Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Pigment

Pronunciation Resources

Recommended Posts

Pigment

Hello everyone,

 

I know this is something that has been requested over and over but as a starter, I'm finding difficult to be clarified about which resources are the best suited for those who are just starting out.

After reading many opinions all over the internet, it seems that the best choice would be to start out by strongly focusing on the pronunciation and phonetics of the language.

I might give Pimsleur a chance, but I've seen some people saying it's too boring, old and somewhat uneffective.

My main goal now is to find some great pronunciation resources that I could pair with the 1st volume of the NPCR.

Is there any "ultimate best" resource to learn proper mandarin pronunciation besides getting a native speaker or it's best to just go along with different and misc. resources?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Shelley

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

Do you know which version of NPCR you are using? There are audio files that come with the textbook. If you are just starting and this is the first thing you are using then I would use the audio files that come with it. There are also videos on YouTube for v2 (that's why I wondered if you know which version) 

 

I suggest the audio that comes with the textbook because it will be covering the same vocabulary and grammar points. Later on as you become more familiar with the whole subject you will be able to usefully augment your learning materials.

 

Having said all that it might be helpful to have a look at Hellochinese, http://www.hellochinese.cc/  this is an app available for Android and iOS phones/tablets. I find it very useful for broadening my resources. It doesn't follow the textbook NPCR but it does have some practical vocab, very good listening and speaking exercises, and allows you to practice writing characters. Most of it is free but there are some paid for extras that you may think worth paying for after have been using it for a while.

 

There is a list on the forum " A short list of resources" here https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/51989-a-short-list-of-resources-for-studying-chinese/?tab=comments#comment-400150

 

Hope this is of some help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve

Focusing on pronunciation early on is a good strategy. It pays dividends later on. 

 

I think one should not depend on just one magic bullet and should also be prepared for more than a little frustration that is dependent on how good you want your pronunciation to be. Some people want to sound totally native and have standard pronunciation whereas some are satisfied with a level where most Chinese people would understand without difficulty. 

 

Good pronunciation is partly dependent on having a good ear so some general passive listening from different sources is a good thing.

 

One thing I wish I had known before was not to underestimate the number of repetitions that you need to develop decent pronunciation. One easy way is to learn how to use computer software such as workaudio book or audacity to loop play short sections of an mp3. You may need to repeat two syllables a few hundred times or more to get accurate pronunciation. In fact, this feature of the software is so useful, I strongly advise any student to learn how to use the software even for those who find computers difficult. 

 

Apart from the Chinese pronunciation wiki, the standard pronunciation should be mp3 recordings from a book that Chinese people use to take a chinese exam called 普通话水平测试. However, I am not sure many learners of Chinese have the tenacity to follow this. 

 

I also worked with teachers on pronunciation. I put in quite a lot of lesson hours on how to learn pinyin and also follow their pronunciation. Luckily, a lot of the teachers also understand the same repetitive process to improve chinese pronunciation having gone through the process themselves. So if you tell a teacher you want to spend an hour on pronunciation, they are very understanding of this requirement ! I used to look for those teachers that had the 普通话水平测试 exam and those with a degree in communication/broadcasting or radio broadcasting experience. They will be quite happy to give you a voice recording after the lesson.

 

As for pimsleur being boring, yes, it is. However, I am not sure if working on pronunciation can be  made to be interesting! It’s not a bad resource if you can speed through the English part (hence again, the benefit of using computer software). After all, we are looking for efficiency solely on pronunciation at this stage rather than learning new sentences. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markhavemann

Although it may seem a little intimidating at first, what I've found really useful is resources aimed at native speakers. 

 

There tends to be a huge amount of content, mostly single character or double character words paired with pinyin. The exercises where there is no pinyin you can use as ear training or simply skip until later. 

 

The most frustrating thing was locating the audio files and finding out which pages they are actually used on since they aren't marked anywhere. 

 

Here are two that I have. Both are aimed at the Mandarin test that most university students (possibly all) here take at some time or the other. I've noticed a few mistakes but not enough to be really crippling. The second book is aimed specifically at speakers from Sichuan province who have what seems like a unique set of problems when speaking Mandarin (L&N, C&CH, Z&ZH and more) but there is enough content that it doesn't matter. 

 

https://www.amazon.cn/dp/B07F7V1WNR/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547863976&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=普通话水平测试使用

https://book.douban.com/subject/11631686/

 

These books are relatively cheap in China but I'm not sure how accessible they are elsewhere. If you do find them and want the audio just PM me and I'll send it to you. 

 

Sample audio and two pages from the second book: 

Audio: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aga1JaEdoW7RvXi0W-aUVOamCjfD

Imagine: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aga1JaEdoW7RvXkeDW7OaRZubeCq

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mackie1402

My Chinese isn't amazing but I'm always complimented on my pronunciation, so here's what I do.

 

Shadowing.
Watch some videos in YouTube and read up on shadowing. Long story short you basically follow an audio recording and speak along with the recording. It really helps with stressing the right words and when to pause mid-sentence.

Most textbooks have CDs to follow the dialogues. Chinesepod  is also a good resource for this. Start with short sentences over and over again. Then longer sentences. Finally try short texts.

 

Tone pairs
I think that's what it's called. There are some resources online teaching patterns for certain tones together. Pretty helpful to drill and practice.

 

Record.
Most importantly, every time you practice what I've mentioned, record it! Just use your phone and make a quick recording, then listen back. You can really hear your mistakes when you record and listen back to yourself.

 

I personally enjoy working hard on my pronunciation. I'm happy to slowly build up my vocabulary but have a solid base when it comes to speaking and my pronunciation. It's an amazing feeling when your taxi/Didi/Uber drives past you, because he didn't expect a foreigner after speaking to you on the phone to book!

 

Perfect practice makes perfect!

 

Just to add:

Don't be trapped in thinking you need more/better resources. When I started I was the same and got a tonne of advice on which resources to use, and I got them all. The most important thing is knowing how to best use those resources. You can sign up for the best gym in your city, but you still need to put in the hours, have the discipline and have good knowledge of the equipment to make the most of it and see results. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius
11 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

It's an amazing feeling when your taxi/Didi/Uber drives past you, because he didn't expect a foreigner after speaking to you on the phone to book!

Haha, that must feel pretty good!

11 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

Don't be trapped in thinking you need more/better resources. When I started I was the same and got a tonne of advice on which resources to use, and I got them all. The most important thing is knowing how to best use those resources. You can sign up for the best gym in your city, but you still need to put in the hours, have the discipline and have good knowledge of the equipment to make the most of it and see results. 

Best advice I've seen in a while.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edelweis
On 1/19/2019 at 5:05 AM, mackie1402 said:

There are some resources online teaching patterns for certain tones together.

any chance you can post some links ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...