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Is *eng pronounced [ɤŋ] ?

The Pronunciation Tool’s linguist note rather claims [əŋ] :

But its voiceovers sound in the chart beneath sound like [ɤŋ], and that is what I hear elsewhere…

Also the text above unsatisfyingly does not explain the deviation of en/eng from the ‘e’ [ɤ], instead saying they’re “roughly the same”:

For the -n and -ng final consonants, the pronunciation of e stays roughly the same, with just the addition of the consonant sounds at the end.

Really now, roughly the same? To me [ɤ] and [ə] sound completely different.

Basically it seems to me that the IPA for *eng should be corrected on that page, and the deviation of *en from e/eng should be explained as its own seemingly separate case.


This is an interesting question!
The [eng] sound, as the description says, is the [e] sound followed by [ng] sound, and it sounds a bit like the English word “sung”, but they’re not the same.
I understand why you find it confusing. Keep it mind that when the [eng] sound is paired up with other consonants, the sound becomes slightly different, so sometimes they are different than what you’d expect. Also, it should be taken into account that there’re lots of different accents and dialects in China, and everyone’s [eng] sounds a bit different. The rule of thumb is, you lower the back of your tongue for [eng], and for [en], put your tip of tongue onto the upper gum, and let the air come out of your nose.

I believe you will find this playlist helpful:

Here’s the specific lesson that focuses on the pinyin “e”

Hope this helps!