Feeling crowded out by all the laowai speaking putonghua these days? Fortunately for the more adventurous among us, China has no shortage of other dialects, which is why we're delighted to host the creators of Phonemica, a crowd-sourced project to build a digital map of Chinese languages. In our studio to talk about their project and how it's being received in China are the two founders: Kellen Parker, a linguistics graduate student at National Tsinghua University in Taiwan, and Steve Hansen, a university professor and long-time resident in Beijing.

Enjoy Sinica? If you find listening to the show through our online flash player inconvenient, remember that you are warmly invited to download this show as a standalone mp3 file. Alternately, you can subscribe to all of our shows by RSS using our public feed at http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica. Inquiries and suggestions for future show topics are also always welcome by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.
 said on
August 2, 2013
Update: audio fixed.

Quick note -- we have the wrong audio file attached to this show for now. We're just uploading the correct replacement, but it will probably take about half an hour for the entire show to upload.

We've moved this from the front page, but for anyone who stumbles across this otherwise, that's what is happening. Sorry for the trouble with this :(

 said on
August 2, 2013
The first upload included a great folk song at the end. What was that song? Is it available online?

Many thanks,

 said on
August 4, 2013
Frank, I came here to ask the exact same question.

A Google search of "Mongolian" and "Wacken" has yielded this hit:

 said on
August 4, 2013

The song Kaiser recommended this week is by the band "Nine Treasures" as maxiewawa points out. It should be included at the end of the show.

It's possible there was another song added to the earlier show we published. If it is different than this one it'll probably be Jeremy's recommendation for next week. In which case stay tuned and he'll share the details next Friday.... :)

 said on
August 5, 2013

Phonemica: Americans Mapping and Preserving Chinese Dialects, at chinaSMACK


Arabic - A language with too many armies and navies? at The Economist


More Phonemica coverage

Getting China’s Tower of Babel on Record, by Debra Bruno for China Realtime Report


American pair's online project hope to record China's disappearing languages, by Olivia Rosenman for SCMP


Trying to Save the Chinese Language From Itself, by Wendy Qian for Tea Leaf Nation


Exemplary Phonemica entries

1. They gave us those sorts of things to eat

Subject: Dāndan, 20 F

Hometown: Jiāngsū,Liányúngǎng Shì

Interview dialect: Mandarin, Jianghuai


2. A story from Língāo Xiàn

Subject: Mr. Mài, 84 M

Hometown: Hǎinán,Língāo Xiàn,

Interview dialect: Cantonese, Danzhou




Chengdu Living



Visit an overseas Chinese community



Yizhuang Park



Cavalry (Qibing, 骑兵), by the band Nine Treasures (Jiubao, 九宝)

 said on
August 7, 2013
Nine Treasures' album is available on Soundcloud, at least for those in the US: https://soundcloud.com/ninetreasures
 said on
August 10, 2013
Very interesting stuff, thanks!
Mark Lesson Studied