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On Mandarin Tone Changes [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-7-27 15:29:01 |Display all floors
This post was edited by suray at 2012-7-27 15:29

Someone from a Chinese learning forum asked me a question about mandarin tone changes in Pinyin the other day. Honestly, I was really shocked when I saw the question. I searched very hard from my limited memory of the Chinese lessons in primary school, and failed to get even a clue of tone changing. As a native speaker, I have no knowledge on this part. But when speaking Chinese in my daily life, I do change the tones of some characters in certain context. How come?



To be honest, I was really confused by those rules. I was thinking, like, “Thank God, I do not have to memorize this. I’m so glad I’m Chinese.” Seriously, I think maybe it’s too much emphasis on tones. I do not know the learners’ purpose and reasons of learning the Chinese language. But if it’s for daily communication, then they may take it easy. It seems to me that all these tone changes are naturally there when you speak a little bit faster. When we say the phrase slower, say, character by character, then all the characters remain the original tone. And others will still understand you.



In addition, I think you can get a natural sense of tone changes with more listening and speaking practices. I remember when I was in junior high school; quite a few classmates could not figure out the right stressed syllables in English words. What’s worse, some could not pronounce them right even with the phonetic symbols. Our teacher thus told us an easy way to master stress. She asked as to read the stressed syllable first, repeatedly read them, and then read the whole word. Believe it or not, it did work. The more we practiced, the more fluent we read. I understand that it’s different to learn English and Chinese. My point is for language learning, especially when learners are focusing on speaking, it’s very important to practices more (listening and speaking) and to develop a natural sense of the language.

English Chinese translation: http://www.topchinesetranslator.com/

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Post time 2012-7-27 17:53:07 |Display all floors
There was a time when I was scared of possible misunderstanding, because of using wrong tone. But my chinese friends assured me, that in the whole sentence I'll be understood even using some wrong tones, trouble could be only when using a single worlds (without context). Am I right?

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Post time 2012-7-30 05:29:32 |Display all floors
You are not wrong, Chinese has a lot of different tones to each of their words, However if you were to put each these words into a sentence, The chinese people usually get the basic idea of what you're trying to say. So mispronouncing it is usually not a problem, Unless you're talking to the old people. Considering the fact its usually not a problem, You should still learn pronounce the words correctly as that will decrease the chances of a misunderstanding.
Speakuh charese?

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Post time 2012-7-30 15:27:43 |Display all floors
WhiteBear Post time: 2012-7-27 17:53
There was a time when I was scared of possible misunderstanding, because of using wrong tone. But my ...

Yes, absolutely. So just focus on the tones of single words. That way, even though you do not change tones in some special contexts, people will understand you.
English Chinese translation: http://www.topchinesetranslator.com/

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Post time 2012-7-30 15:28:26 |Display all floors
jgnahz Post time: 2012-7-30 05:29
You are not wrong, Chinese has a lot of different tones to each of their words, However if you were  ...

Cannot agree more.
English Chinese translation: http://www.topchinesetranslator.com/

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Post time 2012-8-9 16:06:21 |Display all floors
I found my Chinese language partner at jollybeijing.com without any cost. Many Chinese there
want to exchange language. They provide a one to one auto-match system. Luckily, my partner was a nice Beijing girl who can communicate in Pinyin. We can chat via their chat-box tool, it is very convenient! And for free! Recommending~ So far the best platform I've used!

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Post time 2012-8-10 17:23:04 |Display all floors
I found my Chinese language partner at jollybeijing.com without any cost. Many Chinese there
want to exchange language. They provide a one to one auto-match system. Luckily, my partner was a nice Beijing girl who can communicate in Pinyin. We can chat via their chat-box tool, it is very convenient! And for free! Recommending~ So far the best platform I've used!

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