Like many Asian languages, Chinese is a tonal language. As you learn Chinese, you will see that a word can have various meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. There are four tones to master as you learn Mandarin Chinese, and these are represented by the four tone marks over the vowels in pinyin.
Before you go any further regarding learning Chinese, Dani gives you a lesson dedicated to understanding and using the tones. It is possible to relate the concept of tones to how you use the tone of your voice in speaking English. For example the tone of your voice will often change when asking a question or giving an order in English!
Tones are something that require practice for an English speaker to appreciate, understand and finally to master. So we are dedicating a full lesson early on to start you on the right path. Although admittedly not easy, with guidance and practice you will soon start to 'tune in' to the different tones as you continue to learn Chinese.
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