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Flickserve

Sample pronunciation

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Flickserve

Just a little experiment I carried out today.

 

We know repetitive listening helps quite a bit. In my early days, I didn't realise how many reps it takes. In fact, I still don't. Just found out that Audacity has a repeat function and that made it very convenient to create a file of a sentence with 50 reps so that you have some idea on the numbers of reps.

 

The sentence comes from a tutorial I had using Brian Foden's 8000 sentence book as topic material. I hadn't listened to it for half a year.

 

"我认为最重要的事情是培养你的兴趣"

 

A - The control. I listened to the teacher's recording about 5 times. Stopped and tried to repeat.

B - missing because I somehow messed up the recording. duh.

C - after 100 reps trying to shadow each repetition with as minimal delay as possible. Earphones in both ears. Then took a short break (phone rang)

D - after 200 reps trying to shadow as in C

E - after the 200 reps plus another 20 more. For these extra twenty, I took out one earphone. That let me hear my own voice as I shadowed.

 

Time taken on the exercise for listening - approximately 15 minutes

 

Comments welcomed. Worse or better with increasing reps or not much change?

 

A control.mp3

C 100 reps.mp3

D 200 reps.mp3

E 200 + 20 single ear phone.mp3

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Publius

a) The teacher has a so-called Taiwanese accent, e.g.

inconsistent retroflex: zòng vs zhòng

lack of neutralization: shìqíng vs shìqing

and the way two consecutive 4th tones are pronounced: zhòngyào, xìngqù (this is not always mentioned, but in more standard Mandarin, they are not two fully fledged 4th tones like ˥˩.˥˩ but rather ˥˧.˧˩)

If I were you, I'd rather shadow Google Translate...

b) You're definitely improving. But I think you need more practice with your 'jqx'. They have a foreign quality that reminds the listener that you're a native English speaker. :D

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, Flickserve said:

E - after the 200 reps plus another 20 more. For these extra twenty, I took out one earphone. That let me hear my own voice as I shadowed.

 

Wanted to make a tangential suggestion that might or might not be worth a look. A few days ago I bought a pair of bone-conduction earphones. The earbuds don't go in the ear canals; instead the speakers rest on the tempero-mandibular joint, or close to it, against bone. This allows one to hear normal audio input, via the eardrum, while still getting the music or, in your case the audio recording, via the  speakers. 

 

The brand and series I bought was called Trekz Air, by a company named Aftershokz. It's a Chinese brand made in Shenzhen. They are pricey at 1,200 RMB. The same company also has last year's model available at about 700 RMB. It is called Trekz Titanium and is a little heavier. They have gotten good reviews and are comfortable to use. 

 

Might help your project insofar as they would let you hear your own voice as you shadow. 

 

Here is one review: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradmoon/2017/08/31/aftershokz-trekz-air-wireless-bone-conduction-headphones-review-ditch-the-buds/#7c79e5f05393 

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Flickserve

@Publius

 

Thanks for the comments! Very, very helpful!!

 

9 hours ago, Publius said:

a) The teacher has a so-called Taiwanese accent, e.g.

 

 

Err, all the recordings were my voice. That's probably why you think it is Taiwanese even though the vast majority (greater than 95%) of my speaking sessions on italki have been with people from North China. That was a deliberate action to reduce the Cantonese interference on my Mandarin. Doesn't sound as if I have been too successful.

 

9 hours ago, Publius said:

inconsistent retroflex: zòng vs zhòng

 

I didn't try looking at any pinyin during the exercise. I might do that another time and see if it makes a difference to z- zh-

 

9 hours ago, Publius said:

lack of neutralization: shìqíng vs shìqing

 

That's definitely a 'me' error. I went back and compared. Mine definitely goes up - I think trying to pronouce -ng properly is a bit forced and makes me go up in tone unintentionally.

 

9 hours ago, Publius said:

the way two consecutive 4th tones are pronounced: zhòngyào, xìngqù (this is not always mentioned, but in more standard Mandarin, they are not two fully fledged 4th tones like ˥˩.˥˩ but rather ˥˧.˧˩)

 

I think this is my error - listening to her she does change the 2nd 4th tone. But it is interesting that although I was incorrect, the tone remained a 4th.

 

9 hours ago, Publius said:

But I think you need more practice with your 'jqx'

 

Yes. I slacked off practicing speaking to listen more.

 

 

 

The original recording that is attached for your reference.

 

Why would you advise shadowing google translate?

Original.mp3

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Flickserve
11 hours ago, abcdefg said:

few days ago I bought a pair of bone-conduction earphones. The earbuds don't go in the ear canals; instead the speakers rest on the tempero-mandibular joint, or close to it, against bone. This allows one to hear normal audio input, via the eardrum, while still getting the music or, in your case the audio recording, via the  speakers

 

Intriguing. 

 

Did you buy it for the purposes of language learning? 

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abcdefg
5 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

Did you buy it for the purposes of language learning? 

 

No. Mainly to listen to music while exercising. They are good for wear during athletics. They stay in place well. I also just use them for listening to music; fidelity is pretty good. Most earbuds I've tried feel uncomfortable on one side or the other. I also use them to listen to audio books and on-line courses.

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陳德聰
3 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Why would you advise shadowing google translate?

I believe this was a way to say that the pronunciation in (A) was not better than Google Translate.

 

I also was confused about why the “control” is not a control but is just your pronunciation shortly after hearing the phrase.

 

Your last two recordings sound the same, but are both better than after 100 reps. Your general intonation reminds me of “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

 

I find it interesting that your recordings sound a bit like you’re trying to hold a retroflex throughout.

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Flickserve
7 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

 

I also was confused about why the “control” is not a control but is just your pronunciation shortly after hearing the phrase.

 

True. I should have written " Pronunciation at baseline." 

 

9 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

Your last two recordings sound the same, but are both better than after 100 reps. Your general intonation reminds me of “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

 

Thanks. I realised something is not right but wasn't able to control my voice to get it closer. Your analysis really helped. 

 

I felt more comfortable with the shadowing hearing it with one earphone plugged in with the caveat that isn't a proper way to test an intervention. 

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imron
26 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

I find it interesting that your recordings sound a bit like you’re trying to hold a retroflex throughout.

I thought this, too, as if an overcompensation for retroflexes not being common in southern accents and so just adding it everywhere, making things like 兴趣 sound like shìngqu rather than xìngqu.

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陳德聰
14 hours ago, Flickserve said:

True. I should have written " Pronunciation at baseline." 

Might wanna be careful with that cause I feel your first recording was the best, despite being the slowest.

 

Did you know that if you hold your tongue in a retroflex it will rhoticize even the vowels of your speech? This doesn’t happen in your first recording, but gradually it looks like you did this through multiple reps and eventually your whole sentence was r-coloured.

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Flickserve
6 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

rhoticize

 

I had to look up this word 

 

6 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

retroflex

 

I don't consciously do this 

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