As some of you might have already noticed, we have uploaded newly recorded audio for all single-syllable words in the new apps (that’s the Android app and Skritter: Write Chinese on iOS) This includes all individual character readings and single-syllable words. This audio update will also be coming to the website in the future once we update to the v3 endpoint for vocabs.
Since the recordings for single characters is used very often, we thought it was worthwhile to go through all of them and make sure both pronunciation and audio quality is good throughout. It’s now also consistent, with all audio being recorded by the same person, Xiaolu, who has recorded for Skritter before and ought to be familiar already.
If you’re using the new apps and notice any single-syllable audio that is wrong in some way or where the quality isn’t top-notch, please let us know so we can fix it! I have manually listened to every single recording, but since there are about 1600 of them, errors could have slipped through.
For the curious of you out there, there are roughly 400 syllables in Mandarin, which leads to 1600 combinations if each syllable can be pronounced in all four tones. Naturally, that is not the case; there are plenty of syllables that can only be pronounced with three, two or even one single tone. Rather than trying to keep track of these, we recorded all of them. Thus, this really should cover everything.
For the really curious, we also grabbed a list of all single-syllable items listed with a neutral tone in Skritter and recorded those. This is a bit tricky, because neutral tones usually don’t exist in a vacuum and can’t really be produced naturally without context, but a shorter, lighter pronunciation is used instead, somewhere slightly above the middle of the tone range.
Enjoy the new audio!