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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Shanghai dialect to board bus system

(Global Times)

08:23, December 13, 2011

There will be fewer confused transit riders in Shanghai as the city begins a new initiative to broadcast bus announcements in Putonghua, English and the Shanghai dialect.

The new policy, which starts today, is meant to particularly help out senior citizens and preserve the Shanghai dialect. Last week transportation authorities held a trial-run for the new announcements.

The 785 bus route in Pudong New Area will provide announcements in Mandarin, the local Shanghai dialect and English. The Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority said passengers have given the new plan a warm reception.

"We've received letters from people asking us to add the Shanghai dialect to the broadcasts," said a senior official with the department requesting anonymity. "It helps seniors get around more easily and preserves the language."

During the trial run last week, Line 785 suspended the dialect service for a day.

"We were concerned about promoting the dialect via the broadcasts as we have had complaints before about drivers speaking it. And there were some complaints during the one-week trial run," said the official.

Cui Fei, the manager of the route, said there have been mixed reviews.

"The response was good. Most people said it gave them a more personal feeling. But some said the dialect was not authentic Shanghainese," Cui told the Global Times yesterday.

Technicians re-recorded the announcements in standard Shanghainese and they now run on all 24 buses on the route.

Bus authorities need to take the comfort of non-local passengers into consideration, Cui added.

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