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Christa

Standard pronunciation of "a little"

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Christa

I was wondering, does anyone know what is considered "standard" pronunciation of "a little"?

 

I write "a little", rather than "一点" or "一点儿" because, once the Chinese is written, each has a specific pronunciation.

 

But what is considered the standard / textbook way to say "a little"?

 

Again, I know that in the south they tend to say "一点" and in the north they tend to say "一点儿" but is there an officially standard one?

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AaronUK

I usually adjust depending on if I'm talking to a friend from Beijing or south China/Taiwan. I guess if you don't know your audience you can go with 一点

I believe 一点点 is the softer spoken way for the South China/Taiwan similar to 一点儿 which is used in Beijing/North but that 一点 is the standard formal written way. 

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DavyJonesLocker

I am stuck on the erhua way of pronunciation as I learnt  chinese in the north. The official standard is without the 儿  but sounds odd in the north to leave it out, especially with something like 没事儿

 

I admit it's nicer sounding without it. If you want to hear it at 102 decibel level, speak to a older male native Beijing taxi driver who seem to add it to just about everything. :D

 

I do find the odd time it quite hard to pronounce especially with a  word like  杏儿 (apricot) 

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abcdefg

There is no "erhua" in Kunming. (We deal with other 方言 devils.) 

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Publius
55 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I do find the odd time it quite hard to pronounce especially with a  word like  杏儿 (apricot)

It's like how Americans like to get a kick out of asking a Brit to pronounce the word 'squirrel'. :lol:

 

Though not the case in 'a little', erhua can have a function of semantic distinction in Beijing dialect.

For example, 白面 = wheat flour, 白面儿 = heroin powder; 菜汤 = vegetable soup, 菜汤儿 = the watery leftover of a dish.

 

Another fun fact. In northern mountainous regions of Beijing, there apparently was a process of first erhua then losing of the er sound. There is a village near 密云水库. When I first heard its name I though it was 横岭隔. Then I saw 横岭峉 carved on a stone and thought to myself wow I didn't know this character. Only after having a conversation with the locals did I realize it must be 横岭根儿 'héng lǐng gēr' with the 'r' dropped. Because they pronounced other words in similar fashion, e.g. 笔记本 = bǐ jì bě. (btw, the official reading of 峉 is é, the villagers apparently co-opted this character to represent their unique way of pronouncing 根儿.)

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Christa

Thanks everyone. That is such a comprehensive set of answers. Thank you!!

 

Regarding this:

 

3 hours ago, AaronUK said:

一点 is the standard formal written way

 

2 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

The official standard is without the 儿

 

Does that mean that, if you were being taught standard pronunciation, you would be taught without the 儿? Or does it mean that there simply isn't an agreed "standard" pronunciation?

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Christa

By that, I mean, does that apply to just the standard written language or is that the standard pronunciation as well?

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imron

Which standard?

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Christa
Just now, imron said:

Which standard?

 

That's sort of what I mean. Is there a pronunciation that's considered "standard" for such thing or does that only apply to the written form?

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imron
43 minutes ago, Christa said:

The official standard is without the 儿

Are you sure?  See for example here (from the 普通话水平测试).

 

Quote

本表儿化音节,在书面上一律加“儿”,但并不表明所列词语在任何语用场合都必须儿化。

...

Quote

一点儿 yīdiǎnr

 

So it's not like 一点儿 is non-standard.

 

3 minutes ago, Christa said:

Is there a pronunciation that's considered "standard" for such thing

Mainland China has their standard.  Taiwan has theirs.  The wonderful thing about standards is that there's so many to choose from.

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Christa
53 minutes ago, imron said:

Mainland China has their standard.  Taiwan has theirs.  The wonderful thing about standards is that there's so many to choose from.

 

Thanks, Imron.

 

So, what exactly is the answer? I'm still confused.

 

For the spoken language it's considered standard to say  一点 in Taiwan and both 一点 and 一点儿 are considered standard in Mainland China. Is that right?

 

I'm sorry for being a bit slow to grasp this.

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AaronUK
1 hour ago, Christa said:

Does that mean that, if you were being taught standard pronunciation, you would be taught without the 儿? Or does it mean that there simply isn't an agreed "standard" pronunciation?

my HSK books and teachers from the north and south have both taught me the 儿 the reason being that HSK books can focus on every day converesation, and teachers from both areas have taught me it as something I should know for conversation. So the official language testing materials do include HSK, that doesnt mean there is an accepted standard. I would say without accent is going to be the most 'standard'.

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Christa
1 hour ago, AaronUK said:

my HSK books and teachers from the north and south have both taught me the 儿 the reason being that HSK books can focus on every day converesation, and teachers from both areas have taught me it as something I should know for conversation. So the official language testing materials do include HSK, that doesnt mean there is an accepted standard. I would say without accent is going to be the most 'standard'.

 

58 minutes ago, imron said:

Except there *is* an official standard on the mainland - and broadcasters, school teachers and various other professions are tested against it (the 普通话水平测试) and have to obtain a certain score if they hope to work in those professions.  That standard uses 一点儿 both in written and spoken, but notes that depending on the circumstances 一点 can be ok too

 

Well, that is really baffling. So HSK says 一点 but the other proficiency test says 一点儿 and maybe sometimes 一点.

 

Infuriating!!!!

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lips

What is the difference between the written form of "big" 大 and "dog" 犬?

 

一点 or 一点儿 ?

 

有一点不同 or 有一点儿不同 ?

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, imron said:

Are you sure?  See for example here (from the 普通话水平测试).

 

 

2 hours ago, imron said:

Except there *is* an official standard on the mainland -

 

Thanks imron. I always understood that erhua is a variant of standard chinese but it looks like (from a bit of baidu'ing and googling) some erhua usage is a part of "standard Chinese" as taught in schools as laid out in government guidelines. 哪儿 , 一点儿,  好玩儿 etc. Now whether all erhua usage as used by native Beijingers is officially part of a standard Chinese as laid out in government guidelines I have no clue! Never really considered it much until today as it was often referred to it as the erhua variant

 

In any case @Christa is not something I would worry about. Many books are published by BLCU Press and they often include the 儿 whereas some are written elsewhere and leave it out. As far as I can remember NPCR doesn't use it too much nor do the folks over at Chinesepod and the Pimsleur series (again going on memory). In writing its not an issue and in and in speech it just takes a little time to re-adjust the brain a bit.

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abcdefg

The one word that always hear with an "er" ending here, and see written with one as well, is 玩 -- to play, to have fun, etc. Always here it spoken as 玩儿 and written as 玩儿 in text messages from friends, people who have never spent time in northern China. 

 

“有空过来玩儿。”

“这个景点庭好玩儿。”

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imron
4 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Now whether all erhua usage as used by native Beijingers is officially part of a standard Chinese as laid out in government guidelines I have no clue!

It is not!

 

And apparently Beijingers have trouble with 儿话 words in the exam because they add 儿话 in places they shouldn't and it's harder for them to differentiate between which words should have it and which words shouldn't - compared to people who wouldn't normally add 儿话 to their words and just had to learn a fixed set of words that should take it.

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DavyJonesLocker
10 minutes ago, imron said:

And apparently Beijingers have trouble with 儿话 words in the exam because they add 儿话 in places they shouldn't and it's harder for them to differentiate between which words should have it and which words shouldn't - compared to people who wouldn't normally add 儿话 to their words and just had to learn a fixed set of words that should take it.

 

very good, 

its interesting, I have never really thought about it, i seem to absorb it through osmosis. Some beijingers seem to really pronouce it on certain word(s) like 好玩儿, 饭馆儿 where as the southeners probably would not use it. I assume words like 这儿 would be more in widespread usage through China

 

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