2022-11-21

learning mandarin chinese

subtopics

phonology

  • chinese syllables consist of either an initial sound (声母) or a final sound (韵母) or both, and a tone

    • initials: b c ch d f g h j k l m n p q r s sh t x z zh
    • finals: a ai an ang ao e ei en eng i ia ian iang iao ie in ing iong iu o ong ou u ü ua uai uan üan uang üe ueng ui un ün uo
  • vowels: aoeiuü
  • sound examples

tones

  • can be conceptualized as pitch moving across five levels that divide the natural comfortable voice range
  • 4 tones and neutral

    • 1 flat 5 ā
    • 2 rising 2-5 á
    • 3 deep 2-1-3 ǎ
    • 4 falling 5-2 à
    • 0 quickly/lightly no-pitch-change a
  • pitch changes start with the tonal vowel and end at the end of the word
  • word combining all tones: 三十九岁 sānshíjiǔ suì
  • exceptions not reflected in pinyin

    • when there are two third tones in a row, the first one becomes second tone

    • when 不 (bù) precedes a fourth tone, 不 changes to second tone (bú)

    • character 一 (yī) is first tone when alone, second tone when followed by a fourth tone, and fourth tone when followed by any other tone

sounds

  • pinyin to ipa: a a, ai aɪ, ao aʊ, b p, ch ʈʂʰ, c tsʰ, d t, e ɤ, ei eɪ, en ə, eng ə, er a, er ɚ, f f, g k, h x, -ian ɛ~æ, -ie e, -i i, -i- j, j tɕ, k kʰ, l l, m m, -ng ŋ, n n, -ong ʊ, -ou o, ou oʊ, p pʰ, q tɕʰ, r- ʐ, sh ʂ, s s, t tʰ, -üan ɛ~æ, -üe e, -uo o, -u u, -ü- ɥ, -u- w, -ü y, wo o, wu u, w- w, x ɕ, yan ɛ~æ, ye e, yi i, y- j, yuan ɛ~æ, yue e, yu- ɥ, yu y, zh ʈʂ, z ts
  • ipa to pinyin: a a/er, aɪ ai, aʊ ao, ɕ x, eɪ ei, e ye/-ie/yue/-üe, ə en/eng, ɛ~æ yan/-ian/yuan/-üan, ɚ er, ɤ e, f f, i yi/-i, j y-/-i-, k g, kʰ k, l l, m m, n n, ŋ -ng, oʊ ou, o wo/-uo/-ou, p b, pʰ p, s s, ʂ sh, tɕʰ q, tɕ j, t d, tʰ t, tsʰ c, ts z, ʈʂʰ ch, ʈʂ zh, u wu/-u, ɥ yu-/-ü-, ʊ -ong, w w-/-u-, x h, y yu/-ü, ʐ r-
  • distinguish "j q x zh ch sh r z c s"
  • five sounds of e

script

  • 简体字, simplified characters: officially used since 1950 in the peoples republic of china, malaysia and singapore. 98% of new chinese publications worldwide
  • 繁体字, traditional characters: in common use in hong kong, macau and taiwan, as well as in south korea and japan to a certain extent
  • chinese radicals
  • characters grouped by reading
  • characters grouped by hanzi level
  • differing simplified and traditional radicals: 纟糹 讠訁 钅釒 贝貝 阝阜 马馬 页頁 车車 门門 饣飠 鸟鳥 见見

romanization: 汉语拼音, hànyǔ pīnyīn

  • all characters with diacritics: āáǎàēéěèīíǐìōóǒòūúǔùǖǘǚǜü
  • tones can also be marked with numbers, for example: a1 a2 a3 a4 a
  • apostrophe delimits ambiguous syllable combinations
  • if first vowel is a medial (i, u or ü), the tone mark is on vowel letter immediately following the medial. otherwise the tone mark is on the first vowel letter
  • silent i

    • chi
    • ci
    • ri
    • shi
    • si
    • zhi
    • zi
  • written u but read ü

    • yuan juan quan xuan
    • yue jue que xue
    • yu ju qu xu
    • yun jun qun xun
  • initial/final differences

    • wai uai

    • wang uang

    • wa ua

    • wei ui

    • wen un

    • wo uo

    • wu u

    • ya ia

    • yang iang

    • ye ie

    • yi i

    • yong iong

    • you iu

    • yuan uan

    • yue üe ue

    • yun ün un

    • yu ü u

grammar

vocabulary

data

youtube

other

numerals

  • 零 líng 0
  • 一 yī 1
  • 二 èr 2
  • 三 sān 3
  • 四 sì 4
  • 五 wǔ 5
  • 六 liù 6
  • 七 qī 7
  • 八 bā 8
  • 九 jiǔ 9
  • 十 shí 10
  • 十一 shíyī 11
  • 十九 shíjiǔ 19
  • 二十 èrshí 20
  • 二十一 èrshíyī 21
  • 二十九 èrshíjiǔ 29
  • 九十 jiǔshí 90
  • 二百 èrbǎi 200
  • 二千 èrqiān 2000
  • months: 一月 yīyuè january
  • dates: 2021年10月30日 2021nián10yuè30rì
  • daytime: 一点二分 yīdiǎnèrfēn 1:02
  • ordinals: 第一 dìyī 1st
  • fractions: 三分之二 sānfēnzhīèr 2/3
  • percentages: 百分之二十五 bǎifēnzhīèrshíwǔ 25%
  • decimals: 十六点九八 shíliùdiǎnjiǔbā 16.98
  • negative numbers: 負一 fùyī -1

the 410 common syllables

a ai an ang ao ba bai ban bang bao bei ben beng bi bian biang biao bie bin bing bo bu ca cai can cang cao ce cei cen ceng cha chai chan chang chao che chen cheng chi chong chou chu chua chuai chuan chuang chui chun chuo ci cong cou cu cuan cui cun cuo da dai dan dang dao de dei den deng di dian diao die ding diu dong dou du duan dui dun duo e ei en eng er fa fan fang fei fen feng fo fou fu ga gai gan gang gao ge gei gen geng gong gou gu gua guai guan guang gui gun guo ha hai han hang hao he hei hen heng hong hou hu hua huai huan huang hui hun huo ji jia jian jiang jiao jie jin jing jiong jiu ju juan jue jun ka kai kan kang kao ke kei ken keng kong kou ku kua kuai kuan kuang kui kun kuo la lai lan lang lao le lei leng li lia lian liang liao lie lin ling liu lo long lou lu luan lun luo lü lüe ma mai man mang mao me mei men meng mi mian miao mie min ming miu mo mou mu na nai nan nang nao ne nei nen neng ni nian niang niao nie nin ning niu nong nou nu nuan nuo nü nüe o ou pa pai pan pang pao pei pen peng pi pian piao pie pin ping po pou pu qi qia qian qiang qiao qie qin qing qiong qiu qu quan que qun ran rang rao re ren reng ri rong rou ru rua ruan rui run ruo sa sai san sang sao se sen seng sha shai shan shang shao she shei shen sheng shi shou shu shua shuai shuan shuang shui shun shuo si song sou su suan sui sun suo ta tai tan tang tao te teng ti tian tiao tie ting tong tou tu tuan tui tun tuo wa wai wan wang wei wen weng wo wu xi xia xian xiang xiao xie xin xing xiong xiu xu xuan xue xun ya yan yang yao ye yi yin ying yong you yu yuan yue yun za zai zan zang zao ze zei zen zeng zha zhai zhan zhang zhao zhe zhei zhen zheng zhi zhong zhou zhu zhua zhuai zhuan zhuang zhui zhun zhuo zi zong zou zu zuan zui zun zuo