Pronouncing Chinese r

arkalan

arkalan

Hi there! I have a question on the way that one should pronounce r in chinese, like in "rén". I can definitely hear an English r in the way Dave prounounces it. As far as my ears can grasp it, Lin's r is something between l and r. Since Russian is one of the languages that I am fluent at, I checked several Russian web sites that provide free intro to chineese phonetics. r is pronounced there like something between r and zh (an English transcription, not a letter in Putunchua) What is the correct way to pronounce this sound? I would appreciate your assistance on this. Thank you, Arik
RocketDude

RocketDude

That was also a tough sound for me to figure out. Since you are writing in English I assume you know English. Ren in Pinyon is somewhat close to the word run in English. But instead of rounding your lips to say the letter "r" put you tongue up to the top of your mouth to say it without moving your lips (except a little apart). It comes out as a hollow sounding r in English. Also, listen to someone from the Orient trying to say the English word run (...or whatever word is similar in Russian). Russia? To Americans' it sounds like a child trying to say "r" because they are using their tongue instead of their lips to say it. Actually, I went thru 3 yrs of speech training when I was very young to say "r" correctly in English. So I just diverted back to the way I used to say it incorrectly in English to say it correctly in Chinese. It does pretty close to the English "r" in words like ren (or Russia). But in short words like "re" in Chinese it sounds more like an "l". I call that an "acoustic illusion." It may sound like one thing to you in one word but in another word it sounds different...although its the same sound. Hope that helps.
Lin-Ping

Lin-Ping

Hi there, In Chinese the tongue is put in similar places as pronounced in English, except that, in pronouncing Chinese r, the tongue is rolled up very strongly, (make the tongue really curly) whereas in pronouncing English r, the tongue is just slightly raised in the mouth, without being rolled up that much. It is difficult to explain the shape of tongue here, but if that doesn't help, I don't think you would have a lot of trouble in being understood if you use the English r to pronounce the Chinese one. I am sure native speakers can still figure out that it is "r". I hope this help! All the best for your Chinese learning! :)
arkalan

arkalan

Thank you all!
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

First say ?? Next say it again but make sure your vocal cords are vibrating. If you hold out ? they are vibrating. Perfect Chinese ? sound.
Hend-a

Hend-a

the chinines language is very hard
Parmeet--

Parmeet--

Chinese is totally hard. But I think Madarain Chinese is harder thatn Cantonese which is chinese used in Hong Kong. During my lessons i totally don't understand what my mandrain teacher's saying
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

Parmeet are you from Hong Kong?
Parmeet--1

Parmeet--1

yea i m i was born in hk i m sure u r chinese too do u live in hk if yes which school do u study in(hope u dont mind me askin)
Oggiedoggy

Oggiedoggy

I dont mind, but I am just a dedicated Chinese student - I was born in the US :D
Lin-Ping

Lin-Ping

Motivation is the key to success. May we all be motivated .

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