How do you say those trending Chinese Internet slang terms as 700 million Mandarin-speaking Internet users do?
Learn some Pinyin!
拼音 [pīn yīn] Pinyin is the official system in mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan for transcribing Standard Chinese with the Latin alphabet. The pronunication of a Chinese character is usually a combination of initials (consonants) and finals (vowels).
These two videos are for auditory learners who want to master Pinyin in 15 minutes.
The pronunciations of “r” and “e” in the following video are a little off (she said “r” correctly in the summary though), but it does not matter too much. The explanation of every consonant and every vowel is great.
The graphics in the following video might traumatize you, but the pronunciations are all spot on and the alphabet song is really helpful.
Last but not least, for those of you who are visual learners, I compiled the following lists with the help of Wikipedia:
Pinyin Pronunciation of Initials:
|b||[p]||spit||unaspirated p, as in spit|
|p||[pʰ]||pay||strongly aspirated p, as in pit|
|m||[m]||may||as in English mummy|
|f||[f]||fair||as in English fun|
|d||[t]||stop||unaspirated t, as in stop|
|t||[tʰ]||take||strongly aspirated t, as in top|
|n||[n]||nay||as in English nit|
|l||[l]||lay||as in English love|
|g||[k]||skill||unaspirated k, as in skill|
|k||[kʰ]||kay||strongly aspirated k, as in kill|
|h||[x]||loch||roughly like the Scots ch. English h as in hay or, more closely in some American dialects, hero is an acceptable approximation. The best way to produce this sound is by very slowly making a “k” sound, pausing at the point where there is just restricted air flowing over the back of your tongue (after the release at the beginning of a “k”)|
|j||[tɕ]||churchyard||No equivalent in English, but similar to an unaspirated “-chy-” sound when said quickly. Like q, but unaspirated. Is similar to the English name of the letter G. Not the s in Asia, despite the common English pronunciation of “Beijing”. The sequence “ji” word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of じ(ジ) ji.|
|q||[tɕʰ]||punch yourself||No equivalent in English. Like punch yourself, with the lips spread wide with ee. Curl the tip of the tongue downwards to stick it at the back of the teeth and strongly aspirate. The sequence “qi” word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of ち(チ) chi.|
|x||[ɕ]||push yourself||No equivalent in English. Like -sh y-, with the lips spread and the tip of your tongue curled downwards and stuck to the back of teeth when you say ee. The sequence “xi” is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of し(シ) shi.|
|zh||[tʂ]||junk||Rather like ch (a sound between choke, joke, true, and drew, tongue tip curled more upwards). Voiced in a toneless syllable.|
|ch||[tʂʰ]||church||as in chin, but with a flat tongue; very similar to nurture in American English, but strongly aspirated.|
|sh||[ʂ]||shirt||as in shoe, but with a flat tongue; very similar to marsh in American English|
|r||[ɻ]||ray||Similar to the English r in reduce, but with a flat tongue and lightly fricated.|
|z||[ts]||reads||unaspirated c, similar to something between suds and cats; as in suds in a toneless syllable|
|c||[tsʰ]||hats||like the English ts in cats, but strongly aspirated, very similar to the Czech, Polish and Slovak c.|
|s||[s]||say||as in sun|
|w||[w]||way||as in water.*|
|y||[j],[ɥ]||yea||as in yes. Before a u, pronounce it with rounded lips.*|
Pinyin Pronunciation of Finals:
|a||as in spa|
|o||as in all|
|e||as in ugh|
|i||as in knee|
|u||as in goo|
|ü||pout as if you were about to whistle, with the tip of your tongue touching the back of your lower teeth.|
|ai||as in guy|
|ao||as in pout|
|an||similar to bun|
|ang||similar to tongue|
|ei||as in hey|
|eng||similar to [əŋ]|
|ia||as in aiya|
|ian||similar to Canadian|
|iang||as in English young|
|ie||similar to yeah|
|in||similar to gin|
|ing||similar to Bing|
|uan||similar to one|
|uang||as in duang|
|uo||similar to quarter|
|ui||similar to wee|
|un||similar to [wən]|
|ün||pout to pronounce ü and then transition to [n].|
|üan||pout to pronounce ü and then transition to [ʌn].|
|üe||pout to pronounce ü and then transition to [ə]|
1. Following c, ch, s, sh, z, zh, and r, i is pronounced like [s] (as in snow).
2. ü is displayed as u following j, q, x, and y.
3. ün, üan, and üe are displayed as un, uan, and ue following j, q, x, and y.
You may search the pronunciation of Internet slang terms via Baidu Dictionary. The latest Internet slang terms are usually not included in the dictionary, so divide the slang term into characters and search one character at a time.