Re: basic sounds
- The position of a sound can also give students difficulty. Thus, while some Chinese students have an "r" sound as a final in their native language, they may still have trouble with the English "r" as an initial (rice) or following a consonant (break).
If you've studied Chinese, you've experienced this problem yourself. The Chinese consonant spelled with a "c" in pinyin has essentially the same sound as "ts", but in English that sound only appears as a final (cats). It's an initial in Chinese, which throws us.
When teaching English pronunciation to students from various places in China, it is helpful to understand the differences between "Mandarin" as opposed to "Putonghua" or some local "dialect". See http://blog.chinese-stories-english.com/2013/05/04/political-lingo.aspx.
- <"Mandarin" as opposed to "Putonghua">
Although 'Mandarin' is considered to be a group of similar Chinese dialects, it has been used interchangeably with 'Putonghua' of late. You could say that Putonghua is a Mandarin-based standardized dialect that is used as the official language of China. It's safe to tailor English pronunciation classes to Putonghua on a national level. There may even be an educational obligation to do so.
>we speak about 'pu tong hua', the language that is universally taught.If we speak about any other language then we name the dialect that is referred to.<
A few years ago I did read that only 51% of Chinese spoke putonghua. That
may have changed? I assume the others speak dialects or any of the other
languages of the 56 nationalities.
It does explain why they have number symbols by fingers, whatever that is
Do Guangdong schools still teach in 'Cantonese' ?
- <51% of Chinese spoke putonghua>
I wonder how that compares to the percentage of Chinese who know Putonghua.
The number system, from 1 to 10, that is used to count on hands, has small variations in different geographical locations, but is pretty logical, up to 4 or 5 at least. Higher numbers are generally supposed to look like the written Arabic digit. The 10 has two big variants, but both look like an X.
Guangdong, Hainan, Urumqi, all have Putonghua as the official language, and everyone is supposed to be able to communicate in it.
- <51% of Chinese spoke putonghua>
"Mandarin" is a Sino-Tibetan�language spoken as a native language by over 60% of the people in China. "Putonghua" is a set of rules created by�academics�in the 20th century, based on the version of Mandarin spoken by educated people in Beijing, and considered to be the "proper" way to speak Mandarin.
If you ask someone from a Mandarin-speaking area (say, Shandong) whether they speak putonghua, it's like asking someone from Boston whether they've learned how to pronounce "r". If you ask someone from an area where Mandarin isn't the native language (say, Guangdong) the same question, it's like asking whether they've learned a foreign language.
- <Mandarin-speaking area>
Try to understand the local Mandarin in different regions in China. Sometimes it's pretty radical. For Cantonese, which is way removed from Putonghua, Putonghua is a second language, which many didn't used to speak. Now it's the official language.
--- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, Nelson Bank <natlunla@... wrote:
For Cantonese, which is way removed from Putonghua, Putonghua is a second language, which many didn't used to speak. Now it's the official language.
Just because it's the official language doesn't mean it's actually being used very often other than when it really has to be. When I was teaching in Ningbo Chinese teachers had to take a putonghua exam every year but every day they spoke ningbohua in lessons.
It's interesting though to know that a lot of Chinese students are learning putonghua as their first foreign language and English as their second and French/German/Japanese as their third at unmiversity. Such understanding is essential for us as 'foreign' teachers (I really hate that expression) to understand some of our students' problems.
Is there any research on this that anyone knows about?
- "Mandarin" is a Sino-Tibetan language
Anyone know where the debate on this classification stands? Whether Burmese
and Tibetan languages are subset to a Sino-Tibetan grouping, which
allegedly is NOT representative of likely genealogies, or Chinese
language(s) subset to some further initial subdivision of Burmese/Tibetan
languages, despite the tendency to give priority to Chinese due to the
large number of natives, its political/military/cultural power of the
- I read that putonghua was a creation of Mao/CPC,to help unify China.
Native Beijingers don't speak it, or not all of it. (thinking of the n/r
sound)...aah, Educated Beijingers!
I see the ratio was up to 53%, by 2007.
I notice this article uses the nouns putonghua and Mandarin
interchangeably...but imagine you need to go Taiwan to hear Mandarin these
>The 10 has two big variants, but both look like an X.I've also seen 10 as a closed fist.