I was discussing the pronunciation of the Mandarin 'x' and 'sh' with my Chinese friend the other day, and we hit a bit of a snag. He pronounces the 'x' like I've heard here and elsewhere, but the 'sh' came out more like plain old 's'. Needless to say, I wasn't going to argue with him about pronunciation of his native language, but it was still very confusing to me.
Could this be the result of a regional accent/dialect or something? He is originally from Chengdu, if that helps. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this from the more advanced populace.
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