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learn asian languages 學 中文
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1. Read the following aloud, being careful to pronounce the tones correctly. Refer to the audio clips to check your pronunciation.
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2nd-Feb-2007 06:46 pm - Pinyin: Part A - Tones
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Each syllable in Chinese has a tone. In spoken Chinese, changing the tone of a syllable changes its meaning. For instance, "qu" in the 3rd tone means "a man marries a woman", but "qu" in the 4th tone means "to go".

1st tone – high, flat pitch (high tone)
2nd tone – rising from low to high (rising tone)
3rd tone – low-dipping-rising (low tone)
4th tone – falls from high to low (falling tone)
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2nd-Feb-2007 06:12 pm - Pinyin: Part A - Spelling Changes
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When the finals i, u, ϋ (and any compound using i, u, ϋ, such as ia, uang, ϋan) are not preceded by an initial, they are called semi-vowels, which means they actually function as initials. In these cases, their spelling changes as shown:
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1st-Feb-2007 09:21 pm - Pinyin: Part A - Finals
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Finals are composed of up to four letters. All thirty-eight finals are made from six single vowels (a, e, I, o, u, ϋ), which can be combined with three consonant endings (n, ng, r). All the finals are listed in this chart. Many vowel sounds in Chinese do not have English equivalents, so pay attention to the pronunciations in the audio clips.
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1st-Feb-2007 09:19 pm - Pinyin: Part A - Initials
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Initials are similar to consonants in English, but English consonants can appear anywhere in a word, not just at the beginning. Initials are always placed at the beginning of a syllable. They can be divided into six groups based on their phonetic characteristics.
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