Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions regarding the correct consonants, vowels, tone, stress, rhythm and intonation of a word in spoken Chinese

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Why is 朝鲜 pronounced as 曹县?

朝鲜 is known as 朝日鲜明的国家, where 朝日 means the sun in the morning so it should be Zhao招 but not Chao潮, and 鲜明 means flashy, clear and bright so it should be Xian先 in first tone but not Xian显 in third tone....
NanningYouth's user avatar
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What is the pronunciation of 行 in the meaning 'saṃskāra'?

One of the meanings of 行 is saṃskāra, 'formations', one of the five Buddhist skandhas. What is the pronunciation of 行 in this meaning? The question is motivated by Kroll's Student's Dictionary of ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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Pronouncing two words with same pronunciation(homophones)

As a beginner, the thing I realized is there is a lot of word with the same pronunciation and Chinese is almost full of homophone words. For example: 良, 量, 凉, 粮, 踉 all have the same pronunciation: ...
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How do I pronounce 也許可以使表達更有條理

I know the individual pronunciation in each word in the sentence 也許可以使表達更有條理, but when put together I'm confused by the string of third tones in the beginning: 也許可以使表 也許: 2-3 可以使表: 2-3-2-3 or 2-2-2-3 ...
ronald christenkkson's user avatar
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3 answers
2k views

Why doesn't Chinese have voiced sounds like [b], [d] and [g]?

So I'm wondering why, Chinese lacks voiced sounds like B, D and G. B, D and G all sound different from English. B is like [p], D is like [t], and G is like [k]. Were the voiced sounds all too hard to ...
Akshat Goswami's user avatar
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How does the Chinese character 𤇼 pronounce in Hanyu Pinyin?

I want to how the rare Chinese character 𤇼 pronounce. After looking up several dictionaries, the first source said the character had entered wrongly, the second and third source did not provide any ...
數學硏究's user avatar
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2 answers
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Where does the "o" sound fit into Chinese phonology? Is it a mid vowel?

So I've been looking at San Duanmu's The Phonology of Standard Chinese, and in the vowel section, the pinyin /o/ from 中 is not mentioned. An allophone of the middle vowel is described as [o], which is ...
Senjougahara Hitagi's user avatar
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3 answers
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房地产 和 不动产有什么区别?Moreover i want to know the correct pronunciation of 不 of 不动产

I've searched for the differences between 房地产 and 不动产 but the results are all written in Chinese and my Chinese level is not enough to read them. I guess that 不动产 is more related to business purpose ...
TG24's user avatar
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Fourth-tone 好 used as a complete stand-alone sentence to express agreement, a bit like "OK" or 行

While watching a TV series called 奈何BOSS要娶我 / Well-Intended Love I was struck by the way 好 is pronounced (*) when used as a complete stand-alone sentence to express agreement. It sounds to me much ...
goPlayerJuggler's user avatar
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2 answers
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How to differentiate between -in and -ing final sounds in spoken Mandarin

Is there a way to distinguish between someone saying the -in and -ing sounds in (particularly Taiwanese) Mandarin speech? Especially casual, rapid speech where those finals are sandwiched in between ...
JJ W's user avatar
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What is the difference of head-stressed and final-stressed pronunciations for words for relatives?

It seems like, at least in Taiwan, most words for relatives can alternatively also be stressed on the second syllable instead of on the first: So ayí instead of āyí, mamá instead of māma, meiméi or ...
Dodezv's user avatar
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Does pronouncing 你 in Cantonese with an "n" sound make me sound old-fashioned?

When I was learning Cantonese, I had no formal teacher, just some friends who had been learning Cantonese much longer than me helping me out. These people told me that anytime a dictionary had an &...
T Hummus's user avatar
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How do you find an octave that works for speaking

I recently started self-studying Mandarin. Most of the spoken resources available to me use female voices and when I try to imitate their pronunciation and tones I speak in a much higher voice than ...
peppyb's user avatar
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How should 密钥 be pronounced?

密钥 is a technical term in cryptography referring to cryptographic keys used to encrypt and decrypt messages, (and sign and verify, but that's whole another story) Given that a physical door key or a ...
DannyNiu's user avatar
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Why is 听 sometimes pronounced [tʰjəŋ] rather than [tʰiŋ]?

MDBG says that the pinyin for 听 is tīng. Wikipedia says that -ing is realized as [iŋ]. However, the speaker in my flash cards pronounced 听 as [tʰjəŋ]. She glided through a schwa before pronouncing the ...
jrpear's user avatar
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If 为, meaning 'for...', takes the reading [wèi] why, in the following examples, is [wéi] being used?

I had learned that 为 'for the purpose/sake of' took the reading 'wèi'. However, I have seen several instances of 'wéi' being used to mean the same thing. Are these readings interchangeable or is 'wéi' ...
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The Chinese readings of 朴 (Korean surname)

The character 朴 is used in modern Mandarin in the following ways: pò 朴樹 'Chinese hackberry, Celtis sinensis', 厚朴 'Magnolia officinalis'. pǔ [simplified from 樸] 'simple, plain, rough, unpolished'. ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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What’s the deal with the xing-type readings for 行?

How come did the readings of the xing-category appear for 行? They make no sense. The Early Middle Chinese for “to walk” is γæng, which should give héng – and so it does, in 胻, 蘅, 桁 – even with the ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Pronounced 麼 as mo?

In Taiwan, how common is it to pronounce 麼 as 'mo', in words like 什麼, 怎麼, 那麼, etc... I know 麼 means small or tiny when pronounced as 'mó' in Standard Mandarin, and when in the words above, it's ...
Tosaku's user avatar
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How is my Cantonese pronunciation of 汪阿姐?

汪阿姐 wong1 aa3 ze1/ze2 https://recorder.google.com/share/834c05d1-6723-4465-a207-76778d8d9bab Please upload your pronunciation audio and help identify what characters I pronounced incorrectly or ...
user78219's user avatar
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1 answer
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How can learner distinguish 察館 vs. 茶館 in Mandarin phonetically?

I like to practice my Mandarin with staff at a 茶館 (tea house). After my months of trying, and after their months guffawing at me, they advise me that my pronunciation of 茶館 STILL sounds like 察館 (...
User's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is the honorific space in a text "pronounced" as a pause when read aloud?

The ideographic space (https://unicode-table.com/en/3000/) is used in one copy of the CUV Bible but not in another. Does its presence affect how it's read aloud? If the ideographic space is used ...
David's user avatar
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1 answer
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How can I get a Chinese text-to-speech software that can overcome the lack of pronunciations in certain tones?

I'm using some text-to-speech softwares to read some stuff (Narakeet, Mic Monster and Speechelo), but I also want to have them read each 声母 and 韵母 in the 1st tone. The problem is there are some ...
Enrico Brasil's user avatar
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Recommendations of websites or services for saving any audio of Chinese sentence

Can I save an audio of Baidu Translate? I can save an audio of Google Translate using the following URL. https://translate.google.com/translate_tts?ie=UTF-8&client=tw-ob&tl=zh-CN&q=...
TG24's user avatar
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Is there a "w" sound in 谁 like Shwéi or is it just Shéi?

When I listen to native speakers I can sometimes hear a "w" sound in 谁 Like it was "shwei". Or is it just "Shéi"? Which is correct?
user55570's user avatar
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Seems google 翻译 pronouncing in wrong way

好久不见。 下午 我 会 去 超市。 Xiàwǔ wǒ huì qù chāoshì. The problem is that the last pinyin which should be pronounced like "shu" in English but Google-translate(android app) actually pronounce it as ...
TG24's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
924 views

Why is 吏 (lì) pronounced differently to 史 (shǐ) and 使 (shǐ)?

The pronunciation of 吏 (lì) is frustratingly hard to remember since it's different to two similar-looking characters 史 (shǐ) and 使 (shǐ). Sometimes learning the etymology, and the reason why a ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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1 vote
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Is the i sound in chī (吃)and chǐ (尺)a sound not found in English?

I noticed recently that the Hanyu pinyin "i" in chī 吃 and chǐ 尺, aren't the same as the "i" in zi 子 or si 四. I speak English with a standard American accent (grew up in New England)...
taciteloquence's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
426 views

Why is 参差 pronounced cēncī?

CC-CEDICT: 参差 (cēn​cī​) uneven / jagged / snaggletooth / ragged / serrated CC-CEDICT: 参差不齐 (cēn​cī​bù​qí​) (idiom) variable / uneven / irregular Judging from Pleco, outside of 参差, the character 参 is ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Puzzling Chinese conversations

Puzzle 1: A: 張先生還在人事部上班嗎? - Does Mr. Zhang still work for HR? B: 不在, 昨天上調了. - No, he was promoted and moved to somewhere else yesterday. A: 啊, 他死啦!? 我前天還見到他, 怎麼這麼快就走了呢? Ah, he was dead?! I have only ...
r13's user avatar
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Is there a difference in word stress between 会 as a time marker and 会 as an auxiliary verb meaning "to know how to"?

”他会看书“ could have two meanings: 1. "He knows how to read", and 2. "He will read". Context in most situations would make it clear which is meant, though I've noticed that there is ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
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What tone is 什 in 什么 in standard northern accent 普通话?

All dictionary entries put 什么 as shen2me0, but I am quite sure that in fluid speech I've only ever heard shen3me0. What's going on here? Is this a dialect/regional accent thing? For context, I grew up ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is the correct reading of 折 in "裏面那根麥管給咬折了"?

I'm having trouble judging when 折 is 折 shé and when it is zhé. Is there any simple rule to this? In the book I'm reading, I've encountered the following phrase. 裏面那根麥管給咬折了。 The Guifan says the ...
timseb's user avatar
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2 answers
101 views

Is the neutral tone of 吗 pronounced differently than other neutral-tone syllables in the same context?

I've always taught students that there is no question tone in Chinese like there is in English, in order to help them avoid pronouncing their questions with a rising tone at the end (like we do in ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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1 vote
5 answers
470 views

Why is 奇数 pronounced jīshù and not qíshù?

Integers {...,-2,-1,0,1,2,...} split into two types: CC-CEDICT: 偶数 (ǒu​shù​) even number CC-CEDICT: 奇数 (jī​shù​) odd number Oddly, 奇 is pronounced jī and not qí. This leads to the question... ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
307 views

The standard 称謂 of elder sister in mainland China

As stated in the subject title, I wonder what the standard way of mainlanders address their "older sister", whether she is called "zi zi" or "jiě jie", and how the ...
r13's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
267 views

''China'' name in different chinese dialects

I would like to know wether most chinese dialects agree on a similar pronunciation/name of the country (中国/Zhōngguó) as in Mandarin, or there are some dialects who call it with a totally different (...
Hamdiken's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
313 views

梨 (lí) vs 离 (lí)

How do I differentiate between "pear - 梨 (lí)" and “to leave - 离 (lí)”? They both sound exactly the same, so do I just follow the sentence to see which it is? Or is there another way to ...
DialFrost's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Do dialogues like 那是四本什麼書? 那是四本國語書 sound normal or awkward?

I got the following simple Chinese dialog between a mother and her daughter. 甲:這是什麼? 乙:這是一枝毛筆。 甲:這是一枝什麼筆? 乙:這是一枝毛筆。 甲:那是本什麼書。 乙:那是本中文書。 甲:那枝是什麼筆? 乙:那枝是本毛筆。 乙:那四本是中文書。 In the dialog, the locations of ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
468 views

Is there research regarding the link between Chinese tones and musical intervals?

I am using a spectrogram to find the frequency contours in Hz of the different tones that are present in Chinese, and trying to compare this to musical intervals to see if there is actually a musical ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do 谢 and 写 sound different (ignoring the tones)?

I'm aware that 谢 (xiè​) and 写 (xiě​) are theoretically meant to sound the same (ignoring tones): 谢 has the bopomofo/zhuyin ㄒㄧㄝˋ 写 has the bopomofo/zhuyin ㄒㄧㄝˇ But, to my ear at least, when people ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
428 views

How do Taiwanese pronounce English letters?

I know Taiwanese abbreviate Instagram as IG. I have noticed that at least some people pronounce this G like 居 (jū), rather than any tone variant of ji. If I remember correctly, I think I have actually ...
aguijonazo's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the number 4 really considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for "death"?

From what I've Googled so far, there are lots of claims that the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese. 四 is understandably considered unlucky in Japanese and Korean because it sounds identical to ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
220 views

The readings of 栅

What is the deal with the readings of 栅 (柵) and how do they appear? According to modern dictionaries (such as the 漢語大字典 2nd Ed.), there are three readings for 栅? zhà, in the meaning of "fence, ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
101 views

Can kan4 be used to mean "to look after"? Or must it be first tone?

看 is a 多音字. With fourth tone it has many different and very common meanings. With first tone it is defined as "to look after", "to take care of", "to watch", and "to ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
534 views

Pronunciation difference between 医生 and 一生

They have the same pinyin, but I have had an interesting issue when using my phone's voice-to-speech feature. My Chinese friend can say a sentence involving 医生 and it comes up correct for him, however ...
eancu's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
205 views

Pronunciation of 鼹鼠

Recently learned that 鼹 should be pronounced as the third tone "yǎn" from 现代汉语词典 and other similar dictionaries, as opposed to the fourth tone "yàn". The actual pronunciation of 鼹鼠 ...
fortyniner's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
221 views

When was the pronunciation of 帧 changed?

I have the impression that in dictionary of 80's 帧 was still labeled as "zhèng" while in the 2000's it's been changed to "zhēn". There are also similar changes such as "qián&...
fortyniner's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
321 views

Pinyin / pronunciation for 朋友

I've only been learning Chinese for three days so this may be a very stupid question. I'm seeing the pronunciation for 朋友 sometimes written as [péngyou] and sometimes written as [péngyǒu]. Please ...
KrJpnLinguistNoob's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

How to pronounce derived scientific units

I would like to know how to pronounce a derived scientific unit. From SI Unit and Prefix Names in Chinese, I have been able to surmise that A/B is pronounced A每B, such that g/m would be 克每米. However, ...
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