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After some years of studying Chinese, I still find myself not being able to properly pronounce "qu". I can pronounce "yu", "ju", and "xu", "qi", etc, so I have no problem pronouncing the initial "q" and the final "yu"(ü), but for some reason when I combine them the result sounds like "chyu" (chü). This is not clear to me as I'm talking, it's only clear when I hear a recording of myself. 


Anyone had this problem before? Any suggestions?

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Jan Finster

Best if you upload a sample of your pronunciation so people can give you better feedback

 

I believe it is a challenging pinyin sound to produce as for "q" your mouth is wide, while for the "ü" it has to become small and round.  But since you do not struggle with "xu" (which should be even more challenging), I am at a loss. 

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  • 3 months later...
Mandarincave

When prounouncing yù, your lips will be like whistling and extending forward. For pronouncing qu, it i like yù, but you will pull your lips inward.  When you put your palm in front of your mouth, you should feel air coming out.

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Demonic_Duck
On 2020/10/22 at 8:22 AM, i__forget said:

I can pronounce ... "ju"

 

If this is true, and assuming you can produce other aspirated/unaspirated pairs such as de/te, ji/qi, etc, you can pronounce "qu" too. It's just an aspirated version of the same syllable, in other words you expel a strong gust of breath with the consonant.

 

3 hours ago, Madarincave said:

you will pull your lips inward

 

You don't need to do this.

 

On 2020/10/22 at 8:40 AM, Jan Finster said:

for "q" your mouth is wide, while for the "ü" it has to become small and round

 

Nor this.

 

Your lips can retain the exact same shape throughout the whole syllable "qu" (or "ju", "xu"), the same shape as for "yu".

 

On 2020/10/22 at 8:40 AM, Jan Finster said:

"xu" (which should be even more challenging),

 

No idea why "xu" would be more challenging, it's a less complex version of the sound in "ju" (omitting the initial stop).

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Jan Finster
1 hour ago, Demonic_Duck said:

Nor this.

 

Your lips can retain the exact same shape throughout the whole syllable "qu" (or "ju", "xu"), the same shape as for "yu".

 

You do not elaborate on any of those claims. So, I looked it up myself.

The lips are wide on "q" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUlnp0wm5dk (2:29 following)), but it is true that at 6:30 he says "qu" with a static and less wide mouth. Interesting. Apparently, I was over-complicating the "qu" and tried to move from  wide mouth to small and round mouth....

 

 

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realmayo
2 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

The lips are wide on "q"

 

I think the mouth shape is a function of the 'vowel' sound that follows.

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