Questions tagged [spoken]

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

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24
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is 的 (de) sometimes pronounced “di” even though it is used as a possessive particle?

I've noticed sometimes the word 的 is pronounced as "di" rather than "de". I'm aware that there is a valid use of 的 with pronunciation "di", which means "really and trully". However for the sentence: ...
19
votes
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 ...
13
votes
7answers
851 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do Chinese spell English words over the phone?

In English, if I am spelling my name for someone over the phone I can use a phonetic alphabet to ensure they get my name right. Especially for potentially ambiguous letters; d and t, b and p, c and e, ...
10
votes
4answers
766 views

Pronounce ellipsis 《●●● ●●●》 in Mandarin

When I'm reading ellipses in English out loud I usually say et cetera or and so on. What should I say in Mandarin? 等等?
9
votes
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?
8
votes
3answers
345 views

“Actually” as a sentence-starter of speech filler

When casually speaking English I use the word "actually" a lot at the beginning of a sentance, or as part of the flow of my speech. e.g. Actually, next semester doesn't start for a month. ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

How can I skip characters I can't read when reading aloud?

As an example, I was at the cinema and I wanted to buy tickets for a film named 北京遇上西雅图 However, I can't read all of the characters. In English I'd say; Can I get a ticket for that film "北京*...
8
votes
2answers
826 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Proper way to use sentence-final particles (like 啦 or 喽) in spoken Chinese

I know it's very common for Chinese speakers to add special particles to the end of their sentences to enhance the tone a little bit, such as adding 啊 to show excitement or 啦 to sound cute. Just to ...
6
votes
2answers
559 views

How can I improve the speed of my spoken Chinese?

I'm currently trying to learn '听妈妈的话' on SingChineseSongs, and I'm having trouble keeping up with the fast parts. I also have trouble trying to speak terribly fast in Mandarin anyway. Does anyone ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do Chinese “extend” the last word when speaking?

I've hear on many occasions that Chinese prolong the last word in a sentence, for example: ni hao ma ? becomes ni hao maaaaa ? (I'm not sure that's clear enough but can't think of a better way ...
5
votes
3answers
943 views

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

I was trying (unsuccessfully) to find the written representation of the Cantonese translation of "to make", pronounced as "jing", by looking through the alternatives on Google Translate and reading ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

When do you use 唄 instead of 吧 to end a sentence?

I hear a lot of people in mainland China use the former (never from Taiwanese Mandarin) when saying a phrase as a sort of command, but I'm still not sure about why someone would say it.
5
votes
3answers
199 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
166 views

Tourists in China but can not understand Chinese

How about someone visiting China in the next few months, who does not understand their language? Is there a way to learn common words and sentences with the correct pronunciation quickly? Thanks in ...
4
votes
6answers
254 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
853 views

What board games would facilitate speaking practice?

Table top (board games) games provide good opportunities for authentic and simulated communication with a group. I think such an activity would be ideal for language practice, if one had opportunities ...
4
votes
4answers
768 views

What is the difference between 好多 vs. 很多?

I'm an ABC and I find myself often using 好多. I was talking to my dad yesterday and I noticed that I said it, but something just didn't seem right. Is this correct or does it not make any sense? I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
228 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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?
3
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to wish people good health, etc during Chinese New Year 揮春 | 春貼 | 門聯、春仔

Every Chinese New Years I try to remember common expressions associated with huī chūn (揮春). 賀年的吉利字詞 (Hè nián de jí lì zì cí) Some expressions that I have heard are usually only four characters. I ...
3
votes
2answers
396 views

Hong Kong Cantonese variations

I am interested to learn whether the changes in Hong Kong pronunciation of Cantonese came about, was it because the English in Hong Kong had difficulty understanding the Cantonese? For instance, I ...
2
votes
3answers
90 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
500 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"...
2
votes
3answers
314 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, ...
2
votes
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 "...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

“Today” in Spoken Singaporean Mandarin

Is "今日" or "今天" more appropriate to use when speaking Singaporean Mandarin? Is it different than the one that is used in writing?
2
votes
1answer
298 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
votes
5answers
95 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
632 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
37 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
140 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”?...
1
vote
3answers
89 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,...
1
vote
8answers
366 views

Learning/remembering Chinese

I lived in China for a few months and picked up quite a bit of Mandarin. Now that I've moved back to the US, I have forgotten the Chinese I knew and spoke while there. Other than actually living where ...
1
vote
3answers
97 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
133 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。...
1
vote
3answers
103 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

How do you specify 她 in speech?

If you are speaking, but want to emphasize that you would write 她 rather than 他 at a certain point, how do you do that? I know ways to say the person you are talking about is a woman, as 倪阔乐 suggests....
1
vote
2answers
97 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. ...
1
vote
4answers
485 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?
1
vote
2answers
126 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
69 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
108 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) ...