Some problems with Chinese speaking English and visa versa...
Chinese speakers who speak Mandarin do not have the "r" to "l" confusion, so popularly stereotyped with phrases like "flied lice." (This confusion is common to Cantonese.) True Mandarin, that is Hebei provence, Beijing dialect Mandarin, is very rich in "r" sounds and have strong vowel and "sh," "th" pronounciation. Still, in English they still have issues in these and other areas including a difficultly with "ch," distinguishing minor differences in sounds, "mush mouthness" and with sounds like the "s" in "pleasure"
Students from the Southern province of Sichuan are most difficult to teach. Sichuan people speak Mandarin with a heavy accent, and are totally unable to make the "shi" sound in Mandarian, which is an all too common sound, and instead make the "si" sound, which has multiple different meanings. Also, their tones are not as precise as Northern speakers. In English, the problems they make include making the "l" sound like "n," an inability to lisp to make the "th" sound or "sh" sound, weak "r" sounds and sloppy, broken-jawed pronounciation.
Sloppy pronounciation is actually common to all Chinese learners of English as well as almost total inmobility of their tongues. They also have an issue with distingushing gender, pronouncing the sounds "e" and "a" too similar to one another, distinguishing questions and understanding how to pronounce plural words (they all sound singular because they have a difficulty with certain "s" sounds)
In Chinese, native English speakers have a hard time with speaking with an soft tongue and from a lower part of the throat, resulting in Chinese that sounds unclear and too soft. We also cannot pronouce the "r" sounds, (which sound sort of like an r mixed with a j) cannot say, or say with difficulty, the stressed "u" sound. (which is like an umlad over a u) We have trouble distingushing between "ci"(like "tse") and "si" (like "sssuh" with more of an "s" sound) and, most of all, we can't say tones correctly. (Tones, there are four altogther, are an essential part of the language and must be said correctly for the word to make sense, but are very hard to say correctly.) Overall, we probably have the same level of problems learning Chinese.
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