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( China Daily ) 2013-06-12

 Talk local

Some bus drivers have been using the Shanghai dialect as a working language since 2011. Provided to China Daily

The Shanghai dialect has been introduced to more of the city's public places in an effort to preserve the fast-fading local mother tongue.

One of the latest is the Shanghai dialect guide service introduced on May 19, National Tourism Day, by the centuries-old Guyi Garden in Nanxiang town, Jiading district.

The garden invited Shanghai dialect experts to record the information for its audio guide. Tourists can borrow the audio devices for free or talk to a virtual guide on WeChat, a popular mobile communication platform, by scanning a QR, or quick respond code, at about 20 locations within the garden. The practice will be copied by other sightseeing spots in Shanghai in the future.

The dialect is also expected to be broadcast in more public transportation. Since the end of May, departure announcements for two China Eastern flights have been issued in the Shanghai dialect at Pudong airport.

Passengers flying on MU701 from Shanghai to Hong Kong and on MU2512 from Shanghai to Wuhan, Hubei province, will hear the local dialect broadcast to remind them of boarding times, apart from the Putonghua and English announcement.

In early 2012, Shanghai Airlines started broadcasting the city information in the Shanghai dialect on selected flights and is planning to cover all flights landing in the city by the end of this year.

Seven local bus lines have used the Shanghai dialect for announcements since it was first used on buses of Route 785 in December 2011.

In May last year, Shanghai Ren-ai Hospital started to offer a Shanghai dialect service, apart from Mandarin and English services.

Hospital officials said they can better serve senior patients who can only speak the local dialect. Patients can speak to doctors and nurses at the reception desk and out-patient clinics in the Shanghai dialect. And nurses can interpret for doctors who don't speak the Shanghai dialect.

Qian Cheng, deputy director of the Shanghai Comic Troupe, is advocating for more presence of the dialect in local media. He is doing three radio shows in the Shanghai dialect through the Shanghai Media Group.

In June last year, the long-running TV program News Workshop started a Shanghai dialect version, becoming the first TV news program to be broadcast in the Shanghai dialect.

- Wu Ni

(China Daily 06/12/2013 page8)



Jiading Fahua Pagoda

The Fahua Pagoda, 40.8 meters tall, is a square, brick-wood structure with seven stories, accessible by ladders.