Archive for the ‘Shanghaihua’ Category

Shanghaihua: hello goodbye 上海话- 你好再见

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Welcome to the first ever Shanghai Dialect Podcast from  Listen for free and impress the over 20 million Shanghainese around the world!


Today’s Lesson:  Hello and Goodbye.

今天的节目: 你好, 再见

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Shanghaihua: Thank you 上海话: 谢谢你

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Thank you is one of the most important phrases in English and also in Chinese.  But in Shanghai we use it all the time.  So this is a super useful phrase.  Use it at work, use it at the restaurant, use it on the bus, use it on the subway, etc etc.

”谢谢你“是英文和中文中最重要的字句之一。 在上海话里我们一样也经常会用到!  大家可以在上班的时候用到,在饭店用到,在公交车里用到,地铁里用到。现在就跟M和MX一起来学这句上海话吧!!!

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Shanghaihua: I don’t know 上海话: 我不知道

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

What is your name?  I don’t know.  Where are you from?  I don’t know.  What are you doing?  I don’t know!  Do you have a girlfriend?  I don’t know.  So much fun!  You can use this with every question that you get in Shanghai,remember it’s good practice!

你叫什么名字? 不知道。 你是哪个国家的? 不知道。  你到哪里去? 我不知道! 你有没有女朋友? 我不知道! 太好玩啦! 在上海每个问题你可以这样说, 你可以这样练习!

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Shanghaihua 上海话 How much 多少钱

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

“How much?” was the first phrase in Mandarin that I learned.  What about you?  So therefore “how much” should be one of the first phrases you learn in Shanghainese.  This one is really useful but be careful when you use it.  Most of the time when I use this phrase in Shanghainese the answer then is in Shanghainese and I can’t understand the answer.  So be careful.

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Shanghaihua 上海话 not good 不行

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

In Shanghainese this is one of the most interesting words.  It sounds totally different in Mandarin and it goes with the hand motions.  While we were having our son I heard this many many times and asked MX what it meant.  That is the best way to learn something.  Repetition.  Now that I have learned this phrase I hear it everywhere.  It gets more and more annoying.

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Shanghaihua 上海话 Not at all 不要紧!

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

After you learn the words Thank you in Shanghainese, you will probably hear this phrase.  In English the best we can do is “NOT AT ALL” or “DON’T worry about it.”  But in Mandarin it is much easier and faster.  But in Shanghainese it is ten times more fun to say.  MX’s mother (my mother in law) would say it in funniest way.  Some people on the street would say it in a fast and slurred way.  Anyway you say it, it makes you sound more like a Shanghai person!  SO SAY IT!

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Shanghaihua: I love you 上海话:我爱你

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

shanghaihua-picture3Happy Valentine’s Day!  Valentine’s Day in Shanghai is BIG!  Girls who have everything want more for Valentine’s Day.  Everywhere you so pink, red, chocolates, flowers and men hurrying along with bouquets of flowers and girls waiting impatiently.  Good luck trying to find a restaurant on February 14th… NOT A CHANCE.  But all in all, the Shanghainese say this in a special way.  This is good for everyone because LOVE crosses all language borders!

情人节快乐!在上海情人节越来越大。 所有的上海姑娘特别喜欢情人节。 你要在外面吃饭,祝你好运! 很难找到一个空的饭店! 上海话“我爱你” 怎么说?

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Shanghai hua 上海话: do you have it or not 有没有?

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

When foreigners come to China for the first time they learn this phrase pretty quickly.  Do you have it or not?  In English it’s a bit too long and boring.  But in Chinese it is easy.  But with many of the phrases that we learn in Shanghainese, Mandarin is too long and Shanghainese is just more convenient.  I love to tell MX that there isn’t something in Shanghainese because I feel so lazy when I say it.  MMah.  That’s it.  No effort.  Thank you SHANGHAI!!!

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Shanghaihua: foreigner 上海话: 老外

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

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!)

Shanghaihua 上海话: 1-5

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Numbers.  Numbers are probably the first thing you learn when you study a language because it’s the most important and most useful.  Same in Shanghainese.  The numbers are different in Mandarin and Shanghainese…so these are ESSENTIAL!  You hear them every day!  Why not practice them everyday!

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For 6-10 you can hear that here.

Shanghainese Links:

Another article in Shanghai Daily talking about a new art exhibit about the people in Shanghai.  Many questions are asked in the article but not really answered.

“It’s definitely a beautiful fine art exhibition, but it is also about the artist’s trial to ask of a modern society like Shanghai – do you know what happiness is? What makes you really happy? I think it’s very sharp and points out what Shanghainese are looking for today.”

So, what are the Shanghainese really looking for today?  Money?  A good life?  Money?  A loving family?  Money?  Shoes?  Make up?  Money?  Coffee?

What do you think Shanghainese are looking for?