Learn Shanghainese: Life in the City
This blog is part three in Carl Cheung’s series on beginning to learn Shanghainese
In a busy city such as Shanghai, life goes fast and time is money. Sometimes, it is essential to be able to plan your day down to the minute. More importantly, it is a great skill to be able to avoid all the intermittent rain during the 12-month rainy season.
Learn Shanghainese: Times of Day
To start with some broad terms, 上午 shàngwǔ (late morning) and 下午 xiàwǔ (afternoon) translate to “sang bui ti” and “oo bui ti” in Shanghainese. “ti” here can also be replaced freely with “ni zi” here. 早上 zǎoshang (morning) and 夜 yè (night) are “zou lang xiang” and “ya li xiang” in Shanghainese. A commonly heard one, 现在 xiànzài (now) is “yi seh”, which is pronounced like yee-zay.
Learn Shanghainese: Telling the Time
If you want to talk about specific times, you can start with “ji di zong”, which means what time is it (几点了 Jǐ diǎnle? or Literally 几点钟 jǐ diǎn zhōng if you compare to Mandarin)? 1 o’clock ( 一点钟 Yīdiǎn zhōng) translates to “yi di zong”. 8:40 (八点四十分钟 Bā diǎn sìshí fēnzhōng) would be “ba di si suh fen zong”.
Like Mandarin, there’s a common alternative way to say every 15 minutes in an hour: 1:15 , 1:30, 1:45 are “yi di yi ka”, “yi di bui”, “yi di se ka”.
Learn Shanghainese: Weather
So lets say it’s cloudy in the morning. Cloudy (多云 Duōyún) is “du yun” we can say “zou lang xiang du yun”.
If your weather app says its going to start raining 2PM, raining (下雨 xià yǔ) is “lo yu” so we can say “oo bui ti liang di zong lo yu”. If today is a nice day, then “jin zoh si jin ti”.
Carl’s Learn Shanghainese Blog Series
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