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Say It Right Series

higher voice when speaking Chinese

Posted by baifameizhong October 31, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

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My wife (who is Chinese) yesterday pointed out (again) that when I speak Chinese my voice usually is a little (or a lot) higher than  when I speak English.

This is obviously not something I am that pleased to hear because she said it makes me sound cute (which is fine when I am with her, but it is obviously not what I want when I get in touch with Chinese for business purposes). I then tried to make my voice go lower but it didn't sound natural (not just me who thought so but her as well).

I am not quite sure what to do about it. First I guessed that I had that because I had mainly learnt from Chinese women (even the main Chinese Co-host on Chinesepod is a woman....don't get me wrong, I think Jenny is doing a great job) .

But then I  started listening to a few other foreigners (men) who could speak Chinese more or less fluently and noticed that several of them also had that higher and more feminine voice (including occasionally John on the podcasts, although I didn't sound cute, but his voice did good up a bit).

I really am not sure what to do about this. Do any of you have any idea about how I can get a natural deeper voice when speaking Chinese? Is it the breathing maybe?

Would appreciate any sort of input.


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