International Studies & Programs


Tone Perfect

Tone Perfect is an interactive web-based database for Mandarin Chinese sounds developed by Catherine Ryu, Associate Professor of Japanese literature and culture.

Catherine Ryu, an affiliated faculty member of the Asian Studies Center, is an associate professor of Japanese literature and culture at Michigan State University. She has spent the last two years collaborating with the MSU digital humanities librarian team to develop Tone Perfect (, an interactive web-based database for monosyllabic Mandarin Chinese sounds. The audio assets, nearly 10,000, were originally produced by her audio production team for the Mandarin Tone Perception and Production Project (M-ToPP) and for Picky Birds, a multimodal Mandarin tone perception training app. M-ToPP and her prior project, the Tone Perception Efficacy Study (ToPES), were both supported by the Dr. Delia Koo Global Faculty Endowment. Tone Perfect was launched last fall (2017) as an open source for teaching and research, and it has been updated adding more features; it is currently in the stage of addressing accessibility. Once completed, it can potentially serve as a model for meeting the accessibility mandate.

For more information about Catherine Ryu visit her webpage.

Watch this brief trailer about Tone Perfect: