Listen to Xinjiang 3, an 18-year-old woman from Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/01/1992
PLACE OF BIRTH: Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region
ETHNICITY: Han Chinese
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
Subject has been at university in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, for seven months.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
Apart from a few foreign movies and some exposure to native speakers since she came to university in Suzhou seven months before the date of the recording, subject has had little outside influences.
The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.
RECORDED BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 06/04/2011
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY):
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Now I will talk [pause] about my hometown. I am come from Urumqi in Xinjiang, the, of the northwestern of China, where abundant fruits such as watermelon, grapes and so on. It is very delicious. The people who live there were very happy and, ah, passionate. Urumqi is a beautiful city. The streets are wide and many trees and flowers. Also, there are many tall buildings. Ahm, travel to Xinjiang is a good choice because it is – it’s a mysterious place. You will see clean water and great mountains.[The subject now goes on to read abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Urumqi dialect, a sub dialect of the Lan-Yin Mandarin group, which expanded into Xinjiang from Gansu in recent decades. (See the commentary below.) A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on the Hebei 1 sample.]
TRANSCRIBED BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/06/2013
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
SHORT READINGS FROM THE ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS
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 :- zǐ yuē: xué ér shí xí zhī, bù yì yuè 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 zi 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:- zǐ yuē: shī 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 quǎn mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.
C: : 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.
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 :- zǐ yuē: shì qí suǒ yǐ , guān qí suǒ yóu, chá qí suǒ 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?
KEY: A = Mandarin (Simplified); B = Mandarin (Pingyin); C = Dialect (Pingyin); D = English.
Noticeable characteristics, which can be heard on the recordings, include the some examples of the /θ/- /s/ and /ʒ/- /s/ and the /v/ and /w/minimal-pair transpositions, the latter quite pronounced. The problem with sounding the second s-like sound in words like “goose’s” and “diagnosis” is also quite pronounced.
Xīnjiāng, the largest Chinese administrative division, is an autonomous region (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) that covers more than 1.6 million km2 and, with large oil reserves, is China’s largest natural gas-producing region. It shares borders with Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Xinjiang was previously known as Xiyu or Qurighar (Uyghur name), which simply means Western Region, under the Han Dynasty, which drove the Xiongnu empire out of the region in 60 BCE in an effort to secure the profitable Silk Road. The name Xīnjiāng (New Territory) came into use during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
With a documented history of at least 2,500 years, the region has been ruled by succession of different peoples and empires and, consequently, has been known by many names. Its old English name is Chinese Turkestan. The region is sparsely populated. The east-west chain of the Tian Shan Mountains separates the dry steppe of Dzungaria in the north from the oases surrounded desert of the Tarim Basin in the south. The eastern area is formed by the Turpan Depression, whilst in the west, the Tian Shan Range is split by the Ili River valley.
Various nomadic tribes, such as the Yuezhi, were part of the large migration of Indo-European speaking peoples who were settled in eastern Central Asia (possibly as far as Gansu) as early as the 7th century BCE. They supplied jade to the Chinese, and there is a wealth of archaeological evidence for the supply of jade from the Tarim Basin from ancient times, particularly during the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BCE). Some of the early inhabitants are represented by the well-preserved Tarim mummies. These have been dated to the 3rd century BCE and have Caucasoid features and red or blond hair.
The earliest Chinese occupation was during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-CE 220), which established the Protectorate of the Western Regions in 60 CE. The area was known to the Greeks and the Romans as Seres, who considered the people “civilised men, of mild, just, and frugal temper, eschewing collisions with their neighbours, and even shy of close intercourse, but not averse to dispose of their own products, of which raw silk is the staple, but which include also silk stuffs, furs, and iron of remarkable quality.”
The Tang Dynasty (618-907) was one of the most expansionist in China’s history and ruled the region through the Anxi Protectorate. This came to an end in 763 when Tibet invaded China and took control of southern Xīnjiāng. It was not until 1755 in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) that the region returned to Chinese control.
The dialect spoken in Xīnjiāng is Lan-Yin, one of the eight dialects of Mandarin. (The modern standardized Putonghua is based on Beijing Mandarin.) The dialect is also spoken in Gansu and the name is a compound of the capitals of the two provinces, Yinchuan and Lanzhou, which are also two of its principal sub-dialects.
In general, no two Mandarin-speaking areas have the exact same set of tone values. On the other hand, most Mandarin-speaking areas have very similar tone distribution and many have four tones that correspond quite well to the Beijing tones.
Although Ürümqi is situated near the northern route of the Silk Road, it is a relatively young city dating only to the 22nd year of Emperor Taizong’s reign in the Tang Dynasty, AD 648. Then known as Luntai, the town was a seat of local government, and collected taxes from the caravans along the northern route of the Silk Road.
COMMENTARY BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/06/2013
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.