Wuhan dialect

Wuhan dialect
Native toChina
RegionWuhan, Hubei
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottologwuha1234  Wuhan Mandarin
hank1234  Hankou Mandarin
Hubei Province, home to Wuhan dialect, shown within China

Wuhan dialect (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: , local pronunciation: [u˦˨xan˩˧xua˧˥], pinyin: Wǔhànhuà), also known as Hankou dialect and Wuhan Fangyan (Chinese: 武汉方言), belongs to the Wu–Tian branch of Southwestern Mandarin spoken in Wuhan, Tianmen and surrounding areas in Hubei. Wuhan dialect has limited mutual intelligibility with Standard Chinese. Typologically, it has been observed to have a similar aspect system with Xiang Chinese and syntactic structures commonly found in Southern Chinese varieties.[1]





Like other Southwestern Mandarin varieties, there are four tones in the Wuhan dialect. Words with the checked tone in Middle Chinese became the light level tone on a large scale, with certain exceptions.

  • Dark level 55 (also 44)
  • Light level 213
  • Falling 42
  • Rising 35
  • Neutral
Middle Chinese tone class Wuhan Example
Dark level āōēīūǖ (la55)
Light level ǎǒěǐǔǚ (pa213)
Falling tone àòèìùǜ (zou42)
Rising tone áóéíúǘ (tɕiau35)
neutral tone .


The morphology of the Wuhan dialect shows both strong features of Southern Chinese and phenomena of language contact with neighbouring languages, particularly Xiang language.


Wuhan dialect typically uses many words that are considered slang, and therefore occur much less frequently (or not at all) in Standard Chinese. Speakers not native to Wuhan may have trouble understanding many or most of these. Examples include:

Further reading


  1. ^ Zhang, Shiliang (2015). The Wuhan dialect : a hybrid Southwestern Mandarin variety of Sinitic (Thesis). The University of Hong Kong.
  2. ^ http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-free-197497-1.shtml
  3. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2018.03.23 pp.12. "Wuhan dialect hé qǖ mā qǖ 黑区妈区 Meaning: very dark"
  4. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2018.03.09 pp.14. Wuhan dialect 板沙 Meaning: messing around
  5. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2018.03.16 pp.12. "Wuhan dialect dá dao 搭倒 Meaning: falling over carelessly"
  6. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2015.09.18 pp.13. "Wuhan dialect zuǒ yǐ 左以 Meaning: why not just; might as well"
  7. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2015.11.06 pp.12. "Wuhan dialect qiàn 欠 Meaning: miss"
  8. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2015.11.11 pp.15. "Wuhan dialect lǎo qīn niáng 老亲娘 Meaning: a man's mother-in-law"
  9. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2016.01.01 pp.16. "Wuhan dialect yī dà hà 一大哈{...} Meaning: a lot of"
  10. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2016.03.23 pp.11. "Wuhan dialect tǒng 捅 Meaning: to put inside"
  11. ^ Changjiang Weekly 2018.03.30 pp.12. "Wuhan dialect hú tāng mǐ jiǔ 糊汤米酒 Meaning: a kind of rice wine; stupid"

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