How to synthesize Mandarin by yourself? – Phonetics is never a mystery

Thursday 22nd February 2024
Auditorium, The McClay Library


Sijie MOU, a third-year PhD student working on linguistics based in the School of Arts, English and Languages, QUB, is interested in sociolinguistics, phonetics, corpus linguistics, and Chinese dialectology. Her current research focuses on the rhotacization of the Beijing dialect.


AI has been very popular in synthesizing sounds recently. Are you curious about how synthetic speech might work? Do you want to choose a language you are interested in and synthesize speech by yourself in a phonetic way? 

Mandarin (aka Putonghua 普通话) is the official language in China, based on the phonology of the Beijing dialect. Mandarin belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language group, which is quite different from the Indo-European language family, such as English and German. Many students are interested in Mandarin but struggling with how to learn it accurately. 

In this workshop, I will introduce Mandarin through combining the basic phonetic and phonological details to give a whole picture of Mandarin. Using Praat, a free computer software package for speech analysis in phonetics, this workshop aims to share a method of synthesizing Mandarin for fun. In fact, with a good use of Praat, anyone is able to synthesize other languages they are interested in, such as Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, and many more.

Additional information:

Take your laptop and try to synthesize sounds by yourself!

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