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None pinyin H in Cai4 菜


Hi everyone,

great job with the ‘Say it right’ series. I think it is extremely helpful.

I have a brief clarifying question regarding episode 8 ‘2nd and 4th tone combinations’:
Teacher Xu mentions that in the word bai2cai4 白菜, the cai should be pronounced with an extra H-sound (c-hai). I am just wondering in what context this additional H turns up? Is it associated with the C part or the the AI part? Does it come up only in this sound combination or also in others?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Best wishes,

Words starting with c,p,t initials

Hello, Jan!

Good question!

The “H” in báicài exists also in tángcùyú (糖醋魚)'s “t” & “c”, pīngpāngqiú (乒乓球)'s double “p” & “q” , zhīchí (支持)'s “ch”, and all the series, so called “aspirated consonants” in Mandarin, including p, f, t, k, h, q, x, ch, sh, c, s. Every time you say them, please do think there is a ‘H’ after them (and you can sent much air just on or around the consonants,) and it helps you say it right .

學習愉快!(Xuéxí yúkuài)

Frederic (Xú lǎoshī)


Dear Frederic,

Thanks a lot for this quick and very informative reply. Seems like this concept is very broadly applicable and useful. I will try to incorporate it into my Mandarin and hopefully at some point get it right.

All the best,