Consider the sentence "Where are you going?" Nǐ qù nǎr? 你去哪儿？ This can also be written as Nǐ qù nǎlǐ? 你去哪里？ This first sentence (which uses 哪儿 for where) is what Rocket Chinese fairly consistently uses and seems to be a more northern Chinese dialect. Rosetta Stone uses the second form, i.e. it uses 哪里 for where. Is the second a southern or non-northern dialect? Also, consider this sentence (It is here): Jiùshì zhèr. 就是这儿。 This can be written as Jiùshì zhèlǐ. 就是这里． The first form for here 这儿 (zhèr) seems to be northern dialect while the second 这里 (zhèlǐ) seems to be the non-northern form. Rosetta Stone avoids northern forms. Finally there is 一点儿 (yīdiǎn er) versus 一点 (yīdiǎn). Adding the 儿 sound seems northern to me. Any comments?
Lesson 3.5 Catching a Taxi Ride - regional vocabulary
August 20, 2014
September 2, 2014
Hi Robert, You are right! 儿话 as it is typical of the Beijing area and since the standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect it is often used when teaching students the language. Outside of Beijing it very much depends on where you go as to who use the erhua or not. Many places use a mix and some barely use it at all. I personally use a mix with no real reason why I would use one or the other in a particular situation. Although you can get away with only using one of the forms, it is important that you learn to recognize both forms because there is no telling which one you will here when you go to China or speak with a native. Keep up the good work! - Lin Ping
September 2, 2014
One of the textbooks I use as a reference is "Learning Chinese". http://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-21f-003-learning-chinese-a-foundation-course-in-mandarin-spring-2011/online-textbook/part-i-introduction-units-1-4-character-lessons-1-3/ The author (Julian Wheatley) claims that 这儿, 那儿, and 哪儿 are more colloquial to northern Chinese while 这里, 那里, and 哪里 respectively are more formal. Also, most speakers of other Mandarin dialects tend to eschew the 儿话 forms. I agree that we should be familiar with both forms since we are likely to encounter both.