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Phil|Accent Trainer
Professional Teacher
Last month, I wrote a notebook entry in Chinese, received lots of corrections (谢谢大家), and posted a recording trying to read a corrected version. (Discussion  

In the discussion, Yi Zhang proposed a spoken (口语) version (see below). Today, I recorded myself (七十四秒的录音), and would be happy to receive any and all criticism of my pronunciation — initials, finals, tones, rhythm and intonation. (It’s not easy for me to layer intonation on top of lexical tone.)  不要太客气。 这就是我学习的方式。


Text by Yi Zhang (非常感谢她的帮助):

每天早上,我都喜欢喝一杯咖啡。 多么好的方法, 开始新的一天! 咖啡是我最喜欢的热饮。我也喜欢在傍晚喝一杯。咖啡对身心有益。 我喝的咖啡没有牛奶,也没有糖。虽然我不确定牛奶对身体是否有害,但是糖对身体肯定不好。在喝一杯香喷喷的咖啡的同时学习中文很有意思。这就叫多任务处理!

11. März 2018 05:57
Comments · 20
Aegis: Thanks for asking. Although I’ve done many lessons here as a teacher, this was only my second one as a student (last week’s Hebrew teacher is highly recommended).

In my first Chinese lesson, I was mostly concerned with the teacher’s ability to get me talking despite my low level in Mandarin. As expected, production was a bit difficult, as I’ve trained mostly listening and reading. The main pronunciation point identified by the teacher was the difference in manner of articulation of s, z, and c. Next time, we’ll do a quick run-through of sh, zh, ch (just to err on the side of caution), work on tones, and do more conversation. In the meantime, I’m continuing with shadowing practice, which should cover a number of issues. 
21. März 2018
You bet! I'm curious to know how your first live lesson went, if you don't mind sharing.
20. März 2018
Oh, I misunderstood. I've just had another listen, and you're right on. That's really weird! Thanks a lot for the help, Aegis.
20. März 2018
Thanks, Aegis, it’s great to have some input from such an accomplished learner of so many diverse languages.

Yes, the last syllable of 晚上 was just terrible — I really need to drill that 3rd tone 5th tone combination some more. Actually, I was in the middle of a heavy-duty shadowing session when you posted your comment — I’m trying to get the knack of combining lexical stress with phrase level intonation.

“一” (and 是) with the neutral tone: I do a lot of listening, and it seems to me that those words are usually pronounced without tone when they’re not being emphasized. I’ll have to pay more attention. 

开始新的一天: I never would have thought of phrasing it that way, but that’s exactly what was provided by four native Mandarin speakers as corrections to my notebook entry last month. The other phrases in this latest version were mostly reworked by a native speaker in a more “spoken Chinese” style.

Thanks for the encouragement, Aegis! Frankly, I’m just thrilled native speakers actually understood everything.

I have my first ever live Chinese lesson scheduled for tomorrow (here no italki), so it’s wonderful to have such a good idea of some of the things I’ll need to work on.

I’m so happy with all the help from the italki community.
19. März 2018
Phil, really well done!Your pronunciation is much better than the last time I hear it. The first “咖啡” and “ 我” are slightly unclear. However, the rest of text all sounds great.  Keep up the good work. I am glad the text helps. You are most welcome.
15. März 2018
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Phil|Accent Trainer
Language Skills
Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Cantonese), Hebrew