is there anyway to learn how to properly pronounce the R like a native chinese would say "rong" ? To me it doesn't sound anything like an R in english ! The Zh isn't as difficult ! My wife's name is Zhong Zhen and nobody ever pronounces it Jong Jen but not far off!
R & Zh
July 21, 2013
August 24, 2013
I'm not the best to answer, but here is my opinion. I think of the R more as a soft D, but that is just me. I have met many people that speak Mandarin and depending on where they come from, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, is how they pronounce the R. I wouldn't get too hung up on it. Just think Europe, America, Australia, we all pronounce English a little different.
August 27, 2013
Speaking the R sound as a soft D works, but it will make you sound like a Japanese speaking Chinese; definitely non-standard. Can you 是 shi, as in, "to be"? If so you can probably say a perfect R. First, let me explain a simple linguistic concept of 'aspirated' vs 'unaspirated'. From Rutgers Chinese: <<<http://chinese.rutgers.edu/class_content_simplified_chinese/level1/class1-to-9/class1/intro.htm>>> SH sh Let the tip of the tongue curl back to approach but not touch the front of the hard palate, leaving a narrow fissure between the two. Let the air flow pass through this fissure with some friction. It is somewhat like "SH" in English "sh oe". Sha she shai shei shao shou shan shang shen sheng Shu shua shuo shuai shuei shuan shuang shuen shi* *Note that "i" in "shi" is very short, like the "SH" in "sh irt". R r "R" is form in the same way as "SH" above. The only difference between them is that "SH" is unvoiced, while "R" is voiced, that is, the vocal chord must vibrate as the sound is made. Also, "R" is pronounced with the lips SPREAD NOT rounded like English "R". Re rao rou ran rang ren reng rong Ru rua ruo ruei ruan ruen ri* *Note that "I" in "ri" is very short.
November 8, 2013
大家好！ I read a few books about the pronunciation of our language that gives you several tips of how to pronounce the different consonants and words but my biggest advice to foreigners would be to repeat, repeat, repeat. You may feel like you look silly but just repeat as best you can what you hear. I say this because you may learn the standard pronunciation from audio and books but when you arrive in China, there is such a huge variation in the pronunciation between cities, regions and across the entire country that you are going to be likely to adapt to a slightly different pronunciation on arrival. This may seem a little unhelpful but my main point is to be ready to adapt your pronunciation when you go to China. 加油！ - Lin Ping