B1 Intermediate Other 1498 Folder Collection
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I m glad that you want to learn Chinese! So how do you pronounce this character ? You
may say I don t know, there s no syllables to guide me in the pronunciation? That s right,
Chinese characters are not presented with syllables like English. How about I use the
letters ai to represent the word? The letters ai give you the guideline on how to pronounce
the word and this is called a pinyin.
Pinyin history
Before we continue, I want to share with you some history about pinyin. In 1949, when the
People s Republic of China was established, the country was still in a difficult situation
and the literacy rate dropped continuously. The government spent a few years developing
and testing the best systems to help Chinese citizens learn and read Chinese. At the end,
they agreed that using a letter alphabet to represent the sounds of Chinese characters
worked best for them. And this is how pinyin was created. Now that we know pinyin was intentionally
created for Chinese citizens, we need to read the letter alphabet the Chinese way because
some of the sounds are different. For English speakers, you will find "l" is pronounced
and "ong" is pronounced . Anyway, Pinyin is a helpful tool and the most effective way
to learn Mandarin. Especially for Chinese people, pinyin is a gift. Why? With pinyin,
instead of using characters, Chinese people can type using letters to express themselves
in Chinese on the Internet and on their smartphones.
A basic pinyin has 3 elements an initial , a 声母 shēng mǔ, final 韵母 yùn mǔ and,
and a tone 声调 shēng tiào. There are 21 initials + 2 special initials, 24 finals
(4 tones + 1 neutral tone). An initial is the beginning, a final is the ending and a
tone is always placed on top of the final. The good news is that overall, pinyin is pretty
straight forward. Each syllable represents only one Chinese character and consists of
2-6 letters. Alright, let me show you how initials, finals and tones work together in
pinyin. The word 龙 lóng is made up of an initial, a final and a tone. Remember l is
pronounced as the final ong is pronounced as and with the second tone "lōng" "lóng"
"lǒng" "lòng" , it is "lóng" . I know you are still a bit confused. That s okay, I m
just showing you how pinyin works and we will do many practices together in future videos.
Before we say goodbye, let me share with you how tones work. The combination of initials
and finals can form 413 syllables in common use and they can represent thousands of Chinese
characters. How? Because of tones. When an Initial and a final match together, they form
a syllable and the syllable can mean at least four different things depending on which tone
of the four you use. And of course some words share the same tone but have different meanings
and are written differently. Tones seem to be the most challenging task for pinyin learners.
Again, I ll share with you tricks and tips about pinyin pronunciation. Along with the
lessons and exercises will provide, I need you to spend some time learning and understanding
pinyin on your own. That s all for today. Subscribe to our channel and stay tuned. I
ll see you on the next video. Happy learning, Bye!
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Learn Chinese Pinyin - Introduction to Pinyin

1498 Folder Collection
雷雷 published on April 3, 2016
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