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OED uses Shanghainese (as opposed to Shanghaiese) for the language/people and Shanghailander for the people. --Menchi 00:10, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Despite OED I would still argue that the word "Shanghainese" should not be used since there is no suffix as "-nese". There is only "-ese". The word "Chinese" exists because "Chin-" already has an "n" at the end.

Yes why is this article under Shanghai dialect. In general, it is improper to call any of the Chinese languages dialects because they are generally mutually unintelligible. It is a fiction created by China for the purpose of national unity.--Amerinese 18:55, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

i find that very offensive, and evn if classified as languages, they are all descended froma common chinese language ancestor.ㄏㄨㄤㄉㄧ (talk) 20:02, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I wonder how many different versions of this there is likely to be. Just imagine if some objects using "Shanghainese" and wants to call it via the Mandarin Chinese "Shanghaihua" or even Shanghaihua with tones as I notice a page was move to (NB Fanqie was moved to Fanqiè by User:Urhixidur on March 23rd). It's going to get rather ridiculous IMHO. How's about rendering the article under IPA as zɑ̃ ɦɛ wo to be almost correct, as we've not provided the actual tone. Sheesh. 23:51, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Point taken, but I think you make the situation sound more ambiguous than it really is.
1) IPA is not a written language. It is a way of transcribing oral language. i.e. it has no spelling conventions (which is good because one wants only one way of writing sounds). It is not a good way of representing Chinese.
IPA is not the be all and end all, there are many ways of writing Shanghainese with different IPA. For example, 夜(night) can be transcribed as /ɦia/ or /ja/ in IPA. In fact IPA is less flexible than romanization because it cannot easily take into account variations in the Shanghainese dialect, such as pronunciation of 尖团音 (性sin, 兴hin) or 爱 being pronounced either [e] or [ej]. Naus 23:08, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
My point being, if you want to call it by what the Shanghai person calls it, you ought to use their 'dialect', and where no commonly recognised romanisation exists (even though there was one of many added in the page) then the IPA would represent the sound. Since this often isn't practical as not everyone speaks the language, or use IPA in the language being talked about, it seems that if you take the process to its ultimate position, it becomes ridiculous. Dylanwhs 08:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
2) Dialect is an improper word for the already stated reason. America has several dialects (i.e. regional dialects) of English in addition to Standard Media English. They are generally and mostly mutually intelligible. This is not true of Chinese at all. Taiwanese people had to learn Mandarin in school, knowing Taiwanese was certainly helpful but not enough and there are many people that only speak Taiwanese and can't understand Mandarin.
'Dialect' has been the term used in writings about Chinese languages, and though I do not like it, it does exist. For example, Mantaro J. Hashimoto's study of "The Hakka Dialect" (1973). I would prefer it to be called Hakka language, and for other Chinese languages like Yue, Min, Xiang, Gan, Wu and Mandarin etc.
3) Pinyin and standard Romanization schemes are used where convention for English does not exist. Thus we might call the great Shanghainese silent film actress in English Ruan Lingyu because there is no other convention and pinyin is the standard Romanization of the day. Where names have historically had different spelling convetions (Peking Univeristy), they may preserve the historical spelling and that will dominate over the standard pinyin. Think about other words like PRC. In English, People's Republic of China is the proper name of PRC, not Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo. You make it sound like there are several standard conventions when there's not. Usually there's pinyin unless there's a historical spelling or there's a translation. Another example--Maggie Cheung is Maggie Cheung, not Zhang Manyu. Zhang Manyu is how you pronounce her name (minus tones) in Mandarin. If she didn't have an English name, however, people would probably call her Zhang Manyu in English. If she lived in an earlier period and was famous enough, she might have Wade-Giles spelling or something else funny.
When considering names, it is usual to write names in the romanisation that they are given in the place of their birth. Rendering it in Mandarin when they are known by another romanisation is wrong, as you point out. Besides, there are romanisations which are neither Wade, Wade-Giles, Pinyin, Gwoyeu Romatzhy, etc for Mandarin. Some are truely ad hoc ones, and there are romanisations of Chinese names of immigrants to America which are not truely surnames, but the given name of the immigrant, for which the entry port clerk wrongly designates as being their surnames. Moreover, these renderings are perhaps close the clerks' understanding of what the sounds are to his own spoken English, from the Chinese speaker's own dialect. Dylanwhs 08:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
4) Shanghainese is the dominant name for Shanghaihua in English. We must follow convention.--Amerinese 01:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
When to use -ese, -nese etc? By including "dialect" after the place of origin of the language discussed, it would better identify the origin, to my mind. For example if someone comes from a place called Zhongguo, (which has different characters to the name Zhongguo meaning China), would it be called Zhongguo-ese? or Zhongguo-nese? When convention cannot dictate a precedent, at least consistency can always be reached by adding "dialect". It's not satisfactory given the word has it's own uses, but when is a dialect a dialect, and when is it a language? Dylanwhs 08:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You did not respond to this point. Shanghainese is still the dominant term used to refer to Shanghaihua in English as reflected in the OED cited at the top of the page.--Amerinese 23:00, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Even though Shanghainese is the dominant term used and reflected in OED, if you want consistency across all the various varieties of spoken Chinese, then some form of common nomenclature and approach is needed. This is the crux of what I'm saying. Do we always refer to OED for a term which came into use centuries ago, like Amoy, for Xiamen dialect? Or Amoyese/Amoynese etc? (Dialect being used in the sense of it being a dialect of Min Chinese) Dylanwhs 16:46, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

People I talked to here in the US found it weird to call the Shanghai dialect as "Shanghainese", and the same to calling the people of Shanghai with such a name. It is neither grammatically correct nor consistently followed by the English speakers, as pointed out previously by Dylanwhs. Some of them said that they had never heard of the word "Shanghainese". The only word they know for sure is shanghaiing (kidnapping), and hence shanghaier (kidnapper). I suggest we call the Shanghai people Shanghaian (pl. Shanghaians), because this is how a demonym works (UPDATE: User:Zanhe changed the original "Shanghaian" to "Shanghainese" on the demonym page. --MakeItFair Hopefully (talk) 18:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)). As the result, based on the fact that people shorten names like Italian language to "Italian", I suggest we call the Shanghai dialect Shanghaian as well. To sum up, let's unify the names to Shanghaian for all the situations related to Shanghai such as the dialect name, the people, and using as an adjective. As you may know, Beijing people/expats now prefer calling themselves Beijingers because Pekingese/Beijingese usually refers to the dog breed. TODO: we need to modify wiki pages like Shanghainese, Shanghainese people, etc. If someone says this is not conventional, HEY, Seoulites can abandon Han'cheng, the translation of Seoul, and stick to Shou'er; we can too :) --MakeItFair Hopefully (talk) 00:17, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

IPA characters[edit]

Since the new format, a number of Unicode IPA characters do not display correctly anymore. This affected Shanghai dialect, Hakka and other language pages I've edited. I think it has something to do with the automatic insertion by the software of the meta tag for the charset. Can anyone do anything about it? Dylanwhs 20:00, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Change Skin under Preferences back to Default/standard. --Menchi 01:39, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The IPA needs to be marked with the IPA template. Compare [i y ɿ ɥ e ø E ə ɵ a ɒ ɔ ɤ o u] with the template, and [i y ɿ ɥ e ø E ə ɵ a ɒ ɔ ɤ o u] without. This seems to have been done in part, but not completed. rossb 13:08, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've now added the IPA template. But I suspect the E symbol in rimes is wrong (it's not an IPA character). Can anyone elucidate? rossb 07:15, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The capital E is a symbol which should be of a slightly smaller size, but I can't find it in the list of IPA symbols I was working with originally. Dylanwhs 00:48, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
fixed for you. Naus 23:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


I don't know Shanghainese so could someone explain all the romanization schemes shown in the Common Words and Phrases in Shanghainese section and why they all need to be there? --Umofomia 20:56, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't speak Shanghainese either, though I did write quite a lot of the phonology bits. I've some books on learning SH dialect, and they're romanised, and different to the one given in this page. Perhaps a SH speaker should elucidate the intricacies, and correlate the IPA with the romanisation. Dylanwhs 00:48, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The romanizations schemes are different mainly in the phonology. They all use a p/ph/b system akin to Wade-Giles, but the portrayal of 尖团音 is different. For example Thonjon has 请 spelled as "tshin", while Lumazi has it spelled as "chin". From an orthodox Shanghainese pronunciation point of view, "tshin" is the more correct spelling. This is similar in many ways to the Japanese Kunrei-siki versus Hepburn romanization (ti vs. chi, syo vs. sho, etc). Another difference is in the representation of the final glottal stop (入声). Lumazi uses an "-e" final and Thonjon uses the acute accent. 09:38, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Naming of localised dialects[edit]

Perhaps the problem can be solved in structuring the name of the title as follows "Shanghai - Dialect of the Chinese Wu language", and others like "Cantonese - Dialect of the Chinese Yue language", "Taoyuan - Dialect of the Chinese Hakka Language" etc. Dylanwhs 20:54, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This approach or something like it would at least allow for consistency and precision within and among articles on the dialects/languages of China. -Dpr 06:17, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Rime is / is not rhyme ?[edit]

I was confused at the use of 'rime'. I looked up the word rime and from there got to Syllable rime. From that explanation I think I understand why 'rime' might be used here.

But if the word used here really is supposed to be 'rime', perhaps someone could make a link from the first use of rime to Syllable rime? By doing that, no one would be (cough) tempted to change the word to 'rhyme'.

the preceding unsigned comment is by Shenme (talk • contribs) 16:07, 4 January 2006 Z+11

Why don't you? (Yes "rime" is correct here.) Be bold! —Felix the Cassowary 06:27, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. Hmm, I do keep forgetting to 'sign' my comments. That's a nice way to fix that, old bird. :) Thanks. Shenme 22:20, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
There's a template {{subst:unsigned|username|date}} which you can add to unsigned comments, so its more-or-less all automatic :) —Felix the Cassowary 02:10, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Common words/phrases[edit]

There should be a column for Mandarin equivalents of the Shanghainese (Wu) words and phrases. By Mandarin equivalent, I do not necessarily mean the Mandarin pronunciation of the phrase's Chinese characters, I mean the written version people in Shanghai would use when writing the phrase in standard written Chinese. For example, tseiwei (goodbye) (Shanghainese) would be zaijian in Mandarin.

I've made modifications to the IPA column (systemized the IPA transcription), they were originally too random and somewhat incorrect. Also added a few more relevant rows such as personal pronouns. Since this is not a Chinese wikipedia, I don't think we need to have Mandarin term 再见 zaijian in the column, Shanghainese 再会 is enough. Of the romanizations available, the Northern Wu《北吴》 one is definitely more mature and has potential, it's romanization and phonology are also more "compatible" with other northern Wu dialects beyond Shanghai. It is based on a system of p/ph/b and differentiates "hard" ca加, cha卡, ha哈, ga茄, gna外 with "soft" ci机, chi气, hi喜, gi棋, gni疑 (similar to the Imperial Postal system for Mandarin only greatly improved); thereby freeing many consonant letters for other purposes and also allows for greater spelling compatibility between different readings of the same character, e.g. 文读“家”cia and 白读“家”ca. In keyboards that cannot input the acute accent for Rusheng, a -k final can be used as substitute. Naus 23:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Could the section on Common words/phrases be revised, please. There are a couple of words below that do not have the IPA and the English translation... Also, using IPA is a bit of a nuisance, it is like learning yet ANOTHER language, sheesh. Could IPA please be replaced with something more convenient for the average joe, such as Wade-Giles or something like that?? (talk) 23:01, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Gimp
IPA is important because it is really the only way to phonologically compare different languages accurately. Having a commonly used romanization scheme along with IPA is often helpful as well though, as you have pointed out. However, Wade-Giles was designed only for Mandarin and not for Shanghainese. I don't speak Shanghainese though, so someone else will have to take over from here. —Umofomia (talk) 09:07, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

There is a shanghainese corpus available on these most often include a mandarin translation along side. Maybe that it would help building the article. best regards (talk) 13:23, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Common Words/Phrases屋裏向[edit]

The meaning of Oelishan'屋裏向' means house. But, it literally means inside the House. Lishan is a common prefix,meaning inside, or within.

Now for the second time, someone has changed it to 屋裏厢. For that someone, I advise you to do a little more research on the actual meaning of the word. Blind Man Walking 20:56 3-29-06

Mandarin subtitles?[edit]

The article presently mentions a Shanghainese TV series which had "subtitles in Mandarin" for the rest of China. However, Mandarin is a spoken language, not a written language. More likely is that the subtitles were in Simplified or Traditional Chinese writing. Since I'm not familiar with the TV series in question, I'm not able to correct the article. Could somebody who's more familiar update it? Thanks! —Thebrid 10:39, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

The subtitles would almost definitely be in modern standard written Chinese, it is in effect written spoken Standard Mandarin (putonghua). LDHan 11:57, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Shanghainese pitch accent[edit]

Wikipedia has a specific policy against providing original research. Granted the section is cited to a specific person, but it still bears the tone of original research and probably does not have a lot of research along its train of thought. No offence to the author, as I heavily support demarcating pitch accent and intonation from lexical tone.
Aside from that, if it DOES deserve to stay in the article, which I think it probably does, it needs to be redrafted. The tone is wrong because it's both not NPOV and it's not very formal. Also, there isn't enough information presented for it to be useful in presenting its core argument, that of comparing the observed tone pattern of Shanghainese speech to that of Japanese. First sentence of the explanation asks the reader to compare with Japanese pitch accent, which is neither presented nor is linked to anywhere.
<spetz>. 20:05, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Wu in Wu[edit]

What is Wu (for example Shanghainese) pronounciation for its autonym 吳方言 (pinyin: Wú fāngyán) or 吳語/吴语 (pinyin: Wú yǔ)? Or maybe there is another local name for Wu language? --Koryakov Yuri (talk) 13:26, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

It looks like I have to find it mayself. Well, in Wu (region) it is said that "in Wu language 呉 is usually pronounced as Ho, Oh, Ng, or Nguu" (but not clear which is in Shanghainese), and 语 in Shanghainese is [ɦʊ]. So we get something like [hoɦʊ] or [ŋʊɦʊ], aint't we? --Koryakov Yuri (talk) 11:31, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Mutually intelligible with Mandarin?[edit]

Shanghainese, like other Wu dialects, is not mutually intelligible with other Chinese dialects such as Standard Mandarin (see Mutually intelligible languages).

Says who? The people I know who speak Shanghainese, they didn't have to go to Chinese school to learn Mandarin. They just understood it. Lady Galaxy 18:11, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Ah, but they're exposed to Mandarin on TV and the radio. I don't believe the reverse is true. kwami (talk) 18:52, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course the reverse isn't true, but that wasn't what I was asking. Even if Shanghainese people are exposed to Mandarin through TV and radio, how can it be that they just understand it right off the bat? I'm actually Cantonese and I had to go to a Taiwanese school starting from the age of six until twelve just to learn Mandarin. I'm fine with it now and I know enough for conversations and can even sing and read and write most of it and I have their accent and everything, but when I had only been studying the language for three years I still found it hard to understand people who spoke it and I was incredibly awkward with speaking it, even if it were just a few words.
Also, my dad and my Shanghainese friend both said that Shanghainese sounds like Mandarin, so I always believed they were mutually intelligible. My dad did as well. Lady Galaxy 18:48, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Arrogant Cantonese attitude and bad Taiwanese schools are the problems. No Shanghainese person would say "I'm Wu". It's all "Chinese". -- (talk) 01:50, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Well Shanghainese as a dialect of Wu is completely unintelligible with mandarin. Grammar is significantly different, and words are also significantly different. However the piont you are making is; Shanghainese has evolved heaps in the past few decades, grammar very similar to mandarin, and words very similar. Its almost possible to say there is two types of shanghainese. One a dialect of Wu another a dialect of Mandarin. -- (talk) 10:53, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Mutually intelligible with Mandarin[edit]

My grandparents don't understand Mandarin at all. They all speak shanghainese the whole life. If you meet some international students who can speak skeak shanghainese, ask they if their grantparents can speak Mandarin. Most will say no. When I was a child, I can speak shanghainese and some Mandarin. We understook it because there is no TV or Radio use shanghainese, they all use Mandarin. And more important, I was forced to only speak Mandarin in school in China by the policy of education system. Every shanghainese and most chinese students have to study Mandarin in school for nine years! —Preceding unsigned comment added by SaintElohim (talkcontribs) 06:37, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

That's a lie. There is no course called "Mandarin". The equivalent to English in the US is simply called "Language and texts". The standard is Standard Chinese, based on the neutral Mandarin around Beijing, so it's used in schools all over the country. This is a process all strong countries have gone through. Literature obviously isn't tied to a specific dialect, everything is Chinese after all. So you weren't reading Mandarin texts but Chinese. -- (talk) 22:22, 25 May 2017 (UTC)


Can someone find some sources on shanghainese grammar.

Like shanghainese can be spoken like mandarin SVO and use almost identical word choices as mandarin but the more conservative way would be SOV using traditional words and particles. Also it would be interesting if someone could find some academic stuff on the suffix to the verb. and also find some shanghainese vocabulary. eg.

pronouns everyday (ignoring the unused or rarely used formal ones)

ngu I

a-l us

nong you

na you (plural)

yi him/her

yi-la them

you(plural) food eat ( word order) [the reason y i use 'the food' and not 'your food' is to show the difference between the mandarin word order]

non past tense

na ve ch-l You are eating the food

na ve ch-l-he You are eating the food now

na ve ch-lou You have eaten the food already

na ve ch-lo? Is there permission for you to eat the food? (asking a third person)

na ve ch-la? You are eating the food? (when food is started to be eaten)

the other types of add ons.

na ve ch-t-a

na ve ch-t-l

na ve ch-t-l-he

na ve ch-t-lou

na ve ch-t-lo

na ve ch-t-la

at the end of any of these sentences there you can generally add ( some exceptions)a particle to finish the sentence.

ze - non question ne - question

ya - non question va - question

a - neutral ending

EXAMPLES of traditional words compared to new words In shanghainese the same word can usually be pronounced in two different ways(one in a mandarin coined word with slightly altered sound and usually no tone, another in a conservative word which is completely different.

eg. English Mandarin New Old Ghost gui gwe joo horse ma ma mu home Jia ga o-li big da da du

There is also many different word combinations that are nonsensical in mandarin.

If we can do something according to this it would be great. -- (talk) 11:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

There is a shanghainese corpus available on :) (talk) 13:19, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Need Shanghainese[edit]

Need Shanghainese name in the box at Kowtow. Badagnani (talk) 18:33, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Need Shanghainese[edit]

Need Shanghainese name in the box at Tofu. Badagnani (talk) 18:54, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Need Shanghainese[edit]

Need Shanghainese pronunciation of 杨梅 at Myrica rubra. Badagnani (talk) 03:22, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Move this article[edit]

I would suggest Shanghainese (dialect) or Shanghainese (linguistics), or Shanghainese (language). The language is mutually unintelligible with Mandarin. Saying "Shanghainese dialect" is just awkward. Colipon+(T) 18:28, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Because it *is* Shanghainese dialect. (linguistics) is inappropriate, because this isn't a linguistic topic. (language) is just wrong. (dialect) is the same as 'dialect', so there's no point. kwami (talk) 21:11, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Kwamikagami. First, it is a dialect (although not of Mandarin, but of Wu), second, "(dialect)" would imply a contrast to, say, "Shanghainese (sausage)" or something like that, while "dialect" here is only a classification, not a disambiguation. Articles on dialects typically go without brackets. G Purevdorj (talk) 21:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. It would be fine to say "Shanghai dialect" as in, the dialect of Shanghai. "Shanghainese" already grammatically implies that it's a language, therefore saying "Shanghainese dialect" is almost equivalent of saying "the language of Shanghai dialect". You don't hear one say "Cantonese dialect" or "Vietnamese dialect". I understand the issue is very complicated because what is classified as a dialect or a language. Colipon+(T) 00:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
You don't say "Vietnamese dialect" because Vietnamese is not a dialect. But you do say "Cantonese dialect", the dialect of Canton. Similarly with Genoese dialect, Leonese dialect, etc. "-ese" does not mean language, it is just an adjectival ending, like Cantonese food, Cantonese music, etc. Do a search at Google books. And there is no question that Shanghainese is a dialect--I don't think anyone considers it an independent language. (Unless of course they're using "Shanghainese" to translate Wu, but that's not what this article is about.) kwami (talk) 00:36, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I have never heard anyone refer to Cantonese as "Cantonese dialect". In any case you are still misunderstanding me. We must conform to WP:COMMONNAME. A search on google reveals over 70,000 search results for "Shanghai Dialect" but only 18,000 for "Shanghainese dialect". You can say either refer to the language as either "Shanghainese" (if you believe it's a language) or you can refer to it as "Shanghai dialect" (if you believe it's a dialect). Either way there is no so-called "Shanghainese dialect". "Shanghainese" here is by itself more so a noun than an adjective, therefore it cannot modify the word "dialect". Colipon+(T) 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
You don't appear to understand English grammar, and what you have or haven't heard is OR and therefore irrelevant. 'Shanghainese' is essentially an adjective, and only secondarily a noun. The use of the word 'Shanghainese' itself has no bearing on whether it's considered a 'language' or a 'dialect' (obviously, since no-one considers it a language). And 'Shanghainese' can refer to many other things besides speech, so dabbing is necessary. So the choice is between Shanghainese dialect (adjective + noun) and Shanghai dialect (noun + noun). Both are acceptable, though the former has the advantage of containing the term 'Shanghainese', which is what most people know it as. kwami (talk) 06:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Still, even assuming you are correct about the grammar, it does not change the fact that "Shanghai Dialect" has many more search results than "Shanghainese dialect". This would conform to other Chinese dialects - i.e. Suzhou dialect, Hangzhou dialect, Wenzhou dialect, Beijing dialect, etc. They are not called "Suzhounese dialect", "Hangzhouese dialect", "Wenzhounese dialect" or "Beijinger dialect". The only comparable case, "Cantonese", does not have "dialect" following its article name. Calling it "Shanghainese dialect" is pedantic, not to mention does not conform to WP:COMMONNAME. Colipon+(T) 12:51, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


This issue is actually quite complex due to the nature of linguistic identity in China. Although very few dispute that Shanghainese is a dialect of the Wu subdivision of Chinese, the dialect itself is most commonly known as "Shanghainese" and not "Shanghainese dialect". If we look at varieties of English within Britain, some of them have "dialect" appended (ex. Cumbrian dialect), some of them have "English" appended (ex. East Midlands English), and others have nothing appended (ex. Mackem, Cockney). In the absence of a naming standard, WP:Naming Conventions goes by the general principle that the most common name be used. Correct me if I'm wrong, but originally the name of the article was "Shanghai dialect", and subsequently it was just "Shanghainese". And then, after that, someone modified it to "Shanghainese dialect", seemingly without any discussion or consensus. The rationale for this ostensibly looks to disambiguate with the article for "Shanghainese people". But Shanghainese is used a lot more commonly to refer to the language than to the people. Again, according to general Wikipedia guidelines, the article name "Shanghainese" should refer to the language and not the people due to common usage.

In any case, there are two ways by which the article should be named.

  • Move back to Shanghainese, have an italicized note at the top of the page saying, This article is about the language. For the people, see Shanghainese people.
  • Move to Shanghainese (dialect), this maintains that "Shanghainese" can refer to both the people and the dialect.

The alternative would be, also, to move it to "Shanghai dialect" or "Shanghai Wu" (akin to "Hong Kong Cantonese"). However, I am against these ideas because "Shanghainese" is clearly more common in the English-speaking world to refer to the language. A comparable case is Taishanese, which has neither "dialect" nor and disambiguation terms behind it. Moving the article to "Shanghainese" (without "dialect") would follow the principle that if there are common names in English to refer to the dialect, it is unecessary to append anything else to the article name. There is no common name for "Beijing dialect" in English, so that article stays where it is. But when there is a common English name ("Hakka" instead of "Kejia") the common English name should be applied. Hokkien is "Hokkien" and not "Hokkien dialect" because the name "Hokkien" by itself is the most common way to refer to the language in English. Similarly, Cantonese is "Cantonese" and not "Cantonese dialect", Taishanese is "Taishanese" and not "Taishanese dialect" (although there is also the case to be made there to call it "Toisanese or Hoisanese"). If anyone still disagrees with this proposal we can probably RfC this matter. Colipon+(T) 14:38, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I guess you made a good case. WP:Naming Conventions is a pity, else we could easily build up a consistent of city dialect articles with unified name systems. Shanghai dialect would have been nice, but it fails the naming conventions in the same way as the current name seems to do. If there were any conflicting guidelines that might allow us to opt for this option anyway ... On the other hand, compared to Shanghainese dialect and Shanghai dialect, Shanghainese (dialect) (while clear enough) looks very redundant, and the beauty of the classificational system present in Shanghai(nese) dialect would be absent. You would even have to grasp this during every reading, so it's plain worse than Shanghai(nese) dialect. On the other hand, Shanghainese seems to be in accordance with the naming conventions and at the same time doesn't look/sound awkward. G Purevdorj (talk) 20:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with Shanghainese. "Shanghainese (dialect)" is not the best title, for the reasons mentioned above. I agree that we should keep a version in -ese, as that's its primary name in English.
User:Saimdusan moved the article from that name, where it had resided for three years, on Feb 9 with no stated reason. Shall I go ahead and restore it to Shanghainese? (Or one of you, if you are able to move over a dab page.) kwami (talk) 22:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
If you have the authority, please do so soon. I have no authority to move existing pages. Colipon+(T) 22:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Done. kwami (talk) 06:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

While we're at it I thought we may as well also think of a standard for some other pages that have questionable article names. Wenzhou Chinese comes to mind. I would say "Wenzhou dialect" or "Wenzhounese" is the most commonly used name there. There is also the issue of "Hunanese" perhaps being a more common name than "Xiang". Colipon+(T) 22:54, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Is "Hunanese" never used for local Mandarin? Its most common usage in English is Hunanese cooking, though I'm not necessarily opposed to the move. Maybe a discussion on that page? kwami (talk) 06:57, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I won't say anything about the latter (not being familiar with Chinese dialectology), but "Wenzhou Chinese" is undesirable. With respect to conventionality, either replacement would work (Google frequecies are rather equal), but neither is really common, as the Google frequency difference between Wenzhounese (1700) and Shanghainese (1.2 mio.) (both not necessarily restricted to language) is considerable. So I suppose that "Wenzhou dialect" is the better term because of its transparency to everyone. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Kwami, would you also do the wiki favour of moving the Wenzhou Chinese article to Wenzhou dialect? Colipon+(T) 00:43, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Wenzhou is a bit tricky. While a variety of Wu, it is sometimes considered a separate language, so 'dialect' prejudices the issue. Also, there is a true Wenzhou dialect within broader Wenzhou / Oujiang. It's hard to do a Google comparison, cuz other uses predominate with both Wenzhounese and Oujiang, but Wenzhounese probably most often refers to the dialect in the narrow sense. Maybe we should have a discussion on that page? kwami (talk) 06:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Kwami, would you be able to move the talk page as well? The article has been moved but the talk page has not. Colipon+(T) 13:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry. That's usually automatic. kwami (talk) 22:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Some discussions began at Talk:Wenzhou Chinese and Talk:Teochew dialect. Colipon+(T) 22:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

No voiced initials in Mandarin?[edit]

Really? How in the word does one pronounce "Beijing", for example, without voicing the b? (or the j, for that matter.) What's an "unvoiced" b sound? Forgive me if I'm being naive, but I've never heard this about Mandarin before. Anyway, my voicing initial b's, d's, j's and so forth has never caused confusion for Chinese speakers - though other aspects of my (lousy) Mandarin have. Perhaps I simply don't understand what is meant by "voiced initial" in this context.

Pinyin b and d are pronounced like Spanish p and t. Pinyin p and t are aspirated as English p and t. b and d are only voiced in toneless syllables. kwami (talk) 07:40, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
That is simply not true. If you studied English phonetics, you would know that English is not that different in this aspect. -- (talk) 21:20, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Blues people when singing voice their initials... (talk) 05:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
The author certainly meant to say there are no voiced obstruents in Cantonese and Mandarin. Pinyin m,n,ng,l and r are all voiced consonants, but are sonorants. FTFY Chongrak (talk) 00:10, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank, kwami for pointing out pinyin r [ʐ] is a fricative. I was looking at it as an approximant [ɻ].Chongrak (talk) 13:50, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

shanghainese dictionaries (with romanzation and characters)[edit]

shanghainese with romanzation and characters

sort these into properly formatted references and add them to the external links in the article.04:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

note that google books have a tendency to dissapear, and theres a big lawsuit involving googlebooks and authors who sued it for copyright infringement. These specific dictionaries are so old I believe that are in public domain, being over 100 years old already.04:16, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

If I have time for it, I will format these links into reference templates.06:42, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


  • Matthew Tyson Yates, Presbyterian church in U.S.A. Board of foreign missions. Central China mission. Press. Shanghai (1904). First lessons in Chinese (revised ed.). the New York Public Library: American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 151. Retrieved 2011-5-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

  • Francis Lister Hawks Pott (1924). Lessons in the Shanghai dialect (revised ed.). the University of Michigan: Printed at the Commercial Press. p. 174. Retrieved 2011-5-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  • Francis Lister Hawks Pott (1924). Lessons in the Shanghai dialect (revised ed.). the University of Michigan: Printed at the Commercial Press. p. 174. Retrieved 2011-5-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

bear in mind that these public domain dictionaries and books may not be on display forever at google books

since they are public domain, anyone can download them into a pdf file and reupload it on an archive or keep on their computers.06:09, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

and Kessinger Publishing is also yanking these books out of our view for their own prophet, downloading these books Google has digitized, slapping on an ISBN number, and taking it out of public domain. Then they get to charge money for a previously free, public domain book.

Controversy Some of the books that are now being re-printed by Kessinger are no longer freely available to download. It is noted that Kessinger reprinted books are becoming restricted from 'full view' on Google Books. If only one edition of the book was printed, and is now being re-printed by Kessinger, it may no longer available to view or download. This is forcing readers to buy physical copies of hard to find books that would otherwise be in the public domain.

06:14, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

new links to few view ningbo dialect public domain books besides google books[edit]

the above user stated that google books may not be present forever so here are other links

(these are links to searches, the books they show possibly number in the hundreds and I can't post them all here)

江南吳越 (talk) 20:13, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Sandhi section revamp[edit]

I would like to completely redo the section on tone and sandhi. The section has very little description of Shanghai tone sandhi even though this is one of the most studied features of Shanghai phonology. Additionally, the author of the section has put forth an argument about pitch accent that not only is not present in current literature about Shanghai, but is not supported by the empirical data. The closest anyone comes is Chen (Tone Sandhi. Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 220) and he is not even talking about left-prominent sandhi forms in Shanghai. Furthermore, the part of the table that shows sandhi for voiced consonants is simply wrong and is most definitely not supported by the data or simply listening to somebody speak this Wu dialect. This is confusing at best and misleading at worst. It needs to be removed and replaced with something that is supported by the literature.

What I would like to do is give a description of the 5 citation tones in Shanghai followed by a description of the sandhi patterns. I have sources to support everything, so the section can be made pretty solid and less vulnerable to big overhauls in the near future.

The "traditional tone classifications" probably has a place here somewhere, but I'm not exactly sure where. Perhaps in a section on Chinese historical linguistics. It's something that is really only of interest to people who study Sinitic languages/dialects. I have a source that discusses how Shanghai tones have moved from Middle Chinese, which would be of interest to anyone who is interested in Middle Chinese tones.

Does anyone have any objections?

Mvlahov (talk) 02:34, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Glides for Finals - Best Choice?[edit]

Glides in the finals table (j and w) have been changed to full vowels (i and ɯ). This is a matter of preference and changes depending on the researcher, but the table is based on Zhu (1999, 2006), who uses glides. It might be nice to change or add the source being used so that anyone looking for that data can find it. Also, why is 'ɯ' instead of 'u'? If the full vowel approach is going to be used, wouldn't it make sense to follow either Xu et al. (1988) and Sherard (1972) who both use 'i' and 'u'?

Mvlahov (talk) 15:50, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Use Among Seniors[edit]

According to the article:

Professor Qian says that few Shanghainese people over the age of sixty can speak real Shanghainese, and he urges that Shangahinese be taught in the regular school system from kindergarten, saying it is the only way to save Shanghainese, and that attempts to introduce it in university courses and operas are not enough.

I am unable to access the cited article so I cannot check the reference, but it seems like this quote is in error. Shouldn't it read "few Shanghainese people under the age of sixty can speak ..." or perhaps "only a few Shanghainese people, all of them over the age of sixty, can speak ..."? Most endangered dialects are spoken by elderly speakers but are endangered because later generations have adopted a different language or dialect but the original text makes it seem that only young people speak Shanghainese and that the dialect is endangered because no elderly people speak it. Can we fix this or is it I who is in error? Dave (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 15:28, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Comparison with Mandarin and Cantonese[edit]

Why does the first paragraph of this article only compare Shanghainese with Mandarin and Cantonese? Aside from the fact that Shanghainese is a sub-dialect of the Wu dialect (or language, depending on how you view it) shouldn't comparisons be made against the other major regional dialects, like Southern Putonghua, Min, Hakka, etc.?

Also, what kind of stops don't other dialects have? Aren't the entering tones that are present in most southern dialects stops? Aren't there affricates in words like in jing, cha, zhe, etc. in Mandarin, and also in the Cantonese word for alcohol? (talk) 06:36, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

The comparison is being made against major dialects. Cantonese is the prestige Yue dialect and Mandarin is the national language. The comparison of the three most widely spoken prestige dialects makes sense.
Regarding stops, Shanghainese and Wu dialects in general make distinctions between voiced, voiceless unaspirated, and voiceless aspirated initial stops and affricates. The three way distinction has traditionally been the defining aspect of Wu dialects. The initial stop distinction in Mandarin, by contrast, is between voiceless aspirated and voiceless unaspirated stops. In any case, the paragraph that you mentioned should say initial stops and affricates to be clear. I'll add it. Mvlahov (talk) 21:26, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese[edit]

I disagree with the use of only traditional Chinese in some sections like "Writing". Shanghai uses simplified Chinese just like most of mainland China. This trend seems to be everywhere on Wikipedia. -- (talk) 02:29, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

"Common words and phrases in Shanghainese" IPA[edit]

The IPA in the "Common words and phrases in Shanghainese" section seems to be missing tones, which makes it of limited use, in my opinion. Can someone who knows Shanghainese add them? Lesgles (talk) 17:21, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

That's like asking someone who knows English to mark the English tones. I doubt that most Shanghainese people would be aware of the five citation tones and the complicated tone sandhi. -- (talk) 21:25, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Local names[edit]

Per MOS, the laundry list of Chinese forms best goes in an infobox. The English names go in the running text. — LlywelynII 16:33, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Shanghainese lacks the following...[edit]

Hello, I noticed that Shanghainese lacks a lot of important things compared to Cantonese, Taiwanese Hokkien and Standard Mandarin. Here are the following:

  • Shanghainese Wikipedians (especially native speakers)
  • Shanghainese Romanization
  • Shanghainese Sources
  • Shanghainese Audio
  • Shanghainese Pronunciations of Han characters (漢字)

This language urgently needs strong promotion to save it from dying because of a shortage of young learners and speakers. I really feel sorry for this. Hope that's everything! --Aki (talk, contributions). February 03, 2017. 22:03 (PST).

A lot of these things do apparently exist actually. The website has a lot of what you mentioned, although I've heard some issues about its accuracy. I have no clue why it's so hard to find though.--Prisencolin (talk) 20:00, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Prisencolin - Thank you, but I think the website is still not enough for me and I cannot fully read in Han characters because I also need help from Romanization. I really wish for websites that engage in fully-focused lessons of Shanghainese with English as a supplement in order to help beginners like me. I am a pessimistic learner you know... Notify me if you know any more sites. Aki (talk, contributions). 11:22 (UTC), March 03, 2017 (Friday).