Saturday, May 26, 2007

四川话--In English is it Sichuanhua or Sichuanese? Or Sichuanian?

I usually just call it sichuanhua, but in sichuanhua it's pronounced more like "sicuahua," and, in case you don't know, it's just the coolest dialect in China. It's spoken by the 80 milllion people of Sichuan province (which is also quite probably the coolest province in China) and is also closely related to dialects spoken in Chongqing, Guizhou, and northern Yunnan.

Though at first sounding like the language of a musically-inclined, foul mouthed, and bitchy alien, it is quite similar to Mandarin. If your Mandarin is pretty good you can pick up the dialect just by listening to the people around you. It's still hard to learn it though, and it still has some special attributes that need to actually be studied if you aim to achieve some proficiency in the dialect.

There are also no good online study resources. If you search for sichuanhua in English on google, you find nothing. If you search for 四川话 you find things all in Chinese, which would be great, if I were fluent, but I'm not.

That being said, as soon as I get some recording equipment I'd like to begin posting some Sichuanhua primers on this website. If anyone has any recommendations on sound recording (software, hardware, etc) please let me know (I realize most of my readers are people searching for perverted animals on google but, you people can still give me suggestions).

I should also note that, going by chinesepod skill classifications, my Mandarin is at an upper-intermediate level, while my Sichuanhua is Elementary at best. If people are having simple, ordinary conversations, I can understand about 40-60% of what they say. Conversations on more complex topics are completely beyond me, and I can't actually speak Sichuanhua to save my life.

Therefore, the sichuanhua primer would be as much for me as for anyone else. My girlfriend would be the only person speaking sichuanhua in the recordings, because she's the only Sichuan person I know who I can swindle into doing this.

So let me know if you're interested, sichuanhua fans and random google porn searchers alike.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brendan said...

Audacity is a nice free, open-source, cross-platform app for simple sound editing and processing. I can't recommend any specific hardware, but if you aren't doing anything too complicated, a standard computer mic should probably be fine.

2:03 AM  
Blogger KMM said...

Hey, thanks, I downloaded that program and it looks excellent. I'll start using it once I begin doing dialogs.

7:43 AM  

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