First Argentinean to pass HSK-6 pursues Chinese studies in Shanghai

(study.edu.sh.gov.cn) | Sep 24, 2021

Shanghai University recently welcomed a new international graduate student who drew much attention online because of his proficiency in Chinese and the Shanghai dialect.

Federico Fabian Demarco, who will major in Chinese language and literature at the Faculty of Arts of Shanghai University, is the first Argentinean to pass HSK level 6, the highest level of the Chinese Proficiency Test for non-native Chinese speakers.

In his viral video, he is seen speaking with a Chinese student on enrollment day using the Shanghai dialect and was praised by neitzens.

Demarco has studied Chinese for 11 years and the Shanghai dialect for three years. He can speak Mandarin, the Shanghai dialect, English, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese fluently.

Demarco also goes by the Chinese name Wu Feide. Wu stands for the Wu dialect, which is the focus of his research, while Feide is a transliteration of Federico. The Wu dialect encompasses dialects spoken in the areas around Shanghai and in Southern China, such as Shanghai dialect and Suzhou dialect.

Demarco is looking forward to delivering more research results on the Wu dialect through his studies at Shanghai University. His tutor, Ling Feng, an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, said he hopes Demarco can promote Chinese dialects and culture to more foreigners.

The Shanghai dialect was once listed among the top 10 most difficult Chinese dialects to understand. To Demarco, the Shanghai dialect is rich and diverse and is interesting to learn.

"The Shanghai dialect brings me closer to Shanghai," said Demarco, who often recommends the city to his foreign friends. "It is safe and convenient to live in Shanghai where you can meet people and savor food from across the world. It is one of the best destinations in China."

Due to his talent, Demarco was once invited to participate in a local TV show that promotes the Shanghai dialect. He has also joined online shows of the same nature.

To Demarco, dialects are not only a language but also an important carrier of culture. To inherit dialects is also to pass on cultural values, he said.

To learn more about the Wu dialect, Demarco has gone on field trips to some villages where the dialect is spoken and interviewed local seniors to record the pronunciation and vocabulary.

Demarco and his friends have developed a website containing an online free dictionary for the Wu dialect and other audio and video resources to aid learning of the dialect.

"I am so attracted to Chinese language and culture and am willing to help those interested in the Wu dialect like me," said Demarco.

Demarco has also published Spanish translation of folk tales he collected from his trips in China.


Federico Fabian Demarco attends enrollment day at Shanghai University. [Photo/WeChat account: ShangDaFaBu]


Federico Fabian Demarco (right) speaks with a senior to learn about the Wu dialect during a field trip. [Photo/WeChat account: ShangDaFaBu]

Source of the video: WeChat account: ShangDaFaBu.


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