Vocabulary and phonetics of lesson 5

Learn Chinese: phonetic and vocabulary 5

Note: when a translation of a character is in brackets, this means that this character cannot be used alone. This does not mean that it has no meaning, just as the roots of words in our Western languages.

: one. As with negation , syllable changes its tone according to the tone of the syllable that follows.These are the only two syllables that change tone in Mandarin Chinese.
The rule is as follows: when followed by a falling tone () number "one" changes to rising tone.
For example: yí gè.
Before the three others tones (high , rising and low ) the number "one" changes to falling tone: .
For example: yì tiān, yì huír, yì qǐ.
Before a neutral tone syllable (ma), the tone of the number "one" doesn't change:

As a reminder, the change of tone for negation is as follows:
before a falling tone syllable, negation changes to rising tone: . Example: 不是 bú shì

Apart from these two tone change rules, we have previously seen a third more general rule in lesson 3, that is:
when 2 low tones follow each other in a row, the first syllable changes to rising tone:
- nǐhǎo is actually pronounced like this níhǎo

Does that seem a bit difficult? Don't worry, these are the only three tone change rules you need to know to learn Chinese Mandarin. There are others, but it concerns linguists more than those who want to learn to speak Chinese. The most important thing is to try to imitate the recordings. Tone changes will then come naturally to you.

èr : two

sān : three

: four. After s, sh, c, ch, z, r, the i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant.

: five

liù : six

: seven. q is an aspirated consonant. It must be pronounced by expiring air with a small explosion. q = 'ts' with a small explosion.

: eight. b is pronounced like a 'p' in French, between the 'b' and 'p' in English, but without expiring air.

jiǔ : nine. The j is pronounced between the 'dz' and the 'dj' (with the top middle part of the tongue and not the tip).

shí : ten. After s, sh, c, ch, z, r, the i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant.

líng : zero

duō : many / (before a verb =) how many? duō is pronounced like a 't' in French, between the 'd' and 't' in English, but without expiring air.

: big / to be older

suì : years (of age). ui is pronounced as the initial sounds in "waiter", "wage" in English or like the sound 'oué' in French.

nián : year (date)

yuè : month

xīng : (star). x is pronounced like 's' but with the top middle part of the tongue.

: (a period of time)

xīngqī : week

rìqī : the date

tiān : day / sky

jīn : (present / current)

jīntiān : today

míngtiān : tomorrow

míngtiān jiàn : See you tomorrow !

jīnnián : this year

míngnián : next year

: how many?

shēngrì : birthday

Last modified: Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 3:22 PM