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Sreeni

Why 2 or more pronunciations for same character?

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Sreeni

I had come across few characters , which have 2 pronunciations. For e.g: 

 

句 jù  Vs 句  gōu to hook

 

When to pronounce as ju and gou?


 

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alantin

About 20% or so of the characters have more than one pronunciation. They are called 多音字.

 

The pronunciation depends on the meaning you wish to use.

I don't know "句 gōu" but another good example would be 长 zhǎng (to grow) vs. 长 zháng (long).

 

长大 zháng dà (To grow up)

长长 zhǎng zháng (To grow long)

 

Edit.
I found a good article about this with more examples:
http://blog.tutorming.com/mandarin-chinese-learning-tips/chinese-characters-with-various-pronunciations

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mungouk
4 hours ago, Sreeni said:

When to pronounce as ju and gou?

 

Well, from context really. I think this is why it's important to think about learning the language as a whole, not just by learning characters.

 

Many (most?) Chinese words are made less ambiguous by using two characters in the word rather than one

 

1 hour ago, alantin said:

长 zhǎng (to grow) vs. 长 zháng (long)

 

Erm, 长  cháng (length; long; forever; always; constantly)...?

 

I find these two much harder to deduce from context because their meanings are quite similar. (And because it's not always clear whether a word is being used as a noun or a verb or something else!)

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Sreeni
10 hours ago, alantin said:


very good article. But they mentioned same pronunciation with different tones as well . for e.g 好 – HǍO OR HÀO my teacher had explained how the tones differs in sentences like 2 characters with 3rd tones comes in row I think second/first character tone changes automatically. Some tone rules apply.If you omit those then complete pronunciation differences will be very few say 2% only I think.

10 hours ago, mungouk said:

Well, from context really

Thanks

10 hours ago, mungouk said:

I think this is why it's important to think about learning the language as a whole, not just by learning characters.

I am reading book with a word 警方 jing3 fang1 = Police. If I do not break up and learn all the component meanings, I  used to forget most of the words and gave up earlier. While knowing meanings of components retention of words is increased. Here I learned 警方,句 (ju and gou as well),  苟 (Gou), 警, 方.

 

In this case “ learning as a whole “ do you have any suggestions for learning 警方 as mentioned above?


complete sentence  for reference “我暗想,用这种办法协助警方寻找通缉犯,无异于大海捞针,轮到我付钱时,身材娇小的收款员也将我打量一番。”

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alantin
6 hours ago, Sreeni said:

my teacher had explained how the tones differs in sentences like 2 characters with 3rd tones comes in row I think second/first character tone changes automatically. Some tone rules apply.If you omit those then complete pronunciation differences will be very few say 2% only I think.


You mean the the third tone sandhi. It is unrelated to the characters with multiple pronunciations.

 

I think it a big mistake to think that if you ignore the tone, then the characters cease having multiple pronunciations. Each chinese mandarin syllable has three aspects to it’s pronunciation. An initial (usually the first vowel) a final (the rest after the first vowel) and the tone. If you change any of these, you have a different pronunciation.

 

In other words, ignoring the initial or the final makes as much sense as ignoring the tone. If you got the the tone (or the initial or the final) wrong, then you got the pronunciation wrong.

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Sreeni
26 minutes ago, alantin said:

You mean the the third tone sandhi.


I mean the follwing 3-3 tone rule. 
 

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/mandarin-chinese-3-3-tone-change-rule-explained

 


here below, ni, ke, suo, hen can not be considered as pronunciation differences as 3rd tone was changed to Second Tone, as per 3-3 tone was changed to 2-3 tone, I mean

  • 你好: “nǐ hǎo” becomes “ní hǎo”audio-icon.png
  • 可以: “kě yǐ” becomes “ké yǐ”audio-icon.png
  • 所以: “suǒ yǐ” becomes “suó yǐ”audio-icon.png
  • 很好: “hěn hǎo” becomes “hén hǎo”audio-icon.png

If you remove the above and still make up ~20%, characters, fine. noted

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Jan Finster
17 hours ago, alantin said:

 

zháng dà (To grow up)

长长 zhǎng zháng (To grow long)

 

Before I get confused, my dictionary says it should be 长大 zhǎng dà....

 

image.png.7344078bae2ca723bdffab1626185b59.png

 

and 长长 zhǎng cháng

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alantin
4 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

Before I get confused, my dictionary says it should be 长大 zhǎng dà....

 

Good catch!
That was a typo by me...

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alantin
4 hours ago, Sreeni said:

I mean the follwing 3-3 tone rule. 

 

Yes. That's also called "3rd tone sandhi".

 

Quote

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_sandhi]

 

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Sreeni

Pleco has 2 entries for 告诉 (su  tone less and 4 th tone)


告诉  gàosu to tell, to inform, to let know

告诉  gàosù to press charges, to file a complaint 

 

Any one used it in communication both? Thanks 

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