Facts About Chinese Pronunciation and Pinyin Infographic
All the dry facts about Chinese pronunciation put together in one visually engaging infographic.
A number of blog posts will elaborate on it in more details. Stay tuned, and enjoy this masterpiece in the meanwhile.
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Transcript of this infographic
Facts About Chinese Pronunciation In Plain English
3 Reasons For Learning Pronunciation First
- Have the most solid foundation for your Chinese learning
- Instant Payback. Be understood from day 1
- No need for unlearning bad pronunciation at a later time
3 vs 4 Pronunciation. The Easy And The Hard
- Pronunciation systematized in pinyin makes it learnable
- Just 30 basic sounds to learn
- Only 9 tongue positions for consonant sounds
- Distinction between similar sounds
- 4 tones add a new dimension for most foreigners
- 3 sounds of tonguesplitting
- 4 sounds of tonguefolding
There is a Chinese word for these 4 sounds, which translates: Roll Tongue Sound.
For that reason, many Chinese actually think these sounds are made by rolling up your tongue like a springroll and almost swallow it. Don't choke!
3 vs 3 Pinyin. The Easy And The Hard
- No need to learn strange phonetic symbols
- Pinyin fluency* can be achieved quickly. *) However without proper training only non-Chinese will understand.
- Masterable. A comparison with English.
Pinyin: 28, English: 44
Number of Syllables:
Pinyin: 400+, English: 12.000+
- Learn ABC again
- The fake 'I'
- 'Ü' the treacherous
5 common misconceptions
Due to the tones singing in Chinese is impossible
Tones are relatively ignored in songs (context makes up for it)
Pinyin is just like pidgin but for Chinese
Pinyin is a phonetic system. Not a compromised version of Chinese
J is pronounced exactly as in Jeep
This myth is an oversimplification. It is one of many quick but incorrect explanations of how to read pinyin. Use the Standard Mandarin software to learn it right.
CHI and CHE is the same thing.
Yes to the untrained foreign ear they may sound alike (but they are not)
Accidentally using a wrong tone will almost definitely cause a misunderstanding
In most cases it is a matter of being understood or not. Only rarely will context allow for a misunderstanding
Why Bother Learn Correct Pronunciation?
Weightier than anything
The Chinese prefer to understand the little you can say, rather than a foreigner babbling away with lots of odd sounds.
(Grammar, Vocabulary and Idioms vs Pronunciation)
Correct Pronunciation Will Get You Tons of Praise
The Chinese happily praise proper pronunciation. See below what that will do for you.
Put yourself at the center of: Cycle of Praise
- Receive Praise. Who wouldn't feel great with all that praise? It's deserved of course!
- Joy Boost. Your joy in learning Chinese is boosted
- Motivation. Your joy boost instantly turns into motivation
- Study On. Being greatly motivated, you just can't help studying on.
Become a Pinyin-Superhero
Free Chinese learning material
- Learn pinyin
- Lots of Chinese phrases
- And much more