Vocabulary and phonetics of lesson 3

Learn Chinese: phonetic and vocabulary

: she. Sounds like "he" but the character is different. The t is an aspirated consonant. It must be pronounced by expelling a little blast of air to make a little explosion.

xìng : to be called (using surname). The x is pronounced with the top middle part of the tongue :

jiào : to be called (using first name or last name and first name). The j is pronounced as 'dz' but with the top middle part of the tongue:

shénme : what?

míngzì : first name. After the z, the i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant :

shéi : who?

xiānsheng : sir. The x is pronounced as an 's' but with the top middle part of the tongue. ian is pronounced like English "yen":

xuéshēng : student (different from tóngxué which means "classmate").

xiǎojiě : Miss, young lady

shì : to be. After s, sh, c, ch, z, r, the i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant :

rènshi : to know, to be acquainted with. The sound r is pronounced with the tongue vibrating in the curled back position.

de : structural particle (see the grammar)

gāoxìng : to be happy

xiǎomíng : a first name, literally "little light"

wáng : a family name / king (cannot be used alone, the word for 'king' is guówáng).

: a family name / plum (cannot be used alone, the word for 'plum' is lǐzi).

Note on tones: when 2 lower tones follow each other, the first syllable becomes a rising tone :
- nǐhǎo is actually pronounced níhǎo
- xiǎojiě is actually pronounced xiáojiě

This change only occurs in the spoken language, not in writing.

Last modified: Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 9:40 AM