1. yuechu

    third tone + neutral tone 轻声 / third tone + first tone

    大家好! I have a rather basic question about the pronunciation of a 3rd tone-轻声 (or 3rd tone-1st tone) combination, for example in the word "牡丹". I think that this can either be pronounced 3-1 or 3-轻声, right? I was wondering, are the pronunciations of the tone combinations 3-1 and 3-轻声 really that...
  2. D

    Tones, aspiration

    你们好, It is widely known (or thought, I don't know) that the main difficulty to learn the Mandarin phonology is tones. To my mind, another hard characteristic for foreigners can be aspiration (mixing up b/p, d/t, g/k, j/q, zh/ch and z/c). My question is: would somebody who doesn't make a...
  3. A


    (这个问题,我在大陆的问答社区“知乎”也提问过 比如大楚兴,陈胜王(wang4); 饮(yin4)马长城窟; 食(sì)马者,不知其能千里而食(sì)也; 驴不胜怒,蹄(ti4)之。 教科书中,这类的名词动用,一般都标注为第四声读音,这个规定时怎么来的呢?古汉语的音系和现代汉语普通话是不一样的啊,古汉语的声调数量比普通话多,也就说现在这样的规定,并不能代表古代的读法,那又为什么要这样规定呢?
  4. E

    Pronunciation: 3rd tone sandhi between collocations

    I'm aware of the 3rd tone sandhi in Mandarin, but something that has always been in the back of my mind is whether or not this sandhi takes place if two adjacent 3rd tones appear where the two 3rd tones come from two distinct "units" or collocations (so not obvious cases like 我想). Of course...
  5. Q

    粤语/广东话:2声(阴上) / 5声(阳上)

  6. J

    low, mid, checked tone (Burmese, Thai)

    Chinese names for tones When discussing tones with native Mandarin speakers, I use the following names to identify the 5 tones of Mandarin. (1) 阴平声 high, (2) 阳平声 rising, (3) 上声 dipping, (4) 去声 falling, (5) 轻声 neutral This is fine for discussing any of the 5 tones of Mandarin Chinese. However...
  7. J

    Pronunciation: 奶奶, 姐姐 (tones of reduplicated words)

    I know that when a third tone is followed by another, the former changes to a second tone. Are words formed from a reduplicated stem an exception though? For example, 奶奶 and 姐姐.
  8. Boileau419

    number of tones in Mandarin

    I think there are really 7 tones in Chinese putonghua : the well-known 1 2 3 4, AND the neutral tone (as in the second syllable of 在乎 and 麻烦) AND the half-third tone (as in the first syllable of 满意), and the Western tone, which you use to say foreign words like 'GDP' or 'CDMA' or 'happy'. This...
  9. L

    Taiwan Mandarin: tones

    Hello, I've noticed that people in Taiwan speak a rather peculiar variety of Mandarin, which sounds distinctly not like 普通話 to me. I know there's more similarities there and the differences are not critical but they do exist and the way people pronounce certain words is what caught my...
  10. Sibutlasi

    Pronunciation: 出租车司机 (first tones in a row)

    Hello :-) According to one of the tone adjustment ('tone sandhi') rules stated in various grammars/textbooks of Mandarin, two consecutive first tones T1+T1 are realized as T4+T1. Since Mandarin phrases may contain sequences of 2, 3, 4, 5…, perhaps even more, consecutive syllables with T1...
  11. C

    Pronunciation: third tone + neutral tone

    Hello, When 3rd tone is followed by neutral, I am taught to do a half 3rd tone, followed by a high neutral tone, but sometimes I hear it pronounced like a 2nd tone followed by a a half 3rd. Certain words seem to prefer one over the other, but I found a case where I am given...
  12. Q

    Pronunciation: neutral tone

    hi! I'd like to ask what is meant by the neutral tone? Like for eg 东西 and 商量 and 妹妹 etc I understand in these cases the 2nd character is neutral in tone. What does that mean and how is it pronounced differently from regular use? Is it just a softer/smaller/faster sound? Thanks!
  13. Tabernero

    tone names

    Hi all. How do you say this in Chinese? ie. the tones of Chinese pronunciation. First tone: 第一音质? Second tone: 第二音质? etc. Neutral tone: 中性音质? I'm just guessing wildly. How do you say it? Thanks!
  14. C

    Tonal changes not reflected in Pinyin

    I'm a Mandarin Chinese beginner, and I see that everytime they give you advice on how to read this language, they tell you to master the 4 tones. Learning the tones is not that hard, but when it comes to read them in sentences is confusing. Am I the only one who thinks that these 4 tones are not...
  15. SuperXW


    我在教香港人普通話的過程中,發現一個明顯的困難就是香港人難以分清普通話的一聲與四聲,如杯子/被子等,無論是聽和說都容易造成誤會。 但我好奇的是,粵語九音,若以音調算也有六種,香港人對音調應該比較敏感。用廣東話說「書包」,應該不會跟「樹爆」混淆吧?而「書包」我感覺就像平穩的一聲(至少前面的「書」字不會降調),為什麼一學普通話,就總想把一聲轉為四聲呢?
  16. Δημήτρης

    Can one learn to pronounce tones by reading about them?

    I've always wanted to learn a Chinese language, and I really like the sound of Cantonese/Yue Chinese. The problem is, I am not familiar with tones. I think I can handle the 4 tones of Mandarin (not that I have tried), but Cantonese has 6 (others say 9!) and I don't know how to deal with that...
  17. Ghabi

    How long does it take you to hear tones?

    I've got a question for our Chinese-learning friends: how long does it take you to train you ears to hear different tones? Do you still mis-hear them now? My experience is that to be able to hear a new phoneme in real, connected speech is much, much more difficult than to learn to pronounce...
  18. licinio

    Pronunciation: third tone at the end of a sentence

    It seems to me that some third tone utterance-final words are pronounced with a half third tone, that is, similar to a third tone preceded by a tone other than third in a phrase (i.g. hěn duō). An instance of this I heard in 我有一个朋友要看我. However,I haven't found this tone change described in...
  19. E

    Learning tips: Are tones something that you can pick up later?

    Hello, sorry, I'm new to Chinese so this isn't a very advanced question. I've been trying desperately to learn Chinese for the last few months but the tones are causing me great difficulty. I'm aware that there are many words which have several meanings depending on what tone they are in (e.g...
  20. Scherle

    Mandarin tones

    Hi guys! I came accross this thread below and it says here that in Chinese, there are 4 tones. May I know what are the 4 different tones? Thanks in advance.
  21. B

    Words of different meanings due to different tones

    Hello everyone, I read somewhere that the word "shir" in Mandarin Chinese can mean a military unit, ten and other things, depending on the tone. Since I want to bring this as an example in a course that I'm teaching, I would like to make sure that this information in accurate. I would also...
  22. H

    Pronunciation: third tones in a row

    Moderator's Note: Several threads have been merged to create this one. hi everybody I have a problem with the assimilation of tones, I dont find any regular. So for example these words: he3n ha3o is pronounced he2n ha3n and xi3sho3u is pronounnced xi2sho3u but what about wo3 bi3 ni3 xia3o ...
  23. K

    粤语/广东话:4声(阴去) / 6声(阳去)

    不知道有没有广东或者香港的朋友。 我现在在学习粤语,但是很难区分第四声和第六声,感觉这两个声调太接近了!! 不知道口语当中是不是一定严格区分这两个音,会不会说得快了就无所谓了? 谢谢!
  24. E

    How do children learn tones?

    I am wondering, are tones typically difficult to learn for babies that have chinese as their native language?? Do they learn them at the same time as the words, or do they come somehow later? (I really hope that it is ok to ask this question here.)
  25. C

    tones in a song, singing

    Something that I've been wondering for a while, how could you sing in Chinese when the meanings of words are dictated by the tones, and one word can mean 4 different things depending on what tone you use. Music, of course, has a lot of tone variation, so how does it work? Or does it just end up...