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Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. In order to differentiate meaning, the same syllable can be pronounced with different tones. Mandarin's tones give it a very distinctive quality, but the tones can also be a source of miscommunication if not given due attention. Mandarin is said to have four main tones and one neutral tone (or, as some say, five tones). Each tone has a distinctive pitch contour which can be graphed using the Chinese 5-level system. First Tone
Language learning: Duolingo teaches users a new language as they translate Wikipedia entries and other Web-based content that carries a Creative Commons license. Luis von Ahn is frustrated with the Internet. More specifically, with the amount of content that is available only in English—which is to say, most of it.