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What is hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音)?

When I first started to seriously check out Mandarin Chinese e.g. reading the Basic Mandarin Chinese (English and Chinese Edition), I thought that pin yin was just a phonetic way of transcribing the sounds of Chinese.

Actually, hànyǔ pīnyīn (汉语拼音) is a language system on its own because it has an “alphabet” and rules!

I am flabbergasted and once again, humbled by the intricacies behind the Chinese language.

Last spring, my kid came back each week reciting and writing a set of sounds and letters each week, repeating them again and again and again.

Besides that, he could even tell me the rules to some of these sounds i.e. not all sounds combine with each other.

I have been too busy with cooking and housework that I have not been paying attention to his Chinese lessons. That’s bad especially since I really want him to learn Chinese.

From now on, I will blog about our Chinese lessons. Ready to (seriously) learn Chinese?

First of all, Mandarin has 23 initial consonants called shēng mǔ (声母), which are easiest to remember when clustered in the following way:

b p m f
d t n l
g k h
j q x
zh ch sh r
z c s
y w

Ready for more? 😀