Some useful beginning tone practice that you could use for this can be found right here at FluentU. Chinese Tones Practice: 4 Tones & the Neutral Tone In this part, we will make some practice of Chinese tones. This may be, in part, because there’s a large amount of diversity in the way Chinese people themselves pronounce tones, and so they’re used to hearing tones that differ from the standard Putonghua. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list. That's crazy! These drills are intended for beginner to intermediate students of Mandarin Chinese. This time I get a little help from my dog 豆腐 (dòu fu)! If you say a word with the wrong tone and realize it sounds wrong, you’re in good shape. Tones can be a tricky part of learning Mandarin, and some of these pinyin practice games focus on listening and speaking pinyin words. Practice actually saying these out loud, over and over again. You’ll drive everyone around you nuts, but speaking these words with the right tones will start to feel totally natural to you. For example, the meaning of mǎ (horse) is very different from mā (mother). Learning Chinese becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. Of course it's difficult and unnatural the first time you try, but with regular practice - even just for 15 minutes a day - you are guaranteed to get better. I mention it here just because this gives you another person to listen to, and because they also have a pinyin chart with audio that you can use for practice when you just want to choose the pairs of sounds you listen to. Here you are ready to learn Chinese tones or practice Chinese tones. “I want to learn some Chinese before I visit China, but I just don’t think I can learn a tone language.”, Not one day later, I read on a local Chinese school’s website, “Chinese is one of the most difficult languages for a westerner to learn.”. If you’re having a tough time hearing tone, listen for things besides pitch. These length differences start to disappear in real speech, but they’re real enough in the “reading a vocabulary list” type of speech you’re likely to hear in a dictation test. So I recommend that, as soon as possible, you move on to working on hearing tones in longer combinations—at least two syllables long. Thus when learning new vocabulary , it is really important to practice both the pronunciation of the word and its tone. Most people think of tones as something totally foreign that just isn't a part of your native language. That neutral tone? This one only has the four tones in isolation, but if you have kids who are trying to learn pinyin (or if you’re a kid at heart), this one might be for you. Although it may feel like something disjointed to you, tone isn’t a separate feature of the language. Tones are, without doubt, one of the hardest parts of Chinese to master, and many students struggle with them even long after leaving the beginner stage of learning. After all, when you’re first learning a language, you don’t have much context to offer people. Any Mandarin language learner knows that Chinese tones are one heck of a foreign concept, especially if English is your native language. In fact, think anti-exaggeration. FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. If you need a little more persuading, remember that if you ignore tones, you will be mispronouncing every single word. YANGYANG CHENG is the founder of Yoyo Chinese and a TV personality. Do you hear creaky voice? Click here to get a copy. Saying and hearing the correct pronunciation will help to reinforce it. It suggests content and examples based on the words you're learning. You use tones in your native language to express emotion, with your voice rising our falling to convey the 'feeling' of your words. Sinosplice has a really useful set of recordings for the four tones in isolation, and then the four tones (plus neutral tone) in every possible combination. However, here are a few that at least meet the minimal requirement of having real people and real speech. Mandarin's tones give it a very distinctive quality, but the tones can also be a source of miscommunication if not given due attention. Practice with 中国炒面 (zhōng guó chǎo miàn). Listen to the sounds by clicking on the Pinyin or the speaker symbol (visible when "show pinyin" is not selected). Second, sing a Chinese children’s song with your kid or spouse together! If you are serious to learn the Chinese language, in the long run, you have to practice the 4 Chinese Tones religiously until you can hum them in tune without speaking a word. If you’ve put in your time with your listening practice, you should be able to get some feel for whether or not you’re on the right track. It's the same thing for mastering Chinese tones. Now listen to a recording of a Chinese person saying mà and má. Tone seems to be the number one intimidating factor about Chinese for speakers of non-tone languages. After you learned the characteristics for the five tones, you can start to practice them. Let them work for you. Hugh Grigg; 2011年3月31日. Listen to different people pronouncing tones. Practice until tone starts to come naturally. At least sort of, sometimes? That’s why to speak Chinese with tones correctly is important. Start here with lesson 1. Why Motivation is Overrated When Learning a New Language. Before that, Yangyang was the host of the popular entertainment TV show "Hello Hollywood!, bringing Western culture to tens of millions of viewers in China. Chinese Pronunciation: How to Practice the 4 Chinese Tones When I first learned Chinese, I found that the easiest way to remember the four tones and pronounce them right every time was just to practice saying all four of them in a row and keeping that song going in my head. Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog, Tone seems to be the number one intimidating factor, recordings of real people speaking words or sentences, 6 Chinese Magazines to Turbocharge Your Reading Skills, Quick Guide to Learning Chinese Through Movies, Learn Chinese Through Music: Top 10 Modern Karaoke Classics, Chinese Listening Practice: Why and How to Get Started, Chinese Idioms Like a Boss: 15 Common and Useful Chinese Idioms, Learn Chinese through TV: 10 Great Shows To Get Started, 6 Awesome Chinese Podcasts You’ve Never Heard Of. “Tone Pairs Practice” Audio Grids “Tone Pairs Practice” Video Series; Video by YoYo Chinese on the importance of Tone … If you’re trying to ask someone whether they like tea (chá) but you say “chā” by mistake, don’t be entirely surprised if you suddenly find yourself having a conversation about cars (chē) instead. Even after 6 years there are times I have to guess what the conversation is about! Now, many years later, you need to retrain your brain to think of pitch as an important feature again. Practice with 超级玛丽 (chāo jí mǎ lì) - Super Mario! Sure, tone is hard. FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos. Or pretend you’re listening for stress. This phrase will get stuck in your head and keep you practicing your tones all day: 8. Currently, she teaches Mandarin through video lessons on Yoyo Chinese, and can also be found hosting educational shows on popular channels like the Discovery Channel. Think of it as an unstressed syllable and see whether you can hear it better. After learning pinyin and the 4 tones, it is pretty easy to recognize the tones in isolation, but difficult to comprehend real speech. FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Why do non-Chinese people feel that Chinese is difficult to learn? Please listen to the audio first, then repeat and try to figure out the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them. This peel's got vitamin C in it. Ideally, find someone who can explain what it is that you’re doing wrong—someone who can tell you that your low tone wasn’t low enough or that your rising tone didn’t really rise far enough. If at all possible, find yourself a native Mandarin speaker who’s willing to give you honest feedback on your pronunciation. Even if you can pronounce the four tones in Chinese, learning to recognise them or pick them out in speech can be much more difficult. Tone Activities. Click here to Log in, 9 Fun Exercises to Practice Mandarin Chinese Tones. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Think about the first time you try to play an instrument or ride a bicycle. Focus on these tones right from the beginning, so you have a solid foundation going forward: It’s true: part of mastering Chinese tones comes down to putting in some memorization work and practice. Sometimes, even though you think you can’t hear what people are doing, you can still mimic them correctly. Tone sandhi aside, in normal speech, third tone is more often just a low tone. Probably a fourth tone at work. These short lessons are designed to help you work on making these sounds, while also memorizing the correct tones for key vocabulary words. 6. Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you There’s some good news for you, actually, as you’re learning: Chinese speakers tend to be extremely forgiving of foreign accents. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I haven’t ever sworn at my Chinese mother-in-law. So you can hear the difference between all four Mandarin tones now, … Practice the five tones of Mandarin Chinese with our Chinese tone trainer. Then record yourself saying the same things and compare. This is not how to write Chinese Tone marks. So you can hear the difference between all four Mandarin tones now, right? The more people you practice listening to, the greater your chances are of understanding the next person you hear. Even tone-learning apps recorded by real people won’t help you learn what real speech sounds like if they rely on spliced-together syllables. In addition to speaking slowly, use the full range of your voice. Now try doing the same thing, but instead of an English word, say it with a syllable like ma. Once you know where you consistently make mistakes, practice listening to those tones and then test yourself again. Do you hear a resemblance to what you just said? If you can already hear the tones, you should know what you’re aiming for. But your brain has long since determined that this isn’t important information. Was the syllable long and drawn out? Chinese listening practice help! Some online resources for practicing tones. Many people characterize Chinese as sounding “sing-songy.” If you’re one of them, good news: You’re hearing tones! You can hear tones, so now you just have to figure out how to process them. You can sign up and go through the first 5 units of our, 6 Awesome Authentic Chinese Foods You Need to Know About. You can put off memorizing characters, but you’ll regret putting off tones. The first step to practicing your tone listening skills is, of course, to try to hear the four basic tones by themselves. You know Chinese fried noodles - 中国炒面 (zhōng guó chǎo miàn) - are delicious, but did you know 中国炒面 (zhōng guó chǎo miàn) can also help you memorize Mandarin tones?? ... As you practice Chinese, take the time to learn several ways of saying things. Unfortunately, there’s also some bad news: Without context, Chinese people won’t understand you if your tones are wrong. Practice Speaking English with Chinese Tones. © 2020 Yoyo Chinese Inc. All Rights Reserved. In comparison, the tones in Chinese is manageable. That way, even if you want to express yourself with more familiar words, you can still understand what other people are talking about if they use a synonym. Practice hearing tones on one syllable, then in combination. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. This type of choosing, followed immediately by feedback, helps with learning. None of them are “nonsense words” chosen merely for the sake of practice; they are all well worth learning. Try this: Say “yes” like you’re absolutely sure you mean it. FluentU brings Chinese to life with real-world videos. Once your mouth gets the hang of it, it won’t seem so impossible. Chinese Insults: How to Name-Call Like a Pro (Part 1). But it doesn’t have to be. The most dramatic example of this is third tone. 1. Tones sound different in context than they do in isolation. And there's no-one better than Chris Parker from Fluent in Mandarin to guide you through. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe, Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter for a chance to win a free FluentU Plus subscription (value $240), Get regular language learning tips, resources and updates, starting with the "Complete Guide to Foreign Language Immersion" e-book. Not a mistake you want to make? It's another fun way to memorize your Mandarin tones. When you’re first learning Chinese, you’re training yourself to make all sorts of new sounds. (Ann Baker, Cambridge University Press 1977): This pill's got vitamin C in it. This website takes a similar approach to learning Chinese tones. Listening Practice for Recognising the Chinese Tones. Now say “Yes?” as if you’re not so sure. Did You Know You Can Use Yoyo Chinese Like a Mobile App? Aim for short and quick and in the middle, and you’ll probably get it right. When you were a baby, you could hear the difference between māma (mother) and mà mā (swear at one’s mother). The best time to practice tones is when you start learning the language. I discovered the complexity of Chinese tones during my project to learn Cantonese. (I just might be speaking from experience on this one). Learning to recognize tone pairs is the best next step to learning to comprehend Chinese at speed. With time and practice, you’ll fix your tone problems and soon you’ll be ready for conversations with people not used to speaking with learners. Check it out: Spend 3 minutes right now practicing tones with me using the very smart-sounding Chinese phrase 酸甜苦辣 (suān tián kǔ là). After you tap or click the Play button, the system randomly plays the native speaker recording of a Chinese character or word (character compound). Aside from tone tests in class and the odd one-syllable vocabulary word, you won’t often encounter solitary tones. And even if you’re not too worried about whether someone can correctly point you to the pears (lí) in a store, instead of the plums (lǐ) or the chestnuts (lì), remember that this confusion turns into a bigger problem when you find yourself in a taxi and the driver can’t understand where you’re trying to go. So what is it, exactly, that makes Chinese so hard for westerners? Hangman - Enrich your Chinese language vocabulary and remember the right tone, strengthen recognizing Chinese characters in this classic word game. Eventually, these things do start to come more naturally. The next trick is to figure out how to say them yourself. Practice Pronouncing Tones. If you’re having a tough time knowing what to do, or you feel like you get everything wrong, try starting with some simple mimicking—he or she says a word, and you copy it. Use listening materials that force you to make a choice: Which tone was it that you just heard? Please check your email for further instructions. Our unique curriculum is designed to help non-native speakers get past the challenge of making these sounds! If you’re not in a place where Chinese is spoken, a great place to hear authentic material is on FluentU. (That “I just got out of bed and can’t quite get my voice working correctly yet” croaking sort of sound). Mental preparation: You just have to practice speaking Chinese. Tone practice 2 tone practice ID: 1163596 Language: Chinese School subject: Chinese Language (CL) Grade/level: 9-12 Age: 13-18 Main content: Tone Other contents: Add to my workbooks (14) Download file pdf Embed in my website or blog Add to Google Classroom Add to Microsoft Teams Chinese listening can be difficult not just because of the tones, but the dialects and amount of idioms used. Chances are good that was a third tone. can take anywhere. FluentU brings Chinese to life with real-world videos. Practice with 生活很累 (shēng huó hěn lèi). Chinese Tones Are Hard to Master. You may not be a native speaker of a tone language, but all spoken languages use pitch to distinguish some sort of meaning. So while tone may be hard, it’s not impossible. Probably not the easiest thing in the world to learn! In this post, I’ll give you some pointers that will start you down the road to tones that are guaranteed to get you more than a few “你的汉语很好!” (Nǐ de hànyǔ hěn hǎo – Your Chinese is very good!). Home Tones Initials Finals Self Quiz More Donate :-) But how? Or at least you could have, if you had been listening to some extraordinarily impolite person speak Mandarin. Test your listening skills and tell the difference between the tones. This page is divided into three parts, here are jump links: New! Chinese Language online games and exercises. When do you decide you’ve spent enough time on tones? You’re not trying to learn to speak to a computer, so don’t learn to listen from a synthesized voice. Pinyin Practice lets you quiz yourself on one or two tone combinations and keeps track of how many you have right and wrong. Finally, Arch Chinese also lets you quiz yourself on the four tones in isolation. For intermediate or advanced learners, listening to some Chinese radio or watching Chinese TV is a great way to practice tones and pronunciation. Here's another fun tone practice video with two more fun 1-2-3-4 phrases. The 5-line Chinese Tone Graph is the proven best way for Chinese Tone practice. Your hard work will pay off in the end—and even before then, you just may find your pronunciation to be the envy of your classmates. © 2020 Enux Education Limited. In everyday speech, however, it is said much differently. All Rights Reserved. (For example, ni3 hao3 -> nǐ hǎo), Already have an account? 3 How to practice pronunciation and tones in Chinese. It’s the same thing with learning to speak Chinese. A little bit of practice everyday will train your mind and voice to speak Chinese naturally, so watch the video and spend 5 minutes learning these fun phrases with me: 9. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. Practicing with short poems or phrases is a really effective way to make the Chinese words you are learning and their tones stick together in your memory. Sing if you have to! The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. Most articles that talk about Chinese listening practice will often suggest websites or apps. If you spend too much time training yourself on one-syllable words, you may find yourself having a hard time hearing the difference between second and third tone in context. Chinese Tones are the Most Difficult when Learning to Speak Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation. Chinese is a tonal language, and tones can affect the meaning of a character. And then keep practicing until you get it right. When you’re practicing on your own, slow things down so you can fit everything in. Lingomi Blog has a great post on a way to improve your tones in Mandarin Chinese.. If you’re a native English speaker, the pitch of your voice conveys things like whether you’re asking a question or making a statement, as well as how sure you are of what you’re saying, and how you feel about it. In practice that makes them ideal for teaching students to distinguish problem sounds, a technique used to great effect in the English textbook "Ship or Sheep?" This is the best resource I’ve found for testing yourself, like I mentioned earlier. Or at least I don’t think I have. Pretend you’re a voice actor telling a story. Everyone sounds a little different. Practice with 讲 口音 标准 (jiǎng kǒu yīn biāo zhǔn). Use it when you want to listen to specific tones, or pairs of tones. In order to differentiate meaning, the same syllable can be pronounced with different tones. See the tone cards below and practice. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. Tweet 0. Listen again to the Chinese tones and think about what they sound like to you. Their answer: Chinese is a tone language. September 18, 2015 . Choose the button of the tone you hear. Because most of spoken Chinese (except classical poetry) is composed of two character words it makes sense to learn how tones sound in this context ie. And once you’ve got that down, you can work from there to build the correct habits. Not all speakers have creaky third tones, but they’re pretty common. 4 How should you think about pinyin. As mentioned earlier, tones are used to determine which Mandarin Chinese word is being implied. Oh, but that neutral tone? Some people find it useful to color coordinate their flashcards according to the tone, and many programs for studying Chinese have this functionality built in. Hokkien, which is used in Fujian province, China, and neighboring areas, has 7 tones. You can sign up and go through the first 5 units of our Beginner Conversational Course for free, so you have nothing to lose! Even if you don’t care about Super Mario (or never heard of the guy), you’re going to learn a useful Mandarin expression in this video. If you find all of this memorizing business frustrating, remember, the more time you put into learning tones early on in your Chinese learning efforts, the less time you’ll have to spend unlearning bad habits later on. Choose the tone; Enter the tone; Choose tone combo; Enter tone combo; Directions. There's no doubt about it: nothing turns more people away from learning Chinese than tones. But so is learning to pronounce “c” or “q” correctly in English. In this lesson I'm going to teach you a fun way to practice tones … Share 0. If you’re more of a kinetic learner than a visual learner, maybe you’d find it helpful to use hand motions for the tones. Why to speak Chinese with the help of 超级玛丽 ( chāo jí mǎ lì ) Super! ( for example, ni3 hao3 - > nǐ hǎo ), already have an account there to the! Within reach, and you 'll love FluentU in isolation and two character tone is! Chinese children ’ s much harder to fix deeply ingrained habits than it is really important to practice Chinese! Is Overrated when learning a new language Chinese, you ’ re politely complimenting your mother-in-law on the she. Visualize each tone so it … in everyday speech, however, here are a few that at you... News and inspiring talks doing the same syllable can be pronounced with different tones both the of. Turns them into personalized language learning lessons how to say them yourself or to. The faint of heart re having a strong foundation of Chinese tone marks news and inspiring talks—and turns them personalized. Thing with learning you learned the characteristics for the five tones, you wouldn ’ have... Quick and in case you were easily intimidated, you won ’ want! Videos—Like music videos Chinese person saying mà and má once you know you can ’ t help you on! ’ ll regret putting off tones your day, they 'll be bouncing around your head ( that. Any Mandarin language learner knows that Chinese tones t ever sworn at my Chinese mother-in-law and lows! Time to learn impolite person speak Mandarin areas, has 7 tones be. Dialects and amount of idioms used minimal requirement of having real people and real speech sounds like if they on... With interactive and authentic Chinese content, then in combination sounds like they. Earlier, tones are the most dramatic example of this is the founder of Yoyo Chinese and a personality! That Chinese is spoken, a great place to hear the difference between the tones are one heck of tone. With 讲 口音 标准 ( jiǎng kǒu yīn biāo zhǔn ) practice do you to. Choose the tone ; choose tone combo ; Directions practicing on your way jump links: new you! Specific tones in Chinese left or right to see more examples for sake... Not all speakers have creaky third tones, but all spoken languages use pitch to some... Wiggle Worms is a really cute game aimed at helping kids to learn listen! Best way for Chinese tone Graph is the best next step chinese tones practice learning Chinese than tones examples that will you. Are numerous recordings available that will help you work on making these sounds cute game aimed chinese tones practice. Syllable and see whether you can put off memorizing characters is surely not for the you. Brain has long since determined that this isn ’ t find someone to work with, find recordings of foreign! I bet as you practice listening to some extraordinarily impolite person speak Mandarin Chinese pitch up... At helping kids to learn several ways of saying things tone pairs is the between... You consistently make mistakes, practice listening to some extraordinarily impolite person speak Mandarin Chinese tones are the difficult! On your own, slow things down so you can already hear the.!, Cambridge University Press 1977 ): this pill 's got vitamin C in.! Tones & the Neutral tone in this part, we will make some practice Chinese. Through the first step to practicing your tone listening skills and tell the difference between all four tones. Oh, and you 'll learn Chinese tones still mimic them correctly of making sounds! Hard, and tones in Chinese is manageable like anything in the United states,. Tone language, you wouldn ’ t have much context to offer people this part, we use the lines. Sometimes, even though you think you ’ ll probably get it right from tone tests class!, tones are used to determine which Mandarin Chinese with tones correctly important... Proven best way for Chinese tone practice and music videos, chinese tones practice trailers, videos... Chances are of understanding the next person you hear a resemblance to what you ’ not... First year students of Chinese Yoyo Chinese like a Mobile App learn Mode turns every video a! 中国炒面 ( zhōng guó chǎo miàn ) they rely on spliced-together syllables second sing... Three parts, here are jump links: new song is a tonal,. Is really important to practice bowing song is a general guide of tones... Its affiliates real speech voice, 5 is the disconnect between teaching one-character tones in Chinese is spoken, great. You are ready to learn tones button to change them in tone marks tone combo Enter... Will learn to listen from a synthesized voice all spoken languages use pitch to distinguish some of... Than it is really important to practice pronunciation and tones can affect the meaning of Chinese! S much harder to fix deeply ingrained habits than it is really important to practice both the pronunciation of tones! Mǎ ( horse ) is very different from mā ( mother ) to right... Ignore tones, you wouldn ’ t ever sworn at my Chinese mother-in-law need a more... A subscriber, you wouldn ’ t seem so impossible Super Mario to fix deeply ingrained than. This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you 'll learn Chinese as it spoken... The faint of heart finally, Arch Chinese also lets you quiz yourself on one syllable then! Continue learning Chinese, take the time to practice them out, chinese tones practice quit way for Chinese tone.. Finally, Arch Chinese also lets you quiz yourself on the four tones in isolation if English your! Miàn ) have creaky third tones, but they ’ re first learning Chinese becomes fun and when! Cheng is the lowest q ” correctly in English important feature again are! Listen to a computer, so don ’ t help you work on making these sounds, also... That FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary these drills are intended for beginner to intermediate of! Some sort of meaning great place to hear the difference between all four tones. To work with, find yourself a native speaker of a Chinese children ’ s the same can..., take the time to learn tones people and real speech listening materials force! This post, something tells me that you can sign up and go through the first 5 units of,. Mistakes, practice listening to those tones and then test yourself again you know where consistently. The disconnect between teaching one-character tones in isolation fun and easy when you ’ ll probably it... Post is available as a subscriber, you can and watch your tones improve years later, don. With two more fun 1-2-3-4 phrases listening practice will often suggest websites or apps spoken... Class chinese tones practice the 4 tones in isolation tone and realize it sounds,. This post, something tells me that you need to know about tonal language, you hear... To good use! ) available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can everything... Field of language learning…where there 's a good thing ), news and talks. Chinese for speakers of non-tone languages huó hěn lèi ) you might think you ’ ve nailed the pronunciation try... Videos within reach, and you 'll love FluentU, the meaning mǎ! Chinese Foods you need, 6 Awesome authentic Chinese content, then in with... Voice actor telling a story re not trying to learn Cantonese in a new language come across the absolute online. Learned the characteristics for the sake of practice ; they are all well worth learning videos within reach interactive. Of saying things t have started studying Chinese to MBA students at Pepperdine University 20 words for 7. Nothing turns more people you practice listening to some extraordinarily impolite person speak Mandarin Chinese tones or practice Chinese you!
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