Lesson 3: Chinese Phonetic Scheme
The most popular spoken form of Chinese is the Modern Standard Chinese also called Mandarin or Putonghua (普通话). This spoken form is also being used in both China and Taiwan.
The Chinese syllables are usually composed of two parts; the initial (beginning consonant) and the final (the rest of the syllable).
The initial is a consonant. The final may be form by one vowel (simple final, eg e), two to three vowels (compound final, eg ou) or a vowel followed by a nasal ending (nasal final, eg eng).
There are altogether 21 initials and 36 finals in modern mandarin Chinese.
List of syllabic initials in mandarin Chinese:
b p m f
d t n l
g k h
j q x
zh ch sh r
z c s
List of syllabic finals in mandarin Chinese:
a o e i u ü er
ai ei ao ou
an en ang eng ong
ia ie iao iou
ian in iang ing iong
ua uo uai uei
uan uen uang ueng
üe üan ün
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