Mandarin is a tone language which means every Mandarin word has a fixed tone; if a tone is changed, the meaning of the word will change. Therefore, identifying the Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation mistakes is important and should be prioritized by the Mandarin language instructors. Numerous pronunciation errors were identified among the undergraduates who are the non-native speakers with difficulties in pronunciation, communication and listening in Mandarin. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the problems faced by the students who are the non-native speakers in Mandarin pronunciation of consonants, vowels and tones in the Hanyu Pinyin system. The findings of the study show that the highest pronunciation error is consonant (68.29%) as compared to the tone (13.66%) and vowel (18.5%). Among the consonants, the highest number of errors is consonant "zh" that is 16:43% while the second place is the consonant "z", which constitutes 13.57% of errors. The highest inaccuracy in vowel pronunciation happens to the last phoneme "S" (82.14%) and the most common errors in tone is the second tone (56.76%) and the third tone (24.32%). It can be concluded that the undergraduates were suffering from mastering the Mandarin pronunciation, which had been greatly influenced by their first language or mother tongue, Malay language.
Gek Suan Khor, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Stream: Language Learning
This paper is part of the ACLL2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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