Pinyin Introduction – Pinyin Alphabet Guide

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Chinese Pinyin Pronunciation

A Pinyin Alphabet Guide on Mandarin Pinyin System, Hanyu Pinyin Syllables and Chinese Pinyin Letters

Thanks for joining ChineseFor.Us Chinese Pinyin Alphabet Guide. This is an introduction video about the complete Chinese Pinyin pronunciation. You will get an idea about the whole Mandarin Pinyin System. We will be talking about all Chinese Pinyin Letters, and the structure of Hanyu Pinyin Syllables. What’s more, we will learn the Chinese Pinyin pronunciation of all Initials and Finals in the Chinese Pinyin Alphabet. But of course, in other lessons of this course, we will try to put them into different groups and practice with more detailed pronunciation tips and drills!



  • Chinese Pinyin Alphabet
  • Pinyin Initials
  • "Zero" Initials
  • Pinyin Finals
    • Simple Finals
    • Compound Finals
    • Nasal Finals
  • Pinyin Syllables
  • Pinyin Letters


Chinese Pinyin System

Pinyin was introduced in 1958, it uses a Roman alphabet to transcribe the Mandarin Chinese pronunciations. Pinyin Syllables helps us learn and memorize the pronunciation of Chinese Characters.

If we know how to spell and type Pinyin, we’ll be able to pronounce and type out every Chinese Character.


Chinese Pinyin Syllable

A Chinese Pinyin Syllable can have three parts, Initial + Final + Tone. But sometimes, there can be no Initial (Chinese Syllables with Zero-Initials), or no Tone (Chinese Syllables with the Neutral Tone). But there is definitely a Final.


Chinese Pinyin  Alphabet Guide

There are 21 Chinese Initials, and 36 Chinese Finals in the Chinese Pinyin Alphabet. The Finals can then be divided in to 3 groups: Simple Finals; Compound Finals; and Nasal Finals.


21 Chinese Initials

Initials are Consonants, and an Initial always goes at the very beginning of the Syllable, if there is one.























36 Chinese Finals

Finals are mostly vowels, or stars with a vowel. In a Chinese Pinyin Syllable, the Final goes at the very end. There are 6 Chinese Simple Finals, 13 Chinese Compound Finals, 16 Chinese Nasal Finals, and 1 Chinese Special Pinyin Final.


6 Chinese Simple Finals







13 Chinese Compound Finals

iu [iou]
ui [uei]

16 Chinese Nasal Finals



1 Chinese Special Pinyin Final:


Collapse Comments
martin007Premium Student July 9, 2023 at 12:39 pm

This course is really fantastic. It is thorough and the explanations are elaborate and very clear. Thank you for this great learning material.

Reece HansenGuest March 1, 2023 at 5:56 pm

Guys im black and i Love this

Sophie toppingsGuest March 1, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Me lern chinese from this websight and i LUVE IT! Thank yew so muhch it mens alot to me

iv been lerning chinez for a whial now thanks for helpyng me lern it

When I was learning Mandarin in the 80’s I was attending the Gwo yu er bau school in Taipei, learning Bo Po Mo Fo, which I now understand to be Pinyin. We were learning how to write these characters. Am I correct in thinking that Pinyin is what is used for texting? Like a shortcut/easier method of writing characters?? I left Taiwan before I was able to write, and was quite conversational after 4 years there— but coming back to the U S and not have Mandarin spoken constantly around me, or on the TV and radio, I lost so much of my ability to speak this beautiful language. Back then there was no YouTube etc. we had to attend classes whether formal or private lessons. Your site here and your YouTube channel are amazing!!!

MiyaPremium Student August 9, 2022 at 5:13 pm

Your explanation of pinyin is impressive, my teacher could never get through to me.

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team August 10, 2022 at 4:33 am

Thank you so much for liking our Pinyin lessons! We’re so glad that you find them helpful!

Justen SimsPremium Student August 6, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Last row of Pinyin initials difficult for me to pronounce and discern. Ive also been practicing for 3 days and realized this was prerequisite, which makes sense and helps a lot!

gpPremium Student June 5, 2022 at 8:51 am

I take back my previous comment, the following lessons in this drill lessons do a great job teaching the pronunciations for everything

gpPremium Student June 5, 2022 at 8:33 am

adding sound pronunciations for the 13 Chinese Compound Finalsand 16 Chinese Nasal Finals would have been helpful

Gordon SmithPremium Student February 28, 2022 at 9:52 pm

I’m new to Pinyin, but I enjoy taking on new language challenges. I’ve read some comments by others who are new, and for those who find memorizing hard, it helps tremendously to make a point of “taking it in small pieces” and focus intently for 30-minutes-only. Take a break, and come back. Gradually, your mind will start soaking it up. Give it an honest try.

Camille NewmanGuest May 15, 2021 at 6:45 pm

so cute

seems easy to read and understand but hard to memorize but I know I can do this…. fighitng

hola Lily soy Marco Aguillon estoy aprendiendo el idioma y espero aprenderlo. gracias por tu tiempo. Cuidate.

kyla5107Premium Student December 14, 2020 at 10:55 am

I think if you would go through all the pin yin course lessons, you’ll be able to differentiate the sound between zh, ch, and ü. When I watched them, I now get the difference of each of them.

Israel MelendezPremium Student September 10, 2020 at 2:01 pm

How can I learn these efficiently?

Henrry BarbozaPremium Student September 20, 2021 at 12:43 am

Repetition, record yourself and see what errors you can fix. That is my opinion and how I am seeing improvements in my pronunciation.


nforstenPremium Student June 24, 2020 at 9:27 am

I am also just learning, but I think I might be able to explain the difference.
ch – has no vocal tone mixed (sound like child, chat)
zh – is ch sound with some vocal tone mixed in (sounds like geranium, gymnastics)
This is similar to how the r sound is the sh sound with some vocal tone mixed in, if that makes sense? Another example from English is the difference between V and F sound.
I think the other tones you’re having trouble with have similar issue – the difference is in whether or not there is some vocal tone mixed in.
I hope this helps, and someone else feel free to correct me if I’m giving poor advice. Thank you.

c sounds close (but not exactly) like the ts in words like ‘cats’ while the s sounds more like the English s.

hailePremium Student April 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Hi, s sounds closer to the end sound of “x” in English whereas c does not contain this sound. I hope this helps 🙂

Rush3112Premium Student September 9, 2019 at 12:57 am

where I can download Pinyin Chart from your Website?

Odair Da silvaPremium Student August 23, 2019 at 3:17 pm

holly guacamole this is hard one lol

chinesevvalPremium Student July 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm

hello i learned 300 HSK words but i have never studied pinyin before. That’s why i am here haha.

Keisha BaileyPremium Student July 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm

Do i need to fully learn these sounds before I can move on to the next lesson?

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