Anhui 4

Listen to Anhui 4, a 19-year-old woman from Huaibei, 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): 28/06/1991

PLACE OF BIRTH: Huaibei, Anhui Province

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese


EDUCATION: university


Subject has spent seven months in Suzhou, Jiangsu.


Subject had two American teachers in high school and had limited exposure to other native English speakers in the seven months prior to the date of the recording.

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







My hometown, Huaibei, which is locate in the north of the Anhui Province, is a pl- place where I grew up. Great changes have taken place in my hometown. There are more high building in being built, which makes our city taken on a new look. What’s more, lots of people spend their free time walking the street, enjoying the beautiful scene of the city. What a beautiful city is; we all love it.

[The subject now goes on to read abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Zhongyuan Mandarin dialect. (See the commentary below.) A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on the Hebei 1 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 – 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 :-    Zi yue: xue er shi xi zhi, bu yi yue 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 peng zi yuan fang lai, bu yi yue 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:    Ren bu zhi er bu yun, bu yi jun 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 – 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:-     Zi yue: shi san be, yi yan yi bi zhi, yue: si wu sei.

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 quǎn mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.

C: : èr-qī:-   Zi you wen xiao. Zi yue: jin zhi xiao zhai, shi wei nen yang. Zhi yu quan ma; bu jin, he you 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 yue: shi qi su yi, guan qi su you, chan qi su an. Ren yan sou zai? Ren yan sou 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 has a very clear enunciation of English but also has some of the pronunciation difficulties that are common in China, for example the with [s] and [sh], [z] and [zh] pairs and the failure to pronounce the possessive “s” in words such as goose’s.

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 changed 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 farther north, are culturally and linguistically close to neighbouring 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 neighbouring 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 southeast 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 subject’s hometown, Huaibei, is in the north of the province and is heavily industrialized. It has vast quantities of mineral reserves, including marble, iron, copper, gold, silver, nickel, cobalt, fire clay, and limestone. It also has the highest output of coal (2,000 million tons annually) in eastern China. Huaibei’s winemaking industry is over 1,000 years old, and the Kouzi wine from the city has an annual output of 20,000 tons.



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