The 2nd and 3rd mandarin Tone
Hey, could you tell me guys if I am doing my 2nd and 3rd mandarin tone right? I could possibly be adding a 3rd tonish sound to my 2nd tone not too sure though. Am I rising too sharply on my 2nd tone?
Attached is an voice recording of me saying "Cha" in 2nd and third tone
watyamacallitMarch 04, 2011, 10:33 PM
Its hard to tell. This is because you seem to be 'stepping' your tones up and down, rather than gliding. In other words, if you were to graph your pitch over time, you would see a series of steps, rather than a smooth gradient.
I'm not sure how to help you online. Do you go to Chinese lessons? If so, I'm sure your teacher can help you. The only suggestion I can give, is not to make your syllables so long and deliberate. Try to say them at the same speed as Jenny in those tone lessons.
Or you can download the EzPinyin program here:
It allows you to select an initial sound, a final sound and a tone, then play the whole word. You can practise varying the tone on different words.
"if you were to graph your pitch over time"
...I like this analytical approach. I'd love to see that. I think these tones should be able to be quantified...wish I could see mine. When it came to analysing the graph I guess an appreciation of mathematics sure would help...maybe music too. ;)
I just had a listen mate. You're 3rd tone sounds like a 3rd tone to me. In my experience speaking slowly and deliberately to Chinese does not help and so now you have the idea of that tone I agree with speeding it up and sounding more natural, but you're off to a good start. Yes, I think your "2nd tone" also sounds like a 3rd tone, you just have a higher starting and finishing point. Start at the bottom and just head up like at the end of a question in English. But the good thing is you yourself recognised that. Good luck :)
I once read that as the pitch varies in a mandarin syllable, so does the volume. Apparently, the volume is highest at the top of the scale, and lowest at the bottom. At the start I found difficulty judging pitch, so I experimented with changing the volume instead. I won't say I suddenly understood tones in this way, but I think my tones did improve somewhat. So, for instance, you might practice a 4th tone by beginning to shout, then 'choking' the sound. Or practice a 2nd tone by gradually increasing the volume.
I think some people may disagree with this, because many associate a deep voice with loudness.