Chinese is very different from other languages that use alphabet because the written form is not directly linked to its pronunciation. In order to provide a phonetic way to express the sounds of Chinese and also for using dictionaries, Chinese linguists with the help of Soviet sinologists drafted the “Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet”. In 1958, Chinese government passed the law to use this scheme, today known as pinyin or literary, “arranged sounds”.
Pinyin uses the Latin alphabet to transcribe Chinese characters. Nowadays, most people who study Mandarin Chinese, start learning the language from pinyin, it’s compulsory in Chinese schools and basically, every Chinese in Mainland China starts learning pinyin from kindergarten (5-6 y.o.). However, the old generation of Chinese (born before 1958) and those who live in Taiwan, may not necessarily know how to write in pinyin.
We use pinyin in our lessons as well, all lesson transcripts and worksheets include pinyin along with Chinese characters and English translations.
Below you can see all possible combinations of sounds that exist in Mandarin Chinese in alphabetical order, in our lessons you will learn how to pronounce them.
A: a, ai, an, ang, ao
B: ba, bai, ban, bang, bao, bei, ben, beng, bi, bian, biao, bie, bin, bing, bo, bu
C: ca, cai, can, cang, cao, ce, cen, ceng, cha, chai, chan, chang, chao, che, chen, cheng, chi, chong, chou, chu, chuai, chuan, chuang, chui, chun, chuo, ci, cong, cou, cu, cuan, cui, cun, cuo
D: da, dai, dan, dang, dao, de, dei, deng, di, dian, diao, die, ding, diu, dong, dou, du, duan, dui, dun, duo
E: e, ei, en, er
F: fa, fan, fang, fei, fen, feng, fo, fou, fu
G: ga, gai, gan, gang, gao, ge, gei, gen, geng, gong, gou, gu, gua, guai, guan, guang, gui, gun, guo
H: ha, hai, han, hang, hao, he, hei, hen, heng, nhg, hong, hou, hu, hua, huai, huan, huang, hui, hun, huo
J: ji, jia, jian, jiang, jiao, jie, jin, jing, jiong, jiu, ju, juan, jue, jun
K: ka, kai, kan, kang, kao, ke, ken, keng, kong, kou, ku, kua, kuai, kuan, kuang, kui, kun, kuo
L: la, lai, lan, lang, lao, le, lei, leng, li, lia, lian, liang, liao, lie, lin, ling, liu, long, lou, lu, lv, luan, lue, lun, luo
M: ma, mai, man, mang, mao, me, mei, men, meng, mi, mian, miao, mie, min, ming, miu, mo, mou, mu
N: na, nai, nan, nang, nao, ne, nei, nen, neng, ng, ni, nian, niang, niao, nie, nin, ning, niu, nong, nu, nv, nuan, nue, nuo
O: o, ou
P: pa, pai, pan, pang, pao, pei, pen, peng, pi, pian, piao, pie, pin, ping, po, pou, pu
Q: qi, qia, qian, qiang, qiao, qie, qin, qing, qiong, qiu, qu, quan, que, qun
R: ran, rang, rao, re, ren, reng, ri, rong, rou, ru, ruan, rui, run, ruo
S: sa, sai, san, sang, sao, se, sen, seng, sha, shai, shan, shang, shao, she, shei, shen, sheng, shi, shou, shu, shua, shuai, shuan, shuang, shui, shun, shuo, si, song, sou, su, suan, sui, sun, suo
T: ta, tai, tan, tang, tao, te, teng, ti, tian, tiao, tie, ting, tong, tou, tu, tuan, tui, tun, tuo
W: wa, wai, wan, wang, wei, wen, weng, wo, wu
X: xi, xia, xian, xiang, xiao, xie, xin, xing, xiong, xiu, xu, xuan, xue, xun
Y: ya, yan, yang, yao, ye, yi, yin, ying, yong, you, yu, yuan, yue, yun
Z: za, zai, zan, zang, zao, ze, zei, zen, zeng, zha, zhai, zhan, zhang, zhao, zhe, zhei, zhen, zheng, zhi, zhong, zhou, zhu, zhua, zhuai, zhuan, zhuang, zhui, zhun, zhuo, zi, zong, zou, zu, zuan, zui, zun, zuo