The ability of cochlear implants (CI) to restore auditory function has advanced significantly in the past decade. Approximately 96,000 people in the United States benefit from these devices, which by the generation and transmission of electrical impulses, enable the brain to perceive sound. But due to the predominantly Western cochlear implant market, current CI characterization primarily focuses on improving the quality of American English. Only recently has research begun to evaluate CI performance using other languages such as Mandarin Chinese, which rely on distinct spectral characteristics not present in English. Mandarin, a tonal language utilizes four, distinct pitch patterns, which when voiced a syllable, conveys different meanings for the same word. This presents a challenge to hearing research as spectral, or frequency based information like pitch is readily acknowledged to be significantly reduced by CI processing algorithms. Thus the present study sought to identify the intelligibility differences for English and Mandarin when processed using current CI strategies. The objective of the study was to pinpoint any notable discrepancies in speech recognition, using voice-coded (vocoded) audio that simulates a CI generated stimuli. This approach allowed 12 normal hearing English speakers, and 9 normal hearing Mandarin listeners to participate in the experiment. The number of frequency channels available and the carrier type of excitation were varied in order to compare their effects on two cases of Mandarin intelligibility: Case 1) word recognition and Case 2) combined word and tone recognition. The results indicated a statistically significant difference between English and Mandarin intelligibility for Condition 1 (8Ch-Sinewave Carrier, p=0.022) given Case 1 and Condition 1 (8Ch-Sinewave Carrier, p=0.001) and Condition 3 (16Ch-Sinewave Carrier, p=0.001) given Case 2. The data suggests that the nature of the carrier type does have an effect on tonal language intelligibility and warrants further research as a design consideration for future cochlear implants.