Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

Incredible Technique for Improving Your Chinese Tones and Pronunciation

May. 24, 2019

HSK 3 quiz

Have you ever heard a Chinese tongue twister? You may have but not even realized it. A tongue twister is a type of oral literature, which is a unique form of language art in Chinese folk literature. It can help people exercise eloquence, correct pronunciation, as well as improve their Chinese speaking ability.

Upon first hearing one it can seem intimidating! But practicing Chinese tongue twisters is an interesting and effective way to learn Chinese. Not only is it challenging but it can be fun! It is especially entertaining when it is made into a friendly competition. Feel free to record yourself giving your best effort reading one of the Chinese tongue twisters and send it to us. You might be selected to be featured on our social media channels!

Here are two excerpts from the tongue twister.

The first tongue twister will certainly have you pronouncing “猫 (māo)”, “帽 (mào)” and “庙 (miào)” with precision. It also will help you with the pinyin point “-ao”. Give it a try!

#1. 白庙和白猫 (Bái miào hé bái māo) White Temple And White Cat

Bái miào wài dūn yì zhī bái māo,
白庙外蹲一只白猫,
A white cat is crouched out of the white temple,

Bái miào lǐ yǒu yì dǐng bái mào.
白庙里有一顶白帽。
There is a white hat in the white temple.

Bái miào wài de bái māo kànjiàn le bái mào,
白庙外的白猫看见了白帽,
The white cat outside the white temple saw the white hat,

Diāo zhe bái miào lǐ de bái mào, pǎo chū le bái miào.
叼着白庙里的白帽, 跑出了白庙。
Which ran out of the white temple, carrying with the white hat of the white temple.

Key words:

-ao (the common pinyin containing)

猫 (Māo) cat

帽 (Mào) (often paired with 子 (),hence “帽子 (màozi) hat”)

庙 (Miào) (often follows “寺 (),”hence “寺庙 (sìmiào) temple”)

Learn A Popular Chinese Word: Living with A “Night Cat”

Once you’ve had enough of white cats and temples move on to counting cows. This tongue twister is even more challenging and will surely test your tones even further. This tongue twister will also help you get familiarized with the pinyin points “-iu” and “-ou”.

#2 六十六头牛 (Liù shí liù tóu niú) Sixty-six Cows

Liù shí liù suì de lù lǎotóu,
六十六岁的陆老头,
A sixty-six-year-old Old Lu,

Gài le liù shí liù jiān lóu,
盖了六十六间楼,
built sixty-six buildings,

Mǎi le liù shí liù lǒu yóu,
买了六十六篓油,
bought sixty-six baskets of oil,

Yǎng le liù shí liù tóu niú,
养了六十六头牛,
raised sixty-six cows,

Zāi le liù shí liù kē chuí yángliǔ.
栽了六十六棵垂杨柳。
planted sixty-six willows.

Liù shí liù lǒu yóu, duī zài liù shí liù jiān lóu;
六十六篓油,堆在六十六间楼;
sixty-six baskets of oil were piled in sixty-six buildings;

Liù shí liù tóu niú, kòu zài liù shí liù kē chuí yángliǔ.
六十六头牛,扣在六十六棵垂杨柳。
sixty-six cows, were roped up for sixty-six willows.

Key words:

-iu (the common pinyin containing)

六 (Liù) six

牛 (Niú) cattle; ox; a surname; bossy; moo-cow

柳 (Liǔ) willow; Liu, one of the lunar mansions; a surname

Cow Or Excellent? What Does “牛 (Niú)” Mean on Earth in China?

-ou (the common pinyin containing)

头 (Tóu) head; hair or hair style; top; tip

楼 (Lóu) a storied building; floor; storey; superstructure

油 (Yóu) oil; fat; grease

Which one is your favorite? If you think you did well, show us! We would love to see your hard work. Send us a recording of your favorite tongue twister and you could be featured next. This Chinese input method can make you enjoy pronunciation practice with Chinese tongue twisters.

Are you ready? Take the quiz to evaluate your tone and character comprehension now!

HSK 3 quiz
1. Which pronunciation of the following Chinese characters contains the pinyin “-iù?”

A. 流
B. 留
C. 六
D. 牛

2. Choose the recording that has accurate spoken Chinese.

A. (Yóu)

B. (Lóu)

C. (Tóu)

See Answer Analysis

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name: 
E-mail: 
Country/Region: 
-select-

search no result

Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Submit

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Comments: 
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


FREE Mandarin E-book
Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:
Name:
E-mail:
Country/Region:
-select-

search no result

Tel:
By clicking Submit, you agree to our
Terms of Service
and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.