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Most Difficult Tone to Learn in Chinese Language

Many Chinese language teachers think that the most difficult tones to learn are the falling-rising tone and the rising tone. However, as a matter of fact, to judge the difficulty of the tone need the specific teaching objects, the students who learn Chinese language. Sometimes, the experts have different opinions even for the students from the same country. But generally speaking, the second tone and the third tone are more difficult for the foreign learners to learn.

The understanding of the rising tone is the point to know how to articulate correctly. In teaching process,Chinese language teachers often describe the features of the rising tone as “direct rising tone”. When teaching the pronunciation skills, they emphasize to start articulating with middle pitch and raising it to the top quickly. In fact, the forms are various and “direct rising” is not the only choice. From the physiology of speech, the corresponding pronouncing skill should be the vocal cords from loose to tight.

On the contrary, if the tone is raised too quickly, it sounds unnatural. More importantly, it is difficult to judge the rising or the falling of the tone. Many teachers who teach Mandarin Chinese say that the overseas students feel difficult to take control of this tone and hard to raise it. As a matter of fact, it is caused by tension when they prepare to raise the tone rapidly. In this case, teachers can ask them to decrease a little the tone and then raise it. At the same time, the main point should focus on the rising tone.

The falling-rising tone is more difficult than the second tone. The most obvious feature of this tone is the low pitch of the middle party, most part and even the whole part. Some teachers emphasize to keep the ending of the falling-rising tone should be high enough which is proved to be wrong because the students will pay their attention to the “rising” but not “low”. As a result, the students will be misled and fail to tell apart the rising tone and the falling-rising tone.

Those who learn Chinese online free should be clear that the “turning” of the falling-rising tone is the natural quality. Since the pitch is low, the students need to keep the vibration of the vocal cords in slow frequency. Therefore, the Chinese language learners need more practice in the falling-rising tone. 

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