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Erhua

Revision as of 03:11, 19 March 2015 by Mscottmoore (Talk | contribs) (Switched to "Basic Pronunciation" template)

Also known as: erization, 儿化 (érhuà) and 儿化音 (érhuàyīn).

"Erhua" refers to the addition of a final "-r" sound to a syllable in Mandarin. It is especially common in the Beijing dialect, but is also a feature of standard Chinese as well.

A Few Rules about Erhua

Erhua can be confusing to beginners because it's slightly more complicated than simply adding an "-r" sound to the end of a syllable.

  1. The character 儿 (ér) can be a syllable, as in the two-syllable word 儿子 (érzi), but erhua is not a syllable; it is pronounced as part of the syllable that it attaches to
  2. When you add erhua to the end of a syllable ending in -n or -ng, you don't pronounce the -n or -ng; you pronounce the final -r sound instead
  3. The vowel sound of a syllable may change slightly with the addition of the erhua (e.g. "shi + -r" may sound kind of like "shar")
  4. Erhua can be written as 儿, but it doesn't need to be written to be pronounced (e.g. a southerner will generally pronounce 花 as "huā", but a Beijinger will pronounce it as "huār")

Common Examples of Erhua

花儿

Writing Erhua

For a few select words, it is customary to write out the erhua using the character 儿:

哪儿

Optional Erhua

For many other words, writing the 儿 is optional. Northerners will likely pronounce the following words, no matter whether it is written with or without the 儿.

Sources and further reading