How to remember the tones in Chinese, forever

If you're just getting into Chinese, one of the first things you'll hear about are the tones. And it makes sense, because 'tones' are one of the most essential and distinctive parts of Mandarin. Mandarin actually has fewer sounds than many other languages, and so the language 'makes up' for that by having four different ways in which you can pronounce any given syllable. There are also some syllables which are unstressed. They are always the second or third syllable of a word and they Continue Reading

First lesson in Chinese – The four tones

If you're learning to speak Chinese, the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with sounds of the language and the pronunciation. And the most fundamental thing you need to learn are the four tones in Mandarin. That's what I'm going to talk about in this post. There are a couple of things you need to know first. Each Chinese character is pronounced as a single syllable, and English words, when they're translated into Chinese, are made up of two or three characters, which would Continue Reading