In this video at time stamp 0:07 the Taiwanese speaker (according to the subtitles) says:

我們現在是在臺北。。。

However the what she actually says for 現在 is one syllable that sounds like /xia1/ to me.

What am I hearing? Is this a complete other word, or is it a common contraction of 現在?

  • Contraction, and the vowel's often nasalized. – 神秘德里克 Oct 7 at 4:45

This happens frequently in oral expressions. Yes, this is a "contraction" as you stated. The context is specific to everybody, so the speaker can shorten some words to express more information. Here the full word /xiànzài/ is shortened as something like /xià(n)ài/, where the sound /z/ and the nasal sound are in fact pronounced but in a very short period, and the recording seems like that the one just omitted /z/, /n/. You could try yourself by reading the word "现在" as quick as possible without altering the leading consonants [or, to be more exact, 声母] the tone and the vowels [韵母], and you might get the same result.

haha, yes, you are right, it's a voice, you don't care it. there are many voice, my mean is accent,,, hope you can understand

  • Bruce, people are downvoting your answer, but I think the reason is that it's hard to understand your meaning. I don't want you to feel discouraged for contributing though, or penalized for not having good English. 你可以寫你的注意用中文嗎? – pixelearth Oct 9 at 19:43

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