Are tones important?
Yes, because the same sound when said in different tones can mean very different things.
For example, depending on the way you say it, ‘tang’ can mean soup or sugar, ‘mai’ can mean buy or sell, and ‘ji’ can mean chicken or jealous, amongst other things.
Although this might sound very alien to speakers of non-tonal languages like English, learning how to pronounce Chinese tones can be a fun part of studying the language.
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