Shanghaihua: foreigner 上海话: 老外

Shanghaihua: foreigner 上海话: 老外

Anyone who is not Chinese needs to learn this word.  Everyone in China who is not Chinese is a foreigner.  Whether you like that label or not is not the point.  That’s what you are.  But you have to learn this phrase because it’s possible that people will be talking about you or about foreigners in general.

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Lately there’s been quite a few articles from the Shanghai Daily about the Shanghainese dialect and some people are not in favor of it.

The journalist Ni Tao talks about the “New Shanghainese” as feeling left out and alienated by “older Shanghainese.”

“That some “New Shanghainese” feel they don’t quite belong or are still perceived as outsiders is understandable.

What they should do is be more patient, delve deeper into the local heritage, explore for themselves both its merits and demerits before hastily denouncing anything Shanghai as patronizing and decadent. An attack on Shanghainese or Shanghainese dialect is beyond the pale.”

Amen to that.  And I hope that our podcast is a symbol to that.  Even though I am not really a “new Shanghainese” I have also felt alienated and an outsider but I wasn’t born in Shanghai!  Too bad!  If anything it drives me to learn more about the local culture and language!  I think it’s fascinating that this dialect is so big and so deep and so vast.  That means, MX, my wife, is also deep and vast.  Cool!

Another article in the Shanghai Daily by John Gong talks about the merits of Shanghainese, the people and the dialect.

“It is not just a beautiful dialect, but it also connotes certain meanings and is spoken with an attitude.

Speaking like a Shanghainese is less about what you say, and more about how you say it.

We Shanghainese are known for being savvy, opinionated and confident. We are also known for being chic and cosmopolitan, especially the beautiful Shanghainese ladies.”

Again, AMEN TO THAT!  I totally agree that Shanghainese is spoken with an attitude.  I hope you can get that through our podcasts.  I totally agree too that MX is savvy, opinionated and confident, a true product of Shanghai.  She is also chic, very cosmopolitan and quite beautiful!!  (and now very red in the face!)


  1. Jimmy

    I love it!

  2. 小杜

    Small complaint – her Shanghainese is… lets put this politely. Not very good.
    Can’t you get a real Shanghainese person to do it?

  3. Lid

    i’ve been listening to all the recent shanghainese podcasts…I love it totally…thanks M & MX!!

  4. M and MX

    Glad you like it LID!!

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