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mandarina

Post a sample of your pronunciation here!

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imron

To have acheived such a level in only 3 years is impressive!

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Hofmann

Hehe...I was having a good day so I thought I'd listen to you and try to help you out. Who'd have thought you'd make my day even better?

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anonymoose

What was the point of that post? :conf

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Tiana
What was the point of that post?

From the voting for the post so far, I can see that it's got Four(4!) points.

  • Like 3

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murrayjames
Hey guys, I've been living in China for about three years. I've never been much for formal study, but I think my Chinese is very good anyways. Plenty of Chinese people tell me I sound real good. Check it out. Would appreciate the feedback.

God, I cannot stop laughing at this. WestTexas, thank you for making my day. Oh and... are you available for lessons?

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skylee

rezaf, could you do a recording of that passage please? :mrgreen:

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rezaf

8)

Edit: Actually it's good that Roddy moved it here. Now people can help with my pronunciation problems. I just noticed that 见 should be pronounced as xian4. Anyway here is the text from 道德经:

第三章 不尚贤,使民不争;不贵难得之货,使民不为盗;不见(xiàn)可欲,使民心不乱。是以圣人之治,虚其心,实其腹, 弱其志,强其骨。常使民无知无欲。使夫智者不敢为也。为无为,则无不治。

My Song 14.mp3

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roddy

Merged the above two posts in from elsewhere.

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skylee

roddy keeps moving my posts. I feel quite bad about it.

If anyone needs to take a look at the text that rezaf read, click here.

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Meng Lelan

Ok, maybe some of you have always wondered what I sound like. Hopefully this sound file works. This is the first time I have ever used Audacity so I was more interested in just recording something spontaneous instead of reading from a dusty tome of poems.

So here is the setting. It is a cold rainy Sunday afternoon. My 14 year old son is bored and I am busy trying to figure out the Audacity program. I hit record and here it is, me and my son trying to solve his boredom problem.

Mei Yisi.wav

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siledouyaoai

Here's my attempt at the first article. I recorded it 3 or 4 times first, so I was quite familiar with it. I'm not sure if it comes out in the recording, but I've found I have the following problems.

  • Mixing up 1st and 4th tone, especially with 41 and 14 combinations,
  • Saying 2nd tone as 3rd tone, particularly in 21 combinations (e.g. 研究)
  • Rhythm sounding like Cantonese (probably the influence of English rhythm)
  • 后鼻音 not strong enough.

Any other pointers would be appreciated!

Most of my time in China has been spent in Guangdong, Hunan and Yunnan, which probably explains some of the problems. Things like 后鼻音 are no problem if I think about it, but living in Kunming, I generally don't bother too much. I think my biggest problem is rhythm; even though I've been trying to improve the flow and rhythm of my Chinese for 3 years now, I'm still a long way from satisfied. I wonder if this is a because a lack of fluency, the influence of dialect, or the influence of English. Perhaps all three. I feel like pronunciation has a standard which you can measure yourself by, but if your rhythm is off, its really hard to correct.

Memo.mp3

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Silent

I've had a few sessions with my language exchange partner now. Apart from "b/p" and "sh" sounds she's correcting me very little. She says my pronunciation is very good. To me pretty unbelievable as it has been all selfstudy and I've focused on reading. So, I decided to record me reading a short article and post the sound clip. The quality is poor, but I found no way to record without the noise (probably the cheap headset).

I would greatly appreciate some honest assesment of my pronunciation. I already know it's slow and not very fluent....

P.S. Moderators, pls feel free to add this to the post a sample thread. I tried to post there but for some reason I had no file upload option there.

slowchin62_compr.mp3

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kdavid

I commend your courage. It takes a lot to put a sample online for tons of people to criticize anonymously (something I've yet to do!).

While you included a link to the article, I figured it would be best to first listen without the text to see how much I could understand without reading along.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to understand much. It wasn't until after I opened the link and read the text that I was able to follow along.

As you likely know, the Chinese as a whole are very polite and tend to avoid conflict. This often includes even constructive criticism.

IMO, with a language as senstive as Mandarin, oral practice won't do you much good if you're not getting perfect practice (it's "perfect practice makes perfect" not just "practice makes perfect"). In other words, practicing your speaking without having someone meticulously correct your pronunciation will only do you harm in the long-run.

As such, I recommend you get a new language exchange partner. You may even want to look into hiring someone. One thing I did after I had been in China for a few months was hire a speech therapist. His sole responsbility was to make me sound as native-like as possible. I had to go through three tutors before I found one that would give me what I wanted.

Good luck and keep up the hard work!

  • Like 4

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renzhe

Tbh, it's not bad for all selfstudy, but there's many things to address. Also, langdu is very hard.

The biggest one are tones:

- Many are wrong: xian4zai4 liu2xing2 wang3luo4. Nerves and langdu probably play a part, but making all characters have similar length and practising the text a few times will help.

- I think that some of the issues are related to the western sentence prosody problem many of us have (or have had), by naturally using sentence-level melody. So you often end the sentence or phrase with a low or falling tone (e.g. 方言 at 38s should be yan2 or 起来 are 57s should be lai2). You also sometimes end up on a high tone when you make a short break, to indicate that something else is coming (e.g. 1'2" 搞笑 should be xiao4), also typical for European learners.

In the beginning, concentrate on individual tones by slowing down, so each tone is clearly heard and sounds the same as it would in isolation. This will get you very far, and it will be correct, but won't sound too natural. When you've got that down, concentrate on word-level adjustments (many tones sound slightly different in words and phrases), then concentrate on 轻声, and then concentrate on whole sentences. Also, practicing the piece many times before recording will help as you will remove the problems coming from reading difficulty (langdu is very hard).

I also notice that you pronounce things in a stacatto style and lack of 轻声 (yi4si1 instead of yi4si) -- are you mostly learning from Taiwanese materials? IMHO, it would sound more natural to give more time to each character and shorten the time between them so they merge into words and phrases. But only after you have nailed the individual pronunciation first.

The initials and finals are considerably better.

- the -i final in "日" () and "子" (1'44") is silent. Likewise the "e" in "很". You pronounced them like "ree" and "hen".

- alveolo-palatals are (sometimes) too strong: j, x, and q sound too much like zh, sh and ch. Try to pronounce them by pressing the tip of your tongue against gumline below your lower teeth, then make the contact with the alveolar ridge at the top of your by making a ridge with your tongue.

- the retroflexes are very weak, sometimes non-existent (so 中 becomes zong1)

- you need to watch some finals: -u is actually -ü when following x, j, q or y. (e.g. 34" 据) But you are not consistent, sometimes you pronounce it right

- the -ia final following x, j and q should not stress the -i- part, which is usually silent.

- in -ou, on the other hand, you should clearly hear both the "o" and the "u" part (e.g. 1'58" it sounds like "duo") It should sound like Homer Simpson

Anyway, the initials an finals can be sorted out with a live tutor and a bit of pinyin chart gymnastics, it's nothing too major. It's the tones you should concentrate on, and the best way to concentrate would be to record yourself (like you did) and then compare it to the native speaker reading -- which you have, and keep repeating until you can match the melody perfectly.

Congrats on the courage to put a recording on here, in any case.

  • Like 4

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renzhe

And since it's so easy to only criticise others, I'm putting my own recording here, it's good practice.

renzhe-geili.mp3

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