Pinyin pronunciation chart - learn Chinese pinyin pronunciation

Posted by Fifi Yang on 19/11/2015 11:36 PM 3555

Chinese characters are the main writing symbols of the Chinese language. Pinyin is the phonetic notation for Chinese characters. Each character has a specific syllable. Each syllable is composed of three parts: initial, final, and tone. The pinyin system has 21 initials, 36 finals, and 4 tones. It also has 2 semi-vowels and a neutral tone.

Tones are very important. Many characters have the same spelling in pinyin but have different tones, and therefore have different meanings.

This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin (汉语拼音)syllables used in Standard Mandarin. Click on the cell for pronunciation.

* An empty cell indicates that the corresponding syllable does not exist in Standard Mandarin.

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Illustration of Tones

chinese tones

The first tone, marked by -, is a high and flat sound, naturally prolonged.

Example: tāng(soup)汤

first tone in Chinese example

The second tone, marked by /, is a rising tone, from low to high, like making a question, e.g. táng (sugar, candy) 糖

secone tone in Chinese example

The third tone is a comparatively long tone, falling first and then going up, e.g. tǎng (to lie down) 躺.

third tone chinese example

The fourth tone, marked by \ , is a falling tone, short and strong, as if in anger, e.g., tàng (boiling hot) 烫.

forth tone Chinese

The neutral tone, light and short, has no mark. It is usually the last syllable of a word or a phrase, e.g. māma (mother) 妈妈.

Here is the Pinyin pronunciation guide. Please read it carefully and then practice.

Table of Initials

Pinyin Pinyin Pinyin
b g s
p k zh
m h ch
f j sh
d q r
t x y
n z w
l c v

Table of Single Finals which can be used only after initials

Pinyin Pinyin Pinyin
a e u
o i ü

Table of Compound Finals

Pinyin Pinyin Pinyin
ai ing uai
ei ia ui(uei)
ao iao uan
ou ian uang
an iang un(uen)
en ie ueng
in iong üe
ang iou üan
eng ua ün
ong uo ng

After you can pronounce them all, you can try to find some books (for example, a graded reader) with pinyin and try to follow the included CD to read. You can also find a Chinese class on-line to practice your Pinyin pronunciation.

Still got questions? Take a free 1-on-1 live Mandarin lesson with our qualified and experienced Chinese teacher now.

About The Author

Fifi Yang

Fifi has spent a great number of years learning French. With the understanding of the challenges of learning a language. She puts this experience to good use while preparing and delivering classes to her students. Fifi enjoys drawing, reading, and sports. Learn Chinese online with Fifi Yang >>

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