The book "Sounds of Chinese" gives the surface representation IPA transcription for the word 冰 as /pjəŋ/ and the underlying representation as /piŋ/ (in section 8.1), while the example at 3.25 seems to use /piŋ/ to my ears.

I've also read online on Skritter that the final "ing" in Pinyin (e.g. "ping") can be pronounced with or without a /ə/. It also suggests that including the /ə/ is more common in Northern China.

The Chinese Pronunciation Wiki states that the "ing" sound can be pronounced as pinyin "yi" + "eng" , which seems to match up quite nicely with the Bopomofo(注音符號) representation of "ing" (ㄧㄥ). It also states that this pronunciation is more common in northern China.

I have a few questions.

  1. Is there a "standard" pronunciation? The Google and Amazon TTS systems seem to prefer /piŋ/ i.e. without the /ə/.
  2. Does anyone know what pronunciation is used in Taiwan? I used to use this dictionary a lot, which had bopomofo + audio, but the site uses Flash which is now deprecated. (If someone could suggest an alternative, that'd also be lovely!)
  3. Is there a place where I could listen to both variants of the pronunciation? The links I've found all seem to use flash, including the Skritter page I found (linked above).
  • 1
    (2) The pronunciation in Taiwan is definitely /piŋ/. I can't speak for other areas in Mainland China. Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


It really does not matter that much. They are more like free variants.

For learners, there are probably many aspects of pronunciation needing attention that are much more important than this.

On forvo.com you can hear people from different places pronounce a word, eg. https://forvo.com/word/冰/#zh. There happen to be two speakers from mainland China and two from Taiwan for this word. They also happen to demonstrate both variants. You can also check for other words that end with 'ing' on that site.

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    In my opinion, only MarvinMeow's pronunciation is correct. His pronunciation of 冰 is actually the same as that in Min Nan Hua. I think -ng is on its way out and is being replaced by -n. This is true both in Taiwan and mainland China. For example, cheng becomes chen, zheng becomes zhen, meng becomes men but feng probably won't become fen. One can search 魏龍豪 相聲 影迷離婚記 on youtube and see how he and his partner pronounce 影。It's literally ying, not yin. Both he and his partner were born in Beijing in 1926-1927. I have met Beijingers who pronounce ying as yin or qing as qin.
    – joehua
    Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 10:14

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