Memrise provides a phrase that sounds like da yoyo liang. Is yi becoming yo here, and if so under what circumstances would this change occur? Is it just a dialect issue or standard mandarin. memrise

3 Answers 3


In characters, the phrase is

Dǎ yāo yāo líng


Dial 1-1-0

「一」is not yāo; rather, a different word「幺」is used. See Pronunciation of 壹 / 一 in Mandarin for the use of yāo.


"da yoyo liang" seems like a dialectal way to say 打110.

“da yoyo liang” sounds like a Shanghainese version of 打112.

  • "yoyo" is the OP's attempt at transcribing yāo. I don't think a learning program like Memrise is going to use a dialect recording to teach Mandarin.
    – dROOOze
    Nov 30, 2019 at 4:20
  • @droooze, we don't really know unless we could hear it. :( It's all guess work here.
    – dan
    Nov 30, 2019 at 4:32

I believe it is this

dǎ yāo yāo líng

(It's the police emergency phone number.)

It is very common practice in mainland China to say "yāo" in place of "yī" when pronouncing phone numbers. I've heard it's because 一 (yī) and 七 (qī) sound so similar.

I don't believe pronouncing yī as yāo is done outside of phone numbers, e.g., 2011年 would be pronounced “èr líng yī yī nián”. See https://chinese4kids.net/year-month-date-in-chinese/

It's not used when you're reading numbers normally, 我想买一百一十一个 is "wǒ xiǎng mǎi yībǎi yīshíyī gè".

When I went to Taiwan, the famous building 台北101 was pronounced by the taxi driver “Táiběi yī líng yī”, so my impression this is a mainland China custom.

  • Just like reading letters as Alfa, Bravo. Yāo is the stander way to read 1 over radio in military field. For example, when counting down the launch of rocket, the speaker says San, Liang, Yao instead of San, Er, Yi.
    – tsh
    Dec 3, 2019 at 10:38

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