4 years ago1,000+ Views
One of the biggest challenges faced by learners of Chinese is tones - this is made even more difficult by the fact that English is not a tonal language. Mandarin has 4 basic tones, the pitch contours of which are shown in the first image. In turn, tones are indicated by the strokes shown in the second image. These strokes are placed on top of vowels (see next card for more on tone marks). The best way to improve your tones is to talk in Chinese as much as you can with native speakers and have them correct you. Also try to parrot what they say as much as you can - obviously not to the point that they never want to see you again but ask for their help and explain you need to improve your tones and you shouldn't have a problem! Other ways to improve including watching Chinese TV dramas (yes - I'm telling you to watch television!) and listening to Chinese music. I've also included a video that you can use to practice your tones~
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@zhengshi How did you find PKU? I'd originally wanted to go there but my school had a program of sorts with BLCU so I had little choice but to go there. I really liked it (great location) but I did kind of feel constantly surrounded by foreigners like myself...wish I could have had a more immersive experience!
@acrossthesea I really enjoyed but I guess its all a case of personal preference. I liked BLCU but once I got accepted to PKU, there wasn't really much choice - and my parents were pretty adamant I'd be going there. You studied Chinese at BLCU right? Language school or full time program?
@zhengshi I'm not surprised~ I don't think anyone really chooses to not go to PKU!
@zhengshi yes, I was at BLCU. I did the language school program
when I look at charts like this, I feel incredibly grateful that Russian is not a tonal language