Chinese pronunciation made easy

Do you wish you could pronounce Chinese like a native speaker? Now you can! Rocket Languages has discovered a new way to make Chinese pronunciation easy. Not only that, but you have a ton of free audio lessons here at your fingertips to start improving your Chinese pronunciation right now.
 
Want to start with some simple Chinese words or basic Chinese phrases? No problem.
 
Ready to try some Chinese travel words or learn more about Chinese culture? Great! 
 
Before you start your Rocket Chinese adventure, read on to find out how we’re going to help you master Chinese pronunciation in no time…

Use Rocket Record voice comparison software for free

As hard as you try, without helpful feedback your Chinese pronunciation is never going to be the same as a native speaker’s. If you've found it difficult to perfect the way you say Chinese words and phrases, Rocket Languages voice comparison software will help you. 
 
Using the blue Rocket Record buttons you can record the way you say each Chinese word or phrase, and compare it with the way a Chinese native speaker does. That’s right, you can record your voice as many times as you need until your pronunciation matches the Chinese speaker!
 
Give it a try!
{Download}
shàngwǔ hǎo
Good morning

Chinese pronunciation tips:

Chinese is a "tonal language", which means that the way a sound is pronounced directly affects the meaning of what is said.
 
Other languages use tone but in a different manner, for example in English, tone can used to convey the attitude or feeling of a speaker or whether what someone says is a statement, question, warning or command.
 
There are four tones in Chinese altogether. In writing, we use the accent marks on the main vowel to indicate tone.
 
For the first tone (flat or high level) we use a macron:
[ ˉ ] ā ē ī ō ū
 
For the second tone (rising or high rising) we use an acute accent:
[ ˊ ] á é í ó ú 
 
For the third tone (falling-rising or low) we use a caron/háček:
[ ˇ ] ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ
 
For the fourth tone (falling or high-falling) we use a grave accent:
[ ˋ ] à è ì ò ù

Listen to these examples of Chinese tones:

1st tone
2nd tone
3rd tone
4th tone
Translation
Download
mā 妈
má 麻
mǎ 马
mà 骂
(mother, hemp, horse, to curse)
Download
āi 埃
ái 癌
ǎi 矮
ài 爱
(dust, cancer, dwarf, love)
Download
qiāng 枪
qiáng 墙
qiǎng 抢
qiàng 呛
(pistol, wall, to snatch, to choke)
Download
tuī 推
tuí 颓
tuǐ 腿
tuì 退
(to push, dispirited, leg, to retreat)

 

As you can see, in Chinese, tone directly affects meaning. In other words, if we make a mistake with the tone we can totally change the meaning of what we are saying. This is not just a small change - the new word can be completely unrelated to the one we intended to say!
 
We explain everything you need to know about Chinese pronunciation in the Rocket Chinese Premium course. Let’s get you started with these free audio lessons…

Most viewed Chinese pronunciation lessons

 

How many Chinese greetings do you know? After this free audio lesson for beginners you’ll know more than just a simple ni hao! In no time at all you’ll know some expressions for different times of day, and ways to greet new people and close friends.

 

How do you ask "How are you?" in Chinese – and how do you reply? Whether you’re feeling good, bad or something in between, you’ll know how to explain after this free Rocket Chinese audio lesson. 

 

After this free audio lesson you’ll be able to say "thank you" in Chinese, "excuse me", "sorry", and use other polite Chinese words and phrases with confidence. You’ll also know how to express your appreciation when someone is being helpful to you.

 

This free audio lesson on counting in Chinese is essential for your Chinese language survival kit! Going to the market for groceries? Need to tell someone your age or phone number? There are so many reasons why you need to be able to count in Chinese, and the Rocket Chinese team is here to make it easier. 

 

Don’t leave home without these Chinese travel phrases! How do you ask when the bus leaves or the train arrives? After this free audio lesson you’ll know how to ask 'when' and 'where' in Mandarin Chinese. 

 

If you’re traveling in a Chinese-speaking you’ll definitely be eating out and ordering in Chinese. In this free lesson the Rocket Chinese team will teach you the basics you need to know so you can enjoy the delicious Chinese cuisine.

 

Socializing with Chinese-speaking people? Knowing these Chinese salutations will help you fit right in. After this free audio lesson you'll have a range of common Mandarin Chinese expressions to use in the company of native speakers.

Have fun!

Lin Ping

Rocket Chinese

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