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  • 2 months later...



It's been two years since I added something to this thread. I'm posting again so I can compare my progress and provide a new recording to check in the future.




This time I've just tried casually talking rather than reading a script. I feel this alone has reduced the quality of my pronunciation. I've also become lazier with my pronunciation. My pronunciation has made no progress but I believe my fluency has increased. And it is the later I consider more important.


I've noticed that my speech is becoming influenced by people from southern China. I'm not particularly concerned with being "standard" as much as I am with being clear. I don't believe imitating parts of southern speech is hindering my pronunciation. Listening to my recording it's still probably my tones, intonation, and word choice/grammatical constructions that are the primary impediment I have to making myself understood.

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Pretty good, @stapler, and clear. I can understand you quite easily, except at 34" 一家卖湘菜的饭馆开门了 I have to rewind 2-3 times to get what you're saying. I think it's because you dragged out Xiāng for too long and dropped -g like a southerner. And the fànguǎn kāimén le bit is a bit too quick and some of the tones are off.

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  • 6 months later...

Last night I recorded music for a friend’s pop reggae album. After I finished recording, I sent voice messages to the band members on WeChat. Here is a compilation of those messages.


For context, the messages are to:


  1. 牛牛, the guitarist and songwriter, describing the changes I made to his song
  2. a group of former saxophone students, with whom I shared the song
  3. the band’s saxophonist, my former student, now studying music in the United States
  4. the band’s trumpeter, telling him the mix has problems
  5. the band’s keyboardist, sharing what I’m up to and inviting him to hang out
  6. 牛牛 again, telling him I have suggestions regarding the mix


Here is the relevant music vocabulary:




次中音:tenor (saxophone)
C段, A段:C section, A section (of a song)
齐奏: perform in unison
混音:mix (a song). At one point I embarrassingly mispronounce this word as hūnyīn (婚姻).
中音:alto (saxophone)
骷髅:name of our recording engineer
管乐:wind instruments



These messages were sent off the cuff, so there are mistakes and poorly worded sentences. Feedback is welcome.




I’ve talked a bit on Chinese Forums about being a musician in China. For anyone interested, here is a (pre-mix) recording of the song discussed in these messages, “First Love.” I wrote and recorded new harmony lines based on 牛牛’s original melody, then improvised two solos on tenor and alto saxophone. The solos start around the 1:25 mark.





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To Chinese speakers here, native or otherwise:


I posted a two-minute recording in the post above (filename: murrayjames-wechat.mp3). Any feedback regarding my Chinese pronunciation will be much appreciated!

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I asked a friend: "就是听着像一个中文很好的外国人在讲话" :D Critique: "听起来就是很生硬" and some tones are wrong. 练习 etc. (see the mp3s)


It's hard to get real feedback. It's often "Doesn't sound like a Chinese person but it's already very good. No need to improve" ?

PTT-20190722-WA0008.mp3 PTT-20190722-WA0004.mp3 PTT-20190722-WA0007.mp3

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Hi, here's a link to an audio file I just recorded. Any feedback is appreciated. This is something I made up in my head (as opposed to written down) trying to use some grammar I have recently learned. I had a few false starts etc, so practiced it a few times. I'm elementary level, studying for around 8 months consistently. 



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  • 5 weeks later...
2 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

Wow! Assuming that picture is you, I always took you for being 华人 or 混血. Inspiring!


It looks like you're implying that having Chinese ancestors automatically makes you a native Mandarin speaker. I'm confused.


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2 hours ago, edelweis said:

It looks like you're implying that having Chinese ancestors automatically makes you a native Mandarin speaker. I'm confused.

Well if you have Chinese ancestry, I'd say you are significantly more likely to be able to speak Chinese than if you don't 

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