Mandarin Chinese/Printable version

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Mandarin Chinese

The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Mandarin_Chinese

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


Pinyin

This chapter you will learn:

  • Pinyin
  • Pronouns
  • Numbers 1-99
  1. Consonants
  2. A, O, and E
  3. I and N
  4. Quiz One
  5. U, Ü and NG
  6. Pronouns
  7. Numbers
  8. Quiz Two



Pinyin/Consonants

Lesson[edit | edit source]

In pinyin, there are 23 consonants. Do not be alarmed by this number, many are pronounced as they are in English.

Here is a list.

b p m f
d t n l
g k h
j q x
zh ch sh r
z c s
w y

The pronunciations of all these consonants, except for q, x, zh and c, are similar to those in English.

  • q - ch as in "cheese"
  • x - sh as in "sheet"
  • zh - j as in "jack"
  • c - ts as in "hats"

See, Chinese is easier than people say it is.

In Short...[edit | edit source]

  • 23 consonants
  • b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s w y
  • Most are like English
  • "q" and "x" are "ch" and "sh" respectively
  • "c" is "ts"
  • "zh" is like "jack"



Pinyin/A, O, and E

There are three (3) types of vowels in Chinese- Simple, Compound, Nasal

  • Simple consists of a single vowel
  • Compound is two (2) or more
  • Nasal ends in -n or -ng

This lesson, you will learn three (3) simple finals and one (1) compound final

Simple Finals[edit | edit source]

There are six (6) vowels in Chinese: a, e, i, o, u and ü

Vowel Pronunciation IPA English Example
a ah a father
e uh ʊ bud
o oh o toe

Compound Finals[edit | edit source]

"a" and "o" can combine to form "ao"- how

  • This IS the same sound as in well known, "Ni Hao"

In Short...[edit | edit source]

  • Three types
    • Simple
    • Compound
    • Nasal
  • a is ahh
  • e is uh
  • o is oh
  • ao is ow



Pinyin/I and N

Simple Finals[edit | edit source]

Vowel Pronunciation IPA English Example
i ee* i bee

* After zh, sh, ch z, s, c and r, "i" is pronounced b'''i'''t (ɪ)

Compound Finals[edit | edit source]

i- can begin a final, and in general is pronounced y-. In fact, it is changed as such when it has no initial

Final Pronunciation IPA Example
ai eye eye
ei ey e hey
ia yeah ja German "Ja!"
ie yeh yet

Nasal Finals[edit | edit source]

Final Pronunciation IPA Example
an ahn an Ann
en uhn ʊn won
ian yahn jan No Example
in een in No Example


In Short...[edit | edit source]

  • i is pronounced ee, except after zh, sh, ch, z, s, c and r
  • Here it is bit
  • ai is "eye"
  • ei is hey
  • i- is y-

Guess What! It's... Quiz Time!



Pinyin/U

This lesson you will learn:

  • The letters U and Ü
  • Compound and Nasal finals containing the letter U
  • Tones
  • NG

The Letter U[edit | edit source]

"U" is pronounced "oo".

Compound and Nasal Finals Containing U[edit | edit source]

  • ou- oh
  • iou- yo
  • uo- woah
  • uei- way
  • ua- water
  • uai- why
  • uan- wahn
  • uen- wuhn

Like with "i", "u" become "w" initially.

Tones[edit | edit source]

As many know, Chinese is a tonal language. This means that the way you pronounce a word can change its meaning. For example:
Character Meaning Pinyin Tone
妈妈 Mom Māma Flat
Hemp Rising
Horse Change
To Scold Falling
Question Particle Ma Neutral
  • The flat line means your voice is Higher and Level: āēīōūǖ
  • The falling line means your voice drops, like you are angry: àèìòùǜ
  • The line going down and up means your voice drops and rises again: ǎěǐǒǔǚ
  • The rising line means your voice goes up, like you are asking a question: áéíóúǘ
  • No line means you voice is Lower and Level: aeiouü

Ü is the ONE vowel sound in Chinese but not English. If you know German, yes, it is the same sound, and to those who know French it is a "U". But for the rest of us...

The Letter Ü[edit | edit source]

Pronounce this vowel "ee" but with your lips rounded like you were pronouncing "oo"

Rules About, and Compounds With Ü[edit | edit source]

  • üe- +eh
  • ün- +n
  • üan- +ahn

Like i become y and u becomes w, ü becomes yu. The finals after this rule

Final Without Initial
ü yu
üe yue
ün yun
üan yuan

NG[edit | edit source]

NG acts just like N in a nasal final. And here they are: ang, iang, uang, eng, ing, yong, ong



Pinyin/Pronouns

Your First Words!

This lesson you will learn personal pronoun |- |You (sing.) |() |- |He, him |() |- |She, her |() |- |We, us |我们(Wǒmen) |- |You (pl.) |你们(Nǐmen) |- |They (all boys, or both) |他们(Tāmen) |- |They (all girls) |她们(Tāmen) |}

Samples of the 4 tones

() () () () (ma)

(Being "mother", "hemp", "horse", "scold" and a question particle, respectively.)



Pinyin/Numbers

Ojhhhl |-poppop |1poop |() |- |2 |(Èr) |- |3 |Template:Ruby-bigghggjfkg |- |4 |() |- |5 |() |- |6 |(Liù) |- |7 |() |- |8 |() |- |9 |(Jiǔ) |- |10 |(Shí) |- |11 |十一(Shíyī) |- |12 |十二(Shíèr) |- |13 |十三(Shísān) |- |20 |二十(Èrshí) |- |30 |三十(Sānshí) |- |47 |四十七(Sìshí Qī) |}

When you have finished the lesson...

Congratulations, you have finished Chapter One! Now for a test



Pinyin/Consonants

Lesson[edit | edit source]

In pinyin, there are 23 consonants. Do not be alarmed by this number, many are pronounced as they are in English.

Here is a list.

b p m f
d t n l
g k h
j q x
zh ch sh r
z c s
w y

The pronunciations of all these consonants, except for q, x, zh and c, are similar to those in English.

  • q - ch as in "cheese"
  • x - sh as in "sheet"
  • zh - j as in "jack"
  • c - ts as in "hats"

See, Chinese is easier than people say it is.

In Short...[edit | edit source]

  • 23 consonants
  • b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s w y
  • Most are like English
  • "q" and "x" are "ch" and "sh" respectively
  • "c" is "ts"
  • "zh" is like "jack"



Sentences/Hello

First meet someone[edit | edit source]

"你好" means "Hello", sometimes it can be consider as "Nice to meet you". When first meet someone,Chinese native speakers usually speak in this word and used in most other senses. And 您好 is a more formal way.


Familiar Greetings[edit | edit source]

Generally, people use kinds of words or phrases with features to ask for another when they are in a good relationship, such as "你吃了吗?". Those words are like what was used in English such as "how are you?" and "how is going?"

If you are very close to another[edit | edit source]



Sentences/How are you

This sentence is How are you? It is pronounced as Nǐ hǎo ma



Sentences/He is a student

他是学生[edit | edit source]

is the subject,the word is the Predicate of this sentence, and the word 学生 is the Object. As same as in English, Chinese have also had a basic sentence structure witch contains only one simple subject and a simple predicate.

See this sentence:他晕倒了。

In this sentence, is the subject while the phrase "晕倒了" is the predicate.



Sentences/What is her name

What's her name?[edit | edit source]

In Chinese, this sentence 她叫什么名字? is a basic interrogative sentence.什么 is the word to transfer the interrogative.This sentence can be also written as "她的名字是什么?"

Interrogative[edit | edit source]

In chinese, those words which used in interrogative including 什么, 谁, 哪个, 哪里, and so on.



Sentences/I am 42

This Sentence is I am 42 years old. You pronounce it as Wǒ sìshí'èr suì.



Sentences/Hello

First meet someone[edit | edit source]

"你好" means "Hello", sometimes it can be consider as "Nice to meet you". When first meet someone,Chinese native speakers usually speak in this word and used in most other senses. And 您好 is a more formal way.


Familiar Greetings[edit | edit source]

Generally, people use kinds of words or phrases with features to ask for another when they are in a good relationship, such as "你吃了吗?". Those words are like what was used in English such as "how are you?" and "how is going?"

If you are very close to another[edit | edit source]