Pinyin pronunciation: z

< Previous | Next >

ookpalm

New Member
Thai
Hello everyone,

From what I have heard from the Internet resources, z consonant sounds like English j except when it is used with some vowels like u or standing alone like zi. I wonder does z in zuo sound more like English Z like the word zoo?

For example, I listened to the word 工作 from Forvo and it is pretty clear to me that it's English Z sound however, my colleague who studied mandarin in Taiwan insisted me that it's English J sound with extra air bumping out through the teeth and the tongue before saying the sound which I can't hear it (the English J sound)

I am quiet unsure what to believe. Any kindly help would be really appreciated.
 
Last edited:
  • stellari

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    The closest sound to the mandarin z that you can find in english is probably the 'ds' sound in 'woods'. To me (a northerner), the j as in 'jeep' sounds totally different from z in as in zuo. As a matter of fact, most northerners i know tend to think english j is very close to mandarin zh, but not z. However, i can imagine people from the south may disagree, since a lot of them probably pronounce z/zh in a different manner. Another perhaps related phenomenon is that my european colleagues tend to approximate the mandarin j with a english 'ds' sound.

    BTW, I pronounce z the same way regardless of the vowel that follows.
     
    Last edited:

    ookpalm

    New Member
    Thai
    Thank you Stellari. A guess there are many accents on the pinyin charts I found on the Internet but none of them mentions about the accent used in each chart. Could you please recommend the audio-pinyin chart with the accent that is used in Northern part of China or the standard Mandarin?

    I am using

    chinesepod.com/tools/pronunciation
    chinese.yabla.com/chinese-pinyin-chart.php

    And I listened to these apps on AppStore too
    appcrawlr.com/ios-apps/best-apps-pinyin-chart

    Could be more but these are apps I am using for learning.

    Thank you for your recommendation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I totally agree with Stellari. I don't think Pinyin z sounds like English j either. Why do you think they are similar?
    It's hard to describe the difference. I'll try my best.
    To pronounce z, bend your tongue, using the tip of your tongue to press your upper gum and teeth, then make the sound.
    To pronounce zh or j, your tongue bends more, so it won't touch your teeth.

    The pronunciations in your apps are good enough. I don't think there's any accent.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top