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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Chinese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn 5 Chinese consonants.
z, c, zh, ch, yu-
These consonant sounds do not appear in English, so they'll likely be new to you.
Be sure to practice them because these are the unique sounds that learners often get wrong!
Are you ready? Then let's get started!
The first consonant is...
z
早餐 zǎocān
自己 zìjǐ "oneself"
走吧 zǒu ba "Let's go."
This consonant sound is like a combination of a T and an S sound.
It starts off as a t sound, but ends with an s sound.
Here's a great tip. You can produce this sound by saying the word 'pizza'.
So one useful trick is to bounce off of the ending when trying to pronounce this consonant sound.
Additionally, this is an unaspirated sound, so don't blow out a puff of air. Otherwise, you'd be making another sound!
t͡s, t͡s (slowly)
t͡s, t͡s (slowly)
The next consonant is...
c
菜 cài "dish/vegetable"
餐馆 cānguǎn "restaurant"
厕所 cèsuǒ "bathroom"
This sound is identical to the previous one, however the difference is that it's the aspirated counterpart. Meaning, you want to release a burst of air.
Here's a great tip. You can produce this sound by saying the word 'cats'. 
Listen to how Yinru says it to hear the difference.
t͡sʰ, t͡sʰ (slowly)
t͡sʰ, t͡sʰ (slowly)
The next consonant is...
zh
中文 Zhōngwén
重要 zhòngyào "important"
作者 zuózhě "author"
(Voiceless retroflex affricate) Do you remember the overexaggerated SH-sound from the last lesson?
Well this is a combination of a T-sound and an overexaggerated Sh-sound. Be careful though, because you still want to roll your tongue upwards into the R position.
Make sure your tongue is curled upwards so that it touches just behind the gumridge, and then release quickly.
This sound is unaspirated, so you don't want to blow out a puff of air.
ʈ͡ʂ, ʈ͡ʂ, (slowly)
ʈ͡ʂ, ʈ͡ʂ, (slowly)
The next consonant is...
ch
出发 chūfā "to depart"
长城 Chángchéng "the Great Wall"
好吃 hǎochī "yum"
This sound is identical to the previous one, however the difference is that it's the aspirated counterpart. Meaning, you want to release a burst of air.
Listen to how Yinru pronounces it.
ʈ͡ʂʰ, ʈ͡ʂʰ (slowly)
ʈ͡ʂʰ, ʈ͡ʂʰ (slowly)
And lastly, the final sound occurs when Y and U are paired together.
yu-
月 yuè
远 yuǎn (far)
云 yún (cloud)
This is like a y sound but with rounded lips.
Try saying the English word 'you' while rounding your lips.
If that doesn't work, try rounding your lips first, and then saying 'you'.
ɥ, ɥ (slowly)
ɥ, ɥ (slowly)
Well done! You just learned another 5 Chinese consonants.
z, c, zh, ch, yu-
You've now learnt all of the sounds that could possibly be pronounced in Chinese!
In the next lesson, you'll learn how to produce all the tones in Chinese!
Which sound was the most difficult to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Chinese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

8 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which sound was the most difficult to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:35 PM
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你好 robert groulx!


不用谢。(Bú yòng xiè.) = No need for thanks. You're welcome. 😇


谢谢 (Xièxie) for studying with us, it's great to have you here!


Let us know if you have any questions.


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Tuesday at 10:37 PM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


favorite word is 重要


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:26 PM
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Hello Denisse,


Thank you for posting.

Unlike Korean characters, which have its own sound, Chinese characters are used to deliver meanings, not sounds. Therefore, we cannot match each Korean character with Chinese character, although we can do that between Korean and English characters.


We would like to ask you to check out our introduction video lesson to learn more how Chinese characters work.


https://www.chineseclass101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-yinru-2-what-are-chinese-characters/


By the way, knowing more about Chinese will help you learn Korean much faster and I believe you made the right decision for studying both at the same time.


Let us know if you have any further questions.

Cheers,

Lena

Team ChineseClass101.com

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 12:24 AM
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Hi, Denisse,


Thank you for your message.

We'll be back to you later.


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Denisse
Tuesday at 11:42 AM
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Sorry if my question is a bit bothersome

But I'm learning Korean (same Premium account 101 ;) )

So, I wonder which of the consonants in Korean might have the same (or a bit like) to the Chinese ones :)

ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ ㅇ ㅈ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ

ㄲ   ㄸ     ㅃ ㅆ   ㅉ

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:33 PM
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Hi, Tara,


Thank you for your posting.

Yes, I know lots of people think it difficult to prounouce z,c,s and zh, ch, sh.


You can try z as " ズ ", c as "ツ", s as "ス".


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Tara
Monday at 01:41 AM
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The most difficult new consonant for me wasnt learning any single one, but rather getting the difference between z and zh and between c and ch..i find if i don'r make a point of paying attention and making sure i include a little of the t sound in the former, then my z and zh are nearly indistinguishable