Shanghai Tales

July 09, 2010, 08:03 PM posted in General Discussion

I don't know if any of you noticed but I caught by accident a program on BBC4 last night called Shanghai Tales that was about people in Shanghai.

As I could only understand anything every other person I suspect it alternated between mandarin and shanghainese (I recognised the shanghainese version of 你好 at one point).

Anyway it may well still be there on iPlayer.  They also played Shanghai dreams and that definately will be on iPlayer.

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July 09, 2010, 08:27 PM

If it was the documentary ( about a modern businessman and his parents who ran a cafe ), and not the film about workers relocated to central China from Shanghai ( also shown on Beeb4 last night ), then it was mainly Japanese which the protagonist's mother ( she is japanese ) was speaking, and not Shanghainese.Occasionally she spoke in chinese. I thought the character's dad spoke the most understandable chinese - at any rate, there didn't seem to be a great deal of difference between Mandarin and Shanghainese, if that's the dialect they were mainly using.What a life he has ! His fiance is a money-mad manipulator; mind you, he chose her, and he's almost as bad - the difference being that he's prepared to work all hours for his money, and not be a parasite like his monstrous arm candy.I think the film which was shown last night was called Shanghai Dreams. If it is shown again, do try to catch it. It is well worth seeing, and you'll probably be able to catch the drift of a lot of the dialogue - lots of everyday-type conversation ( I could follow quite a bit of it, so it was probably in mandarin ).Just noticed that you are aware of Shanghai Dreams. Good film.

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July 12, 2010, 05:49 PM

It was the documentary, and there is another on this thursday so it may well be a series.

What I found interesting was there was nothing to mark that the language was changing between several oriental flavours so someone with zero experience of any of the languages would not have realised it was not all "chinese".