Saturday, October 4, 2008

Harbin dialect

The Harbin dialect refers to the variety of Mandarin Chinese spoken in and around the city of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province.


Harbin dialect is phonologically close to the Standard Mandarin language, but the dialect itself carries with it strong cultural and regional connotations. Notably, the speakers of Harbin dialect, or more generally Northeastern Mandarin, will be perceived, stereotypically, to be courageous, boisterous, more prone to physical confrontations, and being truthful about one's feelings.


The vocabulary of Harbin Dialect is different from Standard Mandarin for two reasons. One of the sources of the distinct lexical features of the Harbin dialect is the area's colonial Russian influence. The Russian colonial period started in the 1900s, which marked the start of the influx of large amounts of Russian vocabulary, especially neologisms created in Europe and Russia that had never existed in Mandarin. The second source of lexical difference, which is common to all Northeastern Mandarin dialects, is the influence of the area's Manchurian heritage and ancestry. For exact details about the distinctive traits of Northeastern Mandarin please refer to Northeastern Mandarin.

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