|Parallels with Shanghainese|
|Written by Nick Westra|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2007|
Page 4 of 4
A brief transcript of an interview with a native Shanghainese
It is important to have the opinion of a native Shanghainese in this discussion, and so I had a conversation with Kathy Wang about some of the major issues. Her comments have appeared throughout this article, but I have included a more complete transcript of our conversation for your reference.
If you would like to read the opinions of more native Shanghainese, please follow the links at the bottom of this page. There are many possible links, but I just included a sampling of the ones that I found most insightful.
Ques 1. Do most Shanghai people want to learn Mandarin?
For my generation, [we grew up with Mandarin]. Mandarin was used as official teaching language at schools. Although some local teachers' [have a] strong Shanghainese accent. For my parents' generation, I wouldn't say they want to [learn Mandarin], but now it seems they have to because presently about 50% of the residents in Shanghai can't speak Shanghainese...For [the] younger generation - those who are in elementary schools and secondary schools - most of their teachers do not speak Shanghainese.
Ques 2. Do most people in Shanghai speak Shanghainese at home or Mandarin?
Shanghainese used to be the language spoken at home, but it depends on the family. It's changing a bit. Like my nephew [in secondary school], both of her parents speak Shanghainese to her, but she replies in Mandarin. She even talked in Mandarin with her grandmother since elementary school, [even though] she can understand Shanghainese for sure.
Ques 3. Do you think Shanghainese will still be a popular language in 30 years?
Yes, absolutely. It will become world cultural heritage in 30 years. I am kidding...No, I don't think it will be [as popular then]. Less and less people in Shanghai are using this language anymore. You can imagine [that] 50% of your co-workers won't speak it at all...But, I also think that people will still be able to choose whatever language they want to speak.
Ques 4. Are people in Shanghai angry that the government has banned Shanghainese from television and other media, insisting that the language must be Mandarin?
I don't really know if the government banned it from TV. I think the government just stopped promoting it because most of the immigrants can't speak [Shanghainese], and they feel isolated from local culture. I think the government kind noticed that this is harmful to social harmony...But in some local TV channels, there are still some sit-coms totally voiced in Shanghainese.
Additional links to forums and blogs of native Shanghainese about Shanghainese/Mandarin
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 June 2007 )|
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