Identical Recordings?

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Identical Recordings?

Post by Programmer »

A couple of times recently people have written to me about tone pairs on the site that sound identical, to such an extent that they wanted confirmation that the sounds really represent different tones.

The latest example is yan3 se4 se4.wav and yan2 se4 se4.wav.

These are indeed very similar sounding. This is exactly the kind of combination which still trips me up. Although I can hear the difference between the two now I am sure I would not have been able to before I started on this project.

If you are still doubtful I recommend you download the two files (right click and save link as) and then try opening them with a program called Praat. Here is a link to where you can download Praat: (this is the link for Windows but if you Google it there is also a Mac version). And this is a link to a blog article by John Pasden where he describes how to download and use Praat: ... with-praat.

On the other hand if you trust me and you want to view the difference you can see the output here. First, this is yan3 se4:
yan3 se4.png
yan3 se4.png (63.16 KiB) Viewed 111 times
And this is yan2 se4:
yan2 se4.png
yan2 se4.png (64.66 KiB) Viewed 111 times
As John says in his blog, it is interesting to see visual confirmation that there is really something that you can plot on a graph and it corresponds at least to some extent to what is on the tone chart. When I get the chance in the new year I am going to make it much more easy to download and save any of the tone pairs for offline listening, which should make it easier to use this kind of tool.
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