuanren Chao (1956/76:339) has noted the possibility of women using mm, the weak form of women 我們 ‘we, us’, more frequently than men. Now a feature of Beijing Mandarin, uttered as m3me by He Ping’s mother in the sitcom I Love My Family (1994). For more examples of old Beijing expressions and pronunciations, check out the section on this Sitcom.