Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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''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 (...
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2 votes
1 answer
266 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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
264 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 ...
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1 answer
288 views

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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
198 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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
138 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, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
86 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
460 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
169 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
213 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&...
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2 votes
1 answer
125 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
61 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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1 vote
1 answer
89 views

What is the normal process through which 多音字 develop?

Do 多音字 usually develop as separate words that just happen to be written in the same way? Or do they usually arise as one word that diverges into different pronunciations for its different senses? This ...
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3 votes
1 answer
319 views

Why aren't pictophonetic characters more consistent?

By some estimates, over 80% of chinese characters are pictophonetic, with a component suggesting meaning and another indicating pronunciation. However, there are many chinese characters where that ...
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4 votes
1 answer
313 views

Do we need to pronounce 那 in 那个 different than 那 in general?

In general, people pronounce 那 as Nà. In the movies I hear people pronounce 那个 as Nigè all the time and only when there is no other characters behind 那个. Most of the time when they start to speak a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
235 views

What is the Chinese version of いろは?

In Japanese, there is a poem titled いろは. This poem is unique because it uses every possible Japanese syllable, making it a pangram. I imagine it makes a great exercise for improving pronunciation. I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
120 views

What are the real tones in 我给你买?

In 我给你买。 The four are 3rd tones. What rule is applied here? 3+3 = 2+3 ? and being "wo2gei3ni2mai3? Or it use another rule like; 3+3+3 (being individual characters) = 2+2+3 and sound something ...
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1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Stress and the meaning of sentence

Yes I am a native Chinese speaker, but something confused me. I used to think the meaning of a Chinese sentence should unique no matter the intonation and stress (spoken Chinese, of course). I found ...
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0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Is there phonetic stress in questions?

他最喜欢谁? 他最喜欢小明。 每个人买了什么? 每个人买了菜。 Do correct me if I'm wrong, but I learnt that the main stress of the sentence when you're answering a question is on the part that is actually the answer. So the bolded ...
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1 vote
1 answer
158 views

How do I stop repeatedly mispronouncing the 3-2 tone combination?

死亡 抢劫 坦白 转移 隐瞒 走廊 本人 补偿 引擎 种族 赌博 企图 场合 解除 典型 嘴唇 指责 肿瘤 永恒 野蛮 本能 抵达 往常 妥协 挽回 祖国 履行 演习 沼泽 导航 准则 饮食 审查 谴责 品尝 可行 水泥 采集 等级 反常 否则 北极 储存 歹徒 反驳 考察 起源 管辖 起伏 选拔 敏捷 腐蚀 启程 礼节 表决 转达 委员 口头 阻挠 主流 咀嚼 阻拦 缓和 勇于 转折 改良 总和 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
235 views

How is 一举两得 pronounced?

My teacher said I pronounce this wrong: CC-CEDICT: 一举两得 (yī​jǔ​liǎng​dé​) one move, two gains (idiom); two birds with one stone On paper, the tones are 一(1) 举(3) 两(3) 得(2), but then we need to ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
165 views

Why many professional Xiangqi players cannot pronounce 車 correctly?

When referring to a piece in Chinese chess (Xiangqi), 車 should be pronounced as jū or ㄐㄩ, instead of chē (ㄔㄜ). It is understandable that not every native speaker knows this pronunciation. However, I ...
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1 vote
4 answers
146 views

Tools for self study of Mandarin pronunciation

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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
211 views

The Shanghainese pronunciation of 無

吳語小字典 吳語學堂 I have two sources for the Shanghainese pronunciation of "無" (leaving colloquial pronunciation aside); one says the initial is /v/ while the other /ɦ/. I found the same ...
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0 votes
1 answer
85 views

How pronunce " 小打小闹 " in 我的一点成就 不过是小打小闹?

I am sorry that this question doesn't answer to the case of four consecutive third tones, especially in what Wenlin dictionary calls "Fixed Expression"? How should I apply what is written in ...
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4 votes
4 answers
372 views

What were the Olympic Chinese table tennis players yelling when they scored?

Watching the men's team table tennis gold medal match in the Tokyo 2020(1) Olympics, I noticed that the Chinese players were yelling something every time they scored. I tried googling to see what they ...
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1 vote
0 answers
67 views

How to subconsciously pronounce tones when speaking? [closed]

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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
277 views

In the context of deep-sea exploration, what is the pronunciation of 蛤 (gé​ vs. há​)?

潜水到几千米深海底的科学家发现了一个繁殖生命的场所,那里的生物长相古怪,​蛤,蚌,蟹,贝壳,红冠蠕虫等等,什么都有。 HSK6 Standard Course 6上, chapter 19. I'm not too sure about how to pronounce 蛤 above: CC-CEDICT: 蛤 (gé​) clam; (há​) frog / toad The HSK6 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

How do you combine the sandhi rules for consecutive 3rd tones and half 3rd tones in a sentence like 我很高兴?

In a sentence like: 我很高兴 (wǒ hěn gāo​xìng) two 3rd tones are in a row. So according to 3rd tone sandhi, it must be pronounced wó hěn gāo​xìng On the other hand, a 3rd tone (hěn) is followed by a ...
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1 vote
3 answers
285 views

What is the Mandarin PinYin pronunciation for the Bushou that cannot be typed?

I am attaching images of 部首 (Associated BuShou) from the widely used 新华字典 (XinHuaZiDian) that have no current Unicode encoding, therefore cannot be typed using your typical software on your typical ...
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1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Under the rules for tone sandhi and half 3-rd tones, is it correct to pronounce a (3-3) as (3h- 3h) or it must be pronounced (2-3)?

I know that when a 3rd tone is followed by another 3rd tone, (3-3) it is pronounced (2-3). On the other hand, I know that a 3rd tone followed by a non-3rd tone and on many other occasions is ...
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2 votes
4 answers
354 views

Reading Years in Chinese

We know that years like 2021 are read as "er ling er yi nian". But Google Translate reads 2000年 as :liang qian nian. Possibly because "er ling ling ling nian" would be cumbersome. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Hakka (Sixian dialect) issue: some characters with a rising tone (上聲)

I found that most of the characters that used to have a sonorant initial and a rising tone in Middle Chinese are pronounced in either rising tone or dark level tone(陰平) in modern Hakka language: Dark ...
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2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Pronouncing pinyin "ing" (bopomofoㄧㄥ ) as /iŋ/ or /jəŋ/ e.g. in 冰

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....
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1 vote
0 answers
339 views

What phonetic sounds are there in Chinese?

What are the IPA symbols for sounds in (Beijing) Mandarin? Which Mandarin sounds are not in (American) English? Which English sounds are not in Mandarin? Below are the IPA consonant and vowel charts ...
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0 votes
2 answers
128 views

How to pronounce the word that start with "C" in Chinese Mandarin?

This question is not about the tones. It is about how do you pronounce the word that starts with a "C". 脆 Cuì 碎 Suì 猜 Cāi 腮 Sāi Above pair of words sound so familiar but I could hear the ...
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  • 577
3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Xiang-affected Mandarin: 元 read, gen?

Watching this YouTube video: 20121114 03 湖南 湖南一男子下班开滑翔伞回家 笑言空中无红灯 @ ~1:10 the reporter says, what sounds to me like: 滑翔伞只要两万余元(gen) then a second later he goes on: 加上动力机器只要六万余元(gen) Looking at the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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怎么朗读“∶”号在这句话里?how should ":" be read aloud here?

怎么朗读“∶”号在这句话里? 《6∶2的比值是3》 须要读冒(mào)吗? 看到这句话在现代汉语规范词典里: 比值 bǐzhí 名 两数相比得出的数值, 如6∶2的比值是3。 (也说比率。) How should ":" be read aloud in the dictionary entry above?
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0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Dictionary for different dialects

I am in search for a dictionary that have the most common Chinese words mapped with a one-to-one relationship for different dialects. To be specific, I am looking for a entries mapped for Taiwan (...
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3 votes
1 answer
145 views

Is the pinyin for 他撇了撇嘴 actually "tā piē le piězuǐ" (as given by Pleco)? And if so, why are the two 撇s pronounced differently?

There are two pronunciations for 撇: piē and piě. As I understand, the pinyin for 撇嘴 is piě​zuǐ​. But then I see this example sentence on Pleco... 他撇了撇嘴,轻蔑地一笑。 Tā piēle piězuǐ. His lips curled in a ...
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1 vote
3 answers
133 views

Pronunciation difference between 绿, and 陆。

你们怎么样 ? I cannot find the right pronunciation for words like 绿. The pronunciation of 绿 in my mind is too similar to words like, 陆 。 Help me differenciate between the two and study more about that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
407 views

Strange pronunciation of 非常

I listen to podcasts from Taiwan for listening practice and I think I hear the word 非常 [fēichánɡ] often pronounced like 飛揚 [fēiyánɡ] in them. Am I hearing it right or am I confusing it with some other ...
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0 votes
2 answers
164 views

How to learn the correct pronunciation of words with "sh" and "s"?

I've been "speaking" Chinese my entire life, and I can hear, understand, and reproduce the different sounds. I've just never paid much attention to it. It hasn't occurred to me much until ...
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0 votes
2 answers
68 views

When 亏 is kuī ? when yú?

The dictionary entry for 亏 is: 亏 kuī(or yú) lose, fail, damage, deficient When will 亏 be pronounced as yú?
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1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Pronunciation of 妨碍 (fáng'ài)

For any pronunciation the tone is on the vowel in sequence of a, e, i, o,u which appears first.If it is a two character word, there will not be any symbol between two characters. But in 妨碍 (fáng'ài), ...
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0 votes
2 answers
179 views

How to pronounce 你是什么意思 in spoken Chinese?

Looking up the Chinese translation of 'What do you mean' in my (pocket) dictionaries and in some translation engines on the internet results in 你是什么意思. In spoken Chinese I hear sounds like 'si mi si' ...
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5 votes
1 answer
392 views

Pronunciation of 什么

什么 (shénme) sounds to my ears more like (shéme). Assuming I'm hearing correctly, is this just a common contraction of this word, or is the sequence "-n" + "m-" generally contracted ...
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  • 504
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

很有 pronounced rather like hěnyòu instead of hěnyǒu

In an intermediate level class (B1 or B2 level perhaps / around HSK 5 or 6), several example sentences were used to illustrate some vocabulary. The teacher, a native speaker with fairly standard ...
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