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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, we'll focus on final stops in Cantonese.
Cantonese is primarily made up of syllables, and each syllable can be broken down into three categories: The initial, final, and tone.
The initial refers to the beginning sound in the syllable.
The final refers to the ending sound in the syllable.
And last we have tone, which denotes the relative, or variation in pitch, of the syllable.
In this lesson, we'll only focus on sounds in the final position.
We'll also only be looking at 'stops' in the final position.
Stops are sounds which are produced when the airway closes momentarily so that no air can escape, the pressure then builds up, and air is released forcefully to create sound.
Stops in Cantonese include...
b (never used in the final position), p,
d (never used in the final position), t,
g, k
As you can see, we have three pairs of sounds which are quite similar to each other.
In this lesson, we'll be looking at the letters P T and K when they're in the final position.
Listen to a few examples which have the P in the final position.
十 (sap6)
答 (daap3)
合 (hap6)
Do you notice how the P sound appears to be cut off when it's in the final position? Listen to it again.
十 (sap6)
Now, compare that to the English word 'stamp'.
十 (sap6)
Unlike English, final stops like P are cut off at the end in Cantonese. This is classified as an 'unreleased stop', or a stop with 'no audible release'.
To pronounce a final stop, like a P in Cantonese, bring your lips together, but do *not* release the air as you would normally. Try it!
十 (sap6)
Next, let's take a look at a few examples which have the T in the final position.
突 (dat6)
七 (cat1)
乞 (hat1)
Contact the tip of the tongue with the gums behind the top teeth, but do *not* release the air. It's similar to the T sound in the word 'start'. Try it!
突 (dat6)
Finally, let's take a look at examples which have the K in the final position.
食 (sik6)
石 (sek6)
則 (zak1)
Contact the back of the tongue with the back part of the roof of your mouth, but do *not* release the air. Try it!
食 (sik6)
Now you know how to pronounce final stops in Cantonese!
In the next lesson, you'll learn how to produce all the tones in Cantonese!
Can you identify any unreleased stops in your language? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide lesson!