The online language laboratory

 

Mandarin Chinese

.Single Vowel Sounds

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In Chinese if you change the tone you change the meaning. There are 4 main tones - for the 5th tone see "Tones". Listen to these examples and repeat them, first across the rows then down the columns:

High

1 = ¯

Short rise

2 = ´

Short fall
then rise

3 = Ö

Fall

4 = \

ma
(mother)
ma
(numb)
ma
(horse)
ma
(scold)
bi
(force)
bi
(nose)
bi
(write)
bi
(must)
o
(moan of pain)
o
(is that so?)
/ o
(I see)
shu
(book)
shu
(which one?)
shu
(potato)
lu
(road)
yu
(mud)
yu
(fish)
yu
(house)
lu
(green)
ze
(wealth)
he
(why?)
ci
(this)
e
(burp)
/ er
(son)
er
(ear)
er
(two)
 

 

We follow the Chinese government's Pinyin spelling. The tone is identified by an accent or by the tone number (1-5), for example: "hé", "he´", or "he2".

Strange: there's no single "e" sound in Chinese. "u" is as in French 'tu'. 'u' is always "u" after j, q, x and y. Otherwise it ryhmes with 'who' except after L or N, where either may occur.

 

Our warmest thanks go to ...

Speaker Geographical origin Date of recording Approx age

Wang Kui
(Mrs) Song Chunxia

Mianyang, Sichuan
Mianyang, Sichuan

April 13th, 2002
April 13th, 2002
35
34

 

 

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