When going through my flashcard deck, I can frequently get the tones right for the cards. Equally, when reading a text aloud or slowly speaking, I can generally hit the tones accurately.

However, when speaking at a faster pace without consciously thinking of the correct pronunciation for the character, I often find that I revert to a sort of toneless way of speaking - as in English. I might hit a couple of high-frequency words right, but otherwise pronunciation is abysmal. For example: 今天的旅游真的不错 might be said as jin4tian1 de5 lu4you4 zhen5 de5 bu4 cuo4.

Any tips for accurate pronunciation during speech without having to slow down in order to recall the correct tones? I have no opportunities to speak with anyone in my region, but other ways to improve would be much appreciated. I'm nearing the end of the HSK 5 level, but my speaking skills are nowhere near that.

  • 1
    The answer is almost always more practice. :)
    – Betty
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 22:39
  • 1
    Processes that are difficult at first, even when focused on consciously, become gradually more automated. There is no magic trick here, practice really is the only way.
    – Olle Linge
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 6:05


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