September 3, 2019 0

Mandarin Chinese: the most spoken language in the world


Hello, and welcome to a short video about Mandarin Chinese. Now if I told you that I’m fluent in a language
with no alphabet, you would probably think that I’m making it up, right? Well, I would be making up the part about being fluent, but Chinese is a language with no alphabet. Have your parents ever said ‘don’t use
that tone with me’? If so, you’re on your way to becoming a
Mandarin Chinese expert, as this language relies on four basic tones and a fifth neutral
tone to pronounce words. Let’s run through them together: The first tone is high-pitched and remains
level, like an exclamation. The second tone is characterised by raising
your vocal pitch, like when you question someone. The third tone starts low, falls in pitch,
and then goes up again. Try dropping your chin onto your neck and
raising it again. The fourth tone falls in pitch from a high
level to a low level. Try stomping your foot gently when practising. Proceed with caution when using these tones,
because the same syllable can mean ‘mom,’ ‘horse’ or ‘scold’ depending on how
you say it! From a grammatical perspective, a simple Mandarin
sentence structure has a subject, a predicate and an object. Of course, there are a few obvious differences. Mandarin Chinese uses characters which, when
combined, can form different words. For example, let’s start with Mù, which
looks like this. By itself means a tree or wood. But, if we add another character… We now have lín, or a forest. If you want to learn how to pronounce more
Mandarin Chinese words, check out pinyin – the most widely used system of Mandarin Chinese
that uses the Latin alphabet. As philosopher Laozi once said, 千里之行,始于足下
(Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià), or ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins
with a single step.’ Good luck with your first step towards learning Mandarin Chinese!

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