Learn Mandarin Chinese Tones the Fun Way! - Beginner Conversational Lessons

Beginner Conversational Lessons in Singapore

Today , we are gonna talk about tones. Well, I know, since I started teaching chinese many years ago I know that tones had a really bad reputation. People just generally find tones really intimidating, thinking that tones are extremely difficult to learn, because you know, in english you don’t have tones. And that is absolutely not true. Not only you do have tones in English, you are actually using it every single day. For example, when you say “ what”, or when you say “no”. You are actually using tones. Give me one second ok. You are actually using tones. So, not only you do have tones in English , you actually have the equivalent to all four chinese tones. So the most effective way to learn chinese is actually learn the chinese tones. is to actually to be aware of when and how, you already use tone already, and then just apply that in the new way. Alright so today I’m gonna help you build that bridge and help you find equivalent in english that matches the four chinese mandarin tones. Before we talk about four tones, i want you to identify your normal speaking voice range. Do you know what that means? Ok , so the reason we do that is because lots of people get confused when talking about tones, they think speaking chinese tones is like singing so you go to your singing voice.That is not true. You still speak your normal speaking voice. So let’s do that. So , think about this. If your friend asks you “would you like me to help me move this weekend?” And you say “ Maybe.” alright,

“Mayyyybe”, thats pretty much the highest point of your voice speaking range. And lets say “ mayyyybe”, repeat after me, “maybe”. Alright, good. You find the highest point. Now, let’s find the lowest point. So the lowest point is pretty much when your friend asks you “what did you have for lunch yesterday?” So you are saying “eh”. No, so you are like “uh” , you are thinking right? you go down to the lowest part of your voice. So you say “ahhh”. And that is the lowest part of your voice. Ok, great. So lets look at this chart. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 representing the highest point of your voice range and 1 representing the lowest part of your voice range. So “maybe” is pretty much here (pointing at 5), and “ahhh” is pretty much here (pointing at 1), right? Ok, great. Now you find the range. So whatever you say is pretty much within that range. Now let me give you some good news, you've already mastered two mandarin chinese tones. What are they? The first tone “maybe” and the third tone “ahh”. Let me explain. Ok, the first tone in mandarin chinese is just a high flat tone. So its like when you say ‘mayybe” and you just stay there for like half or one second. That’s the first tone. Repeat after me , “mayy” “maybe”. First tone. And then you’re ready to learn the third tone. The third tone is pretty much like a low flat tone at the very bottom. And repeat after me “ uhhhh I’m thinking what did I have for lunch yesterday.” “uhhh uhhh”. That’s the third tone alright.

OK. Maybe, first tone, high, flat tone. And “uh” , the flat tone. You already got two tones. Ok , now, let’s talk about the other two tones. You probably already know that there are four tones in mandarin chinese plus a neutral tone which we will talk about in just a bit. Now, I’m gonna conquer the other two tones, the second and the fourth tones. First, repeat after me, these english words. “What” “Huh” “Yes”, alright you do it. “What” “Huh” “Yes”. There you go, you are speaking the second tone alright. The chinese second tone is just when you say “what”, just like a rising tone, a rising tone. Ok , “what”. second tone, alright. So now, you already know all the three tones. “Maybe” “what” “uh”, ok repeat after me. “Maybe” first tone, “may” first tone, high and flat. “what” second tone, and “uh what did you have for lunch yesterday” “uh i dont know.” “uh” the third tone. One two three, repeat after me. “Maybe” “what” “uh”. One more time, “maybe” “what’ ‘uh”. good. Last one, see! you are almost there! Repeat after me, “no “ “sure” “yeah”. so these are very emphatic. It’s like a downward falling tone right. So say “no” “sure” “yeah”, ok? So that’s the fourth tone. So the fourth tone is the downward tone and its like when you are saying “no”. Alright, gosh, you’ve already mastered within what, like 2 minutes? So the tip, the trick to think about each tone is to really drill this in your mind, ok? Each time you think about one chinese tone, associate that tone with an english tone and how you say it. And then you will get the tones out. In english, when have different tones, you are expressing emotions or attitudes. But in chinese, they have different meanings. So you need to associate how you say these english words with the specific chinese tone. First tone would be ‘maybe’, second tone is ‘what?!’, third tone is ‘uh’, fourth tone is ‘no’. So that would be the first, second, third and fourth tone. Repeat after me. ‘may’ ‘what?!’ ‘uh’ ‘no’. (repeated four times). Great job. Now, I want you to say it. One two three. 'may, what, uh, no' ‘may’ ‘what?!’ ‘uh’ ‘no’. Ok, great. Alright, now you know what the four tones are, and their associated english sounds.

See more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuX9F5emdk0

Beginner Conversational Lessons in SingaporeToday , we are gonna talk about tones. Well, I know, since I started teaching chinese many years ago I know that tones had a really bad reputation. People just generally find tones really intimidating, thinking that tones are extremely difficult to learn, because you know, in english you don’t have tones. And that is absolutely not true. Not on...