Talk:Wu phrasebook

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Wikipedia content?[edit]

This guide appears to break convention and use content copied from WP. Only one Wu phrase seems to be in the WV template.

What should be done with this article? VFD? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:07, 4 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Section moved to this talk page below: --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:22, 4 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

List from Wikipedia[edit]

Translation IPA Chinese character
Shanghainese (people) (IPA: [zɑ̃.ˈhe.ɲɪɲ]) 上海人
I (IPA: [ŋu])
we or I (IPA: [ŋu.ɲi]) or (IPA: [ɐˑ.lɐʔ]) 我伲、阿拉(我拉)
he/she (IPA: [ɦi]) 渠(伊, 其)
they (IPA: [ɦ]) 渠拉(伊拉)
you (sing.) (IPA: [noŋ]) (儂)
you (plural) (IPA: [na])
hello (IPA: [noŋ hɔ]) 侬好(儂好)
good-bye (IPA: [ˈtse.ɦue]) 再会(再會)
thank you (IPA: [ʑ̻iaja noŋ]) or (IPA: [ʑ̻iaʑ̻ia noŋ]) 谢谢侬(謝謝儂)
sorry (IPA: [te.vəˑ.tɕʰi]) 对勿起(對勿起)
but, however (IPA: [dɛ.zɨ]), (IPA: [dɛ.zɨ.ni]) 但是, 但是呢
please (IPA: [tɕʰɪɲ]) (請)
that one (IPA: [ˈe.tsɐʔ]), (IPA: [i.tsɐʔ]) 哎只, 伊只
this one (IPA: [ɡəʔ.tsɐʔ]) 搿只
there (IPA: [ˈe.tɐʔ]), (IPA: [i.tɐʔ]) 哎垯, 伊垯
over there (IPA: [ˈe.mi.tɐʔ]), (IPA: [i.mi.tɐʔ]) 哎面垯, 伊面垯
here (IPA: [ɡəˑ.tɐʔ]) 搿垯(箇垯)
to have (IPA: [ɦiɤɯ.təʔ]) 有得
to exist, here, present (IPA: [lɐˑ.he]) 勒許
now, current (IPA: [ɦi.ze]) 现在(現在)
what time is it? (IPA: [ɦi.ze tɕi.ti tsoŋ]) 搿息几点钟?(搿息幾點鐘?)
where (IPA: [ɦa.ɺi.tɐʔ]), (IPA: [sa.di.fɑ̃]) 嚡里垯(嚡裏垯), 啥地方
what (IPA: [sa ɦəʔ]) 啥个, 做啥
who (IPA: [sa.ɲɪɲ]) or (IPA: [ɦa.ɺi.ɦue]) 啥人, 嚡里位
why (IPA: [ɦ]) 为啥(為啥)
when (IPA: [sa.zəɲ.kuɑ̃]) 啥辰光
how (IPA: [na.nəɲ, na.nəɲ.ka]) 哪恁, 哪恁介
how much? (IPA: [tɕi.di]) 几钿?几块洋钿?(幾鈿?幾塊銀頭?)
yes (IPA: [ˈe])
no (IPA: [m̩]), (IPA: [vəˑ.zɨ]), (IPA: [m̩məʔ]), (IPA: [viɔ]) 呒, 弗是, 呒没
telephone number (IPA: [di.ɦʊ ɦɔ.dɤɯ]) 电话号头(電話號頭)
home (IPA: [oˑ.ɺi.ɕiã]) 屋里向(屋裏向)
Come to our house and play. (IPA: [tɔ ɐˑ.lɐʔ oˑ.ɺi.ɕiɑ̃ le bəˑ.ɕiã]) 到阿拉屋里厢来孛相(白相)!(到阿拉屋裏厢來孛相!)
Where's the restroom? (IPA: [da.sɤɯ.kɛ ɺəˑ.ɺɐʔ ɦa.ɺi.tɐʔ]) 汏手间勒勒嚡里垯?(汏手間勒勒嚡裏垯?)
Have you eaten dinner? (IPA: [ɦia.vɛ tɕʰɪˑ.ku.ləʔ va]) 夜饭吃过了𠲎?(夜飯吃過了𠲎?)
I don't know (IPA: [ŋɯ; vəˑ.ɕiɔ.təʔ]) 我弗(勿)晓得.(我弗(勿)曉得.)
Do you speak English? (IPA: [noŋ ˈɪn.vəɲ kãtəʔle va]) 侬英文讲得来𠲎?
I love you (IPA: [ŋɯ; e noŋ]) 我爱侬!(我愛儂!)
I adore you (IPA: [ŋɯ; e.mɯ noŋ]) 我爱慕侬.(我愛慕儂!)
I like you a lot (IPA: [ŋɯ; ɺɔ ˈhuø.ɕi noŋ ɦəʔ]) 我老欢喜侬搿!(我老歡喜儂搿)
news (IPA: [ɕɪɲ.vəɲ]) 新闻(新聞)
dead (IPA: [ɕi.tʰəˑ.ləʔ]) 死脱了
alive (IPA: [ɦuəˑ.lɐˑ.he]) 活勒嗨(活着)
a lot (IPA: [ˈtɕiɔ.kue]) 交关(邪气)
inside, within (IPA: [ɺi.ɕiã]) 里向
outside (IPA: [ŋa.dɤɯ]) 外頭
How are you? (IPA: [noŋ hɔ va])? 侬好伐?(儂好伐?)

Wu phrasebook[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There have recently been a handful of edits to this. Is anybody here who can check their accuracy? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:40, 4 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

There seems to be a mix of romanization formats throughout the article. If it were an important language (such as Mandarin) to the traveler it would be worth correcting that but Wu is more for curiosity than any practical application. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:12, 4 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It is useful but not essential to know Wu if you're in Shanghai. Gizza (roam) 13:04, 8 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
In other words, it's a damn sight more useful than Esperanto and worth correcting it or making it consistent, if anyone would like to do so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:57, 8 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]


I was just wondering if we should split this into a Shanghainese phrasebook and a Suzhou dialect phrasebook. After all, Wu is quite a broad category, which includes the Wenzhou dialect that virtually nobody from outside the city understands. Moreover, very few people in China will tell you that they speak Wu (吴语). They will use the city name when they tell you which dialect they speak (eg. Shanghainese (上海话), Suzhou dialect (苏州话), Hangzhou dialect (杭州话), etc.), and these are all different from each other. The main complication is that Wu very much consists of a dialect continuum. I have a friend from Suzhou who told me that he can understand Shanghainese fairly well, but he has difficulty understanding the Hangzhou dialect, and will usually just speak Mandarin when he talks to someone from Hangzhou. The dog2 (talk) 01:23, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Any dialects that are useful to learn and mutually unintelligible should have their own phrasebooks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:43, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
My understanding is that the Shanghai and Suzhou dialects are somewhat mutually intelligible, but they're distinct, and people from both cities will consider themselves to be speaking different dialects. The dog2 (talk) 06:08, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I won't pass judgment on this. A language is a dialect with an army and navy. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are mutually intelligible. So are Swedish and Norwegian. But the question I'd ask you is whether there's a significant difference in vocabulary between the two dialects or whether it's just a difference in accent. Because if the difference is pretty much just accent, that can be covered in the same phrasebook. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:16, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I don't speak either of those dialects, but I know there's definitely some pronunciation differences, and the phrasebook seems to indicate some vocabulary differences too. Admittedly, it's a tough call complicated by the fact that a dialect continuum exists. The dog2 (talk) 06:35, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I have a thought about dialects, but it's about Malay, so I'll post it in Talk:Malay phrasebook. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:42, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I think a split makes sense. Having one phrasebook for multiple mutually intelligible dialects is fine, but (a) going along with what The dog2 said, locals tend to see these as different local dialects rather than one cohesive group, and (b) the phrasebook in its current state looks like two phrasebooks smushed into one, with separate pronunciations given for each phrase. —Granger (talk · contribs) 07:27, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Devil's advocate is that there are many different dialects in Italy but no reason to cover most of them. Most languages have dialects. Pronunciation is very different in Nice than in Paris, and pronunciation in Quebec, especially the further from Montreal you get, is radically different from pronunciation in France. Again, though, I don't personally know the dialects of Wu that are being discussed here, so I won't and really can't pass judgment. Do whatever you guys think is wisest. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:08, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
There might be a difference between niche dialect phrasebooks like this one and national languages like French and Italian. I assume that in France there's a more or less standard form of French that locals everywhere will understand and expect visitors to use. In Shanghai and Suzhou the standard form is Mandarin - few people will expect a foreign visitor to use Wu dialects, so this phrasebook is for travelers with a special interest or unusual needs. Anyway, the French and Italian phrasebooks aren't written like two phrasebooks smushed into one the way this one is. (To be clear, I don't speak any Wu dialects either, I'm just going off of what I know and the way the phrasebook is written.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:58, 2 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
For some other Chinese dialects, there is a "standard" form that most speakers will understand, even if their native dialect is slightly different. For instance, for Minnan, it's the dialect spoken in Xiamen, while for Cantonese, it's the form spoken in Guangzhou. I don't think such a dialect exists for Wu. For instance, if you go to Wenzhou and speak Shanghainese, I don't think the locals will understand you even though they're both part of Wu. I don't speak Wu though, so take this with a pinch of salt. The dog2 (talk) 01:23, 3 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. My impression (to be taken with a pinch of salt too) is that "Wu" is not even a concept for many/most locals - it's more of a classification used by linguists. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:30, 3 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Mx. Granger:, I agree. As @The dog2: said, the people who speak "Wu" never refer to their language as "Wu", but instead speak of their dialect. I have to conclude that "Wu" is just an umbrella term for 3 different Chinese dialects. -- AnotherEditor144 (talk) 08:23, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ikan Kekek:, this should be split. There is no way we can keep what is essentially 2 separate phrasebook on 1 page. AnotherEditor144 (talk) 09:40, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I don't get how to produce any of these tones. When I was learning Mandarin, the basics of how each tone is (high, starting high and falling, etc.) were explained to me in a phrasebook and then I heard the sounds of the tones by listening to a cassette (yeah, cassette). But at least an attempt was made to describe the tones in words. But I have no idea what each of the Wu tones sounds like, so could the description please be improved? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:45, 9 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Ikan Kekek:, I found this at wikipedia:Four tones (Middle Chinese):
Distribution of the four tone classes in modern Chinese
Each tone class is numbered to , depending on its reflex of Late Middle Chinese, followed by its actual pronunciation, using a tone letter to illustrate its contour and then a numerical equivalent.
major group subgroup local variety Early Middle Chinese tone class number of
tone classes
(number of
phonemic tones)
Level ꜀①꜁② Rising ꜂③꜃④ Departing ⑤꜄⑥꜅ Entering ⑦꜆⑧꜇
Syllable onset
voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced
son obs son obs tenuis asp son obs (short) (long) son obs
Wu Taihu Shanghainese ① (IPA: ˥˨) 52 ⑤ (IPA: ˧˧˦) 334 ⑥ (IPA: ˩˩˧) 113 ⑦ (IPA: ˥) 5 ⑧ (IPA: ˨˧) 23 5 (2)
Thanks. The copying doesn't seem to have worked very well, but it looks too technical. Something practical is needed for the phrasebook. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:52, 2 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ikan Kekek:, how should those tones be pronounced? Nobody speaks Middle Chinese anymore. By the way, please stop talking to me at night (21:00 - 07:30 UTC). I won't get to you until 07:30 of the next UTC day. AnotherEditor144 (talk) 08:17, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I chuckled at your request about when to post. It's not a problem for you to answer whenever you can, even if it's not for a few days. But are you saying this is a dead language? I saw upthread that you said this is really 3 dialects. Are they mutually intelligible, or should this phrasebook be divided into 3 and edited accordingly for each dialect? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:59, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Ikan Kekek, firstly, Wu is not a dead language, but Middle Chinese is. Secondly, there are 2 pronunciations, so 2 different phrasebooks to split into. AnotherEditor144 (talk) 09:50, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
So it seems like that chart isn't directly relevant. Unfortunately, I won't be able to help with any of these tasks, really, because while I know some basic Mandarin and have a small amount of experience with how people in Shanghai and some other cities in that general area speak Mandarin, I don't know either pronunciation of Wu. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:32, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ikan Kekek I think we need someone else to draw a conclusion here. Do you know someone who could help?

I also noticed tones were clarified. AnotherEditor144 (talk) 20:00, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Not in a way I can understand. Are they high, low, rising, falling, falling and then rising, rising and then falling? Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:07, 6 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]