ChineseTones recommend you learn standard Chinese Mandarin first(watching real-life videos and practicing listening and speaking, because it’sbest to learn whole phrases and sentences in context). Meanwhile, you may needsome knowledge of Pinyin, if you are a newbie learner. 1. Summary of Chinese Pinyin Chinese Phonetic Alphabet is the national standard for ChinesePinyin and is also the international standard stipulated by the United Nationsfor spelling Chinese special terms and names of persons and places. Chinese Pinyin is a way of writing Chinese that is easier forforeigners to read. The details will be explained in the following courses. Learning Pinyin is a necessary step for learning Chinese. Ithelps you to master the standard pronunciation of Chinese characters. Aftermastering Pinyin, you will be able to read Chinese books that have Pinyin,learn Chinese characters by looking in the dictionary and thus enter a newworld of Chinese learning. Chinese characters include picture based (pictographic)characters, picture/sound (pictophonetic) characters and combined meaningcharacters. For example, the character "口" is based on a picture of an open mouth, so it is apictographic character. But you only know how to say it by reading Pinyin, inthis case so you can see how important Pinyin is for learning Chinese. 2. Learning Method of Chinese Pinyin When learning Pinyin, you should be aware of certainlimitations: 1. Pinyin does not represent English pronunciation and should not be pronouncedaccording to English conventions. You are advised to learn Pinyin phoneticconventions, bearing in mind that many sounds have no equivalents in English. 2. Since Pinyin is based only on the sounds of Mandarin Chinese, Pinyin isunsuitable for other Chinese spoken dialects, because the sounds do notcorrespond to their speech. Pinyin is a way to represent Chinese characters and express thesounds in the Chinese language using the alphabet. There are other systems toexpress Mandarin, but Pinyin is the most accepted and widely used. Once youlearn Pinyin you will know how to pronounce any word in Mandarin using aChinese dictionary. Pinyin is also the most common way to input Chinesecharacters into a computer
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