Beijing 3

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 34

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 15/12/1984

PLACE OF BIRTH: Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Chinese

OCCUPATION: researcher

EDUCATION: Ph.D

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Though the subject was born in nearby Shanxi Province, the subject identifies as Beijing because of her self-described Beijing sound. The speaker also lived in the United States (in both Boston, Massachusetts, and Princeton, New Jersey) for 14 years.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The speaker was educated to speak standard Mandarin with a Beijing accent, which she explains in the recording could be considered the equivalent of “royal English.”

In her study of the English language, she has worked with six or seven English tutors (British and American).

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

RECORDED BY: Bryn Austin

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/12/2018

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Ah, I think I’ll just, uh, talk about what I think about this class I’m taking. Uh, I know the class is about individual sounds, um, oh, which, uh, I wasn’t fully aware that it’s only focused on individual sounds, ‘cause I thought it’s, uh, it’s about individual sounds, it’s about music and rhythm, intonation, all, everything in a language that for foreign students we need to learn.

So I, I, uh, in the beginning I was a little, uh, disappointed. For me, I mean, uh, I, I only want to learn a standard American accent. Uh, all the other accents in the world: I just don’t care. Um, but I, I still had a lot of fun, I guess, in the class, especially in the morning, this morning I think, uh, when we speak, um, this, uh, a crazy language, basically any sound you can make, and, then, uh, make it into a story in front of the class, like sort of a five-minutes performance. I feel that even for Americans, um, uh, their, their performance, um, not that different from mine, even though, uh, we speak different languages, and I’m trying to imitate them in English, I guess. But then in this strange language, um, I, I felt that we’re not better than the oth-, not one person is better than the others? Um, and I felt, uh, um, it’s really a revelation for me. …

And the title of the poem is “Yè Sù Shān Sì.” And I’m speaking in a perfect Beijing accent, like, uh, standard Mandarin. … Beijing’s accent is like, the, um, if, if, I have, had to draw a comparison, is like a royal English: that sound. That’s what I’m doing. That’s why I brought up to, to do, that, that accent. …

[The subject recites the poem “Staying the Night at a Mountain Temple” by Li Bai, in Chinese]:
危楼高百尺
手可摘星辰
不敢高声语
恐惊天上人

[Transliteration:
Wéi lóu gāo băi chĭ
Shŏu kĕ zhāi xīng chén
Bù găn gāo shēng yŭ
Kŏng jīng tiān shàng rén.

English translation:
The high tower is a hundred feet tall,
From here one’s hand could pluck the stars.
I do not dare to speak in a loud voice,
I fear to disturb the people in heaven.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Bryn Austin

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/01/2019

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A

COMMENTARY BY: N/A

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

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.