Pinyin Lesson 5 – Initials: j q x

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Chinese Pinyin Initials: j q x

Today in our Pinyin video lesson, we will talk about the three Chinese Pinyin Initials j q x. This group might need some extra attention than other groups. Let’s watch this video, practice and tackle all of them one by one.



  • Chinese Pinyin Initials
    • j
    • q
    • x


Chinese Pinyin Initials: j q x

Chines Initials jq x are called “Palatals”. This means in order to pronounce them you need to involve your hard palate, which is the roof of your mouth.





Pinyin Spelling Rules with j q x

j q x cannot be put before "u" to make syllables, but they can be put before "ü". When j q x are used before "ü", we don't write the two dots of "ü", and write "u" instead.

j - (ü) -> ju

q - (ü) -> qu

x - (ü) -> xu

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martin007Premium Student September 12, 2023 at 4:28 pm

Coming from German, these initials are a little bit harder than the previous ones, but the explanations help a lot and I think I get it right now. The “x” sound seems to be just like the the German “ch” in the word “München” (Munich) or “lachen” (to laugh) and also “j” and “q” exist in German and are like “dsch” and “tsch”. Congratulations on these great lessons! Your explanations with the position of the tongue are really great.

abumajedPremium Student August 26, 2023 at 11:38 am

هلا والله بالنشامى

Jerome BriggsPremium Student October 15, 2022 at 2:08 pm

The lesson is kind of hard and easy. I think I almost memorized this lesson.

Barbara FilgatePremium Student September 19, 2022 at 11:14 am

Oh, so the tongue placement for j and q is somewhat similar to the placement for ㅈand ㅊin Korean! Thank you for such clear explanations. I was waiting for that.

Paul ChoPremium Student July 16, 2022 at 7:07 am

the explanation of qu tongue movement was very helpful.

Josh DuhonPremium Student March 14, 2022 at 9:07 pm

it really helps

hesterPremium Student August 1, 2021 at 9:48 am
Natalia MaturanaPremium Student August 18, 2020 at 3:02 pm

oh I like so much this course but here it is difficult for me to differenciate between q and x

cathy brownPremium Student November 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

I was just coming down to the comments section to write exactly the same thing. i could really use some helpful tips here on how to hear the difference between the two.

edmundkarnerPremium Student December 26, 2020 at 1:48 pm

It seems like it’s the difference between a ch- sound and a sh- sound.

Nelson OrozcoPremium Student April 13, 2020 at 3:37 am

I really enjoyed your description for the difference between Ji Qi and Xi. I have struggled with this. I had friends try to teach me but your explanation made it easier for me. Thank you.

I’m really glad that the video helped!

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