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China is a fascinating land full of variety. That includes all kinds of different accents!  +
Although you probably know the three main tone change rules, there are a few more obscure ones that more advanced learners may want to tackle.  +
Not all sounds in Mandarin are hard! This part covers "p", "m", "f", "d", "t", "n", "l", "s", "g", "k", "h".  +
This is the "Beijinger R sound" that gives Mandarin Chinese its pirate flavor!  +
There are four main tones in Mandarin Chinese. Your quest to master them starts here!  +
Some background information about pinyin for absolute beginners. HINT: pinyin was not created as a pronunciation guide for foreigners!  +
Whether you think of it as "the fifth tone," or "the zeroth tone," it's a little tonal trick you'll need to know.  +
Learn all the sounds and individual syllables that make up all the words in Mandarin Chinese.  +
There are certain seemingly inconsistent things about pinyin that trip everybody up at first. Here they all are, together in one convenient list.  +
Capitalization, apostrophes, punctuation... all good to know!  +
What happens when a word has a certain pinyin reading in the dictionary, but is often pronounced differently by native speakers? It ends up on this list!  +
You won't find these in our chart, but if you're an intermediate learner, it's time to let you in on the little secret of these syllables' existence.  +
The vowel "a" in Mandarin isn't too hard, so let's start with that one. Now you can make actual syllables!  +
The letters "c" and "z" in pinyin can totally throw you off at first, but the sounds they make are not too difficult for most learners.  +
These similar sounds shouldn't be too hard for speakers of English, but it's important to pay close attention to the vowel sounds that they combine with.  +
The letter "e" in pinyin can represent several different vowel sounds, and it's important to learn them all.  +
In pinyin, "i" makes more than just one sound. Be sure to learn in what syllables it sounds different.  +
The "j", "q", and "x" sounds are all foreign to speakers of English, but absolutely essential to master for good Chinese pronunciation.  +
The "o" and "u" vowels in Chinese aren't quite as straightforward as one might hope, and the two get confused a bit, so it's useful to learn them together.  +
This is probably an "r" sound unlike any you've ever made before. It doesn't exist in English, but it can be learned!  +
Not the same as "u", the "ü" sound might be familiar if you speak French or German, but it doesn't exist in English.  +
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.  +
For example: 不是 (bú shì), 不对 (bú duì), 不要 (bú yào)  +
For example: 一个 (yígè), 一样 (yíyàng), 一起 (yìqǐ)  +
For example: 法语也有语法  +
For example: 你好 (níhǎo), 很好 (hén hǎo), 可以 (kéyǐ)  +
For example: 舒服 (shūfu), 清楚 (qīngchu), 知识 (zhīshi)  +
For example: 今天 (jīntiān), 星期 (xīngqī), 咖啡 (kāfēi)  +
For example: 突然 (tūrán), 加油 (jiāyóu), 空调 (kōngtiáo)  +
For example: 多少 (duōshǎo), 喝酒 (hējiǔ), 机场 (jīchǎng)  +
For example: 因为 (yīnwèi), 说话 (shuōhuà), 工作 (gōngzuò)  +
For example: 便宜 (piányi), 麻烦 (máfan)  +
For example: 昨天 (zuótiān), 明天 (míngtiān), 回家 (huíjiā)  +
For example: 平时 (píngshí), 流行 (liúxíng), 无聊 (wúliáo)  +
For example: 如果 (rúguǒ), 苹果 (píngguǒ), 朋友 (péngyǒu)  +
For example: 还是 (háishì), 然后 (ránhòu), 不错 (bùcuò)  +
For example: 走吧 (zǒu ba), 跑啊 (pǎo a), 买了 (mǎi le)  +
For example: 已经 (yǐjīng), 喜欢 (xǐhuan), 手机 (shǒujī)  +
For example: 很忙 (hěn máng), 以前 (yǐqián), 有名 (yǒumíng)  +
For example: 你好 (nǐhǎo), 很好 (hěn hǎo), 有点 (yǒudiǎn)  +
For example: 以后 (yǐhòu), 早饭 (zǎofàn), 好看 (hǎokàn)  +
For example: 去吧 (qù ba), 到了 (dào le), 漂亮 (piàoliang)  +
For example: 上班 (shàngbān), 蛋糕 (dàngāo), 一些 (yīxiē)  +
For example: 上学 (shàngxué), 问题 (wèntí), 去年 (qùnián)  +
For example: 一起 (yīqǐ), 下雨 (xiàyǔ), 电脑 (diànnǎo)  +
For example: 现在 (xiànzài), 重要 (zhòngyào), 电话 (diànhuà)  +
It's not enough to know the tones; you need to PRACTICE them in each combination, until it becomes second nature.  +
Certain sounds and sound combinations STILL need extra attention.  +
Certain sounds and sound combinations need extra attention.  +
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.  +
The Mandarin "e" sound, although not entirely alien to English speakers, does take some practice to get right consistently.  +
Even at the intermediate level, most learners benefit from extra practice of the Mandarin "e" sound.  +
The "ou" and "-uo" vowel sounds aren't difficult, but they're easy to mix up.  +
If you still occasionally get your "ou" and "-uo" vowel sounds mixed up, then it's time to master them.  +
The key here is knowing when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel and when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel.  +
The key here is knowing when you're dealing with the "ü" vowel, since the two dots are not always written.  +
Sometimes the "-un" sound can still trip people up, even at the intermediate level.  +
Those two dots make a difference, but sometimes they're "stealth."  +
Intermediate learners should no longer be deceived by the "stealth ü" vowel, but often still need practice with it.  +
Not all learners struggle with them, but the c- and z- initials can be tricky for some.  +
The r- initial is an all-new sound for English-speakers, and it definitely requires practice.  +
English-speakers needs dedicate practice to master the r- initial sound.  +
Although the sounds themselves aren't too bad, the way they're combined can be difficult.  +
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.  +
Hopefully the x-, q-, and -j initials are less foreign foreign now, But they undoubtedly still need practice!  +

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