Questions tagged [spoken]

For questions about spoken Chinese (aka "oral Chinese" or "verbal Chinese"); consider also the [pronunciation] tag.

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4
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3answers
2k views

Why so many definitions associated with each word?

I'm learning a little Chinese out of curiosity, and I have a basic question about the language as a whole, rather than a specific technical question about a particular word or character. Sorry if this ...
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2answers
196 views

What do new Chinese speakers sound like to native Chinese speakers?

Often when I hear Asians speaking English, it is quite easy to tell if it is their first or second language. Their pronunciation of certain words and sounds such as the hard r's and hard and soft t's ...
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4answers
1k views

How can I find the exact written versions of commonly spoken Cantonese words?

I was trying to find the written representation of the Cantonese word "to make", pronounced as "jing", by looking through the alternatives on Google Translate and reading the ...
5
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2answers
219 views

Would an ancient chinese be able to understand today's language?

In the movie "The Mummy: Tomb of the dragon emperor", an ancient chinese emperor is resurrected in 1946, and he wants to take over the world. The emperor in the film is the Dragon Emperor, ...
4
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2answers
442 views

What is 'hea' (in Cantonese conversations)?

I have been seeing this word 'hea' in YouTube transcriptions involving 'relaxing' or travelling. What is the original word and how has it evolved to 'hea'? (I know it must sound similar to anglicised '...
4
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4answers
196 views

What is @ (“at”) called when giving an email address over the phone?

What is "@" "at" called when giving an email over the phone? Is it different in different regions? I have heard it as "XiaoLong ..." or something similar to that in Taiwan, but not sure what exactly ...
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1answer
125 views

When is a degree required? or: hai6 vs hou2 vs gei

I am trying to learn Cantonese. I want to be able to say (speak, not write) after a meal: I am full. Which I could translate directory to: Ngo5 hai6 baau2 But, my local (student in HK) ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Are there Chinese spoken language games? (like Ubbi Dubbi)

Ubbi dubbi is a language game spoken with the English language. It was popularized by the 1972-1978 PBS children's show Zoom. ... Ubbi dubbi works by adding -ub- /ʌb/ before each vowel sound in a ...
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2answers
163 views

What does 你就是个托 mean, which 文佳佳 yells at Frank in the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (Finding Mr. Right)?

In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (~13m45s), after not immediately getting her way about her room 文佳佳 yells at Frank who is helping her with her luggage: (Alternative image link.) 你就是个托 我算是看清楚了 It means "...
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2answers
175 views

In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (Finding Mr. Right), what does 文佳佳 mean when she yells “像话么,你”?

In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (~6m), the protagonist 文佳佳 yells at the driver for being late. She rants: 我是花钱买服务的,我整整坐了12个小时的飞机,我需要休息。你知道吗?小心点,这箱子很贵啊!你赔不起,我告诉你。我告诉你 我要投诉你们,你看别人都拿着个牌子举着等人。早早地就来了,你倒好,恨不得。干脆这样吧。...
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5answers
1k views

How should I understand the absence of conjunctions in 流行音乐歌唱的大都是男女爱情、歌词贴近生活、通俗易懂、易于传唱、受到欢迎、不足为怪?

In the Coursera HSK6 course, week 5 lesson 22, part of the spoken 短文 is: 流行音乐歌唱的大都是男女爱情、歌词贴近生活、通俗易懂、易于传唱、受到欢迎、不足为怪。 [My translation]: The majority of pop music songs are male-female romance, lyrics ...
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5answers
259 views

How to pronounce 學 “shwehh”, “shoo-ehh”, or “xüüehh”?

According to pinyin pronunciation guides, 學 should be pronounced x + ü + e with a rising tone. This should verbally sound something like 1) a shh- with tip of tongue close to your bottom teeth ...
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3answers
259 views

Is it correct to say the standard for written Chinese is Mandarin, regardless of dialect (e.g. Cantonese)?

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
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2answers
901 views

Describing a person that can speak Mandarin

Yesterday I met a person that can speak Mandarin. We had a nice chat and I was going over it in my head today. I want to tell another friend that I met someone that can speak mandarin, but I'm having ...
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2answers
67 views

不要说话 vs 不说话 (vs 别说话)

Currently on DuoLingo, and got this sentence: 我们看电影的时候请不要说话 which means: Please don't talk when we watch movies. My question: is the 要 strictly necessary here? Google translate actually gives a ...
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3answers
319 views

几 in declarative and interrogative sentence

几 has two meanings: "several" and "how many?" But I have no clear understanding of separation one from another. E.g.: 后面有几个人笑起来了. - declarative 你家有几口人? - interrogative I know ...
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3answers
108 views

When can nouns be used as verbs?

I’ve heard quite a few people from Mainland China say something like this: 每个周末我都会和我的父母一起视频。 I video call my parents every weekend. Now, 视频 just means “video”, which means it is a noun. The ...
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2answers
203 views

What does 我知道 and 应该的 mean in this dialogue?

There's this dialogue here: (3:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yelfxueMlvc 请问,洗手间在哪里? 洗手间?在那边。在那里的右手边。 哦,好。我知道。谢谢. 不客气,应该的。 So... "我知道" certainly doesn't mean "I know" here. ...
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3answers
128 views

When speaking, how would one say “cannot study”? E.g. 不能学习 or 学习不了 or 无法学习

Recently, I've been turning my Chinese learning towards speaking and listening, rather than reading and writing. Now, I might say "cannot study" in a few ways: 不能学习 学习不了 无法学习 The sentence I have in ...
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3answers
731 views

Where can I find people to communicate in Chinese to learn and improve it? [closed]

I am a beginner in Chinese language. I have taken the Chinese - level 1 course on edX [MandarinX]. I did learn the basics which I could use when I travel and go to a restaurant while I am there as a ...
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2answers
214 views

How do I improve Mandarin vocal conversation?

I'm interested in learning Mandarin bit by bit via listening to music, having conversations with friends who are native to that language, movies and so on. For some background I have many ethnic ...
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2answers
94 views

Does reading Chinese sentences improve my speaking?

If I do not have anyone to practice speaking with, will reading Mandarin help me speak Mandarin?
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3answers
90 views

Is 如果我们,所有的学生,没有我们的中文老师,我们就永远不能站起来在听众前面说中文 grammatical and does it makes sense?

English: If we, all the students, never had our teachers, we would never be able to stand and speak Chinese in front of an audience. My variation in Chinese: 如果我们,所有的学生,没有我们的中文老师,...
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3answers
324 views

“easily fooled” in Chinese(slang)

例如, 一个人无论如何也学不会1+1=2怎么计算的时候可以说: 那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会. 问题: 汉语中有类似的句子描述一个人很容易上当受骗吗? 句型: 这么简单的骗术你都信, 你 (真是) XXX. XXX中不能有人身攻击, 必须切实到被描述者的真实情况. 在上面句子中"那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会"前半句"客观"的描述了后半句的起因, ...
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2answers
46 views

Accent on “dou1” (all) after a subject

Let's take into consideration these examples: Ta1 men dou1 bu4 xi3 huan1 wo3. They all dislike me. Zhong1 guo2 de cheng2 shi4 dou1 hen3 da4. All the Chinese cities are big. To my European brain "...
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4answers
670 views

Is Southwestern Mandarin different from Mandarin?

I'm moving in two years to Yunnan. I'm learning Mandarin. But I've read that in Yunnan the official language is "Southwestern Mandarin". What's the difference? Will they be able to understand me?
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1answer
384 views

Are the “h” in pinyin always pronounced as “[x]” in IPA?

Chinese (Mandarin) use [x] to pronounce h sound. It does not have any sounds such as [h] and [ɸ]. However, I'm not sure if it is fine to assume that all the h in pinyin are pronounced as [x]. ...
2
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5answers
107 views

Help with tones?

Before I jump into the question, a bit of context for my situation: I'm in Mandarin 1 currently in HS, about 7 months in from the beginning of the school year, and I'm having some problems. According ...
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1answer
78 views

Where can I find a collection of samples of Mandarin spoken words, annotated with pinyin and tones?

I recently built the following app that lets you listen to a Chinese word and asks tests your tone hearing ability: https://tones.strokes.ovh/ I'd like to extend it, but in order to get there I need ...
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1answer
115 views

Curious about different ways of swearing in Mandarin

I'm not sure if this is considered an appropriate conversation or question but I've had conversations with Cantonese speakers before who've mentioned that it's so easy to swear in Cantonese, but there ...
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6answers
381 views

Why native speakers always say “一块钱” and write “一元钱 ”instead of “壹圆钱”?

The 1 RMB notes has the Chinese word "壹圆". In spoken Chinese, I hear many native speakers say "一块钱" instead of "壹圆钱"。In written Chinese, I have seen "一元钱" more than "壹圆钱". My questions: In spoken ...
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7answers
887 views

Do acronyms borrowed from English use neutral tone (aka tone 0 or tone 5) for all syllables?

I was just reading a Q&A here about Chinese words for DVD and the discussion also included other acronyms from English. It struck me that nobody wrote the pinyin for any of the terms which made ...
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3answers
105 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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3answers
3k views

Pronunciation of Tang Dynasty Poetry

It was related to me that Tang Dynasty poetry is meant to be pronounced in the style of the Cantonese dialect. Is this correct, incorrect, or a subject of contention?
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1answer
75 views

Chinese Speaking Gps Tracker For My Dog, please help to translate

I bought a new Chinese GPS tracker for my dog online on eBay I have some problem to configure it because I can't track it, I followed all the instruction in English but I can't figure out what is ...
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1answer
64 views

How is a speaker introduced at a Chinese mathematics conference?

I'm aiming to give a mathematics presentation at a conference next month (第八届全国组合数学与图论大会; URL). Assuming everything goes to plan, this will be my first conference talk in Chinese (a 15-minute ...
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3answers
188 views

Understanding how to pronounce the “er” at end of words

I know how to pronounce stuff like: 玩儿 : war 哪儿 : nar 男孩儿: nan har But I recently came across 小偷儿. How would you pronounce that? Would it just sound like “xiao tour” like the English word “tour”?...
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1answer
229 views

Is there any way to make a Chinese speech transcribed to written format?

Here is my situation: I have learned Mandarin mostly from reading news articles and chatting with friends, as well as reading a grammar book and memorizing vocabulary. That makes only my reading and ...
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8answers
5k views

What software can correct pronunciation?

What software is available which can record my voice and warn me about problems with my pronunciation and tones?
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0answers
130 views

Tone contours along diphthongs [closed]

I'd like to know as much as possible about how tone contours (T2, T3, T4) are distributed along Mandarin/standard rhyme diphthongs, especially ai ei ao ou, with references to academic articles if ...
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3answers
118 views

How is 眷顾 used in spoken Chinese?

I've encountered 眷顾 on several occasions but I am not sure how to distinguish it from 照顾 in terms of usage. I have seen an example sentence of 上帝眷顾我们的事业, so is 眷顾 usually used with God and deities?
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1answer
42 views

Website about talk /speech in Chinese

What's the website to watch about talk /speech in Chinese, like TEDx ? What's the keyword to type to find video people do presentation in Chinese in youtube ?
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3answers
2k views

How do Chinese speakers convey emotions by speech?

In many languages, a tone conveys emotion. Thus, a word in the first tone might be perceived as conveying an easy-off emotion by a native Russian speaker; a word in the second tone might be most ...
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2answers
261 views

How to hear tones in speech better

Today I mistook 化学 for 滑雪. That's it. How can I train my ears to better hear tones when people speak Chinese? Sometimes, the tones aren't pronounced to a level where I can physically hear them/have ...
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2answers
133 views

How to improve speaking skills during “real” conversations

I have a question regarding how to improve your speaking skills in a particular situation. Here's my situation: my level of Chinese is somewhat advanced beginner to intermediate, I guess. I'm ...
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8answers
3k views

Where to practice speaking Chinese?

Living in Utah, I find it quite difficult to find places to practice speaking Chinese, especially Cantonese. Apart from accosting people in stores and other public places when I happen to hear them ...
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4answers
2k views

Beginner learning Cantonese: Start with reading/writing or with speaking?

I'm starting to learn Cantonese and I'm not sure where to start. Is it best to start with learning to write/read or learning to speak?
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4answers
1k views

How do I tell the difference between “ing” and “in”?

I grew in a family that speaks Wu Chinese, so I cannot differentiate between the "ing" sound and the "in" sound. Are there any ways to tell them apart or pronounce them differently? They sound the ...
2
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2answers
598 views

In Cantonese, what is a less “childish” way to call one's own parents?

I know the standard ways of calling one's parents—"媽媽/母親" or "爸爸/父親", mother and father respectively, the former more familiar and the latter more formal; or the more familiar/childish way—"媽咪" or "爹哋"...
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2answers
1k views

How to speak more naturally / like a native Chinese speaker [closed]

Some of you will have noticed that I post a lot of questions regarding translations. In general, I believe this is a good exercise, but I've come to realize that in many cases, Chinese people don't ...