Pronunciation

Zakky

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Just started Chinese martial arts a couple months ago and really enjoying it. Something I've had trouble in in pronouncing Chinese words. I'm confident in my pronunciation of sifu, but not so much of sihing, sigung and sijo. I've tried looking the pronunciation but have had failed attempts. Any insight of the pronunciation of these words will be a great help.
 

clfsean

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Just started Chinese martial arts a couple months ago and really enjoying it. Something I've had trouble in in pronouncing Chinese words. I'm confident in my pronunciation of sifu, but not so much of sihing, sigung and sijo. I've tried looking the pronunciation but have had failed attempts. Any insight of the pronunciation of these words will be a great help.

Pretty much how you see it is how it is. Those three are pretty straight forward & don't take any special sounds...

sihing = see heeng
sigung = see gung
sijo = see joe

That should get you by nicely. Obviously if you wanted to study Cantonese, found out your sifu's dialect & learn it properly, but if not, you should be good with that.
 

Xue Sheng

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Pretty much how you see it is how it is. Those three are pretty straight forward & don't take any special sounds...

sihing = see heeng
sigung = see gung
sijo = see joe

That should get you by nicely. Obviously if you wanted to study Cantonese, found out your sifu's dialect & learn it properly, but if not, you should be good with that.

Unless you are talking Mandarin, particularly Beijing Mandarin

Sifu (Shifu) = Shr foo
sihing = shr heeng
sigung = shr gung
sijo = shr joe

But there are also tonal differences to take into consideration if you are looking for perfect pronunciation, but the majority of Chinese Sifu types are pretty forgiving to us when it comes to our pronunciations.

And dialect makes a big difference in pronunciation

My sanda sifus pronounces Sanda more like Shanda he is from way north China.
My family in Beijing says Sanda. But both pronounce Xingyiquan like Shing-yee-chuan
But my Taiji Sifu from the south pronounces Xingyiquan like yin-yee-chaun. And yet I think they all pretty much call Bagua… Bogwah.

It really, as clfsean said, depends on your sifu's dialect
 

CoryKS

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While we're on the subject, how do you pronounce your name, Xue Sheng? I've always wanted to know.
 

Xue Sheng

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While we're on the subject, how do you pronounce your name, Xue Sheng? I've always wanted to know.

Shway Shung (it means student)

But there is a tone or 2 in there and I think it is 2 and 4 (/ and \) or possibly 3 and 4 ( U and \) but I need to look that up

Mandarin tones - / U \

Edit:

Sorry it is 2 and 1
Xu矇 shēng (学生)
 
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phfman

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Shway Shung (it means student)

But there is a tone or 2 in there and I think it is 2 and 4 (/ and \) or possibly 3 and 4 ( U and \) but I need to look that up

Mandarin tones - / U \

Edit:

Sorry it is 2 and 1
Xu矇 shēng (学生)

Does Toedai also mean student in Chinese? If so, do you know what dialect?
 

clfsean

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Does Toedai also mean student in Chinese? If so, do you know what dialect?

Yeah todai is student too... I've always heard it from the south so maybe Cantonese or something from the area. it may be from up North & just adapted down south... who knows....
 

Xue Sheng

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Does Toedai also mean student in Chinese? If so, do you know what dialect?

That I will have to ask my wife

student
学员 [xu矇 yu獺n] student
学生 [xu矇 sheng] student
初学者 [chū xu矇 zhě] beginning student
大学生 [d xu矇 sheng] university student
实习生 [sh穩 x穩 sheng] intern (student)
小学生 [xiǎo xu矇 shēng] (n) student in primary school; schoolchild
教学 [jio xu矇] education; teacher and student
留学生 [li繳 xu矇 shēng] (foreign) exchange student; student studying abroad
研究生 [y獺n jiū shēng] graduate student
高中生 [gāo zhōng shēng] senior high school student
 
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Zakky

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Sounds like it looks, seems quite simple now that I look at it :) cheers for the help, appreciate it. Another thing I forgot to mention was how to pronounce 'Sun Tzu'?. Is it pronoucned like it sounds, like the others or more complex?
 

clfsean

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Sounds like it looks, seems quite simple now that I look at it :) cheers for the help, appreciate it. Another thing I forgot to mention was how to pronounce 'Sun Tzu'?. Is it pronoucned like it sounds, like the others or more complex?

I've heard both "Sun Ssu", "Sun Zu" & other close variations.... regions again or the Chinese just being polite while we butcher their languages.
 
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Zakky

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I've heard both "Sun Ssu", "Sun Zu" & other close variations.... regions again or the Chinese just being polite while we butcher their languages.
Ah silent 't', the way I was trying to say it was horrible, 'Soon Twuzz' :(. Thanks for the clear up.
 
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Xue Sheng

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In Beijing Sun Tzu is closer to Swin Za or su-in za (hard to actualy write that one phonetically, it is easier to say

The art of war is swin za bing fa
 
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Zakky

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In Beijing Sun Tzu is closer to Swin Za or su-in za (hard to actualy write that one phonetically, it is easier to say

The art of war is swin za bing fa
Is Mandarin spoken more in Beijing?
 

Xue Sheng

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Is Mandarin spoken more in Beijing?

Mandarin is spoken more in the North it is just that most Beijingren feel their mandarin is perfect Mandarin because...well... it’s Beijing.

I am not all that good a showing the differences but my guess (this may be a poor example) is with something like Sifu most mandarin speakers would say seefoo where Beijing Mandarin says Shrfoo. There are more 'r' sounds in Beijing Mandarin. there us another word that is pronounced Hway by just about all other Mandarin speakers that in Beijing is pronounced Hwar. Also there is indigenous Beijing slang that I will not get into here :EG:

I have been talking (what little I know) to other people who speak mandarin (native Chinese) and they look at me perplexed for a minute and then say… do you know you are speaking with a Beijing Accent. It confuses them a bit apparently to have a westerner speaking Beijing mandarin, yet when my wife says anything they don’t mention it at all. :D

Now go further South it becomes Cantonese and all bets are off. Chinese is more of a language family than a language; Mandarin, Wu, Min, Cantonese, Xiang, Hakka, Gan to name a few and each dialect has sub dialects. And to make it more confusing the dialects cannot understand one another generally. For example a Cantonese Speaker can’t understand a Mandarin speaker but they all share the same written language.
 
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Zakky

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Now go further South it becomes Cantonese and all bets are off. Chinese is more of a language family than a language; Mandarin, Wu, Min, Cantonese, Xiang, Hakka, Gan to name a few and each dialect has sub dialects. And to make it more confusing the dialects cannot understand one another generally. For example a Cantonese Speaker cant understand a Mandarin speaker but they all share the same written language.
Yeah that is quite confusing, but I think I understand. I guess it would be a good thing to learn the correct pronunciation early on in my training rather than later. Thank you for the language lesson. :asian:
 

Xue Sheng

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Yeah that is quite confusing, but I think I understand. I guess it would be a good thing to learn the correct pronunciation early on in my training rather than later. Thank you for the language lesson. :asian:

Just so you know, most Chinese today under 60 speak Mandarin regardless of their native dialect.
 
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Zakky

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Oh yeah Xue Sheng I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between 'Gong Fu' and 'Kung Fu'? Is one Mandarin and the other Cantonese or has 'Gong Fu' been converted to 'Kung Fu' as it was past from China to the Western World?
 
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