East Asia Student

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Mandarin pinyin chart

This pinyin chart displays all the syllables in Mandarin Chinese.

Initials are listed in rows down the left, and finals in columns across the top. Non-existent syllables are left as blank space.

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One of the first things you may notice is the amount of empty space - the number of valid syllables in Mandarin is actually quite limited. This is why tones are so essential; without a way to distinguish so many homophones, the language would be ambiguous to point of being incomprehensible.

The chart is designed to be printed onto A3 size paper (297mm × 420mm), to make a wall-poster. Just giving it a quick look can prompt you to remember some useful pronunciation points.

For example, it’s easy to forget that the pinyin syllable “you” is the same thing as “yiu”. Being aware of these little details helps you to make your pronunciation more consistent and accurate.

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Contact me: mhg@eastasiastudent.net