These next few days I would like to introduce each member of the Growing Up With Shanghai Team! Each person plays a vital role in the project and would not be realized without their passion and professionalism. (And they are pretty cool too!)
Before we begin any work on the booklets, it all starts with Jiajie Huang.
He transcribes the audio into Mandarin characters so that we can move on the next phase of the production. It takes him about 4-5 days (or sooner!) depending on the length of the audio.
Favorite food: I like almost all kinds of food except seafood, especially cold leftover seafood, which smells like fish and ruins your appetite.
Yellow, because my family name means yellow in Chinese.
The only game I’m playing right now is Anipop, a match 3 mobile game extremely popular in China. My wife plays it and she always gets much higher scores than me so I will keep playing until I beat her.
Spare Time & Hobbies:
Recently I’ve been working out at the gym pretty often, about 5 times a week, to train all parts of my body and gain more muscle. I’ve been doing many sports in the past including swimming, badminton (with Rachel as well, she’s very good and made the Uni’s badminton team in the UK), running, and basketball.
What part of Shanghai did you grow up?
An area called Fahuazhen ('Zhen' means town), in Changning district. According to Baidu, rumor has it that Fahuazhen is the oldest town in Shanghai. But now I’ve moved to the west, around Beixinjing station along line 2. It’s around 10 min drive from where I grew up. But when I was in elementary school, one of our classmate came from there and I pitied him a lot because I thought it was very far away. From that aspect I can relate to what one of the speakers in the project said that your world is very small when you are small.
What do you do for this project?
Actually what I do on this project is not difficult, and can be done by any person who’s native in Shanghainese. Therefore to me the project is more of an enjoyable experience than a task where I can walk virtually with the speaker in the area where they grew up. This makes me know more about the city and feel more of Shanghai.
Is this project a valuable document for Shanghai?
Definitely it is. Apart from helping outsiders learn about different roads and places in Shanghai, it also documents the changes over the years as they grew up. One more interesting thing is that you can find speakers of different ages (young and old) and experience (living abroad for many years) speak the dialect in a different way, e.g. the young lady from Kunyang Rd now speaks in a creole of Shanghainese, her local dialect and Putonghua, mixed with some English sentences, which many young people born after 1985 now do. This is in itself a testimony to the development of the city, for better or worse.
Has it made me learn more about your own culture?
Yes. I’m especially interested in the linguistic aspect in the recording. For example, in the Kunyang Rd. recording, the speaker said the game “pool” in Shanghainese, “luodai”, which I thought stands for “fall into the pocket”, but after some research on Wikipedia, I discovered “luodai” could also mean six-pocket, which is a less common term for pool in English. As “fall into the pocket” and “six-pocket” sound the same in Shanghainese, it is possible that the original term was “six-pocket” when the game was introduced here but it was misunderstood as “fall into the pocket” and spread around the entire Shanghainese dialect.
Have you gone on any of the walks?
Not yet, since I’ve only done [translated] two. But I will definitely do the Nanjing Rd. walk in the future.