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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5
votes
3answers
319 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, ...
5
votes
4answers
478 views

Chinese Words that Accurately Reflect English Phonemes

I'm a retired computer science professor who helps Chinese graduate students master English. The students have a good background for reading and writing scientific papers but struggle with their ...
5
votes
2answers
310 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

What's the correct pronunciation for 骠骑?

骠骑, meaning "very fast horse", was also the name of a general rank in ancient China (骠骑将军, roughly meaning "General of the Flying Cavalry"). How is it correctly pronounced? Both 骠 and 骑 have two ...
5
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Were 蒸 and 祯 homonyms?

Wu Dalang, a character in Water Margin, which takes place during the Song dynasty, sold steamed buns called "炊饼". These buns were originally called 蒸饼: 凡以面為食具者,皆謂之餅,故火燒而食者呼為燒餅,水淪而食者呼為湯餅,籠蒸而食者呼為蒸餅。 ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

Strange pronunciations in Hakka song

I have stumbled upon Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan. I asked three translation questions about it: 1, 2 and 3. THere you find the lyrics and a link to a video, and my translation attempt. This ...
5
votes
1answer
265 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: ...
5
votes
2answers
491 views

Is it common for zh/j, ch/q, and sh/x to be merged?

I learned formally that in the standard Beijing accent, zh, ch, and sh are pronounced more in the back in the mouth than j, q, and x. However, I got lazy and speak all six of these consonants in the ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I pronounce 绿 (lü4 - green)?

My wife gave up trying to correct me on how to pronounce green. I find it very hard to get a distinct sound from the word for 绿 (lü4 - green), Lu, and, Liu (as in Liu Bei). Obviously, Lu is exactly ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

In which Chinese topolect might 門 be transcribed as <mum>?

There's a Cantonese restaurant in Mountain View, CA called Fu Lam Mum -- the characters are clearly 富臨門. But 門 has always had a -n final, in any topolect I know of, and back to MC and OC according to ...
4
votes
8answers
2k 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"?
4
votes
2answers
329 views

b and p, d and t, k and g etc. in English and Cantonese

Many words in Cantonese which I think should be pronounced as b, d, g, are translated by the British to p, t, k, respectively. For example, a place in Hong Kong called 大埔 and is pronounced as Dai Bo ...
4
votes
2answers
286 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?
4
votes
2answers
146 views

How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...
4
votes
4answers
628 views

Pronunciation of 那个

I'm surprised this question hasn't been asked yet! The pinyin for 那个 is nà gè, but in conversation, Chinese people often pronounce it more like nee-guh than nah-guh. I asked my teacher and she says ...
4
votes
2answers
368 views

When saying Japanese place names like “秋叶原”, do people always use the respective Chinese pronunciation?

When I hear people talk about Tokyo in Mandarin, they always pronounce it as "dōng jīng" because it's written as 东京. Similarly for Osaka and "dà bǎn" (大阪), and other such places. Are there any names ...
4
votes
3answers
439 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
188 views

The two pronunciations of 粘

粘 can be read as either "nian" or "zhan", but in both way it can be translated as "sticky", so what is the difference? In other words what should I take in mind, when reading a text , in order to ...
4
votes
3answers
400 views

娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?

娘 is clearly niang2, but 炮 is a multiple pronunciation character; it can be bao1 or pao2 or pao4 according to the dictionaries I consulted. I tried searching Baidu for "娘炮拼音" but didn't find anything. ...
4
votes
2answers
462 views

Tips for multiple-pronunciation characters (多音字)

This is a broad request for tips, but I have a specific question in mind as well. 尽 can be pronounced as "jin4" or "jin3". In Pleco, the definition for "jin3" is "to the greatest extent" while one ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Help with pronouncing 道 precisely

Practical conclusion from the responses: No digital media currently focus on the precise pronunciation of Pinyin Dao, or Beijing for English speaking students of Chinese. You must look to sources on ...
4
votes
2answers
480 views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked ...
4
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Zhuyin (bopomofo) vs Pinyin

I have learnt to use both zhuyin and pinyin for spelling out the pronunciation of a character. As far as I know, the two systems serve the same purpose and are interchangeable in terms of syllables. ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Does tone sandhi apply to 成语

In my previous question I found the following about tone sandhi and yī 'one': yī on its own or not followed by other tones yī → yí when followed by a fourth tone yī → yì when followed by ...
4
votes
3answers
143 views

Tourists in China but can not understand Chinese

How about someone visiting China in the next few months, who does not understand their language? Is there a way to learn common words and sentences with the correct pronunciation quickly? Thanks in ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

What difference(s) does it make to use the citation tone instead of the neutral tone, for the tail character in these words?

Here’s my list: 队伍, 成分, 身分, 才力, 呼噜, 亮堂, 好处, 种子, 妥当, 爽快, 痛快, 记性, 出息, 佩服, 分析, 哈欠, 寒毛, 活泼, 鼻涕, 道理, 滑稽, 考究, 讲究, 打算, 正经, 裁缝, 得罪, 意识 (and also意识 形态), 熟识, 见识, 体谅, 兴趣, [东/西/南/前/后/那/上/下/头/里/外/左/右]边, 知道, 父亲 and ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone

I'm working through the HSK vocab lists, and sometimes I find it hard to remember if a character should be pronounced with the neutral tone or with the citation tone. It would help if I knew when ...
3
votes
4answers
582 views

What is the pronunciation of 行 according to its context?

行 can be pronunced háng or xíng. As far as I have seen, it means "OK, to go, profession", and many more other meanings. Could you briefly summarize the usage of it and its corresponding ...
3
votes
6answers
235 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
3answers
162 views

How to indicate “long pronunciation” in writing in Chinese?

In English I can change "what the heck" to something like "what the heeckkkkkk" when writing in order to show that the pronunciation of "heck" is being dragged out. When writing Chinese characters, ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Authoritative source for 一 changing to 4th tone before 1st, 2nd or 3rd

In another users answer http://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/2046/38 they said: 一 is pronounced in the first tone when it stands alone. It is pronounced in the fourth tone when it precedes a ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Bigrams ending in third tone where first syllable is second tone vs. third tone

This is regarding tone sandhi for consecutive third tones. I notice CC-CEDICT has over 200 bigrams with tone pair 3-3 where there also exists a separate bigram 2-3. One such example is: 白果 bai2 ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

How can I improve my tonal range?

While people in China generally understand my tones (unless I use the wrong tone by mistake), I find I do not match either the height of their highs or the drop-off of their falling tones. My voice ...
3
votes
3answers
586 views

What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?

I speak Chinese natively (我讲中文,普通话) but my pronunciation is borrowed from Jiangsu parents, so I was wondering what is the difference between "jin" (今) and "jing" (京)? Is there any difference in ...
3
votes
3answers
347 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
492 views

Is there more than one way to pronounce “knee” in Chinese?

My daughter's preschool has a Mandarin language immersion program and the teacher (from Fuzhou, Fujian province) seems to pronounce "knee" (膝盖) as qīgài instead of xīgài. Is qīgài a correct ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
270 views

Correct pinyin and pronunciation for 太阳

What is the correct pinyin and pronunciation for 太阳? Most dictionaries put it as: tai4 yang2, but I noticed cc-cedict uses tai4 yang5. There is also a discussion in the change log around colloquial ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Medieval Chinese Pronunciation

It's here! The A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese dictionary is finally out! Language Log says: A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese All of the ...
3
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
546 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
2answers
233 views

Mandarin pronunciation for <hen> and <yuan>

Consider for example the words 很 (hěn) and 员 (yuán). I constantly hear each term pronounced in at least two distinct ways by native speakers. The issue is really the vowel sound in the finals. ...
3
votes
4answers
221 views

酵: jiào vs. xiào

I'm always hearing the pronunciations jiào and xiào being used interchangeably by native speakers for the character: 酵. What's the deal? Is there a standardized pronunciation for 酵? What's the ...
3
votes
2answers
456 views

How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?

Here's an English example: Learner: Wait, how is c-o-w pronounced? Native: COW, like a K sound followed by ow. But in Chinese there are no phonetic letters. So how are children taught how to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Pronunciation of 比较

On a CCTV 9 show shot in Shanghai, a couple of people who were certainly speaking Putonghua have made comparisons and if I heard right they were pronouncing 比较 as "biao." Am I wrong? Is that a common ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Pronunciation Of 佛 in 四川话

The 1986 edition of《四川方言词典》has the following entry: 乐山的大佛——老石人 Lo2 san1 ni1 da4 fu3——nao3 si2 ren2 乐山大佛距今已有一千多年历史, 所以是“老石人”。谐“老实人”。 ▷你以为他是~嗦? 他才阴倒不老实。 佛 is given the ...