Notes: If you see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters (中文), install Chinese support for your computer. The pinyin of each Chinese character will be displayed if you pause your mouse pointer over each Chinese character.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Four Tones of Mandarin

Mandarin is a tonal language. There are four basic tones and a neutral tone in Mandarin. The basic four tones are sometimes modified when they occur in combination.

The four tones in Mandarin are:
  1. High level but flat tone
  2. Rising tone
  3. Falling and then rising tone
  4. Falling tone
Pronouncing the tone rightly is very important. Take a look at the video below for a better explanation.

Numbers or tone marks are used to indicate the tones. Here is the word ‘ma’ with tone marks:
  • First tone: ma1 or
  • Second tone: ma2 or
  • Third tone: ma3 or
  • Fourth tone: ma4 or

Below are related videos about Pinyin Tones:

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