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Your practical, free, comprehensive online resource for Chinese pronunciation, tones, and pinyin. 598 pages and growing!

Truly mastering Chinese pronunciation takes some time. Follow our three level, two-track approach (pinyin and tones) to effectively acquire all of the difficult sounds of Mandarin Chinese.

Beginners, start here!

Learn that PINYIN! Learn those 4 TONES!

As a beginner, your top priorities should be:

  1. Learning all of the sounds represented by pinyin (chart)
  2. Getting familiar with the four tones

Elementary learners, this is what you need


As an elementary learner, you should know your pinyin and four tones pretty well. Now your priorities should be:

  1. Focus on perfecting the tough sounds of Mandarin
  2. Master the three basic tone change rules

"Intermediate" doesn't mean perfect tones...

Those TOUGH SOUNDS aren't going to learn themselves! Only 20 TONE PAIRS!

OK, so you know pinyin and you know the tones pretty well. But are you really good at all touch sound combinations and all tone pair combinations? Time to focus on:

  1. Difficult tough sound combinations
  2. All 20 tone pairs

Practice Your Tone Pairs Here!

(There is lots more video on our tone pairs pages)

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Why Do Native Speakers Pronounce Stuff Wrong??

There are quite a few words in modern Mandarin with multiple pronunciations floating around. Usually there is one "standard" pronunciation (in the dictionary), but in many cases that's the one no one really ever says! If you're a fairly advanced student (B1+), you'll want to check out our list of pronunciation variants.

About AllSet Learning

AllSet Learning is a Shanghai-based learning consultancy dedicated to helping foreigners better learn Mandarin Chinese. This wiki is maintained by John Pasden and the rest of the team at AllSet Learning. While many of the company's services are only available to clients physically in Shanghai, this wiki is open to the public through a Creative Commons license.

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All content on this wiki © AllSet Learning, and may not be reproduced without attributions or used for commercial purposes.