While most Shanghainese can speak Mandarin, or Putonghua, mistakes stemming from confusion with their native dialect often arise at restaurants, shops and other public places.
The government is taking the initiative to end the confusion in preparation for the World Exposition in 2010, and has introduced a regulation to standardize the usage of Mandarin.
The regulation will be submitted to the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress for approval on Sept. 22,according to Wednesday's China Daily.
It seeks to establish a comprehensive system to require local people to improve their Putonghua, according to Sun Xiaoguang, an official with the Language and Character Department under the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.
Every neighbourhood committee will form a team to patrol their area to correct incorrect Mandarin speech and characters on signs,menus and notices.
It's required all the employees in the service industry pass a standard Mandarin test before 2010, and must then greet customers in Mandarin. They are, however, free to chat with their customers in Shanghai dialect after the initial greeting.