[quote=“Speeves”]Is it just me or do Taiwanese often change the ng final into a plain n? For example 城市 chengshi will become chenshi. Or for example 正式 zhengshi will become zhenshi.
It doesn’t bother me too much in that all languages have regional accents and they are neither right nor wrong. God knows I understand Taiwanese accented Chinese better than the Beijing variety. However my problem is when I pronounce (what I believe to be) the more standard and correct pronunciation as taught in text books only to have people not understand what I am saying and sometimes tell me I am wrong and try to correct my pronunciation.
So what I want to ask is: Has anyone else noticed this pronunciation difference? Do many locals not know what the mainland pronunciation sounds like or am I pronouncing my words wrong?[/quote]
Yes, I have noticed this.
(haven’t read all the other posts, so sorry if there is repetition)
In Taiwan you will find they are correcting your tones more than they are correcting your “pronunciation”.
(I am making a distinction here between making the right sound e.g. “sh” versus “s”, and a tonal error. For example, outside of class you probably wouldn’t get corrected for saying [ten] “shi” (2nd tone) or “si” (2nd tone) , but you would be corrected if you said “shi” any other tone, or “si” any other tone.
The confusion really kicks in for us waiguorens (foreigners) when the person correcting us doesn’t have “standard pronunciation”.
For example, you say [ten] “shi” with a 4th tone, and they say "No, it is “si” with a second tone.
Here they are not correcting “pronunciation” but correcting tonal error.
Taiwanese can cope with a lot of different “pronunciations”, but they will always correct you on tones, because they can make allowance for a variety of “accents” but tonal errors become different words altogether.
I often ask my friends to make it clear to me if they are correcting “pronunciation” or tone.
95% of the time it is the tone.
Kryten (that’s tones 2/5 thank you very much)
If I don’t know the person well I ask them which tone.