Bad Habits = Bad Accents
Chinese pronunciation is notoriously difficult. You've probably heard the horror stories about non-native speakers trying to speak Mandarin and getting nothing but blank stares (or worse yet, awkward laughs!) in response from native Chinese speakers. No language learner should suffer through that!
The problem though is that most online Chinese learning programs fail to help students build a solid foundation in pinyin and tones, both of which are key to fluent Chinese pronunciation. As a result, many learners pick up bad habits that can take years to undo or end up with an accent that native speakers have trouble understanding.
In this post I'll explain how you can build that solid foundation in pinyin and tones, setting yourself up for success in learning spoken Chinese! I also recommend this great video from Grace Mandarin Chinese that can help you master Chinese tones!
What is 'Pinyin' Anyway?
If you didn't know already, pinyin - 拼音 (pīn yīn) - is the most commonly used alternative system for writing or typing Chinese. Instead of Chinese characters, pinyin uses letters from the Latin alphabet, which is much easier and convenient for Chinese language learners.
See how I just showed you the pronunciation of the two characters for 'pinyin' there in parentheses? This shows that "pīn yīn" is how you would use pinyin to spell out (i.e. write or type) the Chinese word "拼音." Another example would be "nǐ hǎo" for the Chinese word 你好.
Learning Pinyin the Right Way
But don't be fooled!
While pinyin may look like English, pinyin is NOT English! In fact, one of those bad habits I mentioned earlier is pronouncing pinyin as if it were English, thereby developing bad pronunciation habits. But don't worry, we'll make sure that doesn't happen to you!
The truth is that if you really want to master Mandarin Chinese pronunciation and actually be understood by native speakers, it's absolutely essential that you master pinyin - and not just the 'easy' sounds, but the 'hard' ones too.
In each lesson, your new Chinese teacher - Yangyang - will go in-depth into every possible pinyin sound, tone, and tone pair combination with clear explanations, helpful insights, and familiar real-world examples. You couldn't ask for a better head start to learning how to really speak Chinese!
What's even better is that each of our pinyin lessons comes with dual-audio Flashcards, downloadable Lecture Notes, and a 10-question Quiz so you can drill the details and make sure they'll really stick using a total of 450 review exercises.
The Yoyo Chinese VIDEO & Audio Pinyin Chart
Not only did we make dozens of free video lessons to help you learn Chinese pronunciation, we also created the web's best Interactive Video & Audio Pinyin Chart so you can easily find and practice any possible Chinese sound combination while you learn!
If you're anything like our thousands of Yoyo Chinese students, our Pinyin Chart will become your favorite tool for practicing Chinese pronunciation - so keep the link handy!
Videos for the Win!
If you search around online, you're likely to come across quite a few different pinyin charts. While most have quite a bit of useful information and sometimes even audio, the Yoyo Chinese Video & Audio Pinyin Chart is special in that also includes VIDEOS that explain and demonstrate how to pronounce 93 sounds that might be tricky for you!
How to Use the Yoyo Chinese Video & Audio Pinyin Chart
In the video below we go over how you can use the Yoyo Chinese Video & Audio Pinyin Chart to help you practice, and even master, Chinese pronunciation - both pinyin and tones!
Pinyin Chart PDF Download
We hope these free lessons and resources give you everything you need to launch your Chinese learning today!
Want more learning resources?
Want to learn more Chinese?