Know of a mandarin-speaking phonetics expert? (ling grad student, etc)
June 18, 2017 3:45 PM   Subscribe

This is a longshot, but I'm trying to find novel ways to improve my mandarin pronunciation. I'm trying to find people that have a trained ear who can help me'd think teachers would be good at this, but for various reasons, past a certain point they tend not to be. There are dialect coaches that work in hollywood, but not many and they're quite expensive. The "ideal" would be maybe a linguistics grad student in something related to phonetics (or perhaps someone studying to be a speech pathologist or whatnot) who is a native speaker or at least a trained ear... then they could listen to me work through charts like this or this and help diagnose and fix issues with pronunciation. I'd of course pay for this, which is why grad students might help -- I know grad students in linguistics aren't exactly rolling in money!
posted by wooh to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Contact John at AllSet Learning.
posted by bradf at 4:04 PM on June 18, 2017

Watching this thread with some interest.

In the meantime, what I'm wondering is... Can you hear the differences between different sounds (tones) / between what you say and what it should be?

If yes, I think you may want to try recording and listening to yourself versus native speakers using something like Audacity. This used to be pretty big over at Chinese-forums when I frequented them a few years ago.

If no, then even with a patient teacher, you may find yourself repeating what in your mind sounds the same 5 times and not understand what made it "right" the 5th time. In that case, you just need to listen more.
posted by yonglin at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2017

yonglin: I can hear the difference when it is pointed out for sure... the key thing they've been able to do is help me understand why there is a difference.

My goal is to get to the point where I can just record myself for sure... I think my ideal for getting there is to spend some bounded amount of time with some phonetics experts where I can, in isolation, produce the right sounds, and understand the subtleties from english. Then I will do the recording en masse.

For example, in a session today, a phonetics expert was able to point out that in Chinese, dipthongs are shorter than in english. He wrote them out phonetically and had me say them out, then said the dipthongs in chinese, then had me say them out. I've found stuff like that super helpful.
posted by wooh at 5:23 PM on June 18, 2017

I use the iTranslate app in reverse.
posted by rmmcclay at 5:50 PM on June 18, 2017

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