Am I tone-deaf?
Ok, so the title is only half-serious. Anyway, I find that when listening to native speakers (and fluent non-native speakers) speaking at a normal pace, I cannot detect the tones at all (well, maybe a little). So, when interpreting normal dialogue I have to go off of the pronunciation (which I have no trouble distinguishing) and context alone. Is this normal? Does anyone else share my frustration?
JohnJune 11, 2009, 02:49 AM
Don't worry, it's totally normal! Developing an ear for the tones will take lots of time and exposure. Developing the skill of accurately producing the tones will take even more time and practice.
Distinguishing the tones is likely to take months, not weeks. Meanwhile, getting tones under control takes even longer.
It's a long haul, but extremely rewarding and satisfying. Hang in there!
jckeithJune 11, 2009, 04:11 AM
Thanks John! I have no trouble identifying the tones in slow or exaggerated dialogue. According to your post, I'd say my speaking ability is at step 4 (based on feedback from native speakers). 谢谢你！我可以放心。