Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mandarin Chinese---Lesson 9 (How to read or spell Chinese pinyin?)

Chinese Language Learning Program

Lesson 9 – How to read or spell Chinese pinyin

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Baixue’s Chinese Language Learning Program. We have already finished our learning of the basic knowledge of Chinese mandarin pinyin. I really hope that you have already known how to pronounce all of the initials and finals with or without tones. Today, we are going to learn how to read or spell Chinese pinyin.

Actually, we have learned how to read or how to spell Chinese pinyin when we learned the finals. When I gave you some examples for pronouncing the finals, I read the whole syllable with tones. Today, we will have a whole lesson to show you how to read Chinese pinyin.

In our previous class, we talked about that Chinese character has only one syllable, and each syllable consists of initial + final + tone. For example:

nǐ ()         Initial (n)+Final (i)+ Tone(v)

hǎo (好): Initial (h)+Final (ao)+ Tone(v)

Initial is consonant and Final is vowel.

In some cases, the initial can be omitted. This means that some pinyin/syllables only have finals, they do not begin with any initial. These cases are called "Zero initial"(零声母).  For example:
(lotus root)

So, how to spell Chinese pinyin correctly?

1. When you want to read a pinyin/syllable of Chinese language, you need to pronounce the initial first, then from the initial to the vowel (Except the "Zero initial"). For example: when you spell Chinese pinyin zhāng, you pronounce the initial"zh" first, and then you pronounce the final "ang" to make a syllable. At the end of the spell, you read the initial and final at the same time, just like you read a whole syllable.

2. Please do not make a pause between the initial and the final when you read Chinese mandarin pinyin,. For example, when you spell gǔ(, ancient). You read it as “gǔ”. But if you make a pause after pronouncing “g”, you will spell it as “ge – ǔ”(歌舞, song and dance).

3. Please make sure to read the Chinese pinyin with the correct tones. We have already talked about how important of the tones is in Chinese language pinyin. For example,

  .       wǒ   kě   yǐ   wèn  nǐ   yī   xìa  ma?
               Can I ask you a question?

     wǒ   kě   yǐ   wěn  nǐ   yī   xìa  ma?
               Can I kiss you?

So, I hope I make a clear explanation about how to spell Chinese pinyin collectly. If you have any questions about Chinese mandarin pinyin, please leave a message for me, I will try my best to give you the perfect answers. Thanks!

Ok, that is all for today. We will start to learn some Chinese characters with some simple conversations in our next class.

xìe   xìe  (Thanks!)

 zài  jiàn  (Bye! Or See you next time!)


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