Category Archives: Pronunciation

International Brand Names in Chinese

As every other language, Chinese language has undoubtedly been undergoing many changes, such as new vocabulary and even new sentence structures, particularly under the influence of English. New words have been seeping into Mandarin since Qing dynasty, but the process has been much more notable in the recent decades. This has been propelled by the Read More…

I speak Chinese. But which?

I am sure that all of our readers are already aware of the fact that the term ‘Chinese’ (language) refers to more than one variant of the language. Usually, people refer to standard Chinese 普通话 (PǔTōngHuà), also known as Mandarin Chinese, which is the official language in Mainland China and Taiwan, is one of four Read More…

‘Beijinghua’: What’s With All the Random ‘R’s’ in Chinese?

So, speaking/using/studying Chinese you must’ve noted the constant (and seemingly random) intrusion of rough sounding r’s. If you’ve ever wandered why this is so, please read on. First of all, when I say Chinese, what I mean is a standard Chinese called Mandarin, which is a variant based on Beijing pronunciation. In Beijing, apparently, they Read More…

The Difference between Ai4 and Ei4

A student wrote me the following email: I am having trouble distinguishing between the sound of “ai” and “ei”. In your lessons, examples such as , “Ai” “Tai” “Duo Gei” and “Wei Shen Me” are all sounding to my ears very much the same as the sound I use in Australian English for “way” or Read More…

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