Chinese Lesson 2

on

Welcome to the second lesson of Mandarin!

Today, we are going to learn about how to read and pronounce pinyin

34 syllables in Chinese do not contain any initial. These are indicated with a ø symbol. They are listed below:

a, ai, ao, an, ang, e, en eng, er, o, ou, yi, ya, yao, ye, you, yan, yang, yin, ying, yong, wu, wa, wo, wei, wai, wan, wang, weng, yu, yue, yuan, yun

EASY INITIALS

The easy initials have no major distinguishable difference from English. Great news! Attention level necessary: Low.  They are listed below along with every simple final they can be combined with: 

M

ma, mo, me, mi, mu

F

fa, fo, fu

N

na, ne, nu, ni, nü

L

la, lo (very rare), le, li, lu, lü

S

sa, se, su, si

TOUGHER INITIALS

These initial sounds do all exist in English, but they are not pronounced as you might think. Interestingly, if you master the “tougher” initials, you’ll impress Chinese people even more than the Problem initials. It shows you’ve gone into greater detail in your understanding. Attention level necessary: Medium. They are listed below along with every simple final they can be combined with:        

B

ba, bo, bi, bu 

D

da, de, di, du

G

ga, ge, gu

T

ta, te, ti, tu

P

pa, po, pi, pu

K

ka, ke, ku

H

ha, he, hu

PROBLEM INITIALS

These are the ones we will focus on most throughout learning Chinese. Why? They don’t exist in English! Not to worry though, we know exactly how to train you on the 3 new tongue positions you’ll need to say these just like a native speaker. Attention level necessary: High. They are listed below along with every simple final they can be combined with:     

Z

za, ze, zi, zu

C

ca, ce, ci, cu

ZH

zha, zhe, zhi, zhu

CH

cha, che, chi, chu

SH

sha, she, shi, shu

R

re, ri, ru

J

ji, jü

Q

qi, qü

X

xi, xü

Exceptions

There are a number of pronunciation exceptions.

Some of the notable ones include:


-ian 
pronounced as -ien

ex. 天 (definition: sky; pinyin: tian) is pronounced “Tien”


wu- 
pronounced as u-

ex. 五 (definition: five; pinyin: wu) is pronounced “u”


yi- 
pronounced as i-

ex. 一 (definition: one; pinyin: yi) is pronounced “i”


yü- 
as ü-

ex. 鱼 (definition: fish; pinyin: yu) is pronounced “ü”

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s