Learn Chinese Pinyin-Vowels

Chinese Pinyin-Vowels
Chinese Pinyin

is a Roman-letter based system that China now uses to mark the pronunciation of Chinese characters. That is to say, Chinese Pinyin is a way to represent Chinese characters and express the sounds in Chinese language using the alphabet.

There are other systems to express Mandarin. With all the choices you have when it comes to type and class of travel, it can certainly get a little confusing. Now that you know how to get from one city to another, today we will take a look at how to get across town by taking the subway and bus., but

Chinese Pinyin

is the most accepted and widely used.
Once you learn Chinese Pinyin you will know how to pronounce any word in Mandarin using a Chinese dictionary. Chinese Pinyin is also the most common way to input Chinese characters into computers. With four tones and Chinese Pinyin, any Chinese characters can be pronounced precisely. In many cases, Chinese Pinyin is quite intuitive to English speakers with only a few exceptions.However, it can be a twist to render Chinese Pinyin in four tones for people who just start. There are lots of Chinese Pinyin resources online. If you want to practice pinyin, I think this Chinese Input Method is perfect for you.

HSK 3 quiz
Chinese Pinyin

consists of initial consonants (b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, ɡ, k, h, j, q, x, z, c, s, r, zh, ch, sh) and finals or compound vowels (ɑ, o, e, i, u). Each Chinese character is one syllable constructed by a compound vowel and one initial consonant, the latter of which will be discussed in consonant.

(Are you a beginner Chinese learner? Take our customized mandarin lessons to fit your level.)

Vowel Table:

a o e i u ϋ
ai ei ui
ao ou iu
ie ue er
an en in un ϋn
ang eng ing ong
How Do You Pronounce the Vowels in Pinyin?

As you can see, most vowels are simply a combination of the 6 major vowels in the first row, which is obviously the most important part, and some special consonant. How can you remember all this? We are putting all these into English words with virtually the same sound for you to learn and remember in an easier way.

*Note: letters in the following explanation in “…” are pronounced as in English, and those in ‘… ‘ are pronounced in Pinyin. Also, all samples are delivered in 4 tones.

a – as the vowel in “star” without the “r” sound

o – as the vowel in “law”

e – as the vowel in “stir”

i – as the vowel in “bit”

u – as the vowel in “food”

ϋ – as “y” in “yellow” followed by the ‘u’ above

ai – as the vowel in “bike”

ei – as the vowel in “lake”

ui – combination of ‘u’ and ‘i’, the same as word “we” in English

ao – as the vowel in “loud”

ou – as the vowel in “flow”

iu – combination of ‘i’ and ‘u’, the same as word “yew” in English

ie – combination of ‘i’ and ‘e’, as the vowel in “sierra”

ue – combination of ‘u’ and ‘e’, as the vowel in “buena”

er – combination of ‘e’ and ‘r’, as the vowel in “early”

an – as the vowel in “anchor”

en – as the word “earn” without the “r” sound

in – as in the word “inn”

un – as in the word “one”:

ϋn – as “y” in “yellow” followed by the English word “one”

ang – as the word “long”

eng – as the vowel in “lung”

ing – as the vowel in “England”

ong – as ‘u’ followed by the ‘ng’ as above

From: zapChinese- Chinese Pinyin-vowels

More information about

You may be interested in more information about Chinese Pinyin:

◆ Chinese Alphabet
◆ Chinese Mini-test: To Treat (Intermediate)
◆ Chinese Mini-Test: I will meet you (Intermediate)
General Chinese (Beginner Level) 
General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

5 thoughts on “Learn Chinese Pinyin-Vowels”

  1. Rishikesh Agrawani

    First of all very very thanks for the development of this site. This site is very very helpful for Chinese learners. I am very interested to learn the Chinese language. It’s world’s beautiful language. The way in which the Chinese pronounce the words and the sound generated by that pronunciation are amazing. I love & like Chinese people. Their movies are also good. I wanna visit China in future so that I could meet and communicate with them. I have to learn Chinese.

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Rishikesh, I’m glad to hear that. And welcome to China. I can arrange a free live Chinese lesson for you, our professional teachers can give some advice in learning Chinese. Let me know if you are interested.

  2. Clarification on my last comment: the audio recordings are fine. My issue is with the phonetic comparison to English sounds

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Patrica. If you are interested in the phonetic comparison to English sounds, how about arranging you an online free trial lesson? so that our professional teachers can explain it to you more clearly, and since it is about the pronunciation,it’s hard to explain by words. Let me know if you are interested.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top