Introduction to Pinyin

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Pinyin is the phonetic system of Chinese language. It is the most widely-used system of writing Mandarin Chinese that uses the Latin alphabet. Most importantly, it's a great tool to help you learn the accurate pronunciation of Mandarin words and input Chinese characters on your computer or smartphone. Every person who wants to learn Chinese well must learn Pinyin, which is the basis of learning Chinese.

Basically Pinyin is made of three parts, which are initial, final and tone. For example:


The chart below are initials and finals:

Chinese is a tonal language. There are five tones in Chinese, they are 1st Tone, 2nd Tone, 3rd Tone, 4th Tone and Neutral Tone.

1st Tone: Flat Tone, like "mā ", it starts high and stays there.

2nd Tone: Rising Tone, like "má", starts at mid-range and ends high.

3rd Tone: Falling Rising Tone, like "mǎ", starts mid-range, dips low, ends mid-range.

4th Tone: Falling Tone, like "mà", starts high and ends low.

Neutral Tone: No Tone Mark, like "mɑ ", neutral tone.


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