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 and correct pronunciation. They reference another discussion here which also talks about this, though the references here aren't what I'd call necessarily respected.

So wondering what people's thoughts are here? In additon are there any respected sources for one way vs another for what is the correct pinyin and pronunciation? I'm talking "普通话" specifically.

5 Answers 5


太阳 Tàiyáng, Sun: pronounced "Tie Yang"

太 Tài:highest; greatest

阳 yáng:sun

You may find some reference yáng as 5th tone (轻声 qīngshēng) because it's easier to pronounce in spoken Chinese. The character 阳 yáng by itself is always 2nd tone.

  • 1
    Don't believe source from "百度知道 Baidu Zhidao" so much. This is a controversial issue. In 现代汉语词典, 太阳 is clearly marked as tài yáng and 月亮 as yuè liang. So the pronunciation for 太阳 in formal Mandarin should be tàiyáng. However in many dialects 太阳 is "tài yang" so many people mistake it. This source is wrong, that answer first stated 阳 was 轻声 but the evidence given was only (我)们 is 轻声. It didn't make sense at all.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 15:08
  • @Stan okay thanks for that. Actually I could access his original link, so I just searched his question and that's what came up. I'll edit my response.
    – user3871
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 15:39
  • 2
    Don'be believe 現代漢語詞典 (現漢) much too, language is alive, dictionary is dead, at least dead before next revision. Usually it's a funny thing to do among school student, to catch how many conflicts occur between 現漢 and 新聞聯播.
    – George
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 17:09
  • 1
    @congliu if the topic is not about the standard but just the spoken language, whatever accent you have doesn't matter.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 11:52
  • 1
    @Stan "tai4 yang2" sounds normal to me, but "yue4 linag4" does not. So for 月亮, a neutral tone is a must. That's why 现代汉语词典 has the pronunciation like that.
    – fefe
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 1:04

Heres a few excerpts from some books that speak about this:

Ross and Ma (2006), Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar, §2.4, p.9: In Beijing and northern China, certain syllables lose their original tone and are pronounced as neutral tone. This tone change does not occur in Taiwan, where all syllables retain their original tones.

San Duanmu (2007), The Phonology of Standard Chinese, §13.7.2, p.308: In S[tandard]C[hinese], de-stressing is quite common (see above). In Taiwanese accented SC (TWSC), de-stressing occurs less frequently.

sounds like these are books written in taiwan - so it looks like this is their opinion.


Speaking solely from my experience as a native, I think both pronunciation (tai4 yang2 and tai4 yang5) are OK. tai4 yang5 may be heard more because of the ease to pronounce.

For respected sources, I'd still recommend 现代汉语词典. There is also a site called 汉典(http://www.zdic.net/) which I often refer to, but it sometimes has minor errors (as can be found in its forum). You should note that pinyin noted in dictionaries usually won't consider the tone sandhi effect (the effect that yu3 san3 is actually pronounce yu2 san3).


you can use Google 翻译



tài      yáng

太 and 阳 both have only one pronunciation. (阳 as the second one)

But 太阳 speech as only the first one.

becouse the last word speech softer than their orignal sound in some word. (I don't know why :P)

some other word:

  • 妈妈
  • 爸爸
  • 星星
  • 月亮
  • 桌子
  • 椅子

Word's "orignal" sound is align to 《新华字典》,which defined by the law.

You will (only?) hear 太阳 really sounds "tài yáng" in government reports (Ha ha...

  • Wait ... Miss Google's pronunciation should not be trusted.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 10:05
  • you are right. but these two simple word "happens to" right. XD
    – GongT
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 15:22

Whether to realise 轻声 isn't really a problem -- many southerners in China don't do that (of course one may argue that it is a non-standard accent) and do not cause any problem at all in understanding, so long as you could realise the tones correctly.

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