Chinese Mandarin is one of the most popular languages today and it’s now diversifying in many ways because the Chinese culture is becoming well known worldwide. In Singapore, Chinese mandarin is one of the most ideal languages to learn there, because its population consists of mostly Chinese people.
Learning Mandarin in Singapore can be beneficial in many ways especially if you wish to live there in a long term. However, there are times people would learn the language by themselves and may wonder why some Chinese people can’t understand their mandarin.
The main reason why is probably because of their tone, since Chinese mandarin is a tonal language it’s quite easy to make mistakes.
The Tones of Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin is a tonal language this means that the way a syllable is pronounced changes its meaning by the sound and tone in which it is said. Mastering these tones can be an essential step to learning the language.
First Tone: This first tone is high and level, in this tone it’s important to keep your voice even. When pronouncing the whole syllable your voice should be almost monotonous.
Second Tone: This tone rises moderately, usually starting in a lower pitch and ending in a slightly higher pitch. In English, we associate this type of tone with a question.
Third Tone: In the third tone, the tone falls then rises. The tone starts at a neutral tone then dips to a lower tone and ending it with a higher pitch.
Fourth Tone: In this tone, it starts the syllable at a slightly higher than normal or neutral pitch then drops sharply downward. We often express this town in English when we are giving an angry command.
The Neutral Tone: This is usually pronounced quickly and lightly without any regards to the pitch. This tone is the easiest to pick up aside from the grammatical particles and single-syllable words that can’t use this tone.
How can you practice tones to make it easier?
Understanding Chinese Tones
Tones in Mandarin have some connection in the way you express your emotions, this is just like in the English language we use tones to convey most of our emotions. The best way for you to understand and get used to the tones is by listening to local music or watching T.V. shows.
It’s a very effective practice if you can try to listen carefully on how they speak the words then try to mimic them yourself.
Learning in Schools
There are many mandarin language courses in Singapore for you to choose from. This makes it the easiest and the fastest way for you to further enhance your mandarin skills or simply learn mandarin.
The huge advantage of these courses is that they usually teach you in a small group which makes it easier to interact with your peers and teacher. You will eventually make errors with the tones but this is why it’s better to be in a Mandarin class, you’ll get the proper help right away.