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More qualified Shanghai dialect speakers needed

2012-02-17 08:48 Global Times     Web Editor: Xu Rui comment

Shanghai is in need of another 35 qualified native Shanghai dialect speakers to help complete an audio database started nearly one year ago, which aims to serve academic research to preserve the dying language, local authorities said Thursday.

The project has received help from 49 qualified speakers, after hundreds of candidates were turned away as unsuitable speakers.

Though the city has some 14 million native residents, few of them are qualified as native Shanghai dialect speakers.

To qualify, senior candidates should be born between 1941 and 1950, while younger candidates between 1971 and 1980. The candidate's family must have at least three generations in Shanghai. Their spouse must also be a Shanghai native, and the couple cannot have spent more than four years outside the city.

An officer in charge of recruiting suitable candidates, surnamed Zhang, from Pudong New Area's Language Committee office, admitted Thursday that it has been challenging for staff to find people that meet the qualifications and are deemed suitable for the project by linguistic experts.

Jin Lixin, a linguistics professor from Shanghai International Studies University, said that the more dialect variations that can be recorded, the better for the long-term preservation of the Shanghai dialect.

Local authorities are extending its previous April 30 deadline for candidate submissions indefinitely, with the hopes of finding enough qualified speakers, said Zhang. Suitable candidates are asked to apply by downloading an application form at


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