Non-native Mandarin accents

There are quite a few lessons out there with non-standard or non-native Mandarin accents. Could we please have this information available to us when we select a lesson? For clarification, about 1/3 of the lessons I listen to here are made by Chinese who don’t have native Mandarin pronunciation. I’m not talking about southern vs northern vs taiwanese accents; I’m talking about non-native Mandarin speakers.

Could you give me a few examples? I will try to check up them.

Could you provide the names of the lessons you are referring to and the providers. Thanks.

Gents, with all due respect, I’m not going to do that. If the admin doesn’t want to implement this, I’ll just check the audio before doing a lesson.

Could we please have this information available to us when we select a lesson?
I will check up the contents I already provided in order to give you this kind of information.

I’m talking about non-native Mandarin speakers.
It is true that Dashan and an American woman Susuan are non-native Mandarin speakers. But I believe we can learn a lot from those who are not only excellent speakers but also have native Mandarin pronunciation.

Wulfgar, you are obviously a keen language learner, going after 4 languages, to judge by your profile.

LingQ is a community, where people help each other. Lessons are loaded almost daily in 20 languages. These lessons are loaded by volunteers, and are available to the users free of charge. We, at LingQ HQ, do not vet them. If users find lessons not suitable for any reason, they let us know.

You are the first and only person to mention the issue of non-native speakers in our Mandarin library. But for some unknown reason ,after raising the issue you are not willing to tell us the names the lessons and providers.

Our Mandarin library is not one of our richest. We rely on our members to fill our library. A small number of providers account for most of our Mandarin content. Shigeharu is one of them, and we are very grateful.

Most providers, including of course Shigeharu, are very conscientious about the lessons they provide, and only too happy to make any improvements that are needed. If there are lessons with non-native accents, it is likely that they are from a very small number of providers. The names of even a few of these would help us find a solution to the problem you, and only you, have raised. In this case it appears that at least one of the providers of such lessons may be Shigeharu, and he has expressed the willingness to provide more information about these lessons.

Normally we are not in favour of non-native accents in our various libraries. There are exceptions to this rule, and I agree with Shigeharu that these lessons with Dashan and Susan should stay. The Chinese library needs more content. I don’t know how many courses or lessons have non-native accents. If we can identify these courses and lessons we may be able to ask the providers to put more information about the speakers into the course description, or even create an accent type called “non-native”.

I should add that I just had a look around our Chinese library and the quantity of excellent lessons, with native accents from what I can tell, that Shigeharu has provided is simply astounding. Thank you Shigeharu.

Unless we get details Wulgar, there is little we can do. If you are happy just checking the audio before each lessons, then I assume we don’t have a problem here.

I am intrigued by your answer Steve.

The aim is obviously to have an improved library, and the library has already been improved somewhat by Ling 2…

As you and Shigeharu have already identified non-native Mandarin speakers, wouldn’t it just be better to encourage Shigeharu to at least clearly tag all the lessons that Dashan and Susan have made as non-native?

Shigeharu has already volunteered that he would check into the lessons that he had provided, and provide information about the accents of the speakers. I guess he was following this thread.

I was just surprised that Wulfgar would not provide the names of some lessons and providers where this situation existed. There may be others.

I think it is useful Wulfgar provided this suggestion and should be considered an opportunity for improvement. If his suggestion is taken up, this aspect could be considered in the guidelines for uploading stuff the future.

Of course it is good idea to indicate in the course or lesson introduction that one or more speakers has a non-native accent. We normally discourage non-native accents, although there are exceptions.

There are three of us at LingQ HQ and I am the only one who can tell whether the accent in Mandarin is native or not. I am not studying Mandarin but opened the Mandarin library to check after reading Wulfgar’s post. Every lesson I checked had only native voices on it.

Yet Wulfgar tells us that 1/3 of the lessons he listens to have non-native accents. This suggests that there are a lot of such lessons and courses from a variety of sources, unless these lessons are so good that he keeps on going to the same source.

I did not find any such lessons, however. So, if anyone comes across lesons with non-native accents, in Mandarin or any other language, please let us know which lessons and courses so we can follow up with the provider. It is not practical for the three of us to check for non-native accents in 20 languages.

As Marianne wrote, the suggestion isn’t a bad one.

Hopefully there aren’t that many lessons with non-native speakers (regardless of language), but those that have, should have a non-native tag. The experienced learner can probably live with that, but the beginner should have decent examples to work with (both as regards pronunciation and that dreaded thing called grammar).


No one disagrees with this. It is just that we need to rely on our members to let us know which lessons have non-native pronunciation.

Why isn’t there an option for a Southern Chinese accent? I just listened to one. Is that what you mean by an Eastern Chinese accent? The lesson had “no accent” in its description.

I’m not too familiar with Chinese accents, but I’ve added a “Southern Chinese” accent to the list as well.