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Say It Right Series

Accents

Posted by chanelle77 December 7, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: accents

Last weekend we needed sand for our garden and I asked my driver to get us some 沙 sha1. He did not understand after me repeating it and showed him the character and het said OH you need SA! (no h). I told him it should be sHa etc. and he could not pronounce it!

A little later I had a Chinese class and needed to name a tourist spot in Nanjing and of course said Purple mountain (紫金山) and without knowing it  pronounced it myself as zi3jin1san1 in stead of shan1!

My teacher laughed and said this is Nanjing dialect. I must have picked this up from the (taxi) driver!  When I need to buy agate I oftern hear myself say maLao in stead of maNao! It surprise me a bit that you pick up on these things so fast!

Now I know Nanjing dialect has s in stead of sh, l=n, r = l: I was joking: "what are they doing to me?!" It is already difficult enough as it is and they are mixing up consonants?! Also the the confusion about 4 / 10 makes sense suddenly!

After 2 years, my ayi (from the North) has left the and have a new one (from Nanjing). I really need to get used to her accent and sometimes do not understand her at all! I have a feeling that the more I learn the more difficult it gets :-) On top of it my teacher says she can hear differences in accents IN Nanjing?!! Meaning they speak different within a range of a few km.!!!!! Sigh....

Anyone else has experienced this?

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