Shanghainese, also known as the Shanghai dialect or Hu language, is actually a dialect of Wu Chinese spoken mainly in City of Shanghai and neighboring areas.
Shanghainese is one of dozens, possibly hundreds, of local languages spoken in China. In a country whose government only actively supports one language – Mandarin — no one knows the exact figure. To further complicate communication between Chinese people, many of these dialects are mutually unintelligible, each with distinctive vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. To Mandarin-speaking Beijingers, for example, Shanghainese can sound as foreign as Russian.
Reasons to learn Shanghainese
- Better understanding of Mandarin and Classical Chinese
- Better understanding of the people of Shanghai and their character
- Interact with the locals in a more meaningful way, talking with them in the language of their family