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识 shi2 / zhi4 course audio correction


We are taught 识 very early in the course here, in the Greetings lesson. I did not notice this glaring error until I went back to review, because at the time of doing that lesson originally I didn't know any better. When 识 is taught here, it is only used with the word 认识 (我很高兴认识你). So the audio should follow and be shi2. Shi2 is also the depicted pinyin in the lesson. However, the audio when you review the single character in the lesson is zhi4, an alternate pinyin for the same character, which has an alternate meaning, which would be like writing a footnote. There is not a relevant report option on these questions in the lesson so I figured I would bring it up here in the forums.

April 20, 2018



I'll complicate it further by pointing out that most of the time I hear native speakers use the word 认识, they drop off the tone on 识 (dead tone). But I suppose we need to be grammatically correct in the lessons.


Ya I have no problem with that because tones change a lot depending on how they are used, & we need to grow accustomed to that anyway.


Native speaker. I think I can provide some insight on this topic and clear up some misconceptions people in the comments seem to be having.

识 is a character with multiple pronunciations, those aren't particularly rare in the chinese language.

[shi2] That's how it's pronounced in 认识 (to know sth., to meet sb.), or 识字 (literate, literacy, or lit.: to read characters). Note that 认识 is usually pronounced as [ren4 shi0], dropping the tone on the latter part of the compound entirely. This is the most common pronunciation of this character.

[zhi4] This pronunciation is most common in 标识 (to indicate, to symbolize). Though that word is most commonly written as 标志.

But I agree, Duo should get their pinyins right


Hopefully this gets fixed, but in the meantime, thank you for explaining exactly what is wrong! I noticed that 识 sometimes got pronounced differently in that lesson, but didn't have any idea why beyond "probably a bug".


I also just noticed that in the same lesson there is a similar problem with 兴 the audio for the single character is for xing1 is a flat tone, but the character that we're supposed to be learning there is xing4. Literally how is this course out of beta right now?


Thanks for this. I was beginning to wonder what the hell was wrong. I actually took Mandarin classes with a native speaker, and 识 was definitely rendered as shi2, and 什 as shen2. Mods, please fix this.


A Chinese character (字) can be a word (词) or a part of a word. When it's a part of a word, if it's not the main part (typically the first character) its tone or even pronunciation could change. 识 as in the word 认识 has no tone. If you pronounce it with a tone, it would sound unnatural. If you pay attention, you will notice many such cases.

On the other hand, when a character is used as a word as 识 in 识字, it must have a tone. Similarly, when you read a character individually, it must have a tone.


That's not the only error.

Last character I stumbled upon is 参 - pronounced as shen1, while it should be as can1.

I've reported it these couple of time already. Guess the effect.


When used by itself, 参 is pronounced shen1 and means ginseng (人参). So it is not really incorrect. It is pronounced can1 when it means participate, but only with other characters, e.g. 参加, 参与, 参议院(senate).


The thing is Duo gives you can1 for pinyin and pronounces it as shen1.

I've seen it used exclusively as compound of 参加 - perhaps it should not split this word into separate characters.

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