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Questions tagged [tones]

Questions about the tones used in Chinese.

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1 vote
4 answers
191 views

Should the second character in 回来了 be pronounced with second or fourth tone?

I almost always hear 来 pronounced as lài in 回来了, but are there any rules of tone sandhi that account for this?
2 votes
2 answers
79 views

Is there sometimes a sentence final tone neutralization on the phonetic level

I've been practicing tone perception but am having trouble processing tone on the final syllable in some cases. In the video https://youtu.be/2aveJrbSjAk?t=9, I can hear most of the tones no problem. ...
3 votes
2 answers
87 views

What's the tone change rule for when a two-syllable word is made up of the same exact third-tone syllable?

So I understand that in words like 妈妈,爸爸,弟弟,看看 and other two-syllable words made up of the same exact syllable, the second syllable almost always takes on the fifth, neutral tone. But what happens if ...
11 votes
4 answers
8k views

How to convert from hanyu pinyin to IPA?

Where can I find a table showing the relation between Hanyu pinyin spelling and IPA for all phonemes in Mandarin?
1 vote
2 answers
72 views

When to use 对 and 对不对

So firstly I must apologise as I am about two weeks into a Duolingo course - so I would say my understanding of the language is near enough 0. However, I wanted to ask if someone could clarify some ...
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

Mandarin music with clear speech tones

As discussed in other questions, in a lot of Mandarin music the spoken. tones get lost which make it hard to understand or use for learning. Is there any well-known Mandarin music or music artists ...
1 vote
3 answers
341 views

Pronouncing two words with same pronunciation(homophones)

As a beginner, the thing I realized is there is a lot of word with the same pronunciation and Chinese is almost full of homophone words. For example: 良, 量, 凉, 粮, 踉 all have the same pronunciation: ...
0 votes
2 answers
158 views

Fourth-tone 好 used as a complete stand-alone sentence to express agreement, a bit like "OK" or 行

While watching a TV series called 奈何BOSS要娶我 / Well-Intended Love I was struck by the way 好 is pronounced (*) when used as a complete stand-alone sentence to express agreement. It sounds to me much ...
1 vote
1 answer
604 views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
135 views

Recognition of tones during listening

Is it only me, or whenever you listen to whole sentences or dialogues you barely can recognize the tones too?... If that's true, then there are two implications. Either chinese people are not so ...
3 votes
5 answers
744 views

Is the 累 in 拖累 third or fourth tone?

My textbook (《新实用汉语课本5》 p.16) gives the 累 in 拖累 a fourth tone: tuōlèi​ but other dictionaries (e.g., CC-CEDICT) ascribe 累 a third tone: tuō​lěi​. I feel like it's a bug in the textbook, but maybe ...
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

What about all the possible combinations of tones?

There 4 tones: 1: 5-5 2: 3-5 3: 2-1-4 4: 5-1 For improving my Chinese and out of pure interest, I want to hear all the possible combinations: 5-5, 5-4, 5-3, 5-2, 5-1, 4-5, 4-4...., I think totally 25 ...
0 votes
2 answers
195 views

Hearing difference between 那里 and 哪里

Of course it is the fate of any native speaker of English to struggle with tones. And I suppose I should be happy I have begun with Mandarin, which is far less extravagant in its tone system than are ...
2 votes
2 answers
428 views

Are there any patterns for which tone is used for each Mandarin character?

From both a practical learning perspective and an interest in linguistics, I want to know whether there are any common patterns or "rules of thumb" that influence which tone is assigned to ...
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

How do you find an octave that works for speaking

I recently started self-studying Mandarin. Most of the spoken resources available to me use female voices and when I try to imitate their pronunciation and tones I speak in a much higher voice than ...
3 votes
3 answers
315 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, ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to pronounce words with double fourth tones?

So I know for certain words, such as 不对, the fourth tone changes, but I believe 不 may be a special case. Some words such as 部队 seem uncomfortable to pronounce if I strictly follow 4th and 4th tones,...
2 votes
2 answers
184 views

how do dialects deal with two separate falling tones accents?

I've asked a similar question before: https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/8532/dialects-topolects-tone-marks but I want to make this more specific here. I know not everyone agrees with tone ...
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Adding tone marks to characters

I'm looking for a way of adding tone marks above characters. It's fairly easy to add Pinyin with tone marks, but I want to add only tone marks. I want to use this as a teaching tool, because even ...
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Which is the most frequently used tone?

The most difficult for me in learning Chinese is memorizing the correct tone. I tried to find on web what the most frequently used tones are, but it seems to be hard to find. I suppose if one tone is ...
1 vote
6 answers
328 views

What tone is 什 in 什么 in standard northern accent 普通话?

All dictionary entries put 什么 as shen2me0, but I am quite sure that in fluid speech I've only ever heard shen3me0. What's going on here? Is this a dialect/regional accent thing? For context, I grew up ...
15 votes
8 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Seems google 翻译 pronouncing in wrong way

好久不见。 下午 我 会 去 超市。 Xiàwǔ wǒ huì qù chāoshì. The problem is that the last pinyin which should be pronounced like "shu" in English but Google-translate(android app) actually pronounce it as ...
2 votes
1 answer
282 views

jiu3 pronounced as jiu4 ; linked speech feature or slip of the tongue?

Here is the intonation that is recorded in an instructional video for the clause 我已经很久都不过中秋节了 (wǒ yǐjīng hěn jiǔ dōu bú guò zhōngqiūjié le). 久 is very prominently pronounced with a descending ...
2 votes
4 answers
186 views

What's the equivalent of "nice" (said like the Reddit meme) in Chinese?

How do I say "nice" as a response, in a kind of positive, "that's cool" tone, in Chinese? Like how it's said on Reddit (or elsewhere on the internet) as a response to the numbers ...
1 vote
2 answers
106 views

Is the neutral tone of 吗 pronounced differently than other neutral-tone syllables in the same context?

I've always taught students that there is no question tone in Chinese like there is in English, in order to help them avoid pronouncing their questions with a rising tone at the end (like we do in ...
2 votes
2 answers
254 views

Tone Change: Why is 欢 (huan1) in 喜欢 (xi3huan0) pronounced with a neutral tone? Would you do that for all words ending in a first tone?

Or the 西 (xi1) in 东西 (dong1xi0) is pronounced with no tone?
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

why does 生 and 先生 have different tones when it's part of a word?

The pinyin for 生 is: shēng. The pinyin for 先生 is: xiān​sheng​. why does the tone change when it's part of a word?
12 votes
7 answers
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?
3 votes
1 answer
513 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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
560 views

Where to put the tone mark in pinyin

In pinyin the tone mark (diacritical mark) only goes on vowels. If there is only one vowel in a character's pinyin then the answer is easy, the tone mark just goes on the vowel. For example: 思 sī, 于 ...
-2 votes
2 answers
339 views

Longest sentence where all consecutive characters are in the same 3ʳᵈ tone [closed]

What is the longest sentence that can be constructed where all the consecutive characters are in the same 3ʳᵈ tone in Mandarin? I'm sure many people have heard of '请你给我买五百把纸雨伞', but are there any more ...
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
295 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
81 views

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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
179 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 ...
34 votes
13 answers
16k views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
92 views

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,...
1 vote
2 answers
98 views

“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,...
7 votes
2 answers
18k views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
587 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
88 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
77 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
179 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
290 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
354 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 ...