Linguistics in the night

You walk places; you hear stuff.

I’m heading down Machang Lu this evening when I hear some woman on a phone. Whatever language she was speaking, it wasn’t the local version of putonghua. In fact, there was a lot of flapping. I don’t know whether it was Minbei or Minnan, but it didn’t seem to be tonal. I know we’ve got Philippinos and Indonesian students around here, but this woman seemed too old to be a student.

Then I went into the the DVD shop near Student Street. There were a couple of girls in there looking through the DVDs and speaking Russian, I think. I’ve never heard Chinese people speaking Russian before. They sounded like Uighurs to my untrained ear. Or they could’ve been from one of the ‘Stans. Do think so. The one girl I could see clearly looked 100% Han Chinese to me.


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