Shanghai Urges Residents to Get Vaccinated… via Megaphone! (audio)

Recently every time I go out on the street, my ears are affronted by recorded audio messages played on loop via megaphone. They’re super annoying, but they’re for a good cause: urging any unvaccinated residents to hurry up and just do it (and also get a prize!).

Vax Rec Megaphone 02

Over the past few weeks I have recorded the following audio on my phone, so it’s not super high quality, but have a listen if you’re curious (transcripts and translations will follow). This audio is notable because it’s clearly recorded by non-professionals, so some interesting pronunciation issues creep in.

Please note that this stuff is not easy to understand. “Loudspeaker” recordings are among the most difficult to understand in any language, so these are no exception… plus they’re about vaccinations, which is not exactly a softball topic! (Please excuse my rough translations!) AND, on top of everything else, most of them also include a pronunciation curveball or two.

Here we goooo…

[Get vaccinated. Free vegetable oil or yogurt. No wait.]

Linguistically, this one is interesting because the guy clearly says “jì dào jì dǎ” (即 pronounced as 4th tone), but the word 即 (which he definitely means) should be pronounced “jí” (2nd tone). It’s one of those “pronunciation variants” (possibly due to the speaker’s regional accent) where although it’s not really standard, native speakers have no trouble understanding.

[Today is the last day for your first vaccination shot. Don’t delay.]

We have another “pronunciation variant” here. The speaker pronounces 接种 as “jiēzhǒng”, but it’s officially “jiēzhòng.” (You hear both.)

This one sounds like it’s dropping a chengyu on us, but it’s using a recognizable 4-character phrase as a template: “欲 + [one-character verb] + 从速”. It just means “if you want to [that verb], ASAP.” It’s often used in sales, for “limited time offers.”

[Get your vaccination, get your vaccination! Vaccination location next to the Pudding Hotel. Get a prize on the spot for your second shot. Everyone come get inoculated!]

This time the speaker pronounces 接种 as “jiēzhòng.”

This one is kind of funny to native speakers, because the tone the girl uses sounds like she’s announcing a two-for-one sale at the supermarket, but it’s about vaccinations.

And yes, 布丁酒店 literally means “Pudding Hotel.” It’s the name of the hotel where they’re doing the vaccinations. (Don’t ask me!)

[Anyone who had their first shot before May 24th can get their second shot! If you get your vaccination today, receive a free gift at the blue bus ahead.]

There’s the same “pronunciation variant” again. The speaker pronounces 接种 as “jiēzhǒng”, but it’s officially “jiēzhòng.” (You hear both.)

Sorry, this one is the hardest to understand, since people around me were talking. And yes, there was a bus there, parked on the sidewalk, full of “gifts.”

Vax Rec Megaphone 01

If you look in the above two photos, you can find the megaphone.


John Pasden

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


  1. This is great, thanks John!

  2. Looping megaphone messages remind me of the supermarkets in China…..can’t imagine that here in Switzerland, though.

  3. Great, thanks. What is the meaning of the character in brackets in the first picture

  4. Thanks, very interesting plus these “ads” bring back so many memories of chinese streets..

  5. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Juliet Thomas Says: June 30, 2021 at 8:41 am

    This is brilliant! I could understand a lot more than I expected (definitely due to my amazing AllSet Learning teachers!) It really does make me feel like I’m back in China – something I’m SO impatient for! Thanks so much !!!

  7. […] one relates directly to my recent article titled Shanghai Urges Residents to Get Vaccinated… via Megaphone! (audio). In that one, I mentioned that the speakers in two of the audio files mispronounce the word 即 as […]

Leave a Reply