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Say It Right Series


Posted by johnb August 28, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

I am, thanks to my wife and my initial China experiences, a 东北人 at heart, and enjoy the areas dialects far more than anything in the south (sorry Shanghainese). For those interested, here's a quick primer in 东北话:

  • 俺 (an3) I, me (equivalent of 我). Can be combined with 们 to make 俺们, which means the same thing as 我们 (and appears in the title of this post).
  • 啥 (sha2) what (equivalent of 什么). i.e., 这个词有啥意思?
  • 甚 (shen4) what (equivalent of 什么). Like 啥, but it seems to be of more limited regional use (maybe just in 辽宁省? I'm not sure...).
  • 咋 (za3) how (equivalent of 怎么). Can be used pretty much anywhere that 怎么 is, i.e., 工作过得咋样?
  • 婆姨 (po2yi2) wife
  • 汉子 (han4zi) husband
  • 娘 (niang2) mother
  • 爹 (die1) father

There are of course hundreds, maybe thousands, of examples like this, but these are a good starter, particularly 啥 and 咋, which for many people in the northeast totally replace 什么 and 怎么. Since northeastern dialects are commonly heard on mainland TV shows, it can be helpful in listening to those, as well. 

For more terrific 东北话, check out 俺们那旮都是活雷锋, a hilarious song/Flash video (the subtitles on this particular one are in traditional Chinese, but the animation is great). 

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