Possible error 哪里 tones?

In the CN course at least, the pinyin answer is na3li5.

But in my immersion studies I heard na2li3, and indeed on Wiktionary it’s listed as double third tone, and on Baidu as well (although the pronunciation tool offers both)

And on Forvo, I’m pretty sure all 4 examples are na2li3

So could we make na3li3 the default answer and na3li5 an acceptable alternative?

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Thanks for the report, I’ll add na3li3 as an alternate for the simplified course in the next update. It is already the main answer for the traditional course. For simplified - and generally - I try to defer to the dictionaries with a bias for ones that are Chinese-Chinese as they are more authoritative. For this specifically, 现代汉语大词典 has it as na3li5 while the slightly more authoritative (though older) 现代汉语规范词典 has it as na3li3.

If I have time this week I’ll try to dig up a simplified textbook series to see how they teach it to see if I should switch na3li3 to the main answer for simplified. In reality, both pronunciations are valid and which one you hear will depend on where you are and who you are speaking to. Though in Taiwan it is almost always na3li3.

As an aside, dictionaries - regardless of language - will always only be able to describe the “ground-truth” inaccurately. A great example in English is “get” which is nearly ALWAYS pronounced ɡɪt but will always be listed as being pronounced ɡɛt. My favorite example in Mandarin as spoken in Taiwan is that 什麼 is nearly ALWAYS pronounced shen3me5 and not shen2me5, but I have yet to find a single dictionary that actually lists it as such. We have it listed as shen2me5 since that is what most people learn, what the dictionaries say, and is completely fine, too.

Okay thanks!

A great example in English is “get” which is nearly ALWAYS pronounced ɡɪt but will always be listed as being pronounced ɡɛt

This is an aside, but where in the US are you from? I’m from the east coast and I only say ɡɪt as a joke like “git gud, son” in an accent.

誰 shei2/shui2 and 喂 wei2/wei4 are also interesting ones.

I’ve personally only heard shei2 and wei2, but supposedly the other ones are actually the “official” pronunciations.

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Interesting! I’m from Florida.

I only say “git gud” as a reference to the Dark Souls meme, the rest I say get (and good :eyes: ).
But then again, I’m from Norway :sweat_smile:



I have another possible mistake, not so sure though. I think robot lady is not following the tone sandhi rule in 一同 and rendering it as yi1tong2.

Is this an artifact of whatever generated the sound, or is this actually an acceptable alternative some people use in practice?

Also side-note, do you think we could have a thread to capture mistake reports? I decided to use this thread, b/c I don’t wanna spam the forum too much w/new threads.

This one is a bit tricky, like all tone sandhi. For Mainland specifically it is correct enough as yi1tong2. That is what the official cross-straights database lists it as in either case:

I’d be interested in seeing a similar audio analysis comparing the results of the following when using the sample generator at the bottom https://cloud.google.com/text-to-speech/. We use the Mainland and Taiwan voices respectively.

  • 一同
  • ㄧ ㄊㄨㄥˊ
  • ㄧˋ ㄊㄨㄥˊ

(The only way to make it render a specific sound is using zhuyin, not pinyin)

I’ll think about creating one huge thread, but we don’t mind having new threads for each new issue for the time being.

Lastly, we plan to add native audio at some point in the next year. The main barrier is the expense, since we want to have different speakers for the two curriculum. However that will only partly solve this issue in reality. In my experience using Pleco and its (excellent) native audio/dictionaries, I still have encountered all of the following:

  1. Tone sandhi is typically not indicated at all anywhere, the non-sandhi tone is what is displayed. This is standard and to be expected, to be clear.
  2. Except when it isn’t, like for the cross-straights dictionary, which makes it somewhat confusing.
  3. Sometimes the audio has the proper sandhi, sometimes it does not.

Is it possible that they were just lazy and didn’t really review these entries, which I assume is compiled from some other sources made who knows when and with what standards for including tone sandhi or not. Kind of hard to believe that the 一 tone sandhi rule isn’t a part of standard mainland chinese (that source doesn’t seem to apply it in the other examples).

Also to bring this thread full circle, the entry on 哪里 lists it as na3li3 with no mention of some na3li5 as the 大陸音讀. And it of course doesn’t list the tone sandhi change.