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Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions on specific points regarding the ability to use the correct consonants, vowels, tone, stress, rhythm and intonation of a word in a spoken Chinese

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What could 轰 be a contraction of to mean “what”?

轰 can be found in some dialects, often with a 个 found on the end, to mean what. This is most definitely a contraction. (Similar dialects also feature a contraction of 哪 and 样 as 孃 niang, also meaning ...
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72 views

Why Fiorentina is commonly translated as “佛罗伦萨” instead of “费奥伦庭那”?

Though “费奥伦庭那” is sometimes used, it is not nearly as common as "佛罗伦萨". When the name of a place is translated into Chinese, why do people not use the most close pronounciation? Another example is ...
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147 views

How to say “oink!” in Mandarin in a family situation?

This may not be on-topic for the next 4383 days, but hopefully today someone will help me out. Last year was the year of the dog, and a common way to write (in English) the Chinese version of what ...
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1answer
83 views

Are Chinese native speakers more sensitive to tones or phonemes?

It seems like people are more sensitive to tones instead of phonemes. People may not notice some vowels/consonants are wrong but will immediately find that tones are weird. Does this apply for all ...
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2answers
106 views

When 少 is used in someone's name, is it always pronounced shào?

少 can either be pronounced as shào or shǎo. But when used in names, is it always pronounced as shào?
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3answers
81 views

Does pronouncing every word accurately make you sound less like a native speaker?

There are words that many natives Chinese speakers mispronounce. In speaking, if one always pronounces every word correctly (and I believe he/she should), does it make him/her less like a native ...
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5answers
133 views

Why so many people pronounce “馄饨” as hún dùn?

According to dictionaries, the correct pronounciation of "馄饨" is hún tún, but I have never heard any native speakers pronounce the word this way; instead, almost all native speaks say hún dùn. Why?
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155 views

How is【的、得、地】pronunced when talking about the difference in usages of 的·地·得?

When discussing the differences between 的·地·得 usage I've only know the following pronunciation: 的、地、得 die、di、de I can't find a lot to back this up. But, I did find one Tianya forum thread that ...
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2answers
309 views

Can bù (不) change its pronunciation to bú?

When I first learned 不,the accompanying pinyin was given as bù (falling tone). But I've also been doing Pimsleur Chinese lessons and there is the example wo bú hùi shuo ying wen and here 不 ...
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152 views

Yinwei or Yinvei? 因为

I’m a newbie here. I hear some people say 因为 as “yinwei”, but also some say it sound like “yinvei”. I’m not sure why there is a difference in pronunciation. Hope the question is the new one. If it’s ...
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1answer
57 views

Pronunciation and the usage of 啊

So what does the word 啊 actually use for? I have seen it being use for some sentence but don’t really know when to use it Also my teacher said to me that depending on the word 啊 goes with it will ...
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50 views

Do Chinese learners find the tone sandhi phenomenon a natural way to pronounce?

Especially the tone-three-sandhi. Chinese people find it is really hard to pronounce several adjacent three tone without the tone sandhi. Do learners taking Chinese as foreign language think so, or is ...
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Is this a spoken contracted form of 現在【现在】?

In this video at time stamp 0:07 the Taiwanese speaker (according to the subtitles) says: 我們現在是在臺北。。。 However the what she actually says for 現在 is one syllable that sounds like /xia1/ to me. What ...
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Where in Sichuan is 虾 pronunced ha1 (xa⁵⁵)?

《现代汉语方言音库 • 成都话音档》has two listings for 虾 one that says: xa⁵⁵ 又ɕia⁵⁵ xa⁵⁵ can pretty much be pinyinized as ha1 - for simplification here. And there is of course a second entry that says: ɕia⁵⁵ ...
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Contracted pronunciations of 今天 and 这里【這裡】(Taiwan)?

I was watching this great video interviewing people on the street in Taiwan. The interviewer asks the question “你今天來這裡做什麼?” to many people. When introducing the question to "us", the interviewer uses ...
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pronunciation of more than 2 following 3rd tone [duplicate]

Is there any rule for the prounciation of more than 2 following 3rd tone ? for exemple the word " 展览馆 " or the short sentence " 我很好 " ?
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112 views

Is Pinyin recommended for Mandarin Chinese?

Background: I am currently trying to learn Chinese. However, pronunciation isn't as straightforward as I thought. Question: Is Pinyin actually recommended and taught by Mandarin Chinese teachers? I'...
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“Shakespere” Pronounced wrong upsets my teacher

Apparently, when I pronounce the tones wrong on 莎士比亚 I've said something that my teacher refuses to explain to me. It should be Shāshìbǐyǎ. What am I doing wrong?
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2answers
104 views

博士 Pronunciation /ʃə/ or /ʃi/

Why in Chinese some people pronounce the vocal "i" in 士 in the word 博士 (bó shì) as the IPA /i/ in the English "she", but sometimes they pronounce it as the IPA /ə/ in the English "her". Which one is ...
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55 views

Pronunciation of 册

I'm trying to understand the sounds of 册. Phonetically I think I'm hearing "twuh", which is nothing like the pinyin cè. What phonetic sounds are being made? Feel free to add another pronunciation at ...
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117 views

How to pronounce 日?

I've tried listening to forvo and the first doesn't sound like any distinct sound. The others sound like the letter j with the rest of a word cut off and google sounds like the pinyin spelling "ree". ...
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2answers
105 views

Is Siri good for practicing Chinese pronunciation?

Is Siri really that good for Chinese pronunciation? I mean, there will be nothing like a native speaker. For example, when I say "Ní haô" or "Wò qù", it still says the expected characters. If Siri ...
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112 views

Pronouncing Xué (学)

你好! I am currently learning Chinese but I've been struggling with perhaps a very easy sound to do. How do I pronounce Xué (学)? I know that with "x", it's "sh" with the tip of your tongue on your ...
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197 views

Mandarin: tongue placement when pronouncing ü words like 學 and 去 that begin with q, x, j?

Many Mandarin pronunciation guides suggest pronouncing the ü vowel with a tense tongue in mid-mouth as when pronouncing the "yi" sound. However, for words starting with q, j, x, many sites suggest ...
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66 views

Pronunciation/tones for hug (擁抱): yong1 bao4 or yong3 bao4?

CantoDict and yellowbridge say the pronunciation for 擁抱 is yong1 bao4. However, Google Translate and other pages say it's yong3 bao4. What's the right pronunciation?
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2answers
321 views

Can Chinese words start with a vowel?

I've been searching around for random words. Dragon = long, green = lǜsè, river = he... I can't seem to find any words that start with a vowel. Do any Chinese words start with a vowel?
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176 views

When/where is cancer [癌] pronunced yán?

MDBG's definition of 癌 says: cancer / carcinoma / also pr. [yan2] MoE put their main pronunciation of 癌 as: yán Which might make it look like a TW thing but 兩岸's entry just reads: ái When ...
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3answers
313 views

How many homophones for “shi” are there in Chinese - with or without considering tones?

I'm curious as to how many Chinese characters correspond to the pinyin "shi", such as 是 时 十 事 史 and so on. Is there an exact number of how many words (besides really archaic ones nobody uses) use this ...
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78 views

Help translating two lines of Zhang Shaolin's “Hakka homesickness” (客家乡情) + some weird pronunciations in that song

Song video. Lyrics, romanization (based on what I hear in the video), translation attempt. 张少林的“客家乡情”(客家话) 爱记乡情 齐家都係客人 最緊有煞拼求進 (AX 建议的写法) 莫忘乡情 齐家係自家人 只只回故乡寻根 叔公叔婆来相认 亲戚送礼来好热心 到处都有人亲 做事耐苦 人乌白也分明 ...
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Questions on a Hakka song and its particular Hakka dialect

Warning, General Background, Table of Contents This is going to be a very long post, just like my work on this video was very long. This is why I am breaking it down into sections. It is also going ...
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1answer
97 views

Status of a sandhi “rule” for 2nd tone

I came across a sandhi rule - described here (point number 6): A 2nd tone preceded by a 1st or 2nd tone and followed by another tone becomes a 1st tone I never heard of this rule before so I was ...
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1answer
47 views

Doubts on some words in a Deng Lijun song

I just listened to the song 无奈 by Deng Lijun, and there are three points where what I hear doesn't match the lyrics I have: At the end of the sentence at 1:30-1:37, my lyrics have 痴情 | chïqíng, but I ...
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27 views

Adverb suffix “te(t)” in Hakka: exact pronunciation? Better spelling suggestion (perhaps)?

In the song 摇滚吧!山歌, there is a line going: Man-man-te(t) pun nyin thiam-piong I render that in characters as: 慢慢地分人添放, and it means: Are slowly being forgotten. I know that pun is a ...
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1answer
191 views

The IPA for pinyin x

Every single source I come across on google list the IPA of pinyin x as /ɕ/, or the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. However, the sample sound on Wikipedia is quite distinct from it -- to me (...
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1answer
92 views

Any evidence for z(h)uang (这么) and luang (那么)?

I keep hearing: zuang [tsuaŋ] and luang [Ĩuaŋ] for 这么 and 那么, respectively. I believe it is Minjiang dialect (岷江话, 岷江小片). I've flipped through a couple of books I have but I haven't been able ...
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1answer
63 views

Examples of Epenthesis in Chinese

Epenthesis is a process that inserts a syllabic or non-syllabic segment within an existing string of segments. For example, it is common in casual speech for English speakers to insert a (p) in ...
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2answers
134 views

Why is Húnán pronounced with an F?

I traveled to Hunan province and stumbled across something interesting. I was speaking to a taxi driver and asked him, 'where are you from'? He responded, 'Funan'. I then realized he actually meant '...
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518 views

Pronunciation of 壹 / 一 in Mandarin

The pronunciation of 壹 / 一 in Mandarin, when I was in school, is: yī It's been a while that it is also pronounced as: yao (or similar, I'm not very good with pinyin) and seems common among ...
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1answer
58 views

Mandarin dialect pronouncing sizzling consonants differently

Sometimes when people speak Chinese they pronounce "zh" more like "z", "ch" like "c", "sh" more like "s", etc. In other respects (sentence structure, words), it seems to be proper mandarin. An example ...
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221 views

Word pairs like 嫉妒/忌妒 with similar pronounciations and meanings - examples and discussion please

I was thinking about how slight changes in pronunciation are reflected in writing. As a case in point, here are two examples of words whose pronunciations are different, but similar, and whose ...
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2k views

How did Chinese people know in the past the pronunciation of words? [duplicate]

Nowadays a Chinese person seeing a character for the first time can look it up in a dictionary (it doesn't matter how) and get the phonetic or Pinyin transliteration, so that the pronunciation is ...
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4answers
327 views

Correct pronunciation for 北, 白 in Cantonese?

Referring to Cantonese Sheik, 北 is normally pronounced as 'bak', as in 北角 (bak gok - a train station in Hong Kong). However, I have seen instances where it is pronounced as 'pak' as in 北潭涌 (Pak Tam ...
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3answers
241 views

Pinyin vs. Pronounciation of 嗯?

I've seen the word "嗯" many times in conversations and songs. I know that it pronounces like "hm", expressing curiosity. But when I check the pinyin of it, according to Wiktionary, it is like such: ...
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2answers
155 views

Why does 空 have a fourth tone reading in 空格, but a first tone reading in 空调, 空气 etc

And, more broadly, is there a pattern when words like 空 have the same pronunciation but different tones, depending on the word?
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211 views

How is “biang” as in “biáng biáng miàn” pronounced in other dialects?

To my understanding, "biáng" is not a sound that exists in Mandarin, though there's some argument on the hypothetical phonological possibility of such here. One might assume therefore that it is a ...
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248 views

In which pitches do I pronounce several first tones in a sequence?

For a while now I've been noticing and trying to figure out how to correctly pronounce several first tone characters in a row. Examples: 機車 jīchē 公車 gōngchē The speech synthesis of Quizlet ...
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1answer
98 views

Why is inital /ŋ/ considered hick-ish?

There seems to be a habit of dropping /ŋ/ initials in topolects/dialects for fear of seeming like a redneck. Consider: Canto: 屋 nguk1 vs. uk1 [the new ABC Cantonese dictionary only gives the uk1 ...
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98 views

刀削面: who says xuē and who says xiāo?

I’ve only ever known 刀削面 as dāoxuēmiàn, maybe that says something about the company I keep. I’ve noticed recently a lot of people, though, actually say dāoxiāomiàn. ABC dictionary lists both ...
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118 views

What is the difference between colloquial and literary readings of characters?

This CantoDict page for 熟 says: Pinyin shu2 is literary reading; shou2 is colloquial. What does this mean? More importantly, how are you supposed to pronounce 熟 in Mandarin? :)
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86 views

Pronunciation of 汎 in the Analects

I am listening to a recording of the Analects in Mandarin recommended by several of my Chinese friends (so, good quality, I hope). In the 學而第一 there is the saying: 子曰:「弟子入則孝,出則弟,謹而信,汎愛眾,而親仁 My ...