Pronunciation
Chinese Pronunciation
声母Initials
普通话语音共有二十一个声母,声母是音节开头的辅音。
The phonetic symbols of putonghua comprises 21 initials that are consonants beginning a syllable.

韵母Finals
现代汉语普通话的语音共有三十九个韵母,韵母是由元音或元音加鼻辅音构成的,可分为三类。
  (1)只包含一个元音的是单韵母,如a,o.
  (2)包含两三个元音的是复韵母,如ai,ua,iao.
  (3)包含一两个元音和一个鼻音韵尾的是鼻韵母,如an,üan,eng,iong.
The phonetic symbols of Putonghua (Standard Chinese) in Modern Chinese comprises 39 finals that are composed of vowel or vowel followed by nasal consonants. These finals fall into three categories:
  (1) simple finals which have only a single vowel, e.g.: a, o
  (2) multi-finals which have two or three vowels, e.g.: ai, ua, iao, iou
  (3) nasal finals which consist of one or two vowels and a nasal consonant e.g.: an, üan, eng, iong

音节Syllables
汉语里大多数音节是由声母、韵母和声调三部分构成的。少数音节只有韵母和声调,没有声母。普通话的章节共有一千二百多个。
Most Syllables in Chinese are composed of initials, finals and tones. A small number of syllables, however,have only finals and tones, but not initials, eg. There are as many as 1200 syllables in putonghua.

声调Tones
汉语是有声调的语言。普通话语音有四个基本声调,可分别用符号表示如下。
Chinese is a tonal language. There are four basic tones in putonghua as shown by the following tone marks.
(1)第一声 The first tone高平调,用声调符号“-”表示,如mē。
The High and level Tone shown by "-", eg.mē
(2)第二声 The second tone 升调,用声调符号“ˊ” 表示,如mé。
The Rising Tone shown by"ˊ" eg.mé
(3)第三声 The third tone 降升调,用声调符号“ˇ”表示,如mě。
The Falling-and-Rising Tone shown by "ˇ" eg.mě
(4)第四声 The fourth tone 降调,用声调符号“ˋ”表示,如mè。
The Falling Tone shown by "ˋ" eg.mè
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