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Website dedicated to preserving Chinese dialects


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I first heard about this website while browsing through Youtube. It's called Phonemica:  http://phonemica.net/

Users can record short texts in their own dialects, in fact there are already several recordings from almost every region in China. The site was set up in an effort to help preserve China's various dialects and to serve as a linguistic record. I encourage Mandarin learners / speakers to start from the area around Beijing and slowly make their way south :) and see how far you can go until the language becomes unintelligible!

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I remember that homepage. The project is absolutely adorable. I find it interesting that the actual owners/makers of this project are NOT Chinese. I hope the website and the contents will grow in the future. Having a large amount of text corpora (both written and spoken) will be a very valuable thing, both in terms of culture and language technology. 



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Great site. It is a shame how in so many parts of China local languages are simply seen as "bad pronunciation" instead of languages in their own right. Many will (and already have) died, but there are so many, there is still hope quite a few will survive.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This site is awesome, I wish they would have everyone who speaks a different dialect sing the same song and the edit it all together. Sort of like how they did with the Frozen video sung in different languages. Though they'd probably have to choose a relatively long song since there are quite a few Chinese dialects. I'm sure it would sound awesome though. Do they have a place where you can email them suggestions? 

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  • 1 month later...

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