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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Do you remember the initials we learned before? Of course. “b,” “p,” “m,” “f.” Also, now I can address my parents, māma and bàba, mother and father. Wow, cool. Let’s continue to learn some more initials. OK. “d,” “t,” “n,” “l,” “g,” “k,” “h,” “j,” “q,” “x.” Firstly, let’s see “d,” “t,” “n,” “l.” They’re pronounced by the coordination of the tongue tip and the upper gums.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds We add “e” after them when we read “d,” “t,” “n,” “l.” “l” is a little different from the other three. Your tongue touches the gums gently, and the airflow comes out from the two side of your tongue. Now can you read these four initials? No problem. “d,” “t,” “n,” “l.” It’s easy, right? Yes. Now let’s practice some syllables beginning with these initials.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds d-u,dú t-i,tī n-ü,nǚ l-a,là

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds Next, “g,” “k,” “h.” They’re produced with the coordination of the back of the tongue and the soft palate. We also add “e” after them when we read. “g.” The back of your tongue holds against the soft palate. And then your tongue drops suddenly. “g.” “g.” “g.”

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 seconds K. The air flow is stronger than “g.” “k” “k.” “k.”

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 seconds The back of the tongue is close to the soft palate. Leave some space between them to let the airflow rush out. “h” just like “h” in hello. Don’t pronounce it like “ha” oh “he.” “h,” “h.” “h.”

Skip to 2 minutes and 59 seconds Now, can you read this three initials? Of course I can. “g,” “k,” “h.” Good. Can you read these following syllables beginning with these initials? I’ll try. ɡ-e, ɡē; k-a, kǎ; h-e, hē.

Skip to 3 minutes and 25 seconds Lastly, “j,” “q,” “x.” They’re produced with coordination between the tongue surface and the hard palate. We add i after them when we read.

Skip to 3 minutes and 43 seconds “j.” The tongue should touch here, and then a gap is opened to let the air rush out. “j,” “j,” “j.”

Skip to 3 minutes and 59 seconds “q.” Here, the airflow is stronger than “j.” “q” “q,” “q.” “x.” Your tongue surface does not touch the hard pallet. “x,” “x,” “x.”

Skip to 4 minutes and 25 seconds Now let’s read them one more time. j q x.

Skip to 4 minutes and 32 seconds Good. Pay attention. The shape of your mouth, it’s like a smile. j q x.

Skip to 4 minutes and 42 seconds OK, here are some syllables beginning with these initials.

Skip to 4 minutes and 49 seconds j-i-jí q-ü-qù x-i-xǐ.

Skip to 5 minutes and 0 seconds It should be noted that j q x can only be combined with i ü and compound finals beginning with i ü.

Skip to 5 minutes and 14 seconds For convenience, we drop the two dots off “ü” when it has written after j q x but still read “ü.” Please read. ju, qu, xu.

Skip to 5 minutes and 36 seconds Now let’s have a review of what we learned in this video. d t n l ɡ k h j q x.

Skip to 5 minutes and 53 seconds Can I try? Sure. Go ahead. OK. d t n l ɡ k h j q x.

Skip to 6 minutes and 8 seconds That’s wonderful. You made great progress. Now use what you learned to practice more. Thanks. I will. See you next time. Bye-bye.

Initials Ⅱ

Let’s continue to learn some more initials:d t n l g k h j q x.

“d t n l” are pronounced by the coordination of the tongue tip and the upper gums. We add the sound “e” after them when we read d t n l. “l” is a little different from the other three. Your tongue touches the gums gently and the airflow comes out from two sides of your tongue.

Syllables beginning with d t n l:

  • dú——to read
  • tī——to kick
  • nǚ——female
  • là——spicy

“g k h” are produced with the coordination of the back of the tongue and the soft palate. We also add “e” after them when we read.

g, the back of your tongue holds against the soft palate, and then your tongue drops suddenly. k, the airflow is stronger than “g”. h, the back of the tongue is close to the soft palate, leave some space between them to let the airflow rush out . “h” just like ‘h’ in ‘hello’.

Syllables beginning with g k h:

  • gē——elder brother
  • kǎ——card
  • hē——to drink

“j q x” are produced with the coordination of the tongue surface and hard palate. The shape of your mouth is like a smile. We add “i” after them when we read. j , the tongue should touch the upper jaw,and then a gap is opened to let the air rush out . q , the air flow is stronger than j. x, your tongue surface does not touch the hard palate.

Syllables beginning with j q x:

  • jí——anxious
  • qù——to go
  • xǐ——to wash

It should be noted that j q x can only be combined with i ü and compound finals beginning with i ü. For convenience, we drop the two dots of ü when it is written after j q x but still read ü: j—ü—jū, q—ü—qū, x—ü—xū. Click to listen

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Introduction to Chinese: Pronunciation and Tone

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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