Struggling with tones!!! Help please?
Ok, so I left Vietnamese for a while even though Ioved it. And now I have decided to restart the course. Well, I am still struggling with the tones :( I can pronounce all of "ma" with the tones but I still find the first tone hardest and then trying to go up or down when I don't know how high/low the first tone is. Help?
Vietnamese is a contour tonal language. This means that tones are mainly focused on the shape of the tone rather than the pitch. That being said, here is a little description. The flat tone (no markings) is a medium flat tone and held for a moment. The falling tone à is said with a relaxed voice, very much like a sigh. The rising tone á starts high and goes very high, quickly. The low tone (dot underneath) starts very low and rises to a medium low. The ? and ~ tones can be pronounced the same way, since it is very difficult to describe the difference without saying it. It starts low, goes to very low, and rises to medium.
The first tone, you mean "ma"? (Ngang tone) It's hard to describe how high a tone is... I suppose the best way for you to find out is to compare the flat high tone (ngang tone) "ma" with it's low flat tone counterpart "mà" (huyền tone) I do not know if you're learning Mandarin as well but the ngang tone is about as high as their first tone ^_^