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Main » Files » Chinese Pronunciation

How to Pronounce Chinese Characters
2012-01-31, 9:28 AM
There is a large and very diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. Standard mandarin is the official spoke language in Mainland China and Taiwan. In English, phonetic alphabet symbol provides the way how to spell the words. In Chinese, pinyin, a system of Roman alphabet, is used to express the sounds of characters.
For example, the character 车 means vehicle. Chē is pinyin for the character 车, while [`vi:ikl] is phonetic alphabet symbol for vehicle. ChineseEnglish
Pronunciationchē or che1[`vi:ikl]
Pinying Tone Chart


There are four tones represented in pinyin by marks above the words. The tone of a Chinese symbol indictaes how the pitch of the speaker's voice changes as the character is said.
The diagram to the right shows the pitch changes of the four tones on a five-bar scale going from lowest (1), to highest (5), while the four tone marks are:
First toneˉhigh level
Second toneˊmiddle rising
Third toneˇlow dipping
Fourth toneˋhigh fallin

There is also a neutral tone which is unstressed and usually goes unmarked. Pinyin with toneSimplified Chinese Character English meaningName of tone
mā妈Mother  1st tone
má麻 To bother  2nd tone
mǎ马 Horse  3rd tone
mà骂 To blame  4th tone
ma吗 Grammatical marker used in a question.Neutral

» Tip

As it is hard to type mark above pinyin in computer, 1, 2, 3, 4 is commonly used to represent 1st tone, 2nd tone, 3rd tone and 4th tone separately. For example, mā is written as ma1
Category: Chinese Pronunciation | Added by: GlobalChinese
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