Tones in Mandarin

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In Thai or Cantonese, tones are tough, pitch and direction (rising falling)

In Mandarin, there are just four. Mandarin sounds are largely a subset of English sounds.

Connecting tones to inflections in English:

First tone is singing tone: Gao... Gaaoo Second is question tone: Mao? Mao? Third is low, sarcatic tone: Obvious question, you say. its rising.: Yeah? Hoa? Fourth is falling tone. Its an assertion, like in swearing. Damn, shit. Dao. Fifth: there is also a none tone

Four syllable idioms are good ways to practice the tones.

We learned about playing zither to an ox and drawing a snake and adding legs.