A2 pronunciation points

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"A2" (Elementary) is the second level, as defined by the European Common Framework, which is used on this Chinese Pronunciation Wiki. It is roughly equivalent to HSK Level 2. For more information on the levels used here, see the Pronunciation Points by Level page. There are 17 total pronunciation points in the list below.


Level Pronunciation Point Summary
A2 Tough sounds (basic) Certain sounds and sound combinations need extra attention.
1. Tough sounds c-s-z- Not all learners struggle with them, but the c- and z- initials can be tricky for some.
2. Tough sounds s-sh-, c-ch-, z-zh- Although the sounds themselves aren't too bad, the way they're combined can be difficult.
3. Tough sounds x-sh-, q-ch-, j-zh- The x-, q-, and -j initials are new and foreign. When mixed with the sh-, ch-, and zh- initials, the results can be downright brutal.
4. Tough sounds r- The r- initial is an all-new sound for English-speakers, and it definitely requires practice.
5. Tough sounds -an-ang The -an and -ang finals aren't too bad by themselves, but how they're pronounced can vary a bit depending on what comes before them.
6. Tough sounds -e The Mandarin "e" sound, although not entirely alien to English speakers, does take some practice to get right consistently.
7. Tough sounds -ou-uo The "ou" and "-uo" vowel sounds aren't difficult, but they're easy to mix up.
8. Tough sounds -ü-u Those two dots make a difference, but sometimes they're "stealth."
9. Tough sounds -un The key here is knowing when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel, since the two dots are not always written.
10. Tough sounds -uan The key here is knowing when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel and when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel.
A2 Pinyin spelling rules Capitalization, apostrophes, punctuation... all good to know!
A2 Erhua This is the "Beijinger R sound" that gives Mandarin Chinese its pirate flavor!


Level Pronunciation Point Summary
A2 Tone change rules If you know all 4 tones (plus the neutral tone), then it's time to learn the three big rules about when these tones regularly change.
1. Tone changes for third tones For example: 你好 (níhǎo), 很好 (hén hǎo), 可以 (kéyǐ)
2. Tone changes for "bu" For example: 不是 (bú shì), 不对 (bú duì), 不要 (bú yào)
3. Tone changes for "yi" For example: 一个 (yígè), 一样 (yíyàng), 一起 (yìqǐ)