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Aspirated and Unaspirated Sounds

We'll explain aspirated and unaspirated sound to help increase your accuracy and confidence towards pronunciation.

From this lesson onward, you are now able to read and speak all the sounds in Chinese. Now, you should practice and increase your accuracy and confidence towards pronunciation. In this video, Zhāng Yongzhi, a student from Thailand will learn with you.

Yongzhi can’t pronounce d and t well. Do you have the same problem?

  • d, different from d in the English word “dog”, your vocal cords should not vibrate.
  • t, different from t in the English word “test”, the airflow through the middle of your teeth should not be too strong. Make your tongue touch the back of the upper teeth and avoid friction between the tip of the tongue and the teeth.
b,d,z,zh,j are unaspirated sounds while p t c ch q are aspirated sounds.
  • z, aligned your teeth, you can feel friction here.
  • c , the position of pronunciation is basically unchanged . The difference is that the airflow is stronger. If you put your hand in front of your mouth, you can clearly feel the airflow.
Some words to practice: Click to listen
  • zhīchí — support
  • zànchéng — agree
  • quánjiā — whole family
  • jiàqián — price (When you ask for price, you can say “Duōshǎo qián?”)
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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Pronunciation and Tone

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