For Newbie Students: How Important The Right Pronunciation Is

By Sujanti Djuanda – LingoLearn Chinese Teacher

A newbie adult student just took Mandarin Chinese lessons for some months. In his early lessons, he was just willing to learn about grammar and vocabulary. He weren’t willing to pay attention to his pronunciation though his Chinese tones are not correct at all. In listening section, he just translated into his mother tongue without willing to repeat the Chinese sentences. After several month lessons, he just realized that he had problem with his pronunciation. 

Right pronunciation is very important. Though you have an advanced grammar level in Chinese learning, but if your pronunciation is not good or not correct at all, Chinese people will be difficult to understand or misunderstanding what you are trying to say.

The following examples will show you how important the right pronunciation is:

Example 1:

A. I am about to late.


B. I want to eat a peach.

我(wǒ)要(yào)吃(chī) 桃(táo)了(le)。


If someone pronounces “迟(chí=late) – second tone” as “吃(chī=to eat) – first tone” and ”到(dào=to arrive)”  as ” 桃(táo=peach)” then his Chinese friends think that “he wants to eat a peach”.

Example 2:

A. Your rabbit is very big now.

您的(nínde)兔子(tùzi) 很(hěn)大(dà)了(le)。

B. Your belly is very big now.

您的(nínde)肚子(dùzi) 很(hěn)大(dà)了(le)。


For example, a young man wanted to say “Your rabbit is very big now” to a Chinese grandma who loves rabbits. But he pronounced “兔子(tùzi=rabbit)” as ”肚子(dùzi=belly)” then she thinks that he made fun of her by saying “her belly is very big now”.

Example 3:

A. I still want to add a bit soup.


B. I still want to add a bit sugar.



If someone pronounces “汤(tāng=soup)– first tone” as “糖(tang=sugar)– second tone” then the Chinese waiter thinks that “he still wants to add a bit sugar”.

Example 4:

A. I want to go to the bookstore.


B. nest one office count

窝(wō=nest)幺(yāo=one)局(jú=office)数点(shǔdiǎn=to count)。


If the pronunciation is not correct at all, Chinese people will be difficult to understand what s/he is trying to say even they could be not understand him/her at all. 

Would you like to start learning Chinese Online, from the comfort of your home, with an experienced teacher?

LingoLearn is an online Chinese school that offers beginners level Chinese courses, as well as intermediate and advanced level courses. Learn Chinese with our experienced teachers and excellent learning materials, in a state of the art virtual classroom!

Click here to receive details about our Chinese campus

*Required fields

LingoLearn in the Press

Contact Lingolearn