Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

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Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby dahsiung » 10 May 2012, 21:38

This was a point raised in another, somewhat unrelated thread. Fellow Forumosan tsukinodetsu mentioned that the so-called "Taiwan Guoyu" accent is different from the local accent here in Tainan (or in the south in general). I tend to think she's right, but like her I'm not sure why.
Like the Tainanese around me, I mix my Taiwanese and Mandarin when I speak and so my Mandarin often ends up having a "southern accent." Every time head up north to visit my brother, a number of people will invariably ask me if I live in the south, particularly Tainan.
I guess the difference between the accent here and Taiwan Guoyu is that Taiwan Guoyu is pretty much only spoken by the older generation and deep-country folks, whereas the southern accent goes across all age groups.
I'm still not sure, though, what makes the southern accent so distinguishable to the folks up north. Here are some guesses:
1) I usually use the Taiwanese "hei" instead of the Mandarin "dui"
2) I usually use the interjection "ho" when confirming something (my "koutoucan" according to my wife)
3) And lots of random Taiwanese-for-Mandarin substitutions for local foods and things like that

Other than that, I'm stumped. Any ideas?
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Re: Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby Shaun » 11 May 2012, 00:45

I think you got the reason mostly. It's just hard to say the difference without hearing your speaking.
Here is my suggestion, take a video/audio of you speaking in Mandarin, put it on Youtube so we can check it for you. what do you say :D
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Re: Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby Teddoman » 12 May 2012, 04:16

I didn't realize there was this distinction and that only the older generation speaks Taiwan goyee. Though that makes sense because I've mainly heard it from older people.

There's a southern accent for Mandarin that crosses all ages? Very interesting. Though I've met many southerners whose Mandarin was indistinguishable from others.

Maybe you should post a couple of videos
1. Your parents or grandparents speaking Taiwan goyee. Then post your tips to viewtopic.php?f=40&t=109836 :lol:
2. You speaking Mandarin with the southern accent

We'll try to help compare :)
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Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby headhonchoII » 12 May 2012, 08:04

You live in Taiwan and never heard of Taiwan Guoyu?
Taiwan Guoyu is Taiwanese inflected Mandarin (so think lazy with Sh's and X's , and heavier with the nasal sounds and lack of retroflex) and localized phrases and words such as 'wo gen ni jiang' and 'wo you....' with grammar derived from Taiwanese.
It's spoken in the North too obviously as it is called 'Taiwan guoyu'!

There are obviously different accents in Taiwan although not as distinct according to locality as many countries (as Taiwan immigration meant people came from different places so quite mixed up and Mandarin was only really introduced 60 years ago) the Tainan accent is pretty distinct as is the accent of Hakka native speakers if you know what to listen for.
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Re: Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby Teddoman » 12 May 2012, 08:20

headhonchoII wrote:You live in Taiwan and never heard of Taiwan Guoyu?
Taiwan Guoyu is Taiwanese inflected Mandarin (so think lazy with Sh's and X's , and heavier with the nasal sounds and lack of retroflex) and localized phrases and words such as 'wo gen ni jiang' and 'wo you....' with grammar derived from Taiwanese.
It's spoken in the North too obviously as it is called 'Taiwan guoyu'!

I think the OP's use of the word to 'Taiwan guoyu' is the same as mine in this thread, i.e. if it were pronounced by someone using that accent it would be pronounced tai wan go yee

Though point of fact I'm not in Taiwan anymore...

headhonchoII wrote:There are obviously different accents in Taiwan although not as distinct according to locality as many countries (as Taiwan immigration meant people came from different places so quite mixed up and Mandarin was only really introduced 60 years ago) the Tainan accent is pretty distinct as is the accent of Hakka native speakers if you know what to listen for.

I honestly never felt I heard or could identify regional accents in Mandarin spoken in Taiwan, other than the aforesaid tai wan go yee, and I lived in central Taiwan before moving to Taipei. I also had one good friend from Kaosiung who spoke very standard Mandarin, at least by Taiwanese standards.

I never spent any time in Tainan or elsewhere in the south so I may be ignorant simply due to lack of exposure to regional accents though
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Re: Tainan Accent vs. Taiwan Guoyu

Postby Teddoman » 16 May 2012, 22:17

dahsiung wrote:This was a point raised in another, somewhat unrelated thread. Fellow Forumosan tsukinodetsu mentioned that the so-called "Taiwan Guoyu" accent is different from the local accent here in Tainan (or in the south in general). I tend to think she's right, but like her I'm not sure why.

That came up because we were talking about Chen Shui Bian's accent, which I thought she said didn't sound like the Tainan accent. But it turns out CSB is from Tainan. So now I'm totally confused on this regional accent thing.
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