Re: Thinking about moving to Chengdu – Questions

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Avatar photoKalle
It will color your Mandarin if you don’t go out of your way to prevent that from happening. Some foreigners who’ve learned Chinese in Chengdu (or Chongqing) come out speaking straight Sichuan dialect by interacting with people in teahouses, taxi cabs or other places where Sichuan dialect is more common than Mandarin. If you speak Sichuan dialect people can understand you, but will make certain assumptions about you. It’s like if you speak with a Southern (Louisiana or South Carolina) accent in the US. If you speak Sichuan dialect in Sichuan though, people will open up to you and give you respect immediately.

I’ve gone out of my way to learn and speak Mandarin, so I don’t have any problems communicating with Chinese people from other regions. The only downside of that is that in Chengdu I don’t get extra props from locals for speaking their local dialect. No big deal though, I never had much particular interest in learning Sichuanhua and I was always more drawn to Mandarin.

Great. That sounds fine to me. I speak all of the languages I know currently with a certain dialect / accent so I don’t mind at all having an certain dialect. ^^ What I was worried about was that it would somehow damage my Mandarin. There are some dialects in Sweden for example that no one else except the people speaking the dialect can understand, even though it’s classified as ”Swedish”

And in the end, I will probably do the same as you – attempt to keep it as ”standard” as possible.

Thanks for the wonderful replies man, after browsing some other forums dedicated for other cities, it really looks like it will be Chengdu for me. 🙂

@ Ye Ming, if I may ask, where are and what are you going to study in Chengdu? Just out of curiosity.