The actors' accents on Chinese audio content

I just listened to “ChineseLingQ Beginner - (Eating Out), Part 1” and found the accents of the actors (especially the girl) quite hard to understand. It must be because of where they’re from but she doesn’t say the ends of some words. I can understand if they say ‘guar’ instead of ‘guan’ for example because that’s a common variation in the north parts of China, but ‘bia’ instead of ‘bian’ and ‘mia’ instead of ‘mian’ feels to me like an regional variation thing. Also when the guy says ‘dao’ is sounds to me like ‘nao’.

Am I wrong? Is this a common accent that I just need to get used to? Can/should the actors’ voices be replaced with something more standard and easier to understand? My teachers at university are all from Beijing so maybe I’m just too comfortable and too used to how Beijingers speak.

I just listened to “ChineseLingQ Beginner - (Eating Out), Part 1”. The accents are quite representative of the range of what you will find in standard Mandarin. I found nothing strange or regional in this item.

I suggest that you keep listening until you can understand. Very often, what we have trouble with as beginners, or find difficult to understand, will eventually become clear. Just keep studying.

I do not think this is not a matter of you being too used to Beijingers. It is more a matter of your ear being used to the voices of your teachers or certain voices. I think yo need to widen your range.

On the other hand if you do not like listening to this item, choose something else. It is important to learn from content that one finds pleasing to listen to.

Just listen to the variants of spoken English to get an example of where consonants disappear or even change into other sounds.

Regarding bian, mian - often the final -n isn’t too different from the French nasal sound in bien, bon, un. So, not completely “n-less”. At least not as if the words would be spelled without the -n, cf. jia vs. jian without the -n, two separate vowels in my opinion. It’s easy to think that it should be pronounced fully since it’s there, but I’ve heard Chinese speakers saying that Westerners often pronounce it too strongly.

And for that matter, we have non-rhotic pronunciations of car, door, burn et.c. but even if the r isn’t “heard”, you can’t spell the words ca, doo, bun.

Thanks for the replies. I thought that might be the case. I’ll try and get more used to that accent and also soften my own ‘n’ at the end of words like ‘mian’ =)

Hello, Alec3, I’m a chinese. I listened to “ChineseLingQ Beginner - (Eating Out), Part 1” and feel its accent is no problem, but for not native chinese speakers, i guess maybe there’re two points confused a little :

1st, the last word’馆’ in the sencond sentence sounded actually with ‘er’,which written form is’馆儿’, ‘儿’literally has no meaning just a traditional way to speak. It actually sounds like ‘在 那 个 角落 里 有 一 家 饭馆(儿) [zai na ge jiao luo li you yi jia fan guan’(er)]’ .The more you listen, the easy and comfortable you’ll feel.

2nd, ‘一直 往 前 走 , 你 就 会 找到 了 。’ in which ‘往[wang]’ was read as ‘向[xiang]’, but its the same as a preposition indicate a trend, a direction. like english ‘to’ usually connected with ‘east, west’, accorrdingly in chinese we often say ‘往东/往西’

Hope my post can make it more clear! :slight_smile: