The chinese syllable--汉语的音节(1)

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Yakira Mandarin
May 1, 2018
a few seconds

Chinese syllable consists of three parts: initials, finals, and tones. For example, 'mā' is made up of the initials 'm', the final 'a' and the level tone '-'.


Today we learn tone first.


Tone is the pitch contour of the syllable. there are five tones. Here are examples:

第一声:妈 mā 音高而平,基本没有升降变化。

第二声:麻 má 由中音升到高音。

第三声:马 mǎ 由半低音降到低音,再升到半高音。

第四声:骂 mà 由高音降到低音。

轻 声: 吗 ma 字音很轻很短。

  • The first tone: mā (mother) This tone is high and fiat with no change in the pitch, using '-' as its tone mark.

  • The second tone: má (numb) This tone rises from the middle to the top, using '/' as its tone mark.

  • The third tone: mǎ (horse) This tone curves mid-low to low and rises to mid-high, using 'V' as its tone mark.

  • The fourth tone: mà (scold) This tone falls sharply from the top to the bottom, using '\' as its tone mark.

The neutral tone: ma(sentence final interrogative particle ) This tone is light and short with no tone mark.


Please be ware that when a third tone is followed by another third tone, the first one should be pronounced as a second tone. e.g. nǐ hǎo— ní hǎo, hěn hǎo— hén hǎo.