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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3
votes
2answers
886 views

Characteristics of Northern and Southern accents

My first language is Cantonese. I learned Mandarin as a second language. Native speakers of Mandarin often understand me with no major issues. Of course, they recognize the Southern accents right ...
6
votes
3answers
331 views

Why is it written LIU in Pinyin, when there's clearly an O sound?

Does anybody know why this decision was made in Pinyin, about not writing any hint of the sound /O/ in liu, instead of writing something like liou or liow ? Because the first reaction of any ...
4
votes
2answers
434 views

Different pronounciation for the number 'one'?

Was talking to my friend (native Chinese) the other day and when she read out a phone number she said "yao" for all the "ones" in the phone number. However, as far as I remember, for all other cases ...
9
votes
3answers
469 views

血: xuè , xiě, what's the difference?

Is there some sort of logical rule for when 血 is xuè and when it is xiě?
8
votes
6answers
432 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
202 views

Where can I find recordings of people reading things now that mp3.baidu.com is dead? [closed]

Baidu's MP3 search engine used to be my first stop when studying anything Chinese. Absurdly, even recordings of relatively rare poetry (for instance) were easy to find. These recordings were not ...
7
votes
4answers
243 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 ...
5
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?
9
votes
3answers
265 views

When do the tones change?

Sometimes, in certain combinations of tones or words, the tones change. Where can I find a complete list of all tone changes that occur in Mandarin?
7
votes
6answers
992 views

What software can correct pronunciation?

What software is available which can record my voice and warn me about problems with my pronunciation and tones?
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 words? I have found some recordings of Chinese, but these only contain individual phonemes, not entire words. I am ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Which tone is it (in pinyin)?

Following on from this question Asking for "transcription" I've had difficulty previously asking native speakers which tone I should use for a particular character if I can't pick it by ...
5
votes
6answers
434 views

Pronunciation of “因为”

因为 is usually pronounced as yīn wèi, but sometimes I hear it pronounced as yīn wéi which really brings out the meaning as reason (yīn) being (wéi). Which pronunciation came about first? Do regional ...
6
votes
5answers
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
232 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?
14
votes
6answers
937 views

Why is 的 (de) sometimes pronounced “di” even though it is used as a possessive particle?

I've noticed sometimes the word 的 is pronounced as "di" rather than "de". I'm aware that there is a valid use of 的 with pronunciation "di", which means "really and trully". However for the sentence: ...
4
votes
5answers
219 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 way ...
8
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
178 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 characters?
18
votes
8answers
835 views

Techniques for improving pronunciation

Are there any recommended resources or methodologies to improve your Chinese pronunciation? Besides having a native speaker at your disposal, are there any tools that can help to correct ...