Jiangsu 28

Listen to Jiangsu 28, a 19-year-old woman from Yangzhou, Jiangsu 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): 03/07/1990

PLACE OF BIRTH: Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese


EDUCATION: university



She was exposed to native English speakers only when she came to university seven months before the date of the recording.

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







Ah, I want to tell something about my hometown. Ah, I come from Yangzhou, and, ah, it not a big city. It has many similarities with Suzhou, also the – a long history, ah, many, hmm, ancient gardens and, ah, the Great Can – ca – ah, Canal, and, ah, hmm, old streets. And, ah, Yang – in the history Yangzhou, ah, was one of – one of the richest city in China. And, ah, in – now – nowadays it al – ah – it also, hmm, has developed a great deal.

[The subject now goes on to read abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Yangzhou dialect, a member of the Jianghuai Dialect group, of which Yangzhouhua is considered the premier dialect. She did not provide a transcript. A reading in pure 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: len 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 yao yue er shi xi zi, bei 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:-     Yu pang yu cong yu fang lai, be 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:    Nin be zi er be yun, be 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 yao su sei bao, ye yi yi bi zi, yao si fu xiao

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 yu meng xie. zi yao: jingza ge xie ze, si wei neng se. zu yu qu mu jie neng yu se; fe jing hou

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 yao: ku qi sou yi, gu qi sou yu , su qi sou u. nin ye sou zai? nin ye 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 confusion of the /I/ and /aI/ vowel sounds.

North Jiangsu is dominated by the so-called “Jianghuai Culture,” that is, the culture of the area between the Yangtse River (Jiang) and Huaihe River (Huai). Historically, the term North Jiangsu refers to the cities to the north of the Yangtze River. Nanjing and Zhenjiang are exceptions because, culturally, they are part of the Jianghuai Region, although they lie south of the Yangtse.

The river Huai He, flowing through north Jiangsu to the Yellow Sea, was once a major river in central China and traditionally defined the border between North China and South China. However, from 1194 AD, the Yellow River, which then lay farther north and flowed into Bohai Bay, changed its course several times and ran instead into the Huai He. The silting caused by this was so heavy that after the last episode in 1855, the Huai He ceased to follow its usual course to the sea and flowed instead southwards, through the Grand Canal, into the Yangtze. In the process, it formed two new lakes: Hongze Hu and Gaoyou Hu.

The Jianghuai Dialect, a member of the Mandarin Family, is spoken in the areas from the north of Yangtze to both shores of the original Huaihe. The Yangzhou Dialect is generally acknowledged as the premier dialect of the group and is widely taken to be very close to the official Mandarin (based on the Nanjing dialect) spoken during the Ming (1368-1644) and early (1644 – 1796) Qing dynasties. It is only moderately understandable to an outsider, as there are significant differences with modern standard Mandarin. The Jianghuai dialect and the WU dialects in south Jiangsu are not mutually intelligible, and the dividing line is sharp and well-defined.

There is some evidence of accent reduction, but the accent remains fairly strong. The aspirated /h/ is fairly well represented, as is the dropping of the possessive and final /s/ in word that already have an/s/ sound, as in”‘goose’s” and “Mrs” in the script reading.

The subject’s hometown in Yangzhou, historically one of the wealthiest of China’s cities, known at various periods for its great merchant families, poets, painters, and scholars.

The first settlement in the Yangzhou area, called Guangling (廣陵) dates from the Spring and Autumn Period (77 0 to 256 BCE). After the defeat of Yue by King Fuchai of Wu, a garrison city was built 12 metres (39 ft) above water level on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, in 485 BCE. This city, in the shape of a three-by-three li square, was called Hancheng. The newly created Han canal formed a moat around the south and east sides of the city. The purpose of Hancheng was to protect Suzhou from naval invasion from the Qi. In 590 CE, the city began to be called Yangzhou, which was the traditional name of what was then the entire southeastern part of China.

Under the second Sui Dynasty (581–617 CE) Emperor Yangdi, Yangzhou was the southern capital of China and called Jiangdu upon the completion of the Jinghang (Grand) Canal until the fall of the dynasty. The city has remained a leading economic and cultural center and major port of foreign trade and external exchange since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). At one time, many Arab and Persian merchants lived in the city in the 7th century, but they were massacred in the thousands in 760 CE during the An Shi Rebellion by the Tian Shengong’s (T’ien Shen-kung) 田神功 rebel insurgents during the Yangzhou massacre (760). During the Tang Dynasty, many merchants from Korea’s Silla Dynasty also lived in Yangzhou. There were also Arabic inscriptions from the 1200s and 1300s.

The city, still known as Guangling, was briefly made the capital of the Wu Kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960 CE).

Marco Polo claimed to have served in Yangzhou under the Mongol emperor Kubilai Khan in the period around 1282-1287. Although some versions of Polo’s memoirs imply that he was the governor of Yangzhou, it is more likely that he was an official in the salt industry. However, Chinese texts offer no supporting evidence for his claim. The discovery of the 1342 tomb of Katarina Vilioni, member of an Italian trading family in Yangzhou, does, however, suggest the existence of a thriving Italian community in the city in the 14th century.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) until the 19th century, Yangzhou acted as a major trade-exchange centre for salt (a government regulated commodity), rice, and silk. The Ming were largely responsible for building the city as it now stands and surrounding it with 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) of walls.

After the fall of Beijing and northern China to the Manchus in 1644, Yangzhou remained under the control of the short-lived Ming loyalist government of the so-called Hongguang Emperor, based in Nanjing. The Qing forces, led by Prince Dodo, reached Yangzhou in the spring of 1645, and the city fell on May 20, 1645, after a brief siege. A ten-day massacre followed, in which, as it was traditionally alleged, 800,000 people died.

The city’s rapid recovery from these events and its great prosperity through the early and middle years of the Qing dynasty were due to its role as administrative centre of the Lianghuai sector of the government salt monopoly.

Famed at that time, and since, for literature, art, and the gardens of its merchant families, the Qing-era Yangzhou has been the focus of intensive research by historians.



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