Questions tagged [tones]

Questions about the tones used in Chinese.

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Converting pinyin with tones into chinese characters

Does anybody know how to convert pinyin with tone marks back into chinese characters. I am using www.branah.com/chinese-to-pinyin to convert the characters to pinyin but cannot find a way to do the ...
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4answers
129 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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Tonal evolution of 俘?

Looking at the character『俘』 In Soutwestern Mandarin it takes 阴平: 《现代汉语方言音库 • 成都话音档》 俘 fu⁵⁵ In Cantonese it looks to also take 阴平: (Jyutping): fu1 Hokkien, also, maybe 阴平: /hu⁴⁴/. I'm seeing ...
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3answers
833 views

How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

In the West, Chinese names almost never seem to be written using pinyin tone marks or numbers. For example, the current president's name will simply be written as Xi Jinping. I had to Google to ...
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2answers
129 views

Why is the first tone less common after m, n, r, l?

In Gwoyeu Romatzyh (国语罗马字), the first tone uses the basic spelling except when the initial is a sonorant (响音) m, n, l, r. For example, ba (八) bar (跋) baa (把) bah (爸) Sonorants mark the first tone by ...
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13answers
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What is a good technique for remembering tones?

I find it a great struggle to try and remember tones for all the new vocab I learn, and aside from gradually picking up tones by listening and talking with native speakers, I can't really remember ...
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这里的“奠过茶饭”和“大家见过”中的“过”应该读第四声还是轻声?(Is this “过” supposed to be read with the fourth tone, or the neutral tone?)

Question: “奠过茶饭”和“大家见过”中的“过”应该读第四声还是轻声? 对于这里的“过”的意义与声调,好像只有两种可能,它们是: 1、表示动作完毕的轻声的“过” 2、表示人或物随动作跨越时空的第四声的“过” 请看其原文: 原来这馒头庵就是水月庵,因他庙里做的馒头好,就起了这个浑号,离铁槛寺不远。当下和尚工课已完,奠过茶饭,贾珍便命贾蓉请凤姐歇息。凤姐见还有几个妯娌陪着女亲,自己便辞了众人,...
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“说不上好”的标准读音是什么?(What is the standard tone structure for "说不上好"?)

Question: 根据《现代汉语规范词典》和《汉语大词典》,按照“说不上好”中的“不”字的意义,如果单独念该字的话,就定要念作第四声。“说不上好”中的“上”字则读作轻声。把整句读起来,由于“上”字轻声,“不”字不要因为后面有第四声的字而读作第二声。整句各字的声调按顺序就是这样:1-4-5-3。 然而,我在日常生活中听过很多次别人以“1-2-4-3”的声调结构说出这句话,...
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tones when singing a chinese song? [duplicate]

if tones are so important in chinese as to even distinguish shades of meaning, how can a chinese sing a song? in music every syllable has its own note/tone, so when we sing a song, we must disregard ...
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3answers
563 views

Cantonese jyutping Tone 4 question "throat should be vibrating"

I was wondering whether anyone could help me distinguish how to pronounce tone 4 (mostly low flat) and tone 3 (mid flat). I read in tone 4, you should feel your throat vibrate. Honestly, I have my ...
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80 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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Generalize consecutive third tones change rule

井井有条​ (to be neat and tidy) we have a sequence of the third tones. Why is it pronounced as jing2 jing2 you3 tiao2 and not jing2 jing3 you3 tiao2 After all, the first half goes together, and the ...
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978 views

Zhuyin IME setting to make tones optional

When I type Chinese via a Pinyin IME, I can write "nihao" to get "你好". Writing out "ni3hao3" is not required. But when I try to write "ㄋㄧㄏㄠ", the IME interprets this as "ㄏㄧㄠ". Basically I'm forced to ...
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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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1answer
139 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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How can we translate the term "tone sequence"?

I would like a translation in putonghua for “tone contour” as in “the tone contour of 普通话 is 314” I found two terms: 声调轮廓 from CC-CEDICT 音调曲线 from ABC dictionary Are either (or both?) of these what ...
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261 views

What happens with tone sandhi with consecutive third tones, e.g. wo3 hen3 hao3?

If there are two third tones in a row, e.g. ni3hao3, the first one is pronounced as a second tone, i.e. ni3hao3=ni2hao3. At least, that's what I was told in a course. What happens with more ...
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Can you provide a longer Chinese sentence made up of only 3rd tones? [closed]

The following sentence is made up of 11 characters, all third tones (上声). 请你给我买五百把纸雨伞。 But I'm sure you can come up with something much longer. We would crown it the most terrifying Sandhi-related ...
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Cantonese sandhi

In Mandarin, there is limited tone sandhi, mainly about third tones and the tone variations of yi1 (one) and bù (not). By contrast, Min has sandhi rules for all tones, as illustrated by this diagram. ...
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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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4answers
374 views

Character Pronunciation Clues

Is there any way to know what a character's pronunciation or tone is, based on the strokes or radicals that make up the characters?
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128 views

Is it true that the tones of some of the most common words are glossed over in regular speech/turn into neutral tone?

Examples include: 是、去、在、要、就、但、没有、如果 Not sure how to back up this question, except to mention that I've received feedback from natives that I tend to overdo these words' pronunciations (especially 是). ...
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How are consecutive neutral tones pronounced? What are the pitch levels?

I understand how neutral tones are supposed to sound following regular-numbered tones Here is a helpful Wikipedia chart illustrating how the preceding tone impacts the neutral tone But what about ...
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441 views

words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone

I'm working through the HSK vocab lists, and sometimes I find it hard to remember if a character should be pronounced with the neutral tone or with the citation tone. It would help if I knew when it'...
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Have these two words 牵 and 千, 感 and 敢 the same tone?

Google Translate shows the same phonetic annotation Qiān. Have these two words the same tone, the high tone ā? 牵 Qiān = Hold (hand), Lead (by hand) 千 Qiān = Thousand Google Translate shows the same ...
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197 views

How do natives pronounce the 2nd tone in regular conversation? (Pitch levels: 35, 33, or 434?)

In the thread Do tones change at the end of an interrogative sentence? , one of the answers asserts: SCALE KEY: 1 (low) to 5 (high). So 55 is a high level tone, 51 is a falling tone, 35 is rising, ...
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How the 4 tones originated?

My native language does not have tones. Why tones are part of Chinese language? How the tones were started initially? Is it because they do not have so many words? In my native language full sentences ...
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201 views

What is the proper pronunciation of 等等?

Is 等等 pronounced: deng2deng0 (2nd tone and neutral) like 老子、孔子 OR deng3 deng0 (3rd tone and neutral) like 椅子、法子
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What are the rules of writing a 对联 (chinese couplet)?

I have looked at the Wikipedia article "Couplet (Chinese Poetry)", but I think it poses more questions than answers. So a 对联 (duì lián) is a "Chinese couplet": it is composed of ...
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1answer
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Bù kèqi or Bú kèqi: In PinYin, do I write the fourth or second tone with 不客气?

When writing 不客气 in (PinYin): 不 = Bù 不客气 = Bù kèqi Because of the fourth tone of kè the pronunciation is Bú kèqi. But do i write it down as Bù kèqi or Bú kèqi?
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Why are there different pronunciations of 复杂?

During a Chinese class, a student pronounced 复杂 as fu3za2, instead of the official pronunciation fu4za2. The Chinese teacher corrected the student but then mentioned many native speakers pronounce it ...
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3answers
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Is spelling with numbers a viable option to remember tones?

This question is about the technique to remember tones via spelling in pinyin with the unaccented letter followed by the tone number as opposed to the superscript. For example, remembering nǐ as ni3 ...
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351 views

Resources listing polysyllabic Mandarin words with same pronunciation differing only by tones?

I'm interested in finding any webpages or books that list words and phrases of more than one character that share the same pronunciation but not the same tones. For instance, here are some terms I've ...
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197 views

Can a neutral tone appear on a non-final syllable?

Can a neutral/fifth tone appear in a word syllable other than the last one? If so, as a lexical tone, a sandhi tone or both? Adding a few examples would be helpful.
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1answer
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How do I pronounce 用勿着 in Shanghainese?

There isn't a pronunciation for it on Wiktionary, and I don't know whether it is a fossilised or an analysable phrase, so therefore I don't know whether or not right-prominent tone sandhi applies. My ...
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213 views

To display a correct pinyin in a web page what font should i use

I have the line <link href="https:/ /fonts.googleapis.com/css2?family=Ma+Shan+Zheng&display=swap" rel="stylesheet"> to display a nice font for Chinese characters, which ...
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Chinese Pronunciation App

I am curious whether there is some good app or a website for practicing pronunciation of Chinese tones. There is a way to practice pronunciation on HelloChinese but I find the tone recognition quite ...
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Are there any initial consonants/syllables in modern Chinese dialects which are incompatible with some tones?

Are there any initial consonants/syllables in modern Chinese dialects which are incompatible with some tones? Can certain tones occur only in certain syllables (that is, within open or close ones)? ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the tone numbers shown in Wiktionary's Mandarin pronunciation?

According to Wiktionary, the word 游泳 is pronounced as /joʊ̯³⁵ jʊŋ²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾/. What exactly is the meaning of the numbers 214-21(4)? The first three numbers indicate the standard falling then rising ...
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4answers
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How to pronounce the Mandarin third tone

I've started to learn Chinese about a month ago (as a foreign language) and I'm a little bit confused about how to pronounce the third tone (while dropping aside the tone sandhi rules). I'm confused ...
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2answers
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Do all syllables occur in all tones?

For example, ne and nè are words. But there are no nē, né, or ně. I tried to Google this but I don't find any references to it. It's obviously not by final, because kē, ké, and kě all exist. Is ...
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我好想你 and tone shift [duplicate]

I'm new to Chinese so please forgive me if this question it's dumb. I read this frase on a lyrics' song: 我好想你 And when I search for the pinyin I got this: wo3 ha3o xia3ng ni3 ...
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Where can I find a full list of combinations of sounds and tones used in Chinese?

I heard that there are roughly 400 sounds in Mandarin plus four tones. Are all combinations of those used in Chinese vocabulary, making it 1600 possibilities per single-sound word? If not, how many ...
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3answers
190 views

Reading of 匙 meaning “key” (as in 钥匙)

Essentially the same as this question, but the solutions there don't seem applicable here. Both isolated and in compounds, I can only find 匙 as either shi⁰ or chi² “spoon”. Can this character in this ...
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1answer
109 views

Why does 人 have a different tone when it's part of the word 大人?

The pinyin for 人 is rén but when it's part of 大人, it's written as dà ren. This is the only word with 人 where that happens (at least in the list of words I went through). Why is there a change in tone?
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In Mandarin Chinese, what is the correct pronunciation for three or more third tones in a row? [duplicate]

只有我想了解你 zhíyǒu wǒ xiǎng liáojiě nǐ OR Zhíyǒu wó xiǎng liáojiě nǐ 我很好 wǒ hén hǎo OR wó hén hǎo 我也很好 wó yě hén hǎo OR wó yé hén hǎo OR wǒ yé hén hǎo 我也很想你 wǒ yé hěn xiáng nǐ OR wǒ yé hén xiǎng nǐ ...
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1answer
248 views

Tone of 和 in 暖和

For words like 衣服 and 朋友, we can pronounce either with full tones as yi¹fu² and peng²you³, or with neutralized tones of the second syllable like yi¹fu⁰ and peng²you⁰. Then comes 暖和 which confuses me. ...
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2answers
105 views

What are the tones for 不 and 一 in the expression 不一定?

不 and 一 both have the property of changing tone to suit the tone of the following character. This phenomenon is called the tonal sandhi. What would the correct/standard tone combination for this ...
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1answer
154 views

Do native English speakers naturally speak in the 4th tone?

I've been scratching my head for quite a while now because I've been trying way to hard to pronounce words in the 4th tone. I understand how it's supposed to work (with tone decreasing) but it felt ...
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8k views

Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?

I already have a hard time distinguishing tones in normal speech. This gets significantly worse when I listen to Chinese songs, since the melody masks tones even further. Yes, I understand that ...