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English-to-Chinese Phonetic Transfer in Chinese Learning of US University Students

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DOI: 10.25236/isaete.2020.019


Zheng Fu, Yunfei Ma

Corresponding Author

Yunfei Ma


Phonetic transfer is defined that an individual’s sound system can influence one’s sound perception and production. The research of English-to-Chinese phonetic transfer aims at facilitating English-speaking learners of Chinese to acquire Chinese sounds from a transfer perspective. The current literature has few studies on phonetic transfer by speech recognition technology because this technology has not been widely applied in this area. This quantitative research focused on 151 US university students of Chinese learning as samples and measured results and extent of their English-to-Chinese phonetic transfer. The finding confirms that English-to-Chinese positive transfer is likely to occur when English and Chinese syllables are the same or similar in following the same pronunciation rules. However, the finding proves that English-to-Chinese negative transfer is likely to happen when English and Chinese phonemes are different or when Chinese words are inconsistent with English pronunciation rules.


Phonetic transfer, Chinese, English, L1, L2