Deputy wants local dialect heard on Metro trains

Chen Huizhi
Announcements in Shanghainese are currently heard only on Metro Line 16 trains, which is not enough to satisfy one People's Congress deputy.
Chen Huizhi

Announcements in Shanghai dialect are heard on most buses in the city, and they should be made on Metro trains too, said Qian Cheng, a deputy to Shanghai People’s Congress as well as a famous local comedian.

Currently, station announcements in Mandarin, Shanghai dialect and English are heard on Metro Line 16 trains, but in Qian’s opinion this is not enough.

For one thing, the announcements in English shouldn’t come before those in Shanghainese, especially when the Shanghainese announcements are short. For another, the Shanghai dialect announcements were apparently not recorded by professionals, Qian said.

Qian disputed the opinion that adding Shanghai dialect would make the Metro announcements too long and that the dialect is unnecessary and disturbing.

“There were experiments back in 2013 when it was proven that adding Shanghai dialect won’t affect the announcements,” he said.

Metro announcements in local dialects are nothing new in China. In Xiamen, Fujian Province, the Minnan dialect is heard in its Metro announcements, while in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Cantonese is used, Qian said.

He suggested that announcements in Shanghai dialect be introduced to all Metro lines in Shanghai, come before English announcements, be recorded by professionals and not be shorter than English announcements.

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