Saturday, October 4, 2008
The Kunming dialect of is spoken by the inhabitants of Kunming and the surrounding areas of Yunnan province in Southwest China. The dialect is basically similar to Standard Mandarin, the major differences being the unique pronunciation of certain sounds and the development of unique phrases and terms. As with all dialects of Chinese, speakers of the Kunming dialect read standard Chinese characters, though the pronunciation of words can, in some cases, be markedly different. For example the Chinese word 什么 is pronounced ''nǎn-yàng'' in vernacular Kunming dialect. In some cases entirely unique phrases are used, which may or may not have equivalent written characters. To say "I don't know" in Standard Mandarin is 不知道 but in Kunming dialect is the completely different phrase ''rèn bù dé''. Another example would be ''hai-zi'' meaning shoes in the Kunming dialect, whereas in Standard Mandarin ''hai-zi'' means child and ''xie zi'' is the phrase for shoes.