Lisa Movius on the Shanghainese

03 Oct 2008

Lisa Movius, an American that has been in Shanghai for almost 10 years, has written up some thoughts on the local language and culture in her post, Beleaguering the Shanghainese.

Some excerpts:

> I also no longer think that Shanghainese are snobby. Somewhat, and some of them are, but not hugely more than anywhere else. The Shanghainese are proud, and they are defensive. That a scruffy, disparate batch of immigrants and refugees could have fused such a coherent urban culture in the face of foreign colonialism and domestic disdain is amazing. As is the fact that their identity is positive and optimistic rather than a dark bunker mentality, given the endless attacks upon “Shanghaineseness”.

And regarding spoken Shanghainese:

> I remember early weeks in Shanghai overhearing a conversation in Sangheiwu [Shanghainese] between two colleagues. Afterwards, I asked what they were arguing about. “Arguing? We were saying what a nice day it is today!”

Read the rest of the post for her thoughts on a ChinaSmack post.

Lisa also links to the Sinosplice Shanghainese Soundboard and asks for more resources. I’ve covered the textbooks before, but if you’re interested in video lessons intended for Mandarin-speaking Chinese, you can find those online as well:

学说上海话 (a playlist of lots of lessons)
上海话三月通 (another playlist of different lessons)
Titanic in Shanghainese (more for entertainment than educational value)

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. I love it! I wish there were videos like that in 四川话!

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