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Old 05-20-2011, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Posts: 19,937
How should an English-speaker pronounce 'Qing', as in the dynasty?

Yes, the last dynasty of Imperial China, and apparently just saying 'Manchu' is déclassé now. I've looked at the English Wikipedia and their IPA is presumably correct for Mandarin Chinese, but if I can't form some of the phonemes it's worthless to me. Romanizations can be similarly misleading, given that they aren't designed to make it easy for English-speakers (or speakers of any language other than the one being romanized).

There must be a standard pronunciation for when English-speaking historians discuss it; if you could render that using SAMPA for English or some similar standardized format I'd be much obliged.

(Is there a standard location to find accepted English pronunciations of foreign proper nouns? I'm probably looking for something like a broadcast journalism department's manual of style, assuming such a reference exists at all; I suppose the standard answer is "say it like the locals" but that only leads to massive gales of unintended hilarity.)
Old 05-20-2011, 07:16 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,493
If you're speaking English, just say "Ching." ("Q" and "Ch" actually signify slightly different sounds in Pinyin, but it's irrelevant because English doesn't differentiate between them. If you're trying to learn Mandarin then you will need to practice the difference, though.)
Old 05-20-2011, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Posts: 19,937

And I'm not interested in learning the language, which is why I'm so interested in an English-language pronunciation. I'm more interested in the history and I get antsy if I'm constantly reading a word I can't pronounce. (I also can't spell a word I can't pronounce, unless it's really short.)
Old 05-20-2011, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
Um, my impression is that standard-dialect Mandarin does not distinguish between voiced and unvoiced consonants, and the proper pronunciation of mosxt such sounds is somewhere between the voiced and unvoiced sounds. For example, "Qing" is somewhere between "Ching" and "Jing" (as in the first syllable of "Jingle Bells"), probably closer to the second; Beijing, between Pay-ching and Bay-jing and closer to the latter, etc. I am not certain of this information is accurate, and welcome correction on it.
Old 05-20-2011, 10:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 10,936
just think Waynes World and cha-ching. Pronounce like the "ching" in cha-ching and you have it.

Polycarp - Kinda. Beijing is like the Jing in Jingle Bells.

One of the China Bambina's names is "qing" and we often call her "cha-ching"

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