Recording of my Chinese

It was Brendan‘s idea, and then Prince Roy actually did it. He recorded his Chinese and then put it online for everyone to hear. He got a lot of (well-deserved) praise and some possibly very helpful criticism. I said I wasn’t interested in doing that.

Until now!

Check out my recording. [Note: if you left click and play it directly through your browser, you may need to replay it at least once to get it to play right.] Comments and criticism are welcome. I’m working hard on improving my pronunciation. Sorry this MP3 is so short.

P.S. I should be studying right now.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Sounds like a nice Southern drawl to me 😉 but then again how should a humble European HSK Basic A who never crossed any oceans know 🙁

    Sadly I didn’t understand the part after ιÄãºÃ. Care to enlighten us?

  2. Killer! Dashan’s got some competition!

  3. John,

    did you make it with AT&T’s TTS tool?

  4. I played it in Quicktime (default browser) and it sounded like a machine… definitely not the Panji that I know. Am I missing something?

    By the way, good to see the fury of content since you’ve been on vacation.

  5. I know when I’m licked. I’m taking up Tamil.

  6. hmm..Did you check the file? It sounds ‘robotic’ . I played it in Windows Media Player. Maybe you should try recording it again. What did you use to record?

  7. Haha. You’re an inspiration to us all!

  8. Henrycrab Says: May 15, 2005 at 9:22 pm

    i got it!it’s JinShan Ciba ½ðɽ´Ê°Ô, surely is : )

  9. john…

    wilson and aline are right.
    at least, the same “robotic” quality is coming through when i play the file.
    it doesn’t even sound like you.
    it sounds like the computer from the movie war games… “shall we play a game?”
    fix it, john.
    do it!
    tell me what i’m doing wrong.

  10. i just spent quite some time with john…
    talking on the skype.
    this sound file…
    it’s a joke.
    that’s right.
    a joke.
    the end.

  11. Anonymous Says: May 16, 2005 at 4:32 am

    GREAT! you sound exactly like a robot.

  12. It’s cruel, man, to have to click play twice to get the recording, or at equal chance still not get it — a reflection of the premitiveness still of today’s MP3 technologoy, or our perception thereof. Anyway, what a job on your part and, as usual, hilarious.

  13. Also as usual, your comments are excellent reading no matter what.

  14. Perhaps John has been moonlighting as the speech synthesizer for Stephen Hawkings.

  15. John,

    That sounds incredibly like the little virtual parrot pet that you could program to speak in English.


  16. Awww, Illy ruined the fun.

    I used the text-to-speech engine that comes with Windows XP (Control Panel > Speech) to create the sound file.

    I thought “Microsoft Sam’s” pronunciation of pseudo-Chinese was hilarious, so I made this post.

    For those that couldn’t understand it, the sentence was supposed to be “ÄãºÃ¡£ÎÒÊÇÅ˼ª¡£ÎÒµÄÖÐÎĺܺðɣ¿” (“Hi. I’m Pan Ji. My Chinese is good, huh?”).

    To get this pronunciation, I had the program read, “Knee how. Wuh shir Pan gee. Wuh duh jong wen hun how bah?”

    I also discovered a few other fun things that I may write about in a future post.

  17. The funny thing is that he sounds like this in English, too!

  18. Works perfeclty here! You just gotta download proper codec. It’s not easy to record Madarin since it has 4 different tones – the best way is to use 4 separete microphones with special adjustment for each tone.

  19. Haha. I understand what you’re saying except for the last syllable. It can’t be ma. It sounds more like, “blag!” Ba, maybe; how modest. 🙂
    Do you think I could get a wav of this actually?

  20. Ha. I could have always read how you made it, I guess. I thought it sounded farmiliar.

  21. huh.That’s what I thought. I figured any guy who could get a Shanghainese girlfriend couldn’t do it sounding like THAT.

  22. Aiyah! For a moment there John, you had me totally flabberghasted. Surely your Chinese couldn’t be that poor and robotic!

  23. haha, this reminds me of middle school afternoons when I would go to my friend’s house and make prank phone calls using his mac. it had a whole set of different robotic voices (one was a creepy singing voice) and you could use them with the modem and phone dialling program to make phone calls with the computer. people would get so freaked out and then you could respond to what they were saying with the computer voice just by typing it on the computer. those were the days…

  24. with google, it supports a link to this page, but the key words i searched is a secret, hehe

  25. seems mp3 link is broken.

    • Oops, sorry. Fixed!

      That was back in 2005, before I started at ChinesePod. Now there are over 1000 MP3s of me speaking Chinese (to a greater or lesser extent) out there. It’s very strange, thinking about it that way!

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