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Accented vowels = pronunciation key

Okay, I'm totally 100% new to Chinese, however I still feel like this took me way longer than it should have. But I just now realized that the way the vowels are accented to teach you the tonal patterns.

For example:

Me - (no accent) the tone is short Gāo - the tone is flat Yé - the tone rises Rèn - the tone descends Hăo - the tone dips down, then goes back up

I'm sure this will not be any sort of revelation to anyone who is familiar with the language and will have been obvious to many others, lol, but I thought it might be helpful to share. Knowing this has made it so much easier to remember the sounds associated with the characters.

Anyone have any other tips to help us newbies?

November 5, 2017



Hi zanzaboonda, yes the tones are very important. Lol, your post was amusing, but hey, we all learn in our own good time, so it's good you figured them out. I am also a newbie. Like you I was a bit lost with the tones. But I searched for some youtube videos that teach the tones. I watched some and they have helped me get a start on differentiating some of them. They may work for you too. Good luck and have fun learning.


Thanks! It felt a bit like a facepalm moment, but I figured if I made that mistake, I'm probably not the on only one. Lol Any vids in particular you'd recommend? Or just a general search?


Nah, you are not the only one. I too had a facepalm moment. I was so intent on picking up the tones that I forgot about the neutral vowel, where no tone is applied. So when one of the lessons came up with a character with no accent on any of the vowels, I thought it was an error and was confused. I thought, 'Hey, why are the tone marks missing?'. Anyway...we all have our mishaps with new languages, as it is part of the fun of learning them, don't you agree? As for your question regarding youtube vids...I recommend you do a general search and watch a few. There are so many. One of them that I watched (can't remember the title) had all the four tones, and neutral, and went through all the vowels. Good luck.

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