Difference between revisions of "The "ch" "sh" and "zh" sounds"

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These are the famous "retroflex" sounds of Mandarin Chinese. You may have heard that to make these sounds, you have to "curl your tongue back into your mouth." You may have visions of the tip of your tongue pointing way into the back of your throat, your tongue horribly contorted. It's really not all that crazy. You just need to pull your tongue a bit further into the back of your mouth to pronounce these sounds properly, but you won't need to do any insane contortions.
 
These are the famous "retroflex" sounds of Mandarin Chinese. You may have heard that to make these sounds, you have to "curl your tongue back into your mouth." You may have visions of the tip of your tongue pointing way into the back of your throat, your tongue horribly contorted. It's really not all that crazy. You just need to pull your tongue a bit further into the back of your mouth to pronounce these sounds properly, but you won't need to do any insane contortions.
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=== ch- ===
 +
[[File:AllSet-PronWiki-ch-diagram.jpg|200px|thumb|right|Ch-Diagram]]
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* [[ch-]] is very similar to the English "ch" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
 +
* [[chi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"chee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[chi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"chirp"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[chi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "chrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
  
* [[ch-]] is very similar to the English "ch" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
+
=== sh- ===
 +
[[File:AllSet-PronWiki-sh-diagram.jpg|200px|thumb|right|Sh-Diagram]]
 
* [[sh-]] is very similar to the English "sh" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
 
* [[sh-]] is very similar to the English "sh" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
 +
* [[shi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"shee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[shi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"shirt"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[shi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "shrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
 +
 +
=== zh- ===
 +
[[File:AllSet-PronWiki-zh-diagram.jpg|200px|thumb|right|Zh-Diagram]]
 
* [[zh-]] is very similar to the English "j" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
 
* [[zh-]] is very similar to the English "j" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
* [[chi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"chee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[chi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"chirp"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[chi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "chrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
 
* [[shi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"shee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[shi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"shirt"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[shi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "shrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
 
 
* [[zhi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"gee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[zhi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"jerk"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[zhi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "zhrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
 
* [[zhi]] is not pronounced like <span class="enpron">"gee"</span>, this is an alternate [[-i]] sound pretty similar to the [[zi]], [[ci]], [[si]] vowel sounds you learned before. To make the [[zhi]] sound, try to pronounce the English word <span class="enpron">"jerk"</span>, but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The [[zhi]] sound has also been described as sounding like "zhrrrrr" (which ryhmes with <span class="enpron">"brrrrr"</span>, the sound you make when you're cold).
  
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This is just a part of the full [[pinyin chart]], limited to the sounds we've covered so far.
 
This is just a part of the full [[pinyin chart]], limited to the sounds we've covered so far.
  
{{#widget: Pinyin chart settings}}
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{{#widget: Pinyin chart
<div class="pinyin-table-audio-container"></div>
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| exclude_col_v
<div class="table-container"><table class="pinyin-table medium" id="pinyin-table">
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| exclude_row_null
<tr><!--  TABLE HEADERS  -->
+
| exclude_row_bpmf
<th class="first-row first-col"></th>
+
| exclude_row_dtnl
<th title="Click to expand" class="col-a col-placeholder first-row"><strong>-a-</strong></th>
+
| exclude_row_jqx
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-a" id="-a"><strong>-a</strong></th>
+
| exclude_row_zcs
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-a" id="-ai"><strong>-ai</strong></th>
+
| exclude_row_gkh
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-a" id="-ao"><strong>-ao</strong></th>
+
}}
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-a" id="-an"><strong>-an</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-a" id="-ang"><strong>-ang</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to expand" class="col-e col-placeholder first-row"><strong>-e-</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-e" id="-e"><strong>-e</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-e" id="-ei"><strong>-ei</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-e" id="-en"><strong>-en</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-e" id="-eng"><strong>-eng</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-e" id="-er"><strong>-er</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to expand" class="col-o col-placeholder first-row"><strong>-o-</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-o" id="-o"><strong>-o</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-o" id="-ou"><strong>-ou</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-o" id="-ong"><strong>-ong</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to expand" class="col-i col-placeholder first-row"><strong>-i-</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-i"><strong>-i</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-i*"><strong>-i*</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-ia"><strong>-ia</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-iao"><strong>-iao</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-ie"><strong>-ie</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-iou"><strong>-iou</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-ian"><strong>-ian</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-iang"><strong>-iang</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-in"><strong>-in</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-ing"><strong>-ing</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-i" id="-iong"><strong>-iong</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to expand" class="col-u col-placeholder first-row"><strong>-u-</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-u"><strong>-u</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-ua"><strong>-ua</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uai"><strong>-uai</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uei"><strong>-uei</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uo"><strong>-uo</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uan"><strong>-uan</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uang"><strong>-uang</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-uen"><strong>-uen</strong></th>
 
<th title="Click to collapse" class="first-row col-u" id="-ueng"><strong>-ueng</strong></th>
 
<th class="first-row last-col"></th>
 
</tr>
 
 
 
 
 
<tr><!--  ZH- ROW  -->
 
<th class="row-zhchshr first-col" id="zh-"><strong>zh-</strong></th>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="zha"><div class="table-pinyin">zha</div><div class="table-link">[[zha]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">cha</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="zhai"><div class="table-pinyin">zhai</div><div class="table-link">[[zhai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂaɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="zhao"><div class="table-pinyin">zhao</div><div class="table-link">[[zhao]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂɑʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄠ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chao</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="zhan"><div class="table-pinyin">zhan</div><div class="table-link">[[zhan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂan]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chan</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="zhang"><div class="table-pinyin">zhang</div><div class="table-link">[[zhang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="zhe"><div class="table-pinyin">zhe</div><div class="table-link">[[zhe]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂɯ̯ʌ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄜ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">che</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="zhei"><div class="table-pinyin">zhei</div><div class="table-link">[[zhei]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂeɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄟ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chei</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="zhen"><div class="table-pinyin">zhen</div><div class="table-link">[[zhen]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chen</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="zheng"><div class="table-pinyin">zheng</div><div class="table-link">[[zheng]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂəŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄥ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">cheng</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o" id="zhou"><div class="table-pinyin">zhou</div><div class="table-link">[[zhou]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂɤʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄡ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chou</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o" id="zhong"><div class="table-pinyin">zhong</div><div class="table-link">[[zhong]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʊŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄥ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chung</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i" id="zhi"><div class="table-pinyin">zhi</div><div class="table-link">[[zhi]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʅ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chih</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhu"><div class="table-pinyin">zhu</div><div class="table-link">[[zhu]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chu</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhua"><div class="table-pinyin">zhua</div><div class="table-link">[[zhua]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯ɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chua</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhuai"><div class="table-pinyin">zhuai</div><div class="table-link">[[zhuai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯aɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chuai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhui"><div class="table-pinyin">zhui</div><div class="table-link">[[zhui]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯eɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄟ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chui</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhuo"><div class="table-pinyin">zhuo</div><div class="table-link">[[zhuo]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯ɔ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄛ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">cho</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhuan"><div class="table-pinyin">zhuan</div><div class="table-link">[[zhuan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯an]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chuan</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhuang"><div class="table-pinyin">zhuang</div><div class="table-link">[[zhuang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂ̯u̯ɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chuang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="zhun"><div class="table-pinyin">zhun</div><div class="table-link">[[zhun]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂu̯ən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄓㄨㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">chun</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u"></td>
 
<th class="row-zhchshr last-col" id="zh-"><strong>zh-</strong></th>
 
</tr>
 
 
 
<tr><!--  CH- ROW  -->
 
<th class="row-zhchshr first-col" id="ch-"><strong>ch-</strong></th>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="cha"><div class="table-pinyin">cha</div><div class="table-link">[[cha]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'a</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="chai"><div class="table-pinyin">chai</div><div class="table-link">[[chai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰaɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="chao"><div class="table-pinyin">chao</div><div class="table-link">[[chao]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰɑʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄠ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ao</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="chan"><div class="table-pinyin">chan</div><div class="table-link">[[chan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰan]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'an</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="chang"><div class="table-pinyin">chang</div><div class="table-link">[[chang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="che"><div class="table-pinyin">che</div><div class="table-link">[[che]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰɯ̯ʌ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄜ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'e</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="chen"><div class="table-pinyin">chen</div><div class="table-link">[[chen]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'en</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="cheng"><div class="table-pinyin">cheng</div><div class="table-link">[[cheng]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰəŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄥ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'eng</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o" id="chou"><div class="table-pinyin">chou</div><div class="table-link">[[chou]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰɤʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄡ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ou</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o" id="chong"><div class="table-pinyin">chong</div><div class="table-link">[[chong]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰʊŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄥ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ung</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i" id="chi"><div class="table-pinyin">chi</div><div class="table-link">[[chi]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰʅ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ih</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chu"><div class="table-pinyin">chu</div><div class="table-link">[[chu]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'u</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chua"><div class="table-pinyin">chua</div><div class="table-link">[[chua]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯ɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ua</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chuai"><div class="table-pinyin">chuai</div><div class="table-link">[[chuai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯aɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'uai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chui"><div class="table-pinyin">chui</div><div class="table-link">[[chui]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯eɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄟ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'ui</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chuo"><div class="table-pinyin">chuo</div><div class="table-link">[[chuo]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯ɔ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄛ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'o</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chuan"><div class="table-pinyin">chuan</div><div class="table-link">[[chuan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯an]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'uan</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chuang"><div class="table-pinyin">chuang</div><div class="table-link">[[chuang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯ɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'uang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="chun"><div class="table-pinyin">chun</div><div class="table-link">[[chun]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[tʂʰu̯ən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄔㄨㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">ch'un</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-v"></td>
 
<th class="row-zhchshr last-col" id="ch-"><strong>ch-</strong></th>
 
</tr>
 
 
 
<tr><!--  SH- ROW  -->
 
<th class="row-zhchshr first-col" id="sh-"><strong>sh-</strong></th>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="sha"><div class="table-pinyin">sha</div><div class="table-link">[[sha]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">sha</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="shai"><div class="table-pinyin">shai</div><div class="table-link">[[shai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂaɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="shao"><div class="table-pinyin">shao</div><div class="table-link">[[shao]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂɑʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄠ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shao</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="shan"><div class="table-pinyin">shan</div><div class="table-link">[[shan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂan]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shan</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-a" id="shang"><div class="table-pinyin">shang</div><div class="table-link">[[shang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="she"><div class="table-pinyin">she</div><div class="table-link">[[she]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂɯ̯ʌ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄜ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">she</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="shei"><div class="table-pinyin">shei</div><div class="table-link">[[shei]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂeɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄟ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shei</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="shen"><div class="table-pinyin">shen</div><div class="table-link">[[shen]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shen</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e" id="sheng"><div class="table-pinyin">sheng</div><div class="table-link">[[sheng]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂəŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄥ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">sheng</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-e"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o" id="shou"><div class="table-pinyin">shou</div><div class="table-link">[[shou]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂɤʊ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄡ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shou</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-o"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i" id="shi"><div class="table-pinyin">shi</div><div class="table-link">[[shi]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂʅ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shih</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-i"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u col-placeholder"></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shu"><div class="table-pinyin">shu</div><div class="table-link">[[shu]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shu</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shua"><div class="table-pinyin">shua</div><div class="table-link">[[shua]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯ɑ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄚ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shua</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shuai"><div class="table-pinyin">shuai</div><div class="table-link">[[shuai]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯aɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄞ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shuai</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shui"><div class="table-pinyin">shui</div><div class="table-link">[[shui]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯eɪ̯]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄟ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shui</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shuo"><div class="table-pinyin">shuo</div><div class="table-link">[[shuo]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯ɔ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄛ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">sho</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shuan"><div class="table-pinyin">shuan</div><div class="table-link">[[shuan]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯an]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄢ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shuan</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shuang"><div class="table-pinyin">shuang</div><div class="table-link">[[shuang]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯ɑŋ]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄤ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shuang</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u" id="shun"><div class="table-pinyin">shun</div><div class="table-link">[[shun]]</div><div class="table-ipa">[ʂu̯ən]</div><div class="table-zhuyin">ㄕㄨㄣ</div><div class="table-wade-giles">shun</div></td>
 
<td class="row-zhchshr col-u"></td>
 
<th class="row-zhchshr last-col" id="sh-"><strong>sh-</strong></th>
 
</tr>
 
</table></div>
 
 
 
{{#widget: Pinyin chart scripts}}
 
  
 
Keep going! The exciting [[the "r" sound|"r" sound]] is next.
 
Keep going! The exciting [[the "r" sound|"r" sound]] is next.

Latest revision as of 07:19, 25 May 2016

The sounds represented by "ch-," "sh-," and "zh-" in pinyin are all very similar sounds in Chinese. They're meant to be grouped together, and they should be learned together. The good news is that these sounds are not too different from the English "ch", "sh", and "j" sounds (note that "zh-" sounds like the English "j" sound; the pinyin "j-" sound is totally different beast, to be introduced later).

Pinyin's "ch", "sh", and "zh" Sounds

These are the famous "retroflex" sounds of Mandarin Chinese. You may have heard that to make these sounds, you have to "curl your tongue back into your mouth." You may have visions of the tip of your tongue pointing way into the back of your throat, your tongue horribly contorted. It's really not all that crazy. You just need to pull your tongue a bit further into the back of your mouth to pronounce these sounds properly, but you won't need to do any insane contortions.

ch-

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Ch-Diagram
  • ch- is very similar to the English "ch" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
  • chi is not pronounced like "chee", this is an alternate -i sound pretty similar to the zi, ci, si vowel sounds you learned before. To make the chi sound, try to pronounce the English word "chirp", but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The chi sound has also been described as sounding like "chrrrrr" (which ryhmes with "brrrrr", the sound you make when you're cold).

sh-

Sh-Diagram
  • sh- is very similar to the English "sh" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
  • shi is not pronounced like "shee", this is an alternate -i sound pretty similar to the zi, ci, si vowel sounds you learned before. To make the shi sound, try to pronounce the English word "shirt", but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The shi sound has also been described as sounding like "shrrrrr" (which ryhmes with "brrrrr", the sound you make when you're cold).

zh-

Zh-Diagram
  • zh- is very similar to the English "j" sound, except that in Mandarin Chinese the tongue position is a bit further back.
  • zhi is not pronounced like "gee", this is an alternate -i sound pretty similar to the zi, ci, si vowel sounds you learned before. To make the zhi sound, try to pronounce the English word "jerk", but STOP right as you get to the "r" sound. The zhi sound has also been described as sounding like "zhrrrrr" (which ryhmes with "brrrrr", the sound you make when you're cold).

Pinyin Chart Fragment

This is just a part of the full pinyin chart, limited to the sounds we've covered so far.

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-a- -a -ai -ao -an -ang -e- -e -ei -en -eng -er -o- -o -ou -ong -i- -i -i* -ia -iao -ie -iou -ian -iang -in -ing -iong -u- -u -ua -uai -uei -uo -uan -uang -uen -ueng -ü-
zh-
zha
[tʂɑ]
ㄓㄚ
cha
zhai
[tʂaɪ̯]
ㄓㄞ
chai
zhao
[tʂɑʊ̯]
ㄓㄠ
chao
zhan
[tʂan]
ㄓㄢ
chan
zhang
[tʂɑŋ]
ㄓㄤ
chang
zhe
[tʂɯ̯ʌ]
ㄓㄜ
che
zhei
[tʂeɪ̯]
ㄓㄟ
chei
zhen
[tʂən]
ㄓㄣ
chen
zheng
[tʂəŋ]
ㄓㄥ
cheng
zhou
[tʂɤʊ̯]
ㄓㄡ
chou
zhong
[tʂʊŋ]
ㄓㄨㄥ
chung
zhi
[tʂʅ]
chih
zhu
[tʂu]
ㄓㄨ
chu
zhua
[tʂu̯ɑ]
ㄓㄨㄚ
chua
zhuai
[tʂu̯aɪ̯]
ㄓㄨㄞ
chuai
zhui
[tʂu̯eɪ̯]
ㄓㄨㄟ
chui
zhuo
[tʂu̯ɔ]
ㄓㄨㄛ
cho
zhuan
[tʂu̯an]
ㄓㄨㄢ
chuan
zhuang
[tʂ̯u̯ɑŋ]
ㄓㄨㄤ
chuang
zhun
[tʂu̯ən]
ㄓㄨㄣ
chun
zh-
ch-
cha
[tʂʰɑ]
ㄔㄚ
ch'a
chai
[tʂʰaɪ̯]
ㄔㄞ
ch'ai
chao
[tʂʰɑʊ̯]
ㄔㄠ
ch'ao
chan
[tʂʰan]
ㄔㄢ
ch'an
chang
[tʂʰɑŋ]
ㄔㄤ
ch'ang
che
[tʂʰɯ̯ʌ]
ㄔㄜ
ch'e
chen
[tʂʰən]
ㄔㄣ
ch'en
cheng
[tʂʰəŋ]
ㄔㄥ
ch'eng
chou
[tʂʰɤʊ̯]
ㄔㄡ
ch'ou
chong
[tʂʰʊŋ]
ㄔㄨㄥ
ch'ung
chi
[tʂʰʅ]
ch'ih
chu
[tʂʰu]
ㄔㄨ
ch'u
chua
[tʂʰu̯ɑ]
ㄔㄨㄚ
ch'ua
chuai
[tʂʰu̯aɪ̯]
ㄔㄨㄞ
ch'uai
chui
[tʂʰu̯eɪ̯]
ㄔㄨㄟ
ch'ui
chuo
[tʂʰu̯ɔ]
ㄔㄨㄛ
ch'o
chuan
[tʂʰu̯an]
ㄔㄨㄢ
ch'uan
chuang
[tʂʰu̯ɑŋ]
ㄔㄨㄤ
ch'uang
chun
[tʂʰu̯ən]
ㄔㄨㄣ
ch'un
ch-
sh-
sha
[ʂɑ]
ㄕㄚ
sha
shai
[ʂaɪ̯]
ㄕㄞ
shai
shao
[ʂɑʊ̯]
ㄕㄠ
shao
shan
[ʂan]
ㄕㄢ
shan
shang
[ʂɑŋ]
ㄕㄤ
shang
she
[ʂɯ̯ʌ]
ㄕㄜ
she
shei
[ʂeɪ̯]
ㄕㄟ
shei
shen
[ʂən]
ㄕㄣ
shen
sheng
[ʂəŋ]
ㄕㄥ
sheng
shou
[ʂɤʊ̯]
ㄕㄡ
shou
shi
[ʂʅ]
shih
shu
[ʂu]
ㄕㄨ
shu
shua
[ʂu̯ɑ]
ㄕㄨㄚ
shua
shuai
[ʂu̯aɪ̯]
ㄕㄨㄞ
shuai
shui
[ʂu̯eɪ̯]
ㄕㄨㄟ
shui
shuo
[ʂu̯ɔ]
ㄕㄨㄛ
sho
shuan
[ʂu̯an]
ㄕㄨㄢ
shuan
shuang
[ʂu̯ɑŋ]
ㄕㄨㄤ
shuang
shun
[ʂu̯ən]
ㄕㄨㄣ
shun
sh-
r-
rao
[ʐɑʊ̯]
ㄖㄠ
jao
ran
[ʐan]
ㄖㄢ
jan
rang
[ʐɑŋ]
ㄖㄤ
jang
re
[ʐɯ̯ʌ]
ㄖㄜ
je
ren
[ʐən]
ㄖㄣ
jen
reng
[ʐəŋ]
ㄖㄥ
jeng
rou
[ʐɤʊ̯]
ㄖㄡ
jou
rong
[ʐʊŋ]
ㄖㄨㄥ
jung
ri
[ʐʅ]
jih
ru
[ʐu]
ㄖㄨ
ju
rua
[ʐu̯ɑ]
ㄖㄨㄚ
jua
rui
[ʐu̯eɪ̯]
ㄖㄨㄟ
jui
ruo
[ʐu̯ɔ]
ㄖㄨㄛ
jo
ruan
[ʐu̯an]
ㄖㄨㄢ
juan
run
[ʐu̯ən]
ㄖㄨㄣ
jun
r-
-a- -a -ai -ao -an -ang -e- -e -ei -en -eng -er -o- -o -ou -ong -i- -i -i* -ia -iao -ie -iou -ian -iang -in -ing -iong -u- -u -ua -uai -uei -uo -uan -uang -uen -ueng -ü-

Keep going! The exciting "r" sound is next.

Sources and further reading