Asians == Adults in Peanuts? *Wah Wah Wah*

Everybody has been puzzling over the language of the series of online ads for Windows 8 that it recently released in Asia. Native speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean declare that it is not any of those languages.  The first time I listened to them, the ads sounded as though they contained elements of some Wu topolect, a bit like mangled Shanghainese, but I could also definitely hear bits of Mandarin, albeit with unusual tonal contours and slurring

 

“A couple of people from China suggested to me that the language might be that of Ruian (near Wenzhou) 瑞安的温州话, which has about 5,000,000 speakers.  But I only think they said that because the speech of Ruian is famous for being virtually impossible for outsiders to comprehend in the slightest, so much so that (along with other Wenzhou topolects) it has supposedly been used in wartime as a secret language (e.g., when the Chinese fought against the Vietnamese in 1979).”

The enigmatic language of the new Windows 8 ads

 

sians == Adults in Peanuts? *Wah Wah Wah*

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