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What is pinyin?

Updated: Mar 27, 2018 digmandarin.com Print

Chinese is not a phonetic language. The pronunciation is not related to the writing of Chinese words (characters). Pinyin is the special system, created for people to learn Mandarin pronunciation. Pinyin transcribes the Chinese characters so people can pronounce it. It may be used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into computers or electronics as well.

The writing of Pinyin is similar to English alphabet. You can pronounce every single sound out in Chinese using pinyin. However, you should aware that the Chinese pronunciation and spelling of pinyin letters are different from English letters. The sounds, which the letters of pinyin represent, do not correspond exactly to the sounds that the letters of English represent. So you can`t pronounce pinyin as if they were English.

One Chinese sound is associated with one syllable and each Chinese character has its own pinyin syllable.

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There are three parts in a pinyin syllable, which are the Initial, Final and Tone. Initial and final represent the segmental phonetic portion of the language, rather than letter by letter.

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Chinese Pinyin Chart with Audio (click here): https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-pinyin-chart

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