Sounds Like Scran – an audio cookbook

Launch: Thursday 22nd April

Access it via:


What’s it all about?

Sounds Like Scran is an audio cookbook that gathers audio postcards of stories, memories and daily life, experienced through food.

For International Mother Language Day (IMLD) 2021, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) commissioned artist Semay Wu to bring Manchester’s language diversity into focus.

Greater Manchester has around 200 languages and dialects knitted throughout its streets, which are the focus of each page in this cookbook. Contributors were asked to record their own voices describing a story, a moment in their life, in their mother language. Each story has a connection to a particular dish. Sounds Like Scran: An Audio Cookbook is a little window into the lives of those living in Manchester, and the multiplicity of languages spoken in our city. Scroll through the pages to fill your eyes, heart and ears with delicious food, every-day life, and happy memories of re-lived moments, all shared between us through our fundamental connection to food.


Semay Wu wishes to acknowledge CFCCA and IMLD for their support and enthusiasm for the project. Sounds Like Scran also received phenomenal support from the wider community outreach organisations of Manchester, for which this project could not have done without: Cracking Good Food, a social enterprise dedicated to eradicating food poverty, and to increasing food sustainability; Raj Johal from Manchester Settlement, a charity utterly committed to sustainable cycles of community change; Anita Kanji, a WAITE Wellbeing Leader at the Manchester Deaf Centre, who helped organise and facilitate online sessions for their participants to take part in this project. And to everyone who helped advise along the way, including Suhail Khan, and Gavin Brown, and not least of all, to all the contributors – for all your enthusiasm and warm connections made.

Commission information

Info and example:

listening session:

As part of International Mother Language Day, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) are excited to be working with artist Semay Wu on Sounds Like Scran: An Audio Cookbook, a new commission exploring Manchester’s language diversity through the common thread of food culture. We will be creating a Mancunian Audio Cookbook, exhibited online as part of CFCCA’s programme. Like a traditional cookery book, each ‘page’ will showcase a chosen dish. This dish will not be described by the instructions on how to cook it, but by the stories and experiences that surround it. We are inviting all residents of Greater Manchester to share their food culture in the form of ‘audio postcards’ submitted in their mother language*.

The responses will be exhibited online, portraying the richness of Manchester’s 200+ languages. The Mancunian Audio Cookbook will celebrate the unique mix of voices, food and cultures of people across our city.

*mother language usually refers to a language spoken since birth. We welcome all submissions from multilingual individuals and families, as well as dialects of English and all languages, and British Sign Language.

My own example (in English/Cantonese):

Dish: Bone Soup Glue

Mother Language: Cantonese, English

*Cantonese parts by my mother; English and drawing by myself.

Bone Soup Glue – Cantonese
Bone Soup Glue
Bone Soup Glue – English