We describe the SpeakGoodChinese system that supports beginning students of Mandarin Chinese to produce tones correctly (http://speakgoodchinese.org/). Students pronounce a word spelled in pinyin notation and receive feedback from our system on their production of the tones. The novelty in our approach lies in the use of synthetic reference tone(s) produced from the pinyin notation. Preliminary results indicate a 6% rejection rate for six words, read multiple times, by three reference speakers and less than 15% acceptance rate on incorrectly produced tones on shadowed versions of these words by 8 speakers. With speech from 4 reference speakers collected with a fully functional test application, a rejection rate of less than 15% was achieved.
Bibliographic reference. Weenink, David / Chen, Guangqin / Chen, Zongyan / Konink, Stefan de / Vierkant, Dennis / Hagen, Eveline van / Son, R. J. J. H. van (2007): "Learning tone distinctions for Mandarin Chinese", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 2341-2344.