Tianjin, as known as one of the four cities administered directly by central government of China, is becoming a modern metropolis in the north costal area of China. However, Tianjin dialect, being unique and unaffected by any of other neighbor dialects, is often regarded as a cultural thing. I am going to talk about my experiences as a Tianjiner. Furthermore, several opinions and reviews are provided from my point of view.
I was born in Tianjin, and had been living in Tianjin until I went to college in Shanghai. Though we were taught with standard Chinese (Mandarin) to meet the requirement of The Department of Education during the 18 years of compulsory education, teachers would still combine Tianjin dialect in classes, to some extent. So it’s natural that students speak Mandarin with Tianjin dialect. On the other hand, children are greatly affected by their parents, who are also speaking Tianjin dialect. In this case, well educated people still remain their Tianjin accent more or less. In my memories, the grownups even may speak dialect in formal situations like wedding ceremonies or company meetings. That may seems strange to you, but sometimes using Tianjin dialect properly could make others feel close and comfortable.
My parents had great influence on my learning of language. They were both born and grown up in Liaoning Province but not Tianjin (respectively in Dalian countryside and Yingkou countryside). After the graduation of local high schools they went to Harbin for college which also belongs to Northeast China. Throughout their first 22 years my parents spoke very rural “东北话” (Northeast dialect) according to my interviews. Until they were distributed to work in Tianjin, chances appeared to become government officers. Due to occupational requirement, they were forced to correct the accents of their native places. My parents did a great job on this, so that when I was born (that was four-year effort), their rural accents were utterly gone. Thus, fortunately, I was taught with very standard Mandarin in my childhood years. An interesting fact is, my parents speaks Mandarin in Tianjin, but when we drives back to Northeast to visit relatives every year, their home dialect don’t come back as I expect! I see it weird when my parents speak Mandarin to other relatives and they reply with very rural Northeast dialect.
I have been in interested in Tianjin dialect, or more precisely, Tianjin accent, since I was very young. Tianjin dialect is unique and far from neighbor dialects like Beijing dialect (not Mandarin) and Hebei dialect. I travelled to Beijing and Hebei several times and found those are totally different worlds in terms of dialects and other cultural features. However, Beijing people can understand Tianjin accent without much difficulty and vice versa. Among Tianjin slangs, some of them are literally understandable by people from other regions. For example, “倍儿”(literally translated as “multiple times”) means very much, which has...