Which Chinese dialect sound most aesthetically pleasing?

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chungkuo jen

Which Chinese dialect sound most aesthetically pleasing?

Post by chungkuo jen » Fri Oct 19, 2001 10:30 pm

Hi,
I speak Shanghainese and Mandarin Chinese. My situation also puts me in contact with a lot of Cantonese speakers as well. My question is which of these three main dialects do you think is the most aesthetically pleasing to the ear?
My personal opinion is that of the three, Cantonese seems to be the most cacophonous. Each Cantonese syllable seems to be against the previous syllable in sound, and often leads to this blur of groaning noises. For example the phrase, "I love you" in Cantonese is "Ngo Oi Ney", compared to Mandarin's Wo Ai Ni or Shanghainese's "u ei non."
Most people probably will argue against me that each dialect/language is beautiful in its own way. I disagree however, in that in terms of aesthetically pleasing or not, Cantonese certainly loses.
So, what about Shanghainese? Perhaps the most vague of the three dialects, it is often caricatured as a bargaining language: fast, businesslike and emotionless. What do you guys think? To me Shanghainese seems the smoothest of the three, for it is free of the nuissance of dealing with tones. Shanghainese is essentially a toneless language, it focuses more on emphasis/deemphasis of a syllable (similar to English or Japanese). This makes Shanghainese sound natural, not countering against human vocal limitations.
Mandarin is of course the most lyrical and "civilized" of the three. But, it's four-tonal system often creates an artifical, mechanical feeling. Additionally Mandarin seems to lack much energy and liveliness found in say Shanghainese or Cantonese.
To me Shanghainese seems to be the best balance. Please input your thoughts and perhaps introduce other dialects not mentioned.
Thanks.
Will
Chinese

Re: Which Chinese dialect sound most aesthetically pleasing?

Post by Chinese » Tue Oct 30, 2001 5:55 am

I agree with your comments on which Chinese dialect is aesthetically pleasing . But personally i think Mandarin is still be the top pleasing language.I can't expatiate theoretically why but it's the truth.Most of Chinese people,especially those young people still like speaking Mandarin when they communicate with others because it's very popular.
Jimmy Hsu

Re: Which Chinese dialect sound most aesthetically pleasing?

Post by Jimmy Hsu » Sat Jan 05, 2002 2:02 am

:
: Hi,
: I speak Shanghainese and Mandarin Chinese. My situation also puts me in contact with a lot of Cantonese speakers as well. My question is which of these three main dialects do you think is the most aesthetically pleasing to the ear?
: My personal opinion is that of the three, Cantonese seems to be the most cacophonous. Each Cantonese syllable seems to be against the previous syllable in sound, and often leads to this blur of groaning noises. For example the phrase, "I love you" in Cantonese is "Ngo Oi Ney", compared to Mandarin's Wo Ai Ni or Shanghainese's "u ei non."
: Most people probably will argue against me that each dialect/language is beautiful in its own way. I disagree however, in that in terms of aesthetically pleasing or not, Cantonese certainly loses.
: So, what about Shanghainese? Perhaps the most vague of the three dialects, it is often caricatured as a bargaining language: fast, businesslike and emotionless. What do you guys think? To me Shanghainese seems the smoothest of the three, for it is free of the nuissance of dealing with tones. Shanghainese is essentially a toneless language, it focuses more on emphasis/deemphasis of a syllable (similar to English or Japanese). This makes Shanghainese sound natural, not countering against human vocal limitations.
: Mandarin is of course the most lyrical and "civilized" of the three. But, it's four-tonal system often creates an artifical, mechanical feeling. Additionally Mandarin seems to lack much energy and liveliness found in say Shanghainese or Cantonese.
: To me Shanghainese seems to be the best balance. Please input your thoughts and perhaps introduce other dialects not mentioned.
: Thanks.
: Will
I prefer to read Tang poetry in Cantonese than Mandarin or Shanghainese (my father is Shanghainese and mother is Cantonese). It sounds much better. I believe the Tang poets wrote the poetry to be read not in Mandarin nor Shanghainese
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