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Lesson Transcript

Matt: This is our fifth and final pronunciation lesson.
Nicole: I'm so glad it's finally over.
Matt: Stop lying! You wanted to do twenty of these.
Nicole: ha ha... ok. Well i think pronunciation is fun.
Matt: Maybe we can do part II another time.
Nicole: Advanced Pronunciation!!!!
Matt: Maybe not. Anyway, the focus of this lesson is helping you master the challenging sounds of Jyutping.
Nicole: Right.
Matt: So we're going to focus on a few things we haven't had time to look at yet.
Nicole: The first is a few "Tricky Consonant Sounds".
Matt: What do you think is the most difficult?
Nicole: I think for most English speakers it's "z" - the difference between the Jyutping ‘z’ with the English ‘z’.
Matt: Is English we say "zipper" or "zebra".
Nicole: In jyutping it is ze 姐, or zaa 渣, or zip 折.
Matt: Can you we hear that sound really slowly?
Nicole: (slowly)zip 折, or ze 姐, or zaa 渣.
Matt: A lot of people get this confused with the "c" sound.
Nicole: Right. The "c" sound is (saying c) as in the words ci 耻, ce 扯, and caa 查.
Matt: Let's hear these together so everyone can hear the difference.
Nicole: Ok. Z - zip 折, ze 姐, or zaa 渣.. C - ci 耻, ce 扯, and caa 查.
Matt: Linguistically, the difference is that the ‘c’ is aspirated while the ‘z’ is not.
Nicole: Right. So when you say the z sound zip 折, ze 姐, or zaa 渣.
Matt: you don't let air out of your mouth. Let's hear that again.
Nicole: zip 折, ze 姐, or zaa 渣 .
Matt: And when you say the "c" sound, air comes out.
Nicole: 耻 ci, ce 扯, and 查 caa
Matt: put your hand in front of your mouth and repeat after Nicole. See if you can feel the air coming out.
Nicole: 耻 ci, ce 扯, and 查 caa.
Matt: Let’s try it with z. And there's no air when you say z.
Nicole: Right. zip折, ze 姐, or 渣 zaa.
Matt: Ok, that’s not so hard. Now let’s take a loook at the second tricky thing.
Nicole: Actually this is easy. But a lot of people get it wrong.
Matt: It's the "j" sound
Nicole: Right. And it's easy! It sounds just like a Y in English!!!!
Matt: Right so don't get this wrong or people will look at you funny. Let's hear some examples of “j”.
Nicole: our phonetic system, jyutping, “days” is jat 日, and “leaves” jip 葉.
Matt: So remember that the J sounds like a Y in English. OK. What's next?
Nicole: We also walked to bring up this tricky "NG" sound.
Matt: Can you give us some examples?
Nicole: This is the sound you hear in 我 ngo “I”, 矮 ngai “short” and 咬 ngau “bite”.
Matt: This is a lot like the sound we have in the English word "sing".
Nicole: Right.
Matt: Say the word "sing" slowly. Right now. SING. Notice how your tongue touches the back of your mouth? That's the 'ng' sound in Cantonese.
Nicole: Right. ng....我 ngo, 矮 ngai and 咬 ngau.
Matt: A lot of people get this wrong.
Nicole: They need to listen to CantoneseClass101.
Matt: So four tricky consonants:
Nicole: zi, ci, ji and ngo.
Matt: And we have some tricky vowels for you too before you go.
Nicole: Right. A lot of people have trouble with the "oe" sound.
Matt: Yes they do. And it's really easy. It sounds just like the "ur" in "fur".
Nicole: That’s right, "ur" in "fur". “oe”.
Matt: Let's have some examples.
Nicole: hoe, soe, doe.
Matt: When you make the 'oe' sound your lips have to be round.
Nicole: Like you're about to throw up.
Matt: Perfect.
Nicole: hoe, soe, doe.
Matt: So that's our podcast for today. Three tricky consonants and a confusing vowel sounds.
Nicole: zi, ci, ji, and ngo, and the last but not least hoe.


Matt: Before we let you go, we should tell you that this isn't all that we have.
Nicole: Not at all.
Matt: We have a lot of other tips and advice on tricky sounds in our premium lesson PDFs.
Nicole: In the premium learning center.
Matt: The PDF for this lesson has a lot more tricky words and sounds, and also suggestions on how to shape your mouth and how to make the sounds.
Nicole: So you'll sound like a Native Cantonese speaker.
Matt: Yes. A Native Cantonese-er.
Nicole: So thanks for listening and we'll see you on the site.
Matt: Bye bye!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What is the biggest difference between Cantonese pronunciation and your mother tongue pronunciation?

Saturday at 03:23 PM
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Hello Emil,

I hope this is the one you are talking about. You can click on the pay button and listen the pronunciation.



Team CantoneseClas101.com

Sunday at 06:55 PM
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Where is the Jyutping Chart you talk about? (I'm a premium member so I guess I should have access to it right?)

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:21 AM
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Hi Danilo,

You are right! :thumbsup:

係呀, lazy tongue 嘅中文係 "懶音".

hai6 aa3, "lazy tongue" ge3 zung1 man2 hai6 laan5 jam1.


Team CantoneseClas101.com

Saturday at 03:36 AM
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請問, 『lazy tongue』 中文點講呀? 係咪 『懶音』?

cing maan, "lazy tongue" jung man dim gong aa? hai mai, "laan jam"?

Question please. How do you say "lazy tongue" in Chinese? It's "laan5 jam1", isn't it?

Monday at 01:20 PM
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Hi Kesiting,

You're right, the "z" sounds like "j" when it's followed by eo, o, and u.

For all the sounds starting with "z", check out our jyutping chart with audio :grin:


Team CantoneseClas101.com

Sunday at 04:06 PM
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Very helpful! Thanks!

I noticed that the "z" sound seems to have a slight "ch" or "j" sound sometimes when I hear it in other places (such as the sound bite for 再见 in your 100 common words page). Is this true? If so, does it depend on the word? Or the person?

Monday at 05:42 PM
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Hi Lily,

Great to hear!! You're such a hard-working student!!:thumbsup:

We're sure that you'll make good progress in no time! :)


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Monday at 08:40 AM
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The 5 pronouncation lectures are really helpful! I have listened them for 3 times, the more I listen, the more confident to pronounce the different tones.

Wednesday at 10:41 AM
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I think you'll find our Jyutping chart with audio very useful :grin:

Please check it out! https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/cantonese-alphabet/


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tuesday at 04:39 PM
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Hello, everyone!

Is there a lesson on consonants and vowels of Jyutping? So we can just pronounce a character like they do with Pinyin in Mandarin?

Thank you :smile: