Help Learning Chinese Tones

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John Pasden’s article “Toward Better Tones in Natural Speech” is a must read for anyone learning Chinese.

He based his blog post on Dr. Rongrong Liao’s presentation called “An Alternative Way to Teach Mandarin Tones in Speaking.”

Dr. Liao’s message in essence was:

1. We’re giving students of Chinese the wrong picture of tones (third tone in particular)
2. Tones are not of equal importance in natural speech
3. Funny-sounding speech can be corrected most efficiently by focusing on certain key tones

John’s blog post breaks these different points down one by one.

You can also download their Tone Pair Drills here.

Tone Game

How to play Tone Game?

Listen to the sounds, and tap the tone you think is correct, using the 4 buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Correct answers get more points (bottom right), and the more you advance, the more points you get per word.

Wrong answers take one life (bottom left).

The quicker you react, the more points you can also get.

A bonus multiplier sits on top of the score, but will decrease each second.

If you want to replay a sound, just tap its word, but you will lose the bonus if you do so.

You get extra lives after you pass a certain score, just check when you get the next extra life (bottom left).

The more you advance, the bigger the words are, having up to 4 components.

Keep in mind that those are generated randomly out of all the possible sounds, so they don’t need to mean anything.

Available Platforms: iOS $1.99 

Website claims available for Android, but I cannot find it on GooglePlay.

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