Tag Archive | Chinese alphabet

Moving from Tones to PinYin


You’ve been introduced to the four tones, but it will be up to you to practice as much as possible so you can master these tones!  Of course, you can expect to sound pretty strange at first as you are learning to speak them and will probably make many mistakes as you begin.  But the important point is to keep going!

As you continue on your journey to learn the language, you’ll find that soon the tones will become like second nature.  As you learn new characters, words, and phrases, you’ll find you always need to concentrate on the tones, but once memorized and practiced, you be surprised at how easily they come!  (Eventually, the tone–and the word it goes with–becomes ingrained in your mind so much so that it’s difficult to separate the two).

You’ve uncovered the basics of tones and are now up to challenge of beginning to learn PinYin which are the spoken sounds of the language.  Some like to think of it as the Chinese alphabet or phonetics, but it’s not exactly either.

See the next post to find out more about PinYin…

Chinese Alphabet


Video of the Chinese Alphabet

If you’re interested in learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese, then a great way to start is to learn the Chinese alphabet.  Of course, knowing Chinese tones FIRST really helps, but this will give you a general overview of what it’s like to get acquainted with the Chinese alphabet.

Take a moment to watch this video on the Chinese alphabet and learn a little more about the two categories of sounds:

  • Chinese Initials
  • Chinese Finals

The Chinese Alphabet: So What?

With these two categories of sounds, you’ll be able to read anything in Chinese PinYin.  That means that you can look at any text that has Chinese characters as well as PinYin and be able to read it!  It’s like putting on training wheels so that you can navigate anywhere in the Chinese language.

Of course, some day you’ll want to take off those training wheels and actually be able to read characters without the Chinese PinYin written below it.  But, until that time, the Chinese alphabet is a great help in learning Chinese!