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I am interested in self-study resources to improve my mandarin pronunciation (improve pinyin syllables and also tone pronunciation).

There are many resources to self study writing/reading skills here but I haven't found anything too advanced for phonetics (i.e. most people just record themselves).

Is there any app/software that shows your tones/syllable pronunciation and gives you advice on what to correct? Recording oneself can be good but I am looking for something better.

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I interested in self-taught, but it's not efficiency way though in my opinion. My suggestion is imitating the pronunciation of native speakers and talking with them more.

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Duolingo

Maybe Duolingo is a good website.

Besides, I would recommend this video from YouTube about an Australian girl learning Chinese who shares some helpful tips.

By watching videos (from easy to hard)

  • TV shows & vlogs & web videos
  • TV series & Movies
  • Documentaries

If you would like to train your listening & reading & speaking, I would recommend bilibili, where you can get the fresh and trending videos and vlogs in China, just like the Chinese version of YouTube.

Also, documentaries are a great resource of standard mandarin and Chinese culture. I strongly recommend these films, because I love Chinese food:-)

By playing games

I also saw some people learning Chinese by playing Chinese games.

  • Genshin Impact, a Zelda-like rpg game, has the full support of Chinese dubbing and is really popular.
  • My Time at Portia, a farming sim game with full audio and subtitles.
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The best way is through exposure, preferably speaking with a native speaker who doesn't speak English. If that's not an option, I recommend finding a Chinese TV station that you like and putting that on at least while you're studying. Here's a good place to start: https://tv.cctv.com/live/cctvjilu/

Besides that, you can transcribe the characters (using something like 百度手写 for characters you don't recognize) of a TV show and plug them into a translator (for example: https://fanyi.baidu.com/) and listen to them (on the Chinese side) over and over, slow, medium, and fast.

You can also record them, along with the original audio on something like Audacity: https://www.audacityteam.org/ You can then listen to your recording over and over while you study.

The whole idea is to give yourself an environment of constant exposure until your brain starts to really recognize the sounds of the language.

Don't forget to say the words as well. Listening is the first step, but you have to practice saying them too.

Here are some other sources that can help: https://www.mdbg.net/chinese/dictionary https://www.mdbg.net/chinese/dictionary?page=charquiz https://hanyu.baidu.com/ https://baike.baidu.com/

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If you're looking for an app, Super Chinese (main Web page, Google app store, Apple app store) listens to you and evaluate your pronunciation and tone. But it's just a an app; I have doubts about precision and usefulness, and apps still can't compare to a human ear (I personally don't use it). Also it says which syllables were wrong, but doesn't say what was wrong. This app also includes conversations by native speakers to listen to and repeat.

If you have trouble distinguishing tones, I would highly recommend taking "musical hearing" classes ("solfège" in French) to develop your inner ear (the brain part). I really think this is the fastest way to develop the brain to distinguish pitches and tones. Your teacher could be a singing teacher of any kind (classical, pop...), but any professionnal musician can help you with this training. I observed that the students who have the most difficulty with tones can't actually sing a simple song, they kind of sing recto tono, which show their inner ear is underdevelopped (very frequent in the Western world).

Personnally, I spent hours listening to pedagogic videos on Youtube. Lots of videos by several different good teachers explain pronunciation nuances, even though it might be the academic pronunciations rather than the natural native ones.

Again, to get feedback on your pronunciation, I don't think any app could be a great solution.

  • Talking with Chinese people,
  • listening, listening more and listening again to refine your understanding of phonetic nuances,
  • and, as you said, recording yourself and listening for comparison,

might be the single best ways to improve.

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