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Say It Right Series

Fluent vs native-indistinguishable speakers

Posted by hiewhongliang April 2, 2011 in the Group General Discussion.

My friends, I was wondering if any of you can shed some light on your experiences with fluent Mandarin speakers.

The past few months, through conversing with different work partners around the world, I've had the pleasure of speaking to many westerners (more to the point, non-CJKV-native speakers) fluent in Mandarin. What I became interested in is finding examples of people who have picked up a Chinese accent so strongly that they are indistinguishable from a native-speaker if you only listen and not see them. Are there many such examples, especially walking the multicultural cauldrons of cities like Shanghai? 

The most obvious example of this is Mark Rowswell aka Dashan 大山, and other entertainers like Julien Gaudfroy. how common are they in China?

I would also put John Pasden in this category, although having said that I haven't actually heard a full recording of him speaking Mandarin only.

I know in Hong Kong, there are many such examples for Cantonese speakers (due to the British colony history of HK, I suppose). What about Mandarin speakers? Surely there are more Mandarin speakers these days.

Input welcomed!

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