Not many people realise that the most significant aspect of learning Mandarin are TONE’S?
Four tones in Fact, these define the meanings, Mandarin is perhaps more difficult simply because it is not easy to read or write, this alone is a task of mastering when tutored properly.
Chinese! – The Basic’s of Speaking mastering will allow you this and you to better appreciate and integrate with ease with your surroundings later fluidity of the Chinese Mandarin spoken language! will come!
As essentially a tonal language, different tones can change the meaning of a word, even if the pronunciation and spelling are otherwise the same. So you see how essential it become to learn the different tones if you wish to speak Mandarin Chinese effectively.
MANDARIN 4 TONES
The First Tone
- is a high, flat tone. Your voice stays flat, with no rise or dip in the way it sounds. Using the word “ma” as an example, the first tone is indicated using the symbol above the letter a: “mā”.
The Second Tone
- is a rising tone. Your voice rises from a low to middle pitch, as if you were asking someone to repeat something by saying “huh?” or “what?” The second tone is indicated using the symbol “má”.
The Third Tone
- is a dipping tone. The pitch goes from middle to low to high, like when you say the letter “B”. When two third tone syllables are near each other, the second one retains its third tone sound while the first takes the sound of the second tone. The third tone is indicated using the symbol “mǎ”.
The Fourth Tone
- is a lowering tone. The pitch goes rapidly from high to low, as if giving a command e.g. stop! Or as if you’re reading a book and have come across something new and interesting and are saying “huh”. The fourth tone is indicated using the symbol “mà”.
If not, don’t worry. I recommended you listen to tones demonstrated by a native speaker, since it’s hard to get an idea of what they sound like with text
Facts learning The Language:
The more words you have at your disposal, the quicker you will become fluent. So, lets start memorising daily useful Chinese vocabulary.
Here are useful vocabulary including: time of day (morning: zǎo shàng, afternoon: xià wǔ, evening: wǎn shàng) body parts (head: tóu, feet: jiǎo, hands: shǒu) food (beef: niú ròu, chicken: jī, egg: jī dàn, noodles: miàn tiáo) along with colors, days, months, transport words, weather, etc.
When you hear a word in English, think about how you would say it in Mandarin. Not sure?
Jot it down and check later. It’s handy to keep a little notebook on you for this purpose. I found it essential by sticky labelling (with the character, the pinyin and the pronunciation) products around the house, i.e.. mirror, coffee table, sugar bowl. By seeing these words daily you’ll learn them without realising it!
Although having a wide vocabulary is good, but in Mandarin, accuracy is more crucial. It’s better to learn a word and pronounce it properly, using the correct tone, different pronunciations can change a meaning entirely. Take this example using the wrong tone (using mā and not má) could be the difference between saying “mother” and “horse” – two completely different meanings.
COUNTING TO TEN
Now try numbers One up to Ten, using simplified Chinese characters, alongside ”Hanyu” pinyin translation and the correct pronunciation. Make sure to practice saying each number using the correct tone. One: written as (一) or yī, pronounced [eee]
Two: written as (二) or èr, pronounced [err]
Three: written as (三) or sān, pronounced [saan]
Four: written as (四) or sì, pronounced [ssuh]
Five: written as (五) or wǔ, pronounced [woo]
Six: written as (六) or liù, pronounced [lee-yoe]
Seven: written as (七) or qī, pronounced [chi]
Eight: written as (八) or bā, pronounced [baa]
Nine: written as (九) or jiǔ, pronounced [jee-yo]
Ten: written as (十) or shí, pronounced [sh]
Once you have mastered numbers one to ten, you can proceed by counting in double digits by saying the number in the tens’ position, then the word 十, followed by the number in the one’s position. For example:
The number 48 is written as sì shí bā (四十八), literally meaning “four tens plus eight”. The number 30 is written as sān shí (三十), literally meaning “three tens”. The number 19 is written as yī shí jiǔ (一十九), literally meaning “one ten plus nine” (however in most Mandarin dialects the initial yī is omitted from numbers in the teens, as it is deemed unnecessary).
The word for hundred in Mandarin is (百) or baǐ, so 100 is written as yì baǐ, 200 is written as èr baǐ, 300 is written as sān baǐ, This Number counting scheme is logical and pretty straight forward once the Pattern flow is appreciated.
Basic Conversational Phrases:
Once you have a basic grasp of vocabulary and pronunciation, you can move on to learning basic conversational phrases which are used in everyday Chinese speech.Hello- 你好- nǐhǎo, pronounced [nee how]
What is your surname (family name)? (formal )- 您贵姓? – nín guì xìng, pronounced [neen gway shing]
or 你姓什么？- nǐ xìng shén me (inf.), pronounced [nee shing shurn muh]
What’s your name?- 你叫什么名字? – nǐ jiào shén me míng zì, pronounced [nee jee-ou shurn muh ming zi] 
Yes- 是 – shì, pronounced [sh]
No- 不是 – bú shì, pronounced [boo sh]
Thank you- 谢谢 – xiè xiè, pronounced [shie shie]
You’re welcome- 不用谢 – bú yòng xiè, pronounced [boo yong shee-e]
Excuse me- 对不起 – duì bu qǐ, pronounced [dway boo chee]
I don’t understand- 我不懂 – wǒ bù dǒng, pronounced [wuo boo downg]
Goodbye- 再见 – zài jiàn, pronounced [zay jee-en]
I hope this Post has been of particular cultural interest maybe see China it is certainly worth Effort.
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