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Tips for learning Chinese?

If you have advice for learning Chinese efficiently, please msg here. I'm having a bit of a hard time with the pronunciation.

January 31, 2018


  1. Search for 'Chinese pronunciation' on youtube. There's quite a few videos on there from native speakers that might help give you a better idea of what sounds are supposed to, well, sound like.

  2. If you can, italki.com has rather cheap online tutoring available with native speakers. That would definitely be a great way to help improve your pronunciation, especially since the teachers could cater their lessons to your needs.

  3. Find picture diagrams of the positions your mouth, lips, tongue, etc. should be making when you are pronouncing certain sounds. You can usually find these easily just by googling 'Chinese pronunciation mouth diagrams'.

  4. Forvo.com. If you have specific words you need to hear, you can search for them in Forvo and listen to recordings from native speakers (keep in mind, of course, that there are different accents in Chinese, as in any language. Still, a useful tool).


try a Chinese class, I'm going to one and doing duolingo and it really helps. Also maybe try finding another person that speaks/ is learning Chinese


Here is a usefully concise list to initials and finals. I suggest you pay attention to the IPA notation and not to supposed English approximations.


I'd be cautious about those sound files also, a few of them (like x and r) sound really wrong to me. That x sound in particular would not even be understood, it's far closer to sh than it is to x.


The audio files appear to have been taken from Wikipedia articles on the sounds (e.g.), and as such don't represent valid Mandarin syllables most of the time—there is nothing wrong with his /ɕ/, but he says /ɕa:/ rather than /ɕja/ (xia), which, if one is expecting to hear Mandarin word, will probably conjure up the illusion of /ʂa/ (sha). 'R' is often rendered as tending towards a fricative /ʐ/, rather than the pure /ɻ/ in the recording. It would undoubtedly be much better to listen to actual Mandarin recordings when learning; I was primarily trying to draw the OP's attention to the IPA in those lists, and didn't listen to the audio clips beforehand.


i wish i had some tips for you, but i dont have any, i have a hard time too.


you should listen a lot to the audio a lot.


I'd also recommend the free modules on YoYo Chinese. They also have tons of helpful videos on YouTube, etc....

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