Questions on specific points regarding the ability to use the correct consonants, vowels, tone, stress, rhythm and intonation of a word in a spoken Chinese

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4
votes
2answers
246 views

阿: when is it pronunced 'a' when is it pronunced 'e'?

阿 sometimes pronounced 'a' sometimes pronounced 'e'. I've noticed specific instances for both. Are there any rules as to how to pronounce 阿 in different circumstances/contexts?
10
votes
7answers
4k views

How is the “r” sound pronounced?

One of the most trickiest sounds to pronounce correctly in Mandarin seems to be the "r" sound, as in 日本 (rì běn). It's not uncommon to hear people pronounce that like "urban." I have been told it's ...
4
votes
5answers
253 views

Why do Chinese “extend” the last word when speaking?

I've hear on many occasions that Chinese prolong the last word in a sentence, for example: ni hao ma ? becomes ni hao maaaaa ? (I'm not sure that's clear enough but can't think of a better ...
6
votes
5answers
249 views

Why do I see 我 for I, but is pronounced WAH

I'm corrected to pronounce WAH instead of "wǒ." Is it the same and I just hear it wrong in my head? Or is there a difference in dialect?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How to convert from hanyu pinyin to IPA?

Where can I find a table showing the relation between Hanyu pinyin spelling and IPA for all phonemes in Mandarin?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Where can I find audio recordings of every word?

Where can I find audio recordings (i.e. individual MP3s or WAVs) for every Chinese word? I have found some recordings of Chinese, but these only contain individual phonemes, not entire words. I am ...
4
votes
7answers
237 views

Accidentally Saying Chinese Swear Words

So I saw a video on youtube about a guys experience in china. He said that people can often accidentally say swear words if they say the tones wrong. Like the word "ma" It can heard as mother but ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Which tone is it (in pinyin)?

Following on from this question Asking "what's the pinyin/character for X?". I've had difficulty previously asking native speakers which tone I should use for a particular character if ...
13
votes
3answers
197 views

Character Pronunciation Clues

Is there any way to know what a character's pronunciation or tone is, based on the strokes or radicals that make up the characters?
6
votes
5answers
478 views

Are there any free fonts designed to help learn/read Chinese?

Problem As a Chinese student I found that one of the first barrier is reading. Indeed, when trying to acquire new vocabulary one might be faced with the opacity of the Chinese character as opposed to ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

A mobile verification call to china in chinese

I am making a chat application , so for number verification i need to make call(your verification code is 1234) on the number, i want to know, if i called in china in chinese then how the number are ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Written Cantonese Pronunciation 2

this is a follow up question regarding Cantonese Pronunciation. Previous question here. Does anyone know how people from Guangdong, who would speak Cantonese at home but be taught in Mandarin at ...
2
votes
2answers
302 views

Pronouncing pinyin “c” in Shanxi dialect

I had thought I knew how to pronounce pinyin "c," like the English "ts" in "cats." But on a trip to Shanxi it seemed like most of my friends were pronouncing it like pinyin "ch." Village names ending ...
8
votes
3answers
356 views

How is the 儿 ending pronounced outside Beijing?

When Beijingers use words like 一点儿, the ending syllable will be very pronounced as far as I understand, and I'm aware that this is a typical feature of the Beijing dialect. But how is it pronounced in ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

How to pronounce the “的” in “他妈的”?

How usually native chinese speaker pronounce the “的” orally in “他妈的”? Is it "Ta Ma De" or "Ta Ma Di"?
6
votes
4answers
633 views

Pinyin tones pronunciation cheat sheet

I've just started taking Chinese lessons, and I've been trying to find a "cheat sheet" for pinyin pronunciation. All the sites I've found is either incomplete (only having some tones), only having the ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Tips to remember pronounciation of these words: 旅,斿,施,旋,族?

I often misread these words and got mistaken between each other: 旅 = Lǚ 斿/游 = Yóu 施 = shī 旋 = Xuán 族 = zú as each of them doesn't have related phonetic indicator that I can use as clue to remember ...
20
votes
7answers
979 views

Techniques for improving pronunciation

Are there any recommended resources or methodologies to improve ones Chinese pronunciation? Besides having a native speaker at your disposal, are there any tools that can help to correct ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?

I'd like to think my Mandarin pronunciation is generally pretty reasonable, but I often get tripped up with X and SH - for example words like 雪 and 水, or 虾 and 莎. Even with different tones, I find ...
6
votes
3answers
328 views

Does ancient Chinese have tones (声调)?

This question has puzzled me since I have no training in ancient Chinese and ancient phonetics. What is puzzling me is the following facts: The tones in different regions are quite different. If ...
6
votes
2answers
281 views

What is considered to be the most difficult sound for native English speakers to pronounce?

When I was first learning Chinese, I found the e4 - 饿 & ü3/ü4 - 女/绿 sounds to be the most problematic. Has there been any research into this? If so, what sounds are generally the most problematic ...
1
vote
4answers
156 views

Pronunciation of 山 (in Taiwan)

I'm a newbie Chinese student and I have a question about the pronunciation of the word shān (山), meaning mountain. When I went to Taiwan recently, friends there pronounced it as sān, not shān. For ...
4
votes
5answers
199 views

地 pronunciation variation

May I know how the rules governing the pronunciation of 地? In the song, 吻别, the singer pronounces 地 as di. 冷得连隐藏的遗憾都那么地明显 leng de lian yin cang de yi han du na me di ming xian However, a ...
5
votes
3answers
246 views

pronunciation of 着 in 怎么着

As most of you will probably know, 着 can be pronounced in many ways (depending on the context). I'm wondering how the 着 in 爱怎么着就怎么着 (meaning: do as you like) should be pronounced. Is it zhe or zhao1, ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Why is “小小” pronounced as “xué xiǎo”?

In the classic 相声《卖马》, near the beginning is a line that goes: 在下王老好的便是,就在这潞州天堂县开了一个*小小*的店房 but in that line, "小小" was pronounced as "xué xiǎo". Here's a clip: ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ

I've asked this elsewhere before but without much luck so I'm just gonna paste what I wrote before: I ran across "Ẓ" use some what in some old texts used as a sort-of "IPA" then to make sure I ...
3
votes
6answers
176 views

“an” final pronunciation

I have had eight mainland Chinese teachers over the time I have spent studying, and I am still confused, because I find there are inconsistencies between my textbook's audio CDs, my teachers' ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

How do you pronounce 盛开?

The phrase 盛开 means to bloom, as in, "池塘里的荷花盛开." Is this pronounced as "shèng kāi", or is it pronounced as "chéng kāi"?
12
votes
7answers
476 views

How do native speakers of Chinese pronounce Latin characters?

I hear that "Windows XP" is commonly called "Chā P" because the letter "X" may be pronounced "Chā". Are there other Latin characters that have similarly peculiar pronunciations?
3
votes
3answers
176 views

How do current Mandarin speakers usually pronounce 阿Q正传?

This is the story named in English "The true story of Ah Q." Author Lu Xun transliterates the pronunciation of Q as Quei, and suggests that the Q could stand for 桂, or 贵, which are today pinyin Gui4. ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

How to pronounce Zengyang? [closed]

My friend's Chinese name is Zengyang and I want to surprise her by being able to pronounce it properly when she visits me in a few weeks. Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Learn Chinese Step 1: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn? [closed]

Many Mandarin Chinese teachers claim that the step 1 for Learning Chinese is: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn?
5
votes
3answers
351 views

Is “biang” a phonologically possible syllable in Mandarin Chinese?

One of the local specialty favourite dishes in Shaanxi province where I am now is Biángbiáng miàn. Photo by hippietrail The hanzi character for "biáng" is usually the focus of discusssions of this ...
7
votes
4answers
198 views

Regional variations on 三更半夜

A couple years ago, I was at a Chinese(-American) gathering and the topic of 成语 came up. One of them was 三更半夜. My family is from Hangzhou, and previously I had always known of it as 深更半夜. On the other ...
11
votes
6answers
348 views

How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?

I'm wondering what do Chinese speakers do when they are reading aloud and encounter a character they don't know (sometimes it happens, isn't it?). In phonetic languages, there is a possibility to ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Strategies to discourage uptalk in Chinese language learners?

In my beginning Chinese class, many students consistently pronounce tones incorrectly when answering questions aloud. I realize this is expected of beginners, but I've noticed that it happens most ...
0
votes
4answers
327 views

Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same? [closed]

As per my knowledge, both these sounds are considered the same in Mandarin. Do Chinese speakers them have difficulty in distinguishing between say Paul and Ball? How do they deal with it?
3
votes
3answers
315 views

Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin [closed]

When I first came to China, I was quite disappointed to find out that, in so many places, the colloquial pronunciation was so greatly different from the one I've studied so far. The phonological ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

non-standard tone pronunciation

After carefully listening to the tapes of Assimil "Chinese with ease", I noticed that the pronunciation by the native speakers of a few characters differs from the standard tones: 多 pronounced with a ...
6
votes
5answers
743 views

Written Cantonese Pronunciation

I recently attended a Cantonese reading class in Hong Kong and discovered that pronunciation of the spoken form of written Cantonese can be very different from normal speech. The teacher was not able ...
8
votes
1answer
253 views

Pronunciation of 和 in Taiwan

This is something that I noticed in Taiwanese Mandarin TV series and films. It seems that they pronounce this character as hàn instead of the commonly accepted hé. For example, 我和你 is pronounced wǒ ...
9
votes
6answers
464 views

Do acronyms borrowed from English use neutral tone (aka tone 0 or tone 5) for all syllables?

I was just reading a Q&A here about Chinese words for DVD and the discussion also included other acronyms from English. It struck me that nobody wrote the pinyin for any of the terms which made ...
8
votes
4answers
284 views

When is the spelling and the pronunciation different?

I noticed that sometimes certain finals in Chinese sound differently when combined with different initials. For e.g., what is spelled "u" sometimes is pronounced "ü". Other times, I think the final ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Is pinyin `sh` of 什 the same as SHampoo

Alright, I'm pretty sure it is not. sh in pinyin is a [ʂ] in IPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_retroflex_sibilant), while sh in shampoo in English, is a [ʃ] in IPA ...
5
votes
3answers
215 views

Is 去 (qù) pronunced /tɕʰu/ or /tɕʰy/?

I'm a struggling very beginner having difficulties with both pronunciation and Pinyin. I dabble in linguistics so I'm accustomed to dealing with IPA pronunciations. For this reason I have been ...
3
votes
3answers
284 views

pronunciation of 人 - regional or gender differences?

To my English tuned ear, these audio files of people pronouncing 人 sound very different. My colleague (a native Mandarin speaker) insists they are the same sound, and thinks I am just confused ...
3
votes
3answers
661 views

Pronunciation differences between pinyin 'zh' and 'ch', and between 'qi' and 'xi'

Although this question states that these sounds can be often mixed (though mainly in dialtects...) Do you know where I could find a detailed description of position and movement of the tongue for ...
7
votes
3answers
166 views

How to distinguish the difference between the pronunciation of different erhuayin?

For example, 小黄儿, 小欢儿, 小花儿; 唱歌儿, 树根儿, 一横儿; What's the difference? I can't understand the difference between each phonetic symbol in the same row in the table below: The picture is from ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages

The Cantonese (Yale cha4), Mandarin (pinyin chá) and Kan’yōon (cha) pronounciations of 茶 are similar to the Russian чай (IPA t͡ɕaj) word for tea. Do these have a common origin?
7
votes
5answers
728 views

How is the pinyin 'iu' pronounced?

How does one pronounce the 'iu' sound (as in liu4 = six)? I have always said it and heard it to end in an [joʊ] sound, as in 'low', 'go', and 'sew'. But once I was told that it should actually be a ...