What Language is Spoken in Shanghai? A Simple Guide

In Shanghai, people speak a dialect called Wu Chinese. Shanghai dialect, also known as Shanghainese, Shanghainese Wu, Wu Chinese Shanghai dialect, or Hu language, is a sub-dialect of Wu Chinese, which falls under the Sino-Tibetan language family, Chinese language group, Wu dialect, Taihu subgroup, and Suzhou-Shanghai-Jiaxing minor subgroup. Shanghai dialect is a crucial foundation of the local culture in Shanghai. It represents an important branch of Wu Chinese and is largely mutually intelligible with other Wu Chinese Taihu dialects, making it a significant and influential language in the modern Wu Chinese-speaking region. Shanghai dialect is based on the original local dialect of Shanghai but has naturally incorporated elements from various immigrant dialects within the Wu Chinese-speaking areas since the opening of Shanghai as a port, making it a unique urban Wu Chinese dialect.