Say It Right Series

    Pinyin Program

    Mixed

    When you're learning Chinese, good pronunciation is essential. Pinyin is a Romanization system that allows you to express the sounds of Chinese characters using letters. Learning pinyin makes it easy to type in Chinese, and to look up Chinese characters in a dictionary. In the Pinyin Program, Jenny and John explain the pitfalls and tricky details of pinyin.

    Introduction to Pinyin The Pinyin Program

    What in the world is pinyin? In this illuminating series, the ChinesePod team will help you to master the Chinese phonetic system. Whether you're just starting to learn Mandarin, or trying to improve your pronunciation, this series is sure to be a big help. Listen to this program and follow along with the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide and Pinyin Chart, and bring your Chinese to a new level of excellence! For links to the legacy software for Mac and Windows click here

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    Pinyin Sections 1-2 The Pinyin Program

    In this episode, Jenny and John cover Section 1 and Section 2 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide, covering not every single blessed syllable, but rather just the "problem syllables" -- like dang and tang -- the ones we know can give beginners trouble. If you're a newbie learner still struggling with pinyin, be sure to tune in and clear up any remaining confusion! (And if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Sections 3-4 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 3 and Section 4 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode, tackling "problem syllables" like cai and zai. These tips are especially for the newbie learner coming to grips with pinyin. Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!

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    Pinyin Section 4: R The Pinyin Program

    You may have noticed that when we covered Section 4 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide last time, we left out a row. That pesky 'r' sound! This episode take on that challenging initial in a newbie-friendly way. (If you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Sections 5-6 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 5 and Section 6 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode, tackling such challenging bits as ze and ren. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners coming to grips with pinyin. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Sections 7-8 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 7 and Section 8 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce challenging sounds like hai and niao. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners as they tackle the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Section 9 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 9 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. Here, you'll learn about sounds like zi and shi. These lessons are especially useful for newbie Mandarin learners who are just starting to learn the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Section 10 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John cover Section 10 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce challenging sounds like qia and xiang. These pinyin lessons are especially useful for newbie learners. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Sections 11-12 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 11 and Section 12 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce challenging sounds like zuan and weng. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners as they tackle the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Sections 13-14 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 13 and Section 14 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce the delightful shuan and ruan sounds. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners as they tackle the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Section 15 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 15 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce the devilishly difficult ü sound. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners as they tackle the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin Section 16 The Pinyin Program

    Jenny and John move on to Section 16 of the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide in this episode. They introduce such wonderful sounds as yu and xuan. These lessons are especially useful for newbie learners as they tackle the pinyin system. (Also, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to download the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart!)

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    Pinyin The Final R Sound The Pinyin Program

    Having covered every section in the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide and ChinesePod Pinyin Chart, you might have thought this series had come to an end. But no, in this supplementary lesson John and Jenny sail into uncharted pirate-infested territory, discussing er-hua, the final R sound you hear in Mandarin.

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    The First Tone Newbie

    The alpha, the genesis, dongxi numero uno. All the other tones wish they were this high, but without the other tones, we wouldn't know how supreme the first tone actually is. That's the existential truth of tonal relativity. The first tone in history to get its very own podcast, and the only tone that's phonetically represented by its Chinese character--learn about it in this lesson.

    Tags: tones, language


    The Second Tone Newbie

    Of all the tones, the second tone is the most exciting. It's a rising tone. Don't get too charged up though, we don't want to turn it in to a fourth tone just yet, we want to make this last. Listen to this podcast and learn all about the second tone of Mandarin Chinese as it ascends to its rousing climax. Just try not to wake the neighbors.

    Tags: tones, language


    The Third Tone Newbie

    The third tone is basically the middle child of the Mandarin line-up. It gets abused like a red-headed step child. Sometimes it's third, sometimes it gets ridden roughshod by second tone, and sometimes it straps a fourth tone on for good times. Third tone suffers from low self-esteem and is still trying to find its true self. Listen to this podcast and give the third tone the love it missed out on as a child.

    Tags: tones, language


    The Fourth Tone Newbie

    Here we arrive at the last stage in the rise and fall of the four tones of Mandarin Chinese, and poor fourth is a bit of an enigma. Due to his angry tone of voice and overbearing sharpness, some find it hard to get to know him. In this podcast, we peel back the layers and help fourth tone make peace with his inner child. He's not mad, just misunderstood.

    Tags: tones, language


    The Neutral Tone Newbie

    Oft over looked due to its timid tone and quiet presence, this Mandarin Chinese tone is anything but passive. In this podcast, we visit the sometimes forgotten and difficult to define tone that makes love, not war... impartially takes no sides and conscientiously objects to raising its voice. Its only flaw is perhaps a slight tendency toward wimpiness, but hey it'll never get in your face... the neutral tone.

    Tags: tones, language


    Tone Change Rule: Yi '一' Elementary

    Have the Chinese tones been giving you headaches? In today's handy Chinese lesson, you'll learn the ups and downs of the first tone. Learn how to transition between the first tone and all the rest in this useful Mandarin podcast.

    Tags: speech, pronunciation, first tone, tones


    Tone Rule: Changes for 'bu' Elementary

    While the writer attempts to interject occasional humor into these intros, he knows there's nothing funny about the word ‘bu’, especially when you factor in the rules involved. Sorry, you don't know the rules? Oh, you'll thank us for this podcast that takes away the mystery of the changeable ‘bu’ in Mandarin Chinese, then.

    Tags: tones


    Tone Rule: Two Third Tones Elementary

    “It’s not what you said; it’s the tone in which you said it!” By now, you’ll know the importance (and occasional frustration) of the tones in Mandarin Chinese, but even the best find themselves in a pickle when 2 third tones in a row causes a tone change… Confused? Good thing we decided to make a lesson out of it. Listen to this podcast to become the Chinese tone master you always dreamed of being.

    Tags: pronunciation, tones