Let’s face it, learning the tones of Mandarin Chinese is a challenging endeavor, and the stereotypical “mā má mǎ mà” example isn’t super helpful. 

So I thought this was sort of hilarious but surprisingly accurate, and also good for explaining to non-Mandarin learners how much a difference tone makes even in English

The Dude System:
First Tone: Dūde, the disapproving tone, as to the clumsy roommate who’s just knocked over your three-foot Graphix and gotten bong water all over your Poli Sci 142 reader: “Dude, I can’t believe you spilled my bong again!”

Second Tone: Dúde?, in the concerned but creeped-out way you might address the roommate you discover sitting naked and cross-legged in the dark, chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” and sounding a little brass bell.

Third Tone: Duǔde, scornfully, as if your roommate has asked to borrow 50 dollars so his sensei can align his chakras: “Yeah right, dude.”

Fourth Tone: Dùde!, as if you are exclaiming in triumph to your roommate when coming home from class having gotten a date with mega-babe Elena from your macroeconomics class.

There’s an mp3 on the site, and it’s worth poking around the other articles. Also  if you are not familiar with dude lingo some British person commented on using a similar system but with “what." 

100 Words To Describe Voices and Tones
  1. Alarmed
  2. Agreeable
  3. Amazed
  4. Annoyed
  5. Apathetic
  6. Appealing
  7. Bell-like
  8. Bitter
  9. Booming
  10. Breathy
  11. Brittle
  12. Calculating
  13. Calm
  14. Cheerful
  15. Cautious
  16. Croaky
  17. Dead
  18. Desperate
  19. Disbelieving
  20. Disgruntled
  21. Disembodied
  22. Dreary
  23. Dull
  24. Dulcet
  25. Eager
  26. Excited
  27. Flat
  28. Fruity
  29. Frustrated
  30. Grating
  31. Gravelly
  32. Gruff
  33. Guilty
  34. Guttural
  35. Happy
  36. Hateful
  37. High pitched
  38. Hoarse
  39. Honeyed
  40. Hopeful
  41. Horrified
  42. Husky
  43. Hurtful
  44. Irritating
  45. Joyful
  46. Kind
  47. Longing
  48. Low (quiet, difficult to hear, soft spoken)
  49. Low (deep)
  50. Lovingly
  51. Matter of fact
  52. Modulated
  53. Monotonous
  54. Nasal 
  55. Obnoxious
  56. Outraged
  57. Overwhelmed
  58. Penetrating
  59. Playful
  60. Prideful
  61. Quietly
  62. Quizzical
  63. Raucous
  64. Ringing
  65. Remorseful 
  66. Resentful
  67. Rough
  68. Sad
  69. Sarcastic
  70. Sardonic
  71. Secretive
  72. Serene
  73. Shrill
  74. Silvery
  75. Silly
  76. Sing song
  77. Small
  78. Smoky
  79. Soft spoken
  80. Sotto voice
  81. Supporting
  82. Strangled
  83. Strong
  84. Strident
  85. Sweetly
  86. Sympathetic
  87. Taut
  88. Tearful
  89. Tired
  90. Thick
  91. Thickly
  92. Thin
  93. Throaty
  94. Tight
  95. Toneless
  96. Tremulous
  97. Weak
  98. Wet
  99. Wheezy
  100. Wobbly