So my wonderful friend Alison pointed out that September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Of course I plan to participate, but talking like a pirate is totally redundant in Beijing. Beijingers use all the Rs that Mass folks leave out. “Where?” is zai nali outside Beijing, but zai nRRR in Beijing. Our entrance is Xi men for non-Beijingren, but Xi muRRR to every cabbie who’s brought us home.
If the secret to good Chinese is to speak faster and mumble more, the secret to the Beijing accent is talking like a pirate.