The BEIJING DIALECT (simplified Chinese : 北京话; traditional
Chinese : 北京話; pinyin : Běijīnghuà), also known as PEKINGESE,
is the prestige dialect of Mandarin spoken in the urban area of
China . It is the phonological basis of
Standard Chinese ,
which is the official language in the People\'s Republic of
China and one of the official languages in
Beijing dialect and
Standard Chinese are similar,
various differences generally make clear to Chinese speakers whether
an individual is a native of
Beijing speaking the local Beijing
variant or is an individual speaking Standard Chinese.
* 2 Mutual intelligibility with other Mandarin dialects
* 3.1 Influence of
Beijing dialect phonology on Manchu
* 4 Vocabulary
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
In the classification used by the Language Atlas of
China , the
Beijing dialect is included in a dialect group called BEIJING MANDARIN
(simplified Chinese : 北京官话; traditional Chinese :
北京官話; pinyin : Běijīng Guānhuà), distinguished from other
Mandarin subgroups by the tonal reflexes of syllables that had Middle
Chinese stop codas (the so-called entering tone category). In the
Beijing Mandarin is divided into four subgroups:
* Jīngshī (京师), covering the urban area of the capital.
* Huái–Chéng (怀承), on the southeast edge of
Huairou District and other northern districts of the
municipality, and the northern part of
Hebei , including the city of
* Cháo–Fēng (朝峰), spoken in a strip between the Huai–Cheng
dialects and the
Northeast Mandarin area, and including the cities of
* Shí–Kè (石克) or northern
Xinjiang , including the cities of
In the second edition of the Atlas published in 2012, the Shí–Kè
dialects are re-allocated to the Northern
Xinjiang subgroup of Lanyin
Mandarin , and the Jīngshī and Huái–Chéng subgroups are demoted
to clusters of a new Jīng–Chéng (京承) subgroup.
MUTUAL INTELLIGIBILITY WITH OTHER MANDARIN DIALECTS
Dungan language speakers like
Iasyr Shivaza and others have reported
that Chinese who speak
Beijing dialect can understand Dungan, but
Dungans could not understand the
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In fundamental structure, the phonology of the
Beijing dialect and
Standard Chinese are almost identical. In part, this is because the
Standard Chinese was based on
Standard Chinese for its phonology charts; the same basic
structure applies to the
However, some striking differences exist. Most prominent is the
proliferation of rhotic vowels . All rhotic vowels are the result of
the use of the -儿 /-ɚ/, a noun suffix , except for a few words
pronounced that do not have this suffix. In Standard Chinese, these
also occur but much less often than they appear in
This phenomenon is known as érhuà (儿化) or rhotacization , as is
considered one of the iconic characteristics of
When /w/ occurs in syllable-initial position, many speakers use
before vowels other than as in 我 wǒ, and as in 五 wu, e.g.
尾巴 wěiba .
Beijing dialect has a few phonetic reductions that are
usually considered too "colloquial" for use in Standard Chinese. For
example, in fast speech, initial consonants go through lenition if
they are in an unstressed syllable : pinyin ⟨zh ch sh⟩ /tʂ tʂʰ
ʂ/ become ⟨r⟩ /ɻ/, so 不知道 bùzhīdào "don't know" can
sound like bùrdào; ⟨j q x⟩ /tɕ tɕʰ ɕ/ become ⟨y⟩ /j/, so
赶紧去 gǎnjǐnqù "go quickly" can sound like gǎnyǐnqù; pinyin
⟨b d g⟩ /p t k/ go through voicing to become ; similar changes
also occur on other consonants.
Some of these changes yield syllables that violate the syllable
structure of Standard Chinese, such as 大柵欄 Dà Zhàlán Street,
which locals pronounce as Dàshlàr.
The tones of
Beijing dialect tend to be more exaggerated than
Standard Chinese. In Standard Chinese, the four tones are high flat,
high rising, low dipping, and falling; in
Beijing dialect, the first
two tones are higher, the third one dips more prominently, and the
fourth one falls more.
INFLUENCE OF BEIJING DIALECT PHONOLOGY ON MANCHU
Many of the Manchu words are now pronounced with some Chinese
peculiarities of pronunciation, so k before i and e=ch', g before i
and e=ch, h and s before i=hs, etc. H before a, o, u, ū, is the
guttural Scotch or German ch. A Manchu Grammar: With Analysed Texts,
Paul Georg von Möllendorff , p. 1.
The Chinese Northern Mandarin dialect spoken in
Beijing had a major
impact on the phonology of the dialect of Manchu spoken in
and since Manchu phonology was transcribed into Chinese and European
sources based on the sinified pronunciation of Manchus from Beijing,
the original authentic Manchu pronunciation is unknown to scholars.
The Manchus that lived in Peking (Beijing) were influenced by the
Chinese dialect spoken in the area to the point where pronouncing
Manchu sounds was hard for them, and they pronounced Manchu according
to Chinese phonetics, while in contrast, the Manchus of
Heilongjiang) could both pronounce Manchu sounds properly and mimick
the sinified pronunciation of Manchus in Peking (Beijing), since they
learned the Pekinese (Beijing) pronunciation from either studying in
Peking or from officials sent to
Aigun from Beijing, and they could
tell them apart, using the Chinese influenced Pekinese pronunciation
when demonstrating that they were better educated or their superior
stature in society.
Beijing dialect typically uses many words that are considered slang,
and therefore occur much less or not at all in Standard Chinese.
Speakers not native to
Beijing may have trouble understanding many or
most of these. Many of such slang words employ the rhotic suffix "-r",
which is known as erhua . Examples include:
* 倍儿 bèir – very, especially (referring to manner or
* 别价 biéjie – do not; usually followed by 呀 if used as an
imperative (usually used when rejecting a favor or politeness from
* 搓火儿 cuōhuǒr – to be angry
* 颠儿了 diārle – to leave; to run away
* 二把刀 èrbǎdāo – a person with limited abilities, klutz
* 撒丫子 sayazi – to let go on feet, to go, leave.
* 怂 sóng / 蔫儿 niār – no backbone, spiritless
* 消停 xiāoting – to finally and thankfully become quiet and
* 辙 zhé – way (to do something); equivalent to Standard Chinese
* 褶子了 zhezile – ruined (especially things to do)
* 上 shang - often used in place of 去, meaning "to go".
* 搁 ge - often used in place of 放, meaning "to place".
Beijing phrases may be somewhat disseminated outside Beijing:
* 抠门儿 kōumér – stingy, miserly (may be used even outside
* 劳驾 láojia – "Excuse me"; heard often on public
* 溜达 liūda – to stroll about; equivalent to Standard Chinese
逛街 or 散步
Note that some of the slang are considered to be tuhua (土话), or
"base" or "uneducated" language, that are carryovers from an older
generation and are no longer used amongst more educated speakers, for
* 起小儿 qíxiǎor – since a young age, similar to 打小儿
dǎxiǎor, which is more often used by the younger generation
* 晕菜 yūncài – to be disoriented, to be confused, to be
Others may be viewed as neologistic expressions used among younger
speakers and in "trendier" circles:
* 爽 shuǎng – cool (in relation to a matter); cf. 酷 (kù)
(describes a person)
* 套瓷儿 tàocír – to toss into the hoop; used of basketball
* 小蜜 xiǎomì – special female friend (negative connotation)
Beijing dialect has been studied by linguists including Joseph
Edkins and Robert Morrison . There are important dissimilarities
between Standard Mandarin and
Beijing dialect Mandarin even as Beijing
Mandarin's phonology is held to be the same as Standard Mandarin's. 2
Both southern and Mandarin features of syntax were mixed into Standard
Mandarin while northern Mandarin is the main basis of
and this sets the syntax of Standard Mandarin and
The grammar of the
Beijing dialect utilizes colloquial expressions
differently from Standard Chinese. In general,
Standard Chinese is
Classical Chinese , which makes it more condensed and
Beijing dialect can therefore seem more longwinded (though
note the generally faster speaking rate and phonetic reductions of
Standard Chinese :
* Jīntiān huì xiàyǔ, suǒyǐ chūmén de shíhou yào jìde
* Translation: It is going to rain today, so remember to bring an
umbrella when you go out.
* Jīnr děi xiàyǔ, (suǒyǐ) chūménr shíhòu jìzhe dài
* Under the influence of the
Beijing dialect's phonetic reductions:
* Jīr děi xiàyǔ, (suǒyǐ) chūmér ríhòu jìr dài yǔsan!
* Journalism portal
List of Chinese dialects
* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank,
Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Huabei Guanhua".
Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max
Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Beijing dialect. WordNet 3.0, 2006 by Princeton University.
* ^ Yan, Margaret Mian (2006). Introduction to Chinese
Dialectology. LINCOM Europa. p. 61. ISBN 978-3-89586-629-6 .
* ^ Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the
Prism of "The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects". Walter de
Gruyter . pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2 .
* ^ Wurm, Stephen Adolphe; Li, Rong ; Baumann, Theo; Lee, Mei W.
(1987). Language Atlas of China. Longman. Maps B2 and B5. ISBN
* ^ Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2012). Zhōngguó yǔyán
dìtú jí (dì 2 bǎn): Hànyǔ fāngyán juǎn
中国语言地图集(第2版):汉语方言卷 . BEIJING: THE
COMMERCIAL PRESS. P. 11.
* ^ Fu ren da xue (Beijing, China); S.V.D. Research Institute;
Society of the Divine Word; Monumenta Serica Institute (1977).
Monumenta serica, Volume 33. H. Vetch. p. 351. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
* ^ Seth Wiener ">(PDF).
* ^ Language Log
* ^ Möllendorff, Paul Georg von (1892). A Manchu Grammar: With
Analysed Texts (reprint ed.). Shanghai: Printed at the American
Presbyterian mission Press. p. 1. Archived from the original on Oct
26, 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
* ^ Gorelova, Liliya M., ed. (2002). Manchu Grammar, Part 8. Volume
7 of Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 8 Uralic and Central Asian
Studies. Brill. p. 77. ISBN 9004123075 . Retrieved 25 August 2014.
* ^ Cahiers de linguistique: Asie orientale, Volumes 31-32.
Contributor Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. Centre de
recherches linguistiques sur l'Asie orientale. Ecole des hautes
études en sciences sociales, Centre de recherches linguistiques sur
l'Asie orientale. 2002. p. 208. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
* ^ Shirokogoroff, S. M. (1934) . "Reading and Transliteration of
Manchu Lit.". Archives polonaises d\'etudes orientales, Volumes 8-10.
Contributors Polskie Towarzystwo Orientalistyczne, Polska Akademia
Nauk. Komitet Nauk Orientalistycznych. Państwowe Wydawn. Naukowe. p.
122. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
* ^ Missionary recorder: a repository of intelligence from eastern
missions, and a medium of general information, Volume 1. FOOCHOW:
American M.E. Mission Press. 1867. p. 40. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
* ^ Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya. "Běijīng Mandarin, the language
of Běijīng". In Sybesma, Rint. Encyclopedia of Chinese Linguistics
(PDF). Leiden: Brill. p. 11.
* Balfour, Frederic Henry (1883). Idiomatic Dialogues in the Peking
Colloquial for the Use of Students. SHANGHAI, HANKOW ROAD: Printed at
China Herald" office. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
* George Carter Stent; Donald MacGillivray (1898). A Chinese and
English vocabulary in the Pekinese dialect (3rd ed.). American
Presbyterian Mission Press. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
* Ireneus László Legeza (1968). Guide to transliterated Chinese in
the modern Peking dialect. Brill Archive. Retrieved 1 March