How to Pronounce Chinese Names
|I see names like ‘Qin’, ‘Xu’, ‘Zhu’, and I am not sure how to say Chinese names like these.
|What you see is pinyin, literally ‘spell out the sound’. It’s a system for romanizing Chinese ideograms, used in mainland China for Mandarin, a.k.a. putonghua.
Different systems are used in Hong Kong,Taiwan, and Singapore, where the following is not applicable.
If you’re like most Chinese learners, you probably make tone mistakes now and again. I know I’ve made plenty. Sadly, most Chinese textbooks don’t have a section on how to get better tones (kind of odd, if you think about it). Once, when I was preparing for a televised debate in Chinese (a story for another day), a teacher mentioned I was having issues with my 4th tone. Then she told me the 20 words I needed to practice to dramatically improve my tones. That’s right, you can get better tones by spending 5 minutes a day practicing 20 words. Continue reading
The Tones of Mandarin Chinese
“Chinese is a tonal language.”
This sentence has confounded millions of you, no doubt. To clarify, we don’t mean that pronouncing the same word, or character, in different tones affects its meaning. Continue reading