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Something about Mandarin you should learn before MASTERING it.
Four Tones decide the MEANING of the words.
You want to enunciate each word well. Similar to English, there are lots of similar sounds in Mandarin world, such as “shuì jiào” and “shuǐ jiǎo”, the first one means “sleep” and the second one means “dumpling”, the Phonetics of them are totally the same, but the tones changed the meaning. “I’m sleeping.” can become “I’m in a dumpling.” So, this is something you HAVE TO be serious, I’m sure you don’t want to embarrass yourself and others.

Promise me, you will not neglect its importance.

First tone
Also called “flat” tone, which means the tone completely maintains at the same pitch.

Second tone
The pitch directly goes up.

Third tone
This one is a bit tricky, the pitch goes down first, then goes back to the original point. So, you need to make sure you let the pitch go down before going up. I have noticed a lot of learners forgot the first part when they are producing this sound. Some people do let the pitch go down first, but they prolong the second part. So, remember this, the degree of pitch’s changes should be the same, i.e. the pitch should go up as much as it goes down, it should be equal.

Fourth tone
It is opposite to the second tone, the pitch directly goes down. Some learners tend to say words louder than usual when they are producing this sound. You don’t need to do that, okay? Only the pitch is changing, you voice is not.

When it comes to speaking, lots of you think tones are super confusing. Yes, it is. However, for some of you, I assume there are tones in your native languages as well. Maybe it doesn’t change the meaning of the words, but I’m pretty sure you guys are doing it every single day, because you don’t talk like a robot, right? Therefore, pay attention on these tones, try to figure it out if you are making it. Once you notice it, it will be so much easier to master it.

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