Mandarin Tone System
The Mandarin language features a basic distinction from Western languages: it's tonal. Tones are among the list of hardest issues for Mandarin learners, but their mastery is crucial. Incorrect tones could make your spoken Mandarin tough or extremely hard to understand, however using the proper tones will allow you express yourself clearly.
Mandarin tones are quite tough for speakers of Western languages. English, for instance, employs tones for inflection, but this can be a very distinct usage from Mandarin. Rising tones in English frequently imply a question or sarcasm. Falling tones might be utilized for emphasis. Changing the tones of the Mandarin sentence, although, could totally alter the meaning.
Let’s consider an illustration. Suppose you are reading a book but your brother (or sister or kid) keeps on interrupting you. You're more likely to turn into exasperated and say“I’m trying to read a book!” In English, this could be said with an emphatic falling tone finally.
But if you use a falling tone in Mandarin, the meaning entirely adjustments.
Wǒ yào kàn shū
= I want to read a book.
Wǒ yào kǎn shù
= I want to cut trees!
The second version of this sentence would have your listeners scratching their heads.
So practice your tones! They're vital for speaking and comprehending Mandarin.