Anhui 3

Listen to Anhui 3, a 19-year-old woman from Chuzhou, Anhui Province, China. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.

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AGE: 19

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 28/07/1992

PLACE OF BIRTH: Chuzhou, Anhui Province

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese


EDUCATION: Subject was in her second year of university at the time of this recording.


Subject had been living in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, for seven months, where she had been attending university, majoring in English.


During her time at university, she has had limited exposure to native-speaking teachers from the United States and Europe. There have been some English influences, though, particularly the fact that her mother is an English teacher in primary school. She had a foreign English teacher in high school and listed this a major influence on her speech. She also lived in Nanjing for a time, and this will have affected her speech patterns somewhat. Despite all of this, she retains an essentially Chinese pronunciation with little or no influence from external sources such as Western movies and music.

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







(Ah) I am a girl from Anhui Province. Today I will introduce you my family. I was born in a teacher’s family, that is to say, both my parents are teachers. They have a deep influence on my study and life. My father is a geography teacher in Senior High School which helps me a lot in studying my geography. In daily life I can learn many geography knowledge from my father. And my mother is an English teacher in primary school. She plays an important role in my process of studying English; therefore, I’m very honored to born in this family.







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 Jianghuai dialect (see the commentary below). A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on theHebei1 sample. Comparison should also be made with theAnhui1 sample to get a feel for the large difference in sound between the two Mandarin dialects from opposite sides of this small province.

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 – Xué ér dì yī – 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 :-  Zī yuē: xuē ér shī xí zhī, bù yì yuē hū.

D: 1-1:-  The Master said: Is it not pleasure to learn, and practise 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:-  yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái, bù yì lè hū.

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:  rén bù zhī ér bù yùn, bù yì jūn zī hū.

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 – wéi zhèng dì ér – 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:-  Zī yuē: shí sān bǎi, yī yán yǐ bì zhī , yuē: sī wú xié.

D: 2-2:-  The Master said: In the Book of Odes there are three hundred poems, but they may be summarised 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 quán mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.

C: : èr-qī:-  Zī Yóu wèn xiào. Zī yuē: jīn zhī xiào zhě, shì wèi néng yǎng. Zhì wú quǎn mǎ; jiē nén yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.

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 :-  Zī yuē: shì qí suō yǐ, guān qí suō yóu, chá qí suō ān. rén yān sǒu zāi? rén yān sǒu zāi?

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?


Anhui is located in eastern China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River; it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny section in the north. The name “Anhui” derives from the names of two cities in south Anhui: Anqing and Huizhou (now Huangshan City). The abbreviation for Anhui is “皖” (Wǎn), because there were historically a State of Wan, a Mount Wan, and a Wan River in the province.

Anhui is a young province, not having been formed until the seventeenth century. Until then, Northern Anhui was firmly a part of the North China Plain in terms of culture, together with modern-day Henan province.Central Anhui constituted most of the fertile and densely populated Huai He River watershed. Southern Anhui, along the Yangtze, was closer to Hubei and southern Jiangsu provinces in culture.

Most notably, the hills of southeastern Anhui form a unique and distinct cultural sphere of their own. The creation of the province of Anhui has not eroded these distinctions, as we shall see in reference to the linguistic groups of the province.

The area that now makes up most of Anhui was occupied by non-Sinitic peoples during the Shang Dynasty (1600- 1046 BCE). These are known collectively as the Dongyi people and the legendary founder of the Shang Dynasty is said to have had his capital city, Bo, at what is modern Bozhou in northern Anhui. During the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BCE), central Anhui was the capital of the powerful State of Chu.

The area was assimilated into greater China by the Qin Dynasty (221- 206 BCE) when it was administered by a number of distinct “commanderies,” an arrangement that continued under the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 09 CE). The upheavals brought about by the 4th century invasion by the nomadic tribes from Central Asia into North China, particularly affected Anhui, placed, as it was, at the juncture of north and south. The area hanged hands frequently and was usually bisected through the middle politically.

The long period of peace and unity during the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618) and the Golden Age of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) again saw the area administered by several independent jurisdictions. Bisected along the Huai He (river) during the Southern Song (1127 – 1279) and Jin (1115 – 1234) Dynasties, it was again reunited during the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty (1271 – 1368).

The first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) made Nanjing, in Jiangsu, his dynastic capital, and it remained the capital city of China until 1421. Because of this what is now Anhui, and all of Jiangsu, kept their special status as territory-governed directly by the central government, known as Nanzhili, throughout the Ming Dynasty. Initially, the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) kept this arrangement as Jiangnan Province, but in 1666 the separate Provinces of Jiangsu and Anhui were created.

As a result of both the history and geography of the area, Anhui has many cultural regions. The northern, flatter parts of the province, along the river Huai He and further north, are culturally and linguistically close to neighboring provinces like Henan and Shandong. By contrast, the southern, hilly parts of the province are more similar in culture and dialect to other southern, hilly provinces, like Zhejiang and Jiangxi.

A number of Mandarin dialects are spoken in the northern and central parts of the province. The dialects in the north are classified as Zhongyuan Mandarin, and grouped with dialects in provinces such as Henan and Shandong dialects (see Henan 1, Henan 2 and Shandong 1 for examples). Mandarin dialects in the central parts of the province are classified as Jianghuai Mandarin, together with dialects in the central parts of neighboring Jiangsu Province (see Jiangsu 3 and Jiangsu 4 for good examples).

Non-Mandarin dialects are spoken in the south; dialects of Wu are spoken in Xuancheng prefecture-level city, though these are rapidly being replaced by Jianghuai, and Mandarin; dialects of Gan are spoken in a few counties in the southwest bordering Jiangxi province. As noted above, the hilly south east forms a unique and distinct cultural sphere of its own. Here, the Huizhou dialects are spoken in about ten counties, forming a small but highly diverse and unique group of Chinese dialects.

The sample’s hometown is Chuzhou on the eastern side of the province, and her dialect is a sub-dialect of Jianghuai, which is spoken in the northern areas of Anhui. This reflects some of the differences between Jianghuai and Beijing Mandarin (see sample Hebei 1). In particular, it has a different set of tone values and former final stops were not deleted entirely, as in standard Mandarin, but were reduced to a glottal stop /ʔ/. This is in common with the non-Mandarin Wu dialects, and is thought to represent the pronunciation of Old Mandarin. Also there is a tendency for Standard finals such as e, o, ai, ei, ao, u, and üe, to turn up unpredictably as other vowels. However, it has a much different sound again to the dialect you can hear in theAnhui1 sample, from the western area of the province.

Given the influences on her speech, she has managed to overcome most of the usual Chinese problems with minimal pairs. However, some slight traces of these remain, for example the /w/ – /v/ pair s in “vet,” and an occasional /s/-/sh/ substitution as in “measure.”



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