I learned something today that kind of blew my mind, and I humbly come here seeking some kind of reason behind this.
I’ve always read in pinyin that the pronunciation for “what” 什麼 is “shen2me”. However, when I started typing in bopomofo on the computer, I found it odd that the character wasn’t listed when I inputed 尸ㄣ. I saw a character 甚 that looked similar to a lot of traditional conversions I’ve seen from the mainland, and I assumed the character was an “older” version of 什.
Well today I finally asked a native why and they asked why I was inputing it that way, because it should be “she2me” 尸ㄜ . I was shocked to think that I could have been mispronouncing such a basic word in Chinese all along. I scrambled to check the textbook to see if I was crazy… but I wasn’t. There it was in pinyin “shenme”.
So my question is… what’s up with the disparity? I always thought people in Taiwan just didn’t pronounce the ‘en’ fully, or maybe it just blended in with ‘me’. Guess I was wrong?