PINYIN & PRONUNCIATION

PINYIN ROMANIZATION

Mandarin is written with Chinese character, but characters do not provide consistent information about pronunciation. Therefore Mandarin is typically studied via a transcription. The system of transcription of Chinese characters is based on Roman alphabet as hence called “Romanisation”. The standard Romanisation of Chinese words is called PINYIN. This is used to transcribe Chinese words on this teaching.

Below is the table of Pinyin letters.

Pronunciation
·         m,f,n,l,h,f, k,w and y are pronounced as in English.
·         b is pronounced like ‘p’ unaspirated
·         d is pronounced like ‘t’ unaspirated.
·         g is pronounced like ‘k’ unaspirated.
·         q is pronounced like ‘ch’ in cheese.
·         j is pronounced like ‘j’ in judge.
·         r is pronounce like ‘r’ in rat.
·         s is pronounced like ‘s’
·         c is pronounced like ‘ts’ in ‘cats’ aspirated
·         z is pronounced ‘ts’ in ‘cats’ unaspirated.
·         ch is pronounced like ‘ch’ in ‘church’ aspirated with tongue curled back.
·         zh is pronounced like ‘j’ in ‘jest’ unaspirated with tongue curled back.
·         sh is pronounced like ‘sh’ in ‘ship’ with tongue curled back.
·         x is pronounced like ‘sh’ in ‘sheep’ with tongue tongue curled back.
·         ie is pronounced like ‘ye’ in ‘yes’.
·         e is pronounced like ‘e’ in ‘her’.
·         ei is pronounced like ‘ay’ in ‘say’
·         er is pronounced like ‘er’ in ‘mother’ (American sound)
·         ai is pronounced like ‘y’ in ‘by’.
·         ou is pronounced like ‘o’ in ‘go’.
·         an is pronounced like ‘an’ in ‘ban’.
·         en is pronounced like ‘en’ in ‘hen’.
·         -ng is pronounced like ‘ng’ in ‘dung’ without the ‘g’ sound.
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