I'm trying to understand the sounds of . Phonetically I think I'm hearing "twuh", which is nothing like the pinyin cè. What phonetic sounds are being made? Feel free to add another pronunciation at forvo.

  • What is your native language? Perception of foreign sounds can be strongly influenced by it.
    – Michaelyus
    Aug 16, 2018 at 13:12
  • Maybe not have a satisfactory equivalent if you are familiar with American accent, but in British accent, this is simply the sound of /əː/. Maybe not perfect, but acceptable.
    – xbh
    Aug 17, 2018 at 3:10

2 Answers 2


The pinyin cì is not right, cè is the correct one. Hope that would be helpful for you.

  • That was my mistake. I copied the pinyin from the entry below 次. Any other hints on the sound in European phonetic syllables? Aug 16, 2018 at 8:18
  • if you know pinyin well,it's easy to understand that cè is like 特 which changes t to c
    – Jee
    Aug 16, 2018 at 8:27
  • I hear a c to t change and am beginning pinyin. What sound is being made by this word? Aug 16, 2018 at 8:28
  • let me think about it for a while
    – Jee
    Aug 16, 2018 at 8:40
  • 1
    But remember,don't roll up your tongue when you pronounce "er".Because è has no satisfactory equivalent in English.
    – Jee
    Aug 16, 2018 at 9:13


/ce/ in IPA is [tsʰɯʌ]

I think it's natural if you perceive /e/ as "wuh".

furthermore, at least it sounds to me that when native English speakers pronounce the letter "t", their tongues are more retracted, i.e. the middle area of the tongue touches palate, which creates some friction and thus makes it sound like "ts" to me.

following this logic backwards, it also makes sense that you mistake /c/ in Chinese for "t" in English.

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