Jiangsu 9

Both as a courtesy and to comply with copyright law, please remember to credit IDEA for direct or indirect use of samples.  IDEA is a free resource; please consider supporting us.


AGE: 21

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/06/1989

PLACE OF BIRTH: Zhouzhuang, Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese


EDUCATION: At the time of the recording, the subject was in his third year at university.


Subject came to live in Suzhou, Jiangsu, two-and-a-half years before the date of the recording.


Influences are thought to be slight, as the subject has spent most of his life in his hometown. He has been at university in Suzhou for almost three years, and there will be some influence from the enforced used of Putonghua. His teachers may also have had some influence, as will his exposure to foreign films. However, there is no sign of the conscious mimicking of Western accents that one often finds in the younger Chinese generation. He is an English major at university but has had limited exposure to native English-speaking teachers.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.







OK, now I like to tell something about my college life. (Ah) I remember that when I was the first – when I was the first year in college, I – I was take part in the (ah) social – social practice department, and (ah) the most important thing to me is that I have take part in the 2008 Olympic torch part – torch party, and I feel great for China to (ah) hold this kind of (ah) event, and (ah) I want to say that China liv- long live China! And I will be good too. That’s it.







Short readings from the analects of Confucius

The subject now goes on to read the following abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in his own Zhouyzhuanghus dialect. A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on the China 15 sample.

KEY: A = Mandarin (Simplified); B = Mandarin (Pingyin); C = Dialect (Pingyin); D = English.

孔子: 论语 – Kǒng zǐ : lún yǔ – Kon zi: leng yu – Confucius: Lun Yu

學而第一 – xué ér dì yī – Ya er dei yie – Chapter One

A: 1-1:- 子曰: 學而時習之、不亦說乎。

B: yī-yī :- zǐ yuē: xué ér shí xí zhī, bù yì yuè hū.

C: yī-yī :- Zi ya: ya er she jie zi, fer yi yo hu.

D: 1-1:- The Master said: Is it not pleasure to learn, and practice what is learned time and again?

A: 1-2:- 有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。

B: yī-èr:- yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái, bù yì lè hū.

C: yī-èr:- you beng si yv fang luai, fer yi le hu.

D: 1-2:- Is it not happiness to have friends coming from distant places?

A: 1-3:- 人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。

B: yī-sān: rén bù zhī ér bù yùn, bù yì jūn zi hū.

C: yī-sān: ning fer zi er fer yong, fe yi jon zi hu.

D: 1-3:- Is it not virtue for a man to feel no discomposure when others take no note of him?

為政第二 – wéi zhèng dì èr – Fi zhen di ni – Chapter two

A: 2-2:- 子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰:『思無邪』。

B: èr-èr:- zǐ yuē: shī sān bǎi, yī yán yǐ bì zhī , yuē: sī wú xié.

C: èr-èr:- zi ya: si san ba, yie i yi bie zi, ya: si fu ya.

D: 2-2:- The Master said: In the Book of Odes there are three hundred poems, but they may be summarized in a single sentence: Think no evil.

A: 2-7:- 子游問孝。子曰:今之孝者,是謂能養。至於犬馬,皆能有養;不敬, 何 以別乎。

B: èr-qī:- zǐ Yóu wèn xiào. zǐ yuē: jīn zhī xiào zhě, shì wèi néng yǎng. zhì wū quǎn mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.

C: : èr-qī:- zi you meng xiao. Zi ya: Jin zi xiao za, si fei nen yang. si yu qv mu, jia neng you yang; fer jin, hou yi bie hu.

D: 2-7:- Zi You asked what filial piety was. The Master said: Nowadays, providing support for one’s parents is considered filial piety. But dogs and horses can also do this. If there is no respect, what is the difference?

A: 2-10:- 子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉叟哉?人焉叟哉?

B: èr-shí :- zǐ yuē: shì qí suǒ yǐ , guān qí suǒ yóu, chá qí suǒ ān. rén yān sǒu zāi? rén yān sǒu zāi?

C: èr-shí :- Zi ya: si ji sou yi, guyi qi sou you, zu ji sou ayi. nin ya so zai? nin ya so zai?

D: 2-10:- The Master said: Watch what a man does. Find out his motives. See how he takes his ease. How then can the man hide his true self? How can the man hide his true self?


The subject was raised in Zhouzhuang, a township of Jiangyin, Jiangsu, on the south bank of the Yangtse. Zhouzhuang, which has its own dialect, is famous because Yanyan, one of the 72 disciples of Confucius, came and settled there and introduced the northern “yellow river” culture to the area.

Yan Yan, styled Zi-you (言偃, 子游), was the fourth in the western range of “The Wise Ones.” He was a native of Wu, forty-five years younger than Confucius, and distinguished for his literary acquirements. As commandant of Wuchang, he transformed the character of the people by “proprieties” and music, and was praised by the master. After the death of Confucius, Ji Kang asked Yan why that event had caused no sensation like that which was made by the death of Zi-chan. Then, the men laid aside their bowstring rings and girdle ornaments, and the women laid aside their pearls and ear-rings, and the sound of weeping was heard in the lanes for three months. Yan replied, “The influences of Zi-chan and my master might be compared to those of overflowing water and the fattening rain. Wherever the water in its overflow reaches, men take knowledge of it, while the fattening rain falls unobserved.”

The name of Jiangyin itself translates as “Shade of the River” and refers to its location on the south bank. Strategically placed at the narrow neck of a meander in the Yangtse, the site has been occupied since the middle of the Chinese Neolithic period (12,000 – 2,000 BCE).

It was part of the Liangzhu culture (3,400 – 2,250), the last Neolithic jade culture in the Yangtze River Delta of China. The culture was highly stratified. Jade, silk, ivory and lacquer artifacts are found exclusively in burials of the upper classes while pottery is more commonly found in the burial plots of poorer individuals. The type site at Liangzhu was discovered in Yuhang County, Zhejiang, and initially excavated in 1936.

The culture possessed advanced agriculture, included irrigation, paddy rice cultivation and aquaculture. Houses were often constructed with stilts on rivers or shorelines. In the succeeding historic periods, Jiangyin continued as an agricultural center for the region.

In the modern period, the city and surrounding towns have grown quite rapidly during the last decade as the city has benefited greatly from China’s industrialization. A six-lane highway suspension bridge crosses the Yangtze River at Jiangyin. When completed in 1999, it was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, with a span of 1,385 metres (4,500 feet). Important industries in the Jiangyin area include ship building, textiles, machinery and steel wire. The residents of Jiangyin have become amongst the most wealthy in China.

The major dialect, and that of this subject, is Jiangyinhua, a member of the Northern Wu group with similarities to the dialects of nearby Wuxi, Changzhou and Suzhou. However, there is a small minority of the Min group that is mainly found further south in Fujian, Guangdon and Taiwan.

The accent of this subject is strong but very clear. The most noticeable characteristic, which can be heard on the recordings, involves the /θ/ and /ts/ minimal pair. The substitution occurs in practically every instance. The problem of the possessive and plural /s/ preceded by an /s/ sound that has been noted in other Jiangsu samples is also evident here. Otherwise, the more common characteristics of the Wu speakers are largely absent. Comparison with theChina15 sample will be instructive. Although from the same city, the subjects speak different dialects, and the effect of this on their spoken English is quite noticeable.



The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
  • In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech.  In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list).  The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).


For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.