A Brief Account of the Difference Between Chinese Pronunciation and English Pronunciation

If you think about a question, how is the human voice coming out? The general theory we hear is that the vocal cords vibrate. But the answer is actually to simplify the problem. The human pronunciation process can be roughly divided into chest and abdomen muscle contraction, and the lung gas is pressed out. At the same time, the specialized muscles of the throat are used for pronunciation, and the vocal cords are vibrated to give a basic sound. This sound is called the pharyngeal cavity and the chest cavity. Muscle resonance in the mouth and other parts is shaped again, and finally the sound we hear. That is to say, in fact, the entire channel, the entire meat tube, is involved in the manufacture of speech. In the process of pronunciation, we actually work together the muscles of the entire vocal cavity to make it a temporary “instrument”.

Then, what is the difference between Chinese pronunciation and English pronunciation? When discussing the pronunciation, everyone seems to focus on the shape of the lips and the position of the tongue. But in fact, the position of the lips and tongue is only the end of the vocal tract. The difference between the pronunciation of Chinese and English is the problem of the muscle tissue and operation of the entire channel that accounted for more than 90% of the vocalization distance.

First consider the characteristics of Chinese pronunciation. The characteristics of Chinese pronunciation are probably that there are two tension points, one is the muscle that surrounds the lips at the front and the other is the position of the vocal cords of the throat. The vocal cord is mainly responsible for giving a basic sound. This sound is relatively less pronounced by the pharyngeal cavity and has a heavier throat component. In addition, the whole channel is narrower and more rigid in Chinese pronunciation. This sound directly hits the vocal cords from the vocal cords and produces the Chinese pronunciation we can hear.

The tone of Chinese is also very much related to this pronunciation method, because the later force points are concentrated near the vocal cords, so it is easier to change the pitch quickly, but also because of the central role of vocal vocalization in Chinese, there is actually no English in Chinese. That natural melody. The difference between speaking and singing is obvious.

One of the characteristics of Chinese pronunciation, which leads to the characteristics of Chinese speech, is “throat tone”, which is one of the reasons why Chinese accents are not accepted by the West. Because imitation of English gave up the strong modification of the lips, and because of the lack of pharyngeal resonance, the accent with throat sounds does sound a bit harsh in Westerners.

If the Chinese pronunciation is analogous to a musical instrument, it is a bit like a stringed instrument. The basic vibration of the string is strongly modified by the bow, and the resulting sound is more metallic, but it is easy to have a harsh feeling when pulled.

After speaking Chinese, we look at the pronunciation mode of English. If the feeling of Chinese is that the sound from the vocal cords is directly on the lips, then the feeling of speaking English is the sound of the vocal cords. Pharyngeal wall The clear and identifiable phonemes are produced, and in China, the modified resonance of the lips and teeth is shared, and the resonance is given to the pharyngeal cavity. The modification is actually a part of the mouth of the tongue and the pharyngeal wall. That is to say, the tongue root to the vocal cords is the main driving part of the English pronunciation, and the lip-toothed parts highlighted in Chinese are only followed by the muscles in the back in English, and they are basically not nervous. Apple muscle is the muscle that needs to be tight at the front end in English pronunciation. In general, the English pronunciation needs to adjust the shape, telescopic and size of the entire pharyngeal wall near the vocal cords, making the English pronunciation mode more like a wind instrument.

Further, you can refer to the understanding of their own pronunciation patterns by native English speakers. How does the villain sing in “Sesame Street” how to open a mouth, how to draw a man in a comic book, you can have a more intuitive English pronunciation mode. Understood.

Of course, the English pronunciation mode makes their conversion from speaking to singing more natural, but it also makes their pronunciation energy and loss more, easy to produce more problems, and the more exposed pharynx may also make them to smoke. What is more sensitive.

As another example, there are a large number of “abdominal speakers” in the English-speaking world. They can make very clear speech without any change in the surface of the lips muscles.

For the question that “Chinese people say that English is not good because of ethnic differences”, of course, any organic differences, such as muscle thickness, will give a difference to the final sound. However, just like the logic of many people in this answer, according to the degree of change in the pronunciation of most Chinese people, it is far from discussing the issue of “ethnic differences”. Many Chinese people, including my own, had difficulty in speaking English. Because of the lack of music, singing, and speech training, I couldn’t exercise my throat in everyday Chinese. When I was learning oral English, my muscles in the pharyngeal cavity were not exercised for a long time. I am not aware of the existence of myself, and it is difficult to succeed through the unconscious learning model.

Therefore, for many Chinese who have problems with speaking, the key to solving is to find and open the pharyngeal muscles that have not been used for a long time. Many oral teaching methods, such as Li Yang’s crazy English, singing and learning English, etc., actually use the method of opening the pharynx when using yelling or singing to improve the resonance effect of pronunciation. But in fact, the most effective way is to directly exercise the pharyngeal cavity after realizing the problem. The specific exercise method can refer to the pronunciation training rule of the beautiful sound. I believe that after this pass, although it can’t be said that spoken English can reach 100% perfection, because it depends on the imitation target and imitation details, but to reach the oral state of people in Western countries, is there an accent that can be accepted, or can be expected of.

In short, the fundamental contradiction between Chinese accent and English is that there are too many throat sounds in Chinese pronunciation and cannot be accepted by people who speak English. Considering that the fundamental purpose of speaking English is still understood by native English speakers (unless it is the same as Singapore, it is the internal understanding of Chinese accents). If you realize this problem and solve specific problems with specific training, the cost and effect may be better than insisting. The accent is normal” and simply imitating conversational oral training, and finally it is much better to hit the wall during the exam and communication process.

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