How to Pronounce the 4 Mandarin Chinese Tones Correctly
As you probably know, Mandarin Chinese language is a tonal language consisting on proper pronunciation of the basic 4 tones. This should be the first step to learn Chinese the right way. That is what I am doing right know.
I understand that in this language, I can make mistakes easily if I do not learn this the right way. I have done a lot of research on this topic and here I am going to share with you the best tips I have found on the internet about Chinese tones.
The Brief History of Chinese Pronunciation
Chinese writing system is based on characters that represented some picture at earlier days. Each character represent one syllable and there are about 50,000 characters in this language but only 408 different syllables. Each syllable can be pronounced in 4 tones. So in fact, there are around 1276 syllables with different sounds. Learn here how to master the chinese sounds.
Each of these syllables can be written in Chinese characters or by using the latin letters according to the phonetics which is called pinyin – 拼音。
What I found very hard about this is that eventhough you have learned the 4 tones, there are so many Chinese words that are read the same, but the character is different. That is I believe that to know only pinyin and 4 tones is not enough. I think that if you are serious about learning Chinese language, you need to also know the character the syllable is representing.
What Is Pinyin and How It Can Help You to Learn Mandarin?
The pinyin was created around the 1950 and it was a way for everyone who is studying Chinese language to learn to pronounce the characters the right way. And because it is internationally standartized, all students can learn Chinese the same way.
So when you know how to read pinyin which also is good to show you which tones you need for each syllable, it will be easy to study the language.
The Chinese Pinyin Alphabet:
The 4 Chinese Tones Needed to Pronounce the Syllables:
As you can see that does not look that difficult, but it also is not easy. Especially if you have no Chinese teacher who can make the corrections. In this case I would like to share with you the best resource for Chinese pronunciation — just listen and try to repeat untill you will sound just like the presenters.
The Basic Introduction to Pronunciation of the 4 Tones in Mandarin
Before you watch the other videos, please make sure you watch that many times and do not be shy to practice your basic tones and do it out loud and even in front of the mirror — that is what I do anyways. Almost like an actor or singer, they practice themselves like this and it does work!
OK, so now you are ready for this awesome video made by YoYo Chinese. It clearly explains how to practice the tones and YoYo does a fantastic job of explaining it and making it sound so easy.
She is one of my favorite teachers or should I say online virtual teacher — 哈哈！
I am sure you will finally get it and you will never say that to learn tones in Chinese language is hard:
But if you get this pronunciation wrong, understand that everything you will learn after that will be wrong. So by spending a week or two only on practicing these tones will help you to learn to speak and understand Chinese much faster afterwards.
If you found this page helpful, please share it on your favorite social platform. You never know, you might help someone to finally master the language!