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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

12
votes
3answers
1k views

Did 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 are the following facts: The tones in different regions are quite different. If ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

zh sound with a flat tongue?

This is from the Wikipedia article on retroflex consonant, but isn't this wrong? I assume that Mandarin zh, ch, sh, and r sound should be pronounced with your tongue curled up, rather than "flat?" ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

How to pronounce multiple consecutive third tones in a sentence [duplicate]

I learned that a third tone character is pronounced as a second tone if it's followed by another third tone character. My question is, how do I pronounce a sentence that has three or more consecutive ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is Russia translated to 俄罗斯(E Luo Si)?

The Chinese Wikipedia article describes the name of Russia, and many of its historical Chinese exonyms. 按照俄语发音“Россия”,其名称应翻译为“羅西亚”。元朝时根据蒙古语译为「斡羅思」[b],到清朝初年许多文献中曾称为「羅剎」[c],但在以国家相称时则多译为「鄂羅斯」[d]或「...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

Does /Ĩ/ *really* exist in Southwestern Mandarin?

成都话方言词典 (1987) lists a bunch of words under the IPA initial /Ĩ/. Southwestern Mandarin doesn't seem to actually have this initial according to most other resources who put all the /Ĩ/ listed words ...
4
votes
3answers
300 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"?
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Is there a chart of all possible Chinese syllables using Hanzi?

I have been able to find many charts that describe all possible Initial and Final combinations in pinyin, but I'm wondering if there is anything available like that that uses Hanzi only? I made ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Pronunciation of 这 (ze4 or zen4?) in 天气这么好

Not entirely sure, but a friend (mother tongue 普通话, originally from 沈阳(Shenyang)) recently pronounced 这 as ze4 or maybe zen4 when she said 今天天气这么好. 这 isn't such simple word I find, as it can be zhe4 ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What Chinese language(s) have pronunciation ㄍ丨(romanization: gi)

Heard pronunciation ㄍ丨(romanization: gi) recently in a dialect of south western mandarin. I was trying to trace it together with something else. Seems like Hakka pronounces 机/機 ㄍ丨but I couldn't ...
0
votes
0answers
90 views

What does this announcer say after the words 改变?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0D-ot2tso8 This is that somewhat controversial commercial for laundry soap. It's at about the :40 second mark. Is he saying 帅哥? Thank you, Rachel
4
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
124 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Pronunciation of 站

While looking for the correct pronunciation of 站 (zhàn / zhan4), I've come across several different recordings in online dictionaries, Forvo, wiktionary, and Google Translate, for example. Sometimes ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

In the West, Chinese names almost never seem to be written using pinyin tone marks or numbers. For example, the current president's name will simply be written as Xi Jinping. I had to Google to ...
8
votes
7answers
327 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Tips for pronunciating tone value “21”?

Any tips for pronunciating tone value "21"? It seems to be, fairly, common in Chinese topolects. Kind of hard to get a grasp on the whole starting low and dropping lower thing, though. Some have ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Why the long-short romanization system (长短音) for Chinese dialects?

Most Chinese dialectical/topolectical dictionaries use the long-short romanization system (长短音) to write out pronunciations. Wikipedia mostly just mentions Shanghai, Wu and Suzhou for using the long-...
3
votes
3answers
168 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, ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations?

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations? For example, 兄 [xiōng] (elder) brother becomes 儿 [ér], right?
2
votes
4answers
226 views

How to pronounce 的 in 所有的? [duplicate]

In particular, in the song 耶稣喜爱世上小孩, the second line 世上所有的小孩 sounds as though it were pronounced shìshàng suóyǒu dì xiǎohái. Is that correct? Thank you for your help; my ear for Chinese is not yet ...
3
votes
3answers
269 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
253 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

How is 着 pronounced here?

In Mo Yan's Red Sorghum there is a line saying: 曾外祖母做了好饭好菜,说着甜言蜜语, The meaning is clear, and could be translated either "Greatgrandmother made good foods and said honeyed words" or "Greatgrandmother ...
4
votes
2answers
358 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
1answer
145 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

A Complex Chinese Character

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below. Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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?
2
votes
2answers
93 views

How might 'pidgin' have represented a Chinese pronunciation of 'business'?

[Etymonline:] pidgin (n.) 1876, from pigeon English (1859), the reduced form of the language used in China for communication with Europeans, from pigeon (1826), itself a pidgin word, ...
2
votes
4answers
139 views

Any “fai” (zy: ㄈㄞ) pronunciation record in Mandarin?

Chinese seem to have no problem pronouncing Wi-Fi. Wi has a similar Chinese pronunciation with pinyin: wai. This got me wondering, is there any “fai” (zy: ㄈㄞ) pronunciation record in Mandarin?
6
votes
2answers
396 views

The development of rhotic vowels in Mandarin

Schuessler's reconstruction of the Old Chinese reading of 二 is *ńźi. It seems there is a correspondence between OC syllables beginning in *ń or *ńź and Mandarin syllables romanised as er. However, I'...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
380 views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
17
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Chinese characters by sound similarity

Serveral chinese characters sound extremely similarly to me, not only because of their vowel's tone, but, often, also because of their starting consonants. For example, I find it's very difficult to ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

How to pronounce words with double fourth tones?

So I know for certain words, such as 不对, the fourth tone changes, but I believe 不 may be a special case. Some words such as 部队 seem uncomfortable to pronounce if I strictly follow 4th and 4th tones,...
4
votes
1answer
144 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 it'...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Rhyme and tones

In rhymes, is only the sound of syllables concerned (see: Rhyming in modern Mandarin), or also the tone is somehow involved? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Numbering for mobile verification call to China in Chinese

I am making a chat application , so for number verification I need to make calls (your verification code is 1234) on the number. I want to know if I called to China in Chinese then how the numbers are ...
3
votes
5answers
274 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
246 views

I need help translating >how< a word would be spoken

I am trying to find someone that will help me take words that are spoken in Spanish, such as Hola, and represent the sounds made by hola in Chinese Pinyin so someone who doesn't speak Spanish could ...
7
votes
5answers
308 views

Is "一“ in 一线城市 first or second tone?

Quick question: Is "一“ in 一线城市 first or second tone? If it is first tone, is this because it is being used as a number? Cheers, Stephen
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Why some characters have different sounds? [duplicate]

My translator (Pleco) says that 乐 is pronunced as le. However, 音乐 seems to be pronunced as yīnyuè. Why? Is it possible to know if a character has different sounds depending on the context?
14
votes
1answer
516 views

How do non-native speakers get to perceive tones in Chinese?

Recently I've been teaching an English-speaking friend some basics about Chinese, but inevitably he got stuck with the tones. I've demonstrated to him the 4 tones with audio files, yet it seems hard ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you say “Do you speak Chinese?” in Mandarin and Cantonese?

I realize that it's fairly easy to Google it but I'd never know how to pronounce it. Are there any audio recordings out there? Thanks!
9
votes
6answers
720 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 "i"...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Does Cantonese have a falling tone?

In all Cantonese romanization systems I could find, tone 4 is labelled the falling tone. However according to http://www.freehongkong.net/cantonese-pronunciation-cantonese-tones/ Cantonese does not ...
3
votes
2answers
489 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 ...