Ningbo Dialect
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Ningbo Dialect
Ningbo dialect
Native toPeople's Republic of China
RegionNingbo & Zhoushan, Zhejiang province
EthnicityNingbo people (Han Chinese)
Native speakers
5-6 million[]
Language codes
Linguasphere79-AAA-dbf (also 79-AAA-dbg on Zhoushan archipelago)
Bible in Ningpo Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

The Ningbo dialect (Chinese: /, ?/?) is a dialect of Wu Chinese, one subdivision of Chinese language. Ningbo dialect is spoken throughout Ningbo and Zhoushan prefectures, in Zhejiang province.


Ningbo dialect native speakers generally understand Shanghainese, another dialect of Wu. However, Shanghainese speakers do not always have full understanding of the Ningbo dialect. It is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin Chinese, or any other subdivision of the Chinese language. Ningbo dialect is considered a Yongjiang dialect or Mingzhou dialect (as both terms are synonymous), and is closely related to the Taihu Wu dialects of Zhoushan. In terms of inter-intelligibility between dialects within the Yong-Jiang subgroup, they can be more accurately described as 'accents' (?) as these dialects are relatively uniform and almost identical to each other aside from pronunciation differences and some minor lexical differences.




Vowel nuclei
Front Central Back
Unrounded Rounded
Close /i/ /y, ?/ /u/
Close-mid /e/ /ø/ /o/
Open-mid /?/ /?/ /?/
Open /a/
Diphthong /?i, ?u, oe?/
Coda Open Nasal Glottal stop
Medial ? j w ? j w ? j w
Nucleus i i     i?     je?    
y y     y?     ?ø?    
? ?                
u u                
e e                
ø ø                
o o     o? jo?   o? jo?  
? ?   w?            
?       ?n   w?n      
? ? j?   j w      
a a ja wa ã a?   wa?
?i ?i   w?i            
?u ?u                
oe? oe?                
Syllabic continuants: [z?] [z] [m?] [n?] [] [l?]


  • The table contains two additional finals /y?, ?ø?/. These have merged with /jo?, jo?/ respectively in younger generations.
  • /y, ?/ are similar in pronunciation, differing slightly in lip rounding ([y, i?] respectively). The two are merged in younger generations.
  • /j/ is pronounced [?] before rounded vowels.


Middle Chinese tone
píng ? sh?ng ? ? ?
y?n ? (53) (35) ? (44) (55)
yáng ? (24) (213) (12)




See also


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ningbo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b Tang, Zhenzhu (1997). Níngb? f?ngyán cídi?n [Ningbo dialect dictionary]. Nanjing. p. 7. ISBN 978-7-5343-3120-6.
  3. ^ Hu, Fang (2005). A phonetic study of the vowels in Ningbo Chinese (Thesis). City University of Hong Kong.

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