Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsNǐhǎo, Zhū lǎoshī. Nǐhǎo. Last lesson, we learned zh, ch, sh, and r.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsr, not re, r. r. OK, very difficult. So, so far, we've learned four of seven. So what are the final three? The next three is z, c, s.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 secondsThese three initials are pronounced slightly further forward in your mouth than zh, ch, sh, r.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsThey require coordination between the tongue tip and the inside of the upper teeth. First, s. That sounds like "s" in the English word student. Yes. s. s. s. It's raining outside. Do you have an umbrella? No, I don't. So you need the Chinese word sǎn, s-an- sǎn.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondssǎn. But what does that mean? Umbrella. sǎn.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsz, your tongue tip should initially touch the inside of the upper teeth. z. z, it kind of sounds like when you get electrocuted by something, z. Yes. z. For example, zǒu, z-ou-zǒu, means to go or to walk. I have an umbrella. You can go with me. Hǎo, wǒmen zǒu.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 secondsc, the airflow here is stronger than z. Ah. And the mouth shape is the same as when you say z. Yes. c. c. For example, cài, c-ai- cài, vegetables. I like vegetables. Wǒ ài chī ròu, nǐ ài chī cài.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsGood. You can speak Chinese now. So how about read these initials one more time? No problem. z, c, s.

Skip to 2 minutes and 33 secondss. s. Yes, z, c, s. Now, let's practice some syllables. S an sān, three. Z anɡ zānɡ, dirty. S e sè, color. Sīchóu, silk.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 secondsHere, sī the same as zhī we learned before. It is a special final used after z, c, s. You also just read the initial and the tone. Here, I'll give you some more examples. Sì, cí.

Skip to 3 minutes and 15 secondsWow. A lot of what we learned today is totally different than it is in English. Well, yes and no. Some sounds exist in both languages, such as s. But some things are totally new for me, such as the pronunciation of [CHINESE].. And some of it's even confusing, like the pronunciation for "c" is different compared to English, which would be /k/. Oh, don't worry. Just practice more. We'll go over these sounds later. See you next time.

Initials Ⅲ-2

Compared to zh, ch, sh, the sound z, c, s are pronounced slightly further forward in your mouth These require coordination between the tongue tip and the inside of the upper teeth.

s, sounds like “s” in the English word “student”. For example, sǎn — umbrella.
z, the tip of your tongue should initially touch the inside of the upper teeth. It almost sounds like when you are electrocuted by something. For example, zǒu — to go or to walk.
c, the airflow is stronger than z and the mouth shape is the same as when you say z. For example, cài — vegetables.

Words for practicing:

  • sān — three,zānɡ — dirty,sè — color,sīchóu — silk
  • , is the same as zhī as we learned before. -i is a special final used after z, c, s. You also just read the initial and the tone.

We have now learned all the initials in Chinese Pinyin. Some of them are quite easy and there may be sounds similarly pronounced in your language, but some are not so similar and may be difficult for you. How do you feel? Which are the most difficult initials for you? Give us some comments!

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Introduction to Chinese: Pronunciation and Tone

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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