Saturday, October 4, 2008

Qingdao dialect

Qingdao dialect is the local dialect of the city of Qingdao, in China's Shandong Province.

Often characterized as requiring a "fat tongue", the Qingdao dialect often adds a "th" sound to 's "sh", "x", and "s". It also obliterates many Mandarin tones.

The basic, though not at all universal rule for converting Putonghua to the Qingdao dialect in the pinyin system is that a Mandarin 1 tone will become a Qingdao 3, 2 becomes a 4, 3 becomes 1 and 4 remains four. Qingdao dialect's 1 tone also has a drawl to it.

There are other, somewhat random phonetic changes from Mandarin to the Qingdao dialect. It is probably most helpful for foreigners to know these:

*"gá ?la" , the excellent local spicy clam dish, known in Mandarin as "gé ?li"

*"hā pì jiū" , drink beer

*"bài dào ?dao" , meaning "no need to say more", but better understood to mean "shut up". Literally translated as "don't blather on".

Nearly all Qingdao natives can understand Mandarin, but they will often respond in the Qingdao dialect without realizing they are doing so. The Qingdao dialect is not necessarily standardized throughout Qingdao. Different neighbourhoods, from Zhanshan to Xinjiazhuang to Maidao, will have their own variations.

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