Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Phonology’

  1. How to learn Chinese pronunciation as a beginner

    Pronunciation is an important, yet often neglected part of learning Chinese. The earlier you get the sounds and tones down, the better, but how should you approach learning these things as a beginner?

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  2. A guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls: Learning Mandarin pronunciation

    When learning to pronounce Mandarin, you need to learn both the sounds and how they are written, usually with Pinyin. Did you know that many student errors actually come from a poor understanding of Pinyin, rather than the sounds themselves being difficult? Welcome to my guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls.

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  3. Learning to hear the sounds and tones in Mandarin

    Learning to hear the difference between tones in Mandarin can be difficult for adult learners. In this article, I introduce two effective ways of overcoming this problem, as well as my own research project, which is meant to help students and will be available soon.

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  4. How learning some basic theory can improve your pronunciation

    Achieving native-like pronunciation in a foreign language as an adult learner isn’t easy. The strategy to get there needs to incorporate large amounts of practice, mimicking and feedback, but I’m convinced that we can also benefit from a small portion of theoretical knowledge. Pronunciation theory can, among other things, help us notice details we did know about before.

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  5. Two reasons why pronunciation matters more than you think

    Good pronunciation matters, whether you like it or not. In general, students (and teachers) tend to stop caring about pronunciation much earlier than they should. You don’t need to aim for native-like pronunciation, but clear and easily-understood Chinese should be the goal of all students. In this article I present two arguments: one about the fact that pronunciation and communication are closely linked, one about how pronunciation reflects both you as a person and your other skills.

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  6. Review: The Phonology of Standard Chinese

    Duanmu San’s “The Phonology of Standard Chinese” is by far the best introduction to Mandarin phonology that I’m aware of. It’s mostly useful for people who like phonology or are already at an advanced level and want to add a theoretical edge. This book contains tons of interesting material, all well-presented and well-argued.

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