In this video, we’ll take a look at the Chinese
alphabet. With learning Mandarin, it’s DEFINITELY the place to start after Chinese tones. I
mean, how else can you learn Chinese sounds so you can begin to speak Chinese without
the overwhelming complexity of Chinese characters as you’re just starting out? The “Chinese alphabet” is commonly known as
PinYin which is a Romanization of the Chinese language. But what does that really mean?
It’s the TAKING of Chinese sounds and putting letters to it, so that we can learn to speak
Chinese. Chinese PinYin has two categories, the initials
(that begin a sound) and the finals (which end the sound). The initials should look pretty
familiar to you and many of them have the same sounds as
in English. And then there are the finals which are the
ending portion of a Chinese sound, but you’ll find these are very different from the sounds
we would normally attribute to these letters. To make learning the Chinese alphabet easy,
I prefer to focus on just these basic sounds and then a few general guidelines on how to
put them together in different combinations. That way, the Chinese alphabet is much easier! If you find you need a more in-depth explanation
on each of these sounds or how to combine them, I’ve put together an easy-to-read book
that I hope will be of benefit to you.