Master Chinese Tones | Pronunciation TrainingJun 04, 2021
The key to
mastering the Chinese
tonesis not pronouncing them exactly as they are drawn. It's all about your release! Hello everyone! I am Grace Trust me this video is 100% worth your time because the concept I am going to talk about will help you improve your Chinese
tonestremendously. Guaranteed! In this video I'll walk you through the characteristics of each shade and then we'll do some practice to help you
masterthem. Also, this video is sponsored by Skillshare, but more on that later. Alright, 那話不多說，我們現在開始吧！ Alright, 那话不多说，我们现在开始吧！ Alright, now without further ado, let's get started! First of all, Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, which means that we can use tone to distinguish the meanings of words.
Like, “拿 ná” (to hold) and “那 nà” (it). These two words have the same consonant and vowel, but have different pitch inflections. Their tones are different, so they have different meanings. If your native language is not a tonal language, don't worry about not being able to master Chinese tones, because you already have the skills to change your tone. You have intonation in your language. You can use different tones to express your emotions or pose a question. Like in English, when you say “fine”, you can say it in different ways. If you say it in a high tone, "it's okay," it shows that you are responding positively to something.
If you raise your voice at the end, "okay," it sounds like you're asking a question. These are pitch shifts, and you do them perfectly. So don't doubt your ability to speak Chinese. What you have to do is get used to changing your tone within a syllable. And understand that these changes in tone affect the meaning of a word. Ok, now let's take a look at how to pronounce each tone. In Chinese we have four tones and a neutral tone. And as I said at the beginning of this video, the key to mastering the Chinese tones is not pronouncing them exactly as they are drawn.
It's all about your release! So, let's learn the tone of each tone. For the first tone, remember that the tone is high, but it's not like you have to use a very high voice to pronounce it. It is that you have to pronounce it relatively higher than other tones. Here, this boy did not pronounce the first tone very loudly, but he still pronounces the first tone louder than he pronounces the other tones. So he remembers, the first tone is a relatively high tone. And now let's skip the second tone and learn the third one first. Because the third tone is the opposite of the first.
It's a low tone. To be more specific, it's a low tone that drops a bit. And because the pitch of the third tone is low, it often sounds scratchy. A squeaky voice is like this: “ah…” For example, “你想不想喝咖啡?” (Do you want to drink coffee?) Did you notice that my voice became creaky when I said “想”? Okay, now let's practice saying the first tone and the third tone. Remember, the first tone is a high tone and the third tone is a low tone. Let's practice them one by one. If you've ever taken Chinese classes, you may have learned that the third tone is a falling and rising tone.
Let's call it the third whole tone. The full third tone only occurs when we pronounce the third tone in isolation or at the end of a word or sentence. But even when it's at the end of a word or a sentence, a lot of people would drop the rising part and just utter a low tone. So in general, in everyday conversation, the full third tone rarely appears. So that's why you can remember that the third tone is a low tone. But there is an exception where the third tone is not pronounced as a low tone. When two third tones are combined, the first becomes the second tone.
Which is a rising tone. For example: If you want to see more examples or know more about pitch shifts in Chinese, you can check out this video: Alright, before we go any further, I'd like to introduce you to the sponsor of today's video: Skillshare If you'd like to explore and develop new skills online, Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes covering animation, illustration, creative writing, video production and more. If you have been watching my videos for a while, you may have noticed that I sometimes draw some images or cartoons for my videos.
I've been using an app called Procreate to draw them, but even though I've been using it for a while now, I know there are a lot of features I haven't figured out yet. So lately I've started taking a class on Skillshare called "Introduction to Procreate: Illustration on the iPad" by Brooke Glaser And it's crazy that there are so many tips and tricks. I only found out after taking this class. For example, I can simply long press the color icon to switch between two colors. It saves me a lot of time. And another thing I like about Skillshare is that it is ad-free.
And they are always releasing new premium ones. classes, so you can keep learning new things Also, it costs less than $10 a month with an annual subscription If you are interested and want to try it, there is a link in the description The first 1000 people who click that link will get a free trial of Membership Premium, you can start exploring your creativity Okay, now let's talk about how to pronounce the second tone The second tone is a rising tone Your tone goes from a low point to a high point So you can remember the second tone as a low tone- high When you say "would you like some tea?" you are actually making the low-high tone for the "tea" at the end.
The "tea" sounds like Chinese "提" "Would you like some tea?" “提" (lift, carry) See? They sound basically the same Now let's practice words and phrases with the second tone The low-high tone Now let's learn the fourth tone The fourth tone is a falling tone It's from a high tone to a low tone To that you can remember it as a high-low tone It's like when you say "let's go!" The “go” is like the fourth tone. “夠" (to be enough) The tone goes from a high point to a low point Very good, let's practice the fourth tone The high-low tone Finally, let's learn the neutral tone in Chinese The neutral tone is a light and short tone.
To pronounce it, you simply need to prolong the sound of its previous character, then you will pronounce the neutral tone naturally. Like, 桌子 (table) Let's try together I've read that the neutral tone is not like a tone, but more like a special kind of rhythm in this language, and I really like how they described it this way. Ok, now that we're done learning and practicing all the tones in Mandarin, let's do a quick recap. In Mandarin Chinese, there are four tones and one neutral tone. The first tone is a high tone. You need to pronounce it relatively higher than other tones.
The second tone is a low-high tone. It starts from a lower pitch to a high pitch. So it's a rising tone. The third tone is generally a low tone. It starts from a low pitch and then goes down a bit. And you often say it in a scratchy voice. But the exception is that when two third tones are combined, the first one becomes a rising tone. The fourth tone is a high-low tone. It starts from a high pitch to a low pitch. So it's a falling tone. You may have noticed that we have a complete system here.
The first tone is high, the second tone is low-high, the third tone is low, and the fourth tone is high-low. And for the neutral tone, remember that it is light and short. Alright, that's all for today! Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to Professor Liu for sharing a wealth of information on Chinese tones that inspired me to create this video. If you find today's video helpful, please share it with your Chinese learning community to help people who have difficulty with Chinese tones. And don't forget to like and subscribe to my channel for more Chinese lessons.
Finally, if you want to learn some daily Mandarin expressions, check out my Instagram: @gracemandarin 那我們就下次見囉！掰掰！ 那我们就下次见啰！掰掰！ See you next time! Bye bye!
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