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Current Location: Homepage » Basic Chinese » Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days » Main Body

Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days – Day 2: Single Vowels

Time:2014-11-29Source:Internet
Profile:Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days – Day 2: Single Vowels
(单词翻译:双击或拖选)

In this Pinyin Lesson, we learn how to pronounce single vowels or called single finals of pinyin. We also learn some Chinese characters that use these single finals. In addition, you can have tone drill and quiz on single finals.

Syllable

A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants). Syllables are often considered the phonological “building blocks” of words.

Nucleus

Generally, every syllable requires a nucleus (sometimes called the peak), and the minimal syllable consists only of a nucleus.

Initials and Finals

The pronunciation and spelling of Chinese words are generally given in terms of initials and finals, which represent the segmental phonemic portion of the language, rather than letter by letter. Initials are initial consonants, while finals are all possible combinations of semivowels coming before the vowel, the nucleus vowel, and final vowel or consonant.

 

A semivowel is a sound that is phonetically similar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllable boundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable.

Single Vowels

There are 6 single vowels (finals) in Chinese Pinyin.

Pronunciation Guide

The following guide is given in terms of English pronunciation. They are approximate, as there are some sounds of Pinyin do not correspond directly to sounds in English.

1. a: as in “father”.

 

2. o: approximately as in “office” in British accent; the lips are much more rounded.
 

3. e: approximately as in “idea”.
 

4. i: as in “bee”.
 

5. u: as the “oo” as in “pool”.
 

6. ü: to get this sound, say “ee” with rounded lips.
 

Notes:
“i” represents three different sounds dependent on the initial that precedes it. When it follows the so-called sibilant initials (z, c, s), it sounds like “zz”. When it follows the retroflex initials (zh, ch, sh, and r) it sounds like “rr”. In all other cases, it sounds like the English “ee”.

“ü” is written as “u” (no ūmlaut) after j, q, x, or y.

Example Words

Example 1:

Chinese Character: 啊
Pinyin: ā

 

English translation: Ah
doctor
Example 2:

Chinese Character: 喔
Pinyin: ō (The other pinyin can be “wō” for the Chinese character “喔”. Here we just give an approximate sound.)

 

English translation: Oh
rooster o
Example 3:

Chinese Character: 鹅
Pinyin: é

 

English translation: goose
goose
Example 4:

Chinese Character: 一
Pinyin: yī

 

English translation: one
Example 5:

Chinese Character: 五
Pinyin: wǔ

 

English translation: five
number five
Example 6:

Chinese Character: 鱼
Pinyin: yú

 

English translation: fish
fish

Exercises:

Exercise 1: Tone Drill

Listen to the audio first, and then repeat.

1. ā á ǎ à

 

2. ō ó ǒ ò
 

3. ē é ě è
 

4. ī í ǐ ì
 

5. ū ú ǔ ù
 

6. ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ
 
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