Pinyin pronunciation: ang, iang ([ŋ] / [n])

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by gvergara, May 2, 2014.

  1. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Hi again, for a while I've been having difficulty hearing the /ŋ/ sound at the end of words whose final letters are _ang (for example, 漂亮). I only perceive a weak realization of a normal /n/ sound, which is far from the way it should be pronounced, according to what I've been taught. Can you please correct me if I'm mistaken? Thanks in advance,

  2. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    For an and ang, a minor difference matters. Some Chinese people with accent may make mistakes, and that would cause pretty serious or hilarious effects...
  3. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    The problem is, not even on the recordings of the book I'm using the difference is clear enough. Tried to upload the file, but I couldn't :( Thanks for your answer
  4. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Ask your teacher to pronounce their difference exaggeratedly, until you get the knack. :) That's what I often do when I can't hear some difference when learning another language.
    People may be inaccurate when speaking fast, but they sure make the different when they speed down and speak clearly.
  5. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    I'll try, but don't have high expectations, honestly. On Tuesday she was teaching me the numbers, and when it came to pronouncing , at times she pronounced /v/, at times /w/, even when she slowed down the pace, and the worst thing is she didn't even seem to realize about it, despite the fact that I'd already pointed to the issue... I'll give it a try, though, thanks

  6. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Sure. Chinese phonetics don't distinguish w and v sounds strictly. v is basically an "alternative" to the w sound... Anyway, I don't think you should worry too much in this level. No one would expect a foreigner to speak Chinese like a reporter. Even Chinese from different regions have their own accents.
  7. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    Indeed, /v/ and /w/ are not strictly distinguished by many; it does not affect intelligibility anyways. However, 'an' and 'ang' form a minimal pair, and the difference is essential. For 漂亮, it is definitely a /ŋ/ sound for most Chinese speakers. Maybe the material you were listening was too fast, so that the sound is not that easily distinguishable. BTW, the 'a' is pronounced differently in 'an' (a 'e' sound as in 'pet') and 'ang' (a shorter version of the 'a' sound as in 'barn' ). If the speaker simply replaces the last consonant (coda), it would result in a syllable that does not even exist in Mandarin, which most native speakers would notice immediately. On the other hand, even if the coda is not pronounced clearly, you can still use the sound of preceding 'a' to decide what the coda really is.
  8. Peripes Senior Member

    Lima, Perú
    Español, Perú
    You might want to check some of the resources in the sticky thread. Basically, the ng at the end makes you pronounce the syllables in a more nasal way, an is more like a soft and clear a, in ang you open your mouth wider and use your noso to make the sound. However, ian and iang are easier to tell apart.
  9. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    That's because in your South American accent, your "normal n" is already pronounced as [ŋ], so you can pronounced "ang" like your normal Latin American "an".
    While Chinese "an" is pronounced like in Castillan Spanish with a [n].

    What I've noticed is that in Chinese nasal sounds are much weaker than those in European languages. In Chinese the nasal codas are realized with a slight nasalization, so "ang" is more like [ɑŋ], while "an" in Spanish and Italian almost sound like Chinese 安呢 with the -n pronounced very strongly.

    Like others have said, in Standard Mandarin (and Northern accents) in "an" and "ang" the vowel is also different:

    an [an] (like Spanish a) or [æn] (like English dad)
    ang [ɑŋ] like English car - the mouth is opened much wider than [a] and pronounced in the throat

    ian and yang are easier to tell apart because the vowel is even more different:

    ian [iɛn] pronounced like English yen
    iang [iɑŋ]
  10. Testing1234567 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Both sounds are present in your native language! :)

    The ng sound would be the "n" in the word "tengo".
    The n sound would be the "n" in the word "tener".
  11. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Moderator's Note: Some comments concerning the pronunciation of pinyin <w> has been moved to another thread. Please try to stick to the topic of this thread, which is the pronunciation of the pinyin unit <ang> (and perhaps <iang>). And believe me, it's no fun moving posts around.
  12. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Thanks for your hard work, Ghabi. We love you :thumbsup:. Back to the subject: Many Taiwanese do not distinguish /n/ and /ŋ/, but they have no trouble telling <an> (e.g., 安, 萬) and <ang> (e.g., 骯, 望) or <ian> (e.g., 練) and <iang> (e.g., 亮) apart. Why? Because the vowels are different--a fact that has been mentioned by Stellari (#7) and Youngfun (#9). Interestingly, the Taiwanese accent seems to cause little difficulty in communicating with Mainlanders. Why? Because the vowel differences are clear enough. My point: (1) As far as those words are concerned, the disparity in vowel is more critical than that in coda according to the Taiwanese evidence. (2) Learners of Mandarin may occasionally encounter materials (especially online sources) from speakers who treat /n/ and /ŋ/ as free allophones.

    By the way, since both the vowels and the codas are different, I do not consider <an> and <ang> to be minimal pairs. I would call them "near-minimal pairs".
  13. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Wow, I didn't realize it's because we pronounce "a" differently in "an" and "ang" until you guys explained it. Excellent! :)
  14. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    I didn't know there are people who don't distinguish “an” and “ang” at all, until I once heard one of my classmates from Fujian pronouncing “huang2 shan4”(/hwɑŋ ʂan/) as “huan2 shang4” (/hwan ʂɑŋ/), which confused all of us.
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  15. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    It's difficult to say for sure whether it's the vowel quality or the coda (or a combination of both) that tells apart <ang> and <an>, but I tend to believe it's the vowel quality that counts more, as many Mandarin speakers seem (according to my anecdotal observations) to have difficulty in perceiving the difference between the [n]-[m]-[ŋ] minimal pairs in Cantonese. I mean series like the following:

    vowel-[ɐ]: han4 痕 ham4 含 hang4 恒
    vowel-[a]: haan4 閒 haam4 鹹 haang4 行(白讀)
  16. stephenlearner Senior Member


    英语的gone 或 down ,音标是/n/,怎么听起来也是后鼻音呢?

  17. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  18. fyl Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    我想起小学刚开始学英语的时候,好多人都给[æ] (apple)标上了读音「安」,而不是「挨」或者「啊」,可是这个音后面根本就没有鼻音。。
  19. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    我就没见过注给apple注“安”的……:eek: 我小时读“挨”,有人读“啊”我还觉得很奇怪。

Share This Page