Vocal Database Project Initiated to Save Ancient Dialects
The Dalian Municipal Language Committee chose nine residents from Dalian City in Liaoning Province to have their genuine Dalian accents recorded for prosperity. The nine residents were chosen from more than a hundred possible candidates. The recording of the Dalian accent is part of the committee’s plan of constructing the Chinese Language Resources Vocal Database.
The dean of the administrative office of the committee Chen Dejing said that the selected speakers were born in pure local dialect speaking families from 1941 to 1950 or between 1971 to 1980. The candidates can speak clearly and intelligently. Dalian is a port city found in northeast Liaoning Province, and through out history the Dalian accent was developed with the influence of other traditional accents in found in the northeast China and accents from eastern Shandong Province.
In 2008, the National Language Committee launched is vocal database building project and has already recorded Mandarin spoken with a Suzhou accent. Recording on Beijing and Shanghai accents is already underway. China has more than 80 ethnic languages because of its vast territory and 56 ethnic groups furthermore the Chinese people also speaks in a variety of different dialects. Also a standard Mandarin is used in education and social communication, most of the local dialects are starting to become endangered.
Experts from the vocal database project have also said that the language salvaging must be done faster as most of the dialects might be extinct in the span of 10 to 20 years.