Dict.cn does Shanghainese
02 Mar 2012
I was recently informed (thanks, Mark!) that Dict.cn, one of the popular, free online Chinese-English dictionaries, now offers Shanghainese content. I was pleasantly surprised to see a big list of mini-dialogs in Shanghainese! The bad news is that the dialog text is in characters (切 for 吃, etc.), and there’s no IPA or other phonetic transcription. They only have one speaker doing the audio, but there’s audio for every sentence (tip: mouse over the little speaker rather than clicking on it), so that’s not bad.
I asked my wife what she thought about the speaker’s accent. She said it was 新派上海话 (the form of the dialect spoken by modern young Shanghainese), and she felt that the female speaker was too 嗲 (cutesy-sounding). But, hey… it’s Shanghainese.
I also recently did a little research on Shanghainese lessons in Shanghai. Interestingly, some of the schools that I know used to offer Shanghainese classes no longer do. Is the demand dropping? Have any readers out there taken Shanghainese lessons at a local university?