Talk:Fuzhou dialect phrasebook

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Translating Mindong phrasebook[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hey people, I've noticed that the Mindong phrasebook is a lot more complete in Chinese Wikivoyage than the version we have here. However, I do not speak or understand the language myself. Will it still be appropriate for me to try to translate at least parts of the phrasebook? The main issue is that since I do not speak it, I can't verify the accuracy of the entries. The dog2 (talk) 20:28, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

@The dog2: The way that Wikivoyage works with sourcing is a little... loose? Since we don't really require sources and the entire guide is built on word-of-mouth, there aren't strict academic or sourcing guidelines that might be expected at (e.g.) Wikipedia or Wiktionary. I suggest that you use your best judgement and maybe put some stuff in a sandbox if you want to get some feedback. But basically, if you think you can adequately convey new information to travelers, then go for it: ttcf. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:31, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Have a look at our version, and the version on Chinese Wikivoyage. You can see that our version barely has anything at all, while the Chinese version has a complete pronunciation guide, and quite a substantial phrase list. The dog2 (talk) 20:34, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm a little confused as to why you wrote this tho. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:53, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
I was just wondering if it would be appropriate for me to translate the phrasebook from Chinese Wikivoyage, given that I do not speak or understand the language in question. The most I can do is copy things over. The dog2 (talk) 21:41, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Go for it. You don't need to speak the language, because someone else has already written all the Mindong phrases, but you can use your expertise in Chinese and English to make that person's work accessible to a wider audience. If there are a few mistakes present in the source document, they'll eventually be spotted and fixed, just as we have even seen in our "mainstream" phrasebooks like French and Spanish.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:01, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:19, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
Piggybacking off of both of these, User:The dog2, feel empowered: you have good instincts and are a valued member of this community. Go for it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:24, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the encouragement. I've made a start, though because of life, it will take some time for me to finish translating it. If anyone here is bilingual, you'll know that translating is not an easy job even if you're fluent in both languages that you are translating between. One caveat though is that I'm not familiar with IPA, and the pronunciation guide for the Chinese version of the article is of course geared towards Mandarin speakers (which is why I did not just translate it over from the Chinese version), so if anyone can find help me put in a suitable pronunciation guide for English speakers based on the IPA that is included, it will be much appreciated. The dog2 (talk) 04:42, 25 February 2020 (UTC)


Should we rename the phrasebook? Mindong is actually quite a broad term encompassing a variety of closely-related dialects in that region, not all of which are mutually intelligible with the Fuzhou dialect. The version I am in the midst of translating over from Chinese Wikivoyage is usually just called "Fuzhou Hua" (福州话 fú zhōu huà) in Chinese. The dog2 (talk) 15:39, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Sure. It's senseless to have a phrasebook that covers mutually unintelligible languages/dialects, unless it focuses strictly on reading and writing, as in a phrasebook of written Chinese with no speaking component. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:00, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
For reading and writing, people should use the Chinese phrasebook regardless of which part of China they go to. Formal written Chinese is based on standard Mandarin, so if you go to Fuzhou, that is the form you will see written down. The phrasebook in question is therefore for a primarily spoken language. We've treated our phrasebooks of other Chinese dialects like Minnan, Teochew and Cantonese the same way; we use them to aid with oral communication, but direct people to the Chinese phrasebook for written communication. The dog2 (talk) 20:36, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Right. So there's your answer. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:40, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
The question is, what should we rename the phrasebook to? The dog2 (talk) 20:51, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Fuzhounese, right? Unless I misunderstand, isn't that what this phrasebook covers? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:55, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
It's true that the phrasebook is based on the Fuzhou dialect, but Fuzhounese is not a term that I've ever encountered in English. In Singapore and Malaysia, people call the language Foochow or Hokchiu. The dog2 (talk) 21:12, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I've seen that term, but alright, maybe some other folks have a clearer idea what the most useful name is, so you can get a second opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:12, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I would suggest Fuzhou dialect phrasebook. I haven't encountered the term "Fuzhounese" either, but maybe it's used among English speakers in Fuzhou, I don't know. I would prefer a China-oriented term because, like I said at Talk:Minnan phrasebook, English-speaking travelers to Singapore or Malaysia are more likely to use English or a Malay phrasebook than a Mindong phrasebook.
Is Fuzhou dialect mutually intelligible with the dialect of the Matsu Islands? If so, do people there refer to the dialect as Mindong, Fuzhou Hua, or some other term? —Granger (talk · contribs) 07:39, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article is called "Fuzhou dialect" and begins: "The Fuzhou dialect, also Fuzhounese, Foochow or Hok-chiu...." We don't have to follow Wikipedia, but it seems to be the conclusion of that larger community. Ground Zero (talk) 08:50, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The term "Foochow" is the old spelling of Fuzhou, based on the Mandarin pronunciation, while "Hokchiu" is based on the Minnan/Hokkien pronunciation of Fuzhou. In Chinese, it's always called Fuzhou Hua whether you're in China, Malaysia or Singapore. Between using "Foochow" and "Hokchiu", my slight preference is for "Foochow" because most people in Fuzhou can speak Mandarin, while virtually nobody in Fuzhou understands Minnan. "Fuzhou dialect phrasebook" is something I could live with though I find the name a little unwieldy.

@Mx. Granger: With regard to Matsu, the official term used in Taiwan is Matsu dialect or 馬祖話 (mǎ zǔ huà). My understanding is that it is very similar to Fuzhou Hua, albeit with a different accent, and they are very much mutually intelligible. It is actually fairly common to refer to the dialect spoken in Matsu as Fuzhou Hua. This is probably similar to how the dialect in downtown Fuzhou and in Chagle are slightly different, but very much mutually intelligible. On the other hand, even within the prefecture-level city of Fuzhou, when you get to Fuqing, the dialect is significantly different. I've heard that people from Fuzhou need some effort to understand the local accent in Fuqing, and at least in Singapore and Malaysia, the diaspora from Fuzhou and Fuqing are considered two separate dialect groups. One you get to Fu'an, the local dialect is still classified under Mindong, but people from Fuzhou will not understand it. The dog2 (talk) 13:47, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Based on what you've said, I continue to think "Fuzhou dialect phrasebook" makes the most sense. "Fuzhou phrasebook" might be a little less unwieldy, not sure if it would be confusing. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)