Chinese Pinyin

Chinese Characters

The written symbols of Mandarin Chinese are pictographs that, for the most part, do not have sounds attached to them, which is why Chinese people in different regions of China read the same characters but speak totally different languages.

For example, look at the picture I’m holding to your right.

The two outside lines represent the banks of a river. The line down the middle represents the flow of water. As a whole, the character represents the word “river.”

Now, that’s all well and good if you want to leave a written message for someone. The problem comes when you want to speak the word “river.” There is no phonetic sound attached to it, so in my village we may call it “river,” but in your village you may call it “bacon,” which makes it rather difficult for us to communicate using spoken words. Never fear, Pinyin is here.

Chinese Pinyin

Chinese Pinyin, the Romanization of Chinese characters, was developed to fix this problem, and it is the best way to learn Chinese pronunciation. Before you can use Chinese pinyin to pronounce Chinese characters, however, you must first learn how to pronounce pinyin.  The most basic, and free, way to do this is to use a Chinese pinyin chart.

Right Click Here and choose “save as” to download our pinyin chart. Or click on the thumbnail below to view the chart in your browser.

The Chinese pinyin chart will help you with your pronunciation to a degree, but the best way to learn Chinese, especially in the beginning, is to get a software or online learning program that includes recordings made by native Chinese speakers. They are inexpensive, easy to use and will help you learn much faster.


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Chinese Pinyin: Video Lesson 1


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linping Chinese Numbers

Chinese Pinyin: Video Lesson 2



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What’s the big deal with Rocket Chinese? Head on over and have a look for yourself!

  • 800,000 satisfied customers!
  • Amazing value–check out these unbelievable prices!
  • Light speed learning. You won’t believe your progress.
  • Motivation Machine. You’ve got to see this to believe it. Snatch up a free trial to check it out for yourself.
  • Learning made easy. You can’t help becoming fluent with this system–no stress, no worries!
  • Blast your confidence into the stratosphere with Rocket Certification.

Chinese Pinyin: Video Lesson 3


Launch Your Learning with Rocket Chinese

YES! I want to try Rocket Chinese for free!





linping Chinese Numbers

Chinese Pinyin: Video Lesson 4


Launch Your Learning with Rocket Chinese

YES! I want to try Rocket Chinese for free!





linping Chinese Numbers

Chinese Pinyin: Video Lesson 5


Chinese Pinyin: Tones

Chinese Pinyin Tone Chart

1. first tone ( ā )

flat, high pitch — more sung instead of spoken

2. second tone ( á )

low to middle, rising — pronounced like the end of a question phrase (Whát?)

3. third tone ( ǎ )

middle to low to high, dipping

4. fourth tone ( à )

high to low, rapidly falling — pronounced like a command (Stop!)




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