Chinese Chinese Language

Chinese Alphabet

Letter Sound in Chinese
a father
b boy
c k sound in cow
d dog (but slightly shorter like t sound)
e eh sound in egg
f frog
g go
h hard (more aspiration)
i ee sound in street
j, zh jump
k kit
l long
m monkey
Letter Sound in Chinese
n nose
o long (but more nasal)
p pan
q tch sound in watch
r ride
s sing
t time (but with stronger aspiration)
u ou sound in you or too
v violin
w water (or u sound)
x ch (or s sound in some dialects)
y yellow
z ts sound incats (softer z)

One aspect of Chinese that is different is its use of tones. Some dialects of Chinese have up to nine tones, while Mandarin has only four. The first tone ¯ has a high pitch. The second tone ´ rises from mid to high. The third ˇ dips low than rises unless it comes before another third tone (in which case it is pronounced as a second tone), OR if a third tone comes before another one (in which case it starts mid and goes down). The fourth ˋ starts high and falls low. A neutral fifth tone is unstressed and unmarked.

Chinese writing is not phonetic, so no real alphabet exists. Characters (hanzi) that express words exist. Spelling out the Chinese sounds, as it's done on this site, is called Pinyin. There are other methods, like Wade-Giles (which is older). Here's a comparison chart of Pinyin phonetic spelling versus that of Wade-Giles:

Ba Pa
Bai Pai
Ban Pan
Bang Pang
Bao Pao
Bei Pei
Ben Pen
Beng Peng
Bi Pi
Bian Pien
Biao Piao
Bie Pieh
Bin Pin
Bing Ping
Bo Po
Bu Pu
Ca Ts'a
Cai Ts'ai
Can Ts'an
Cang Ts'ang
Cao Ts'ao
Ce Ts'e
Cen Ts'en
Ceng Ts'eng
Cha Ch'a
Chai Ch'ai
Chan Ch'an
Chang Ch'ang
Chao Ch'ao
Che Ch'e
Chen Ch'en
Cheng Ch'eng
Chi Ch'ih
Chong Ch'ung
Chou Ch'ou
Chu Ch'u
Chuai Ch'uai
Chuan Ch'uan
Chuang Ch'uang
Chui Ch'ui
Chun Ch'un
Chuo Ch'o
Ci Tz'u
Cong Ts'ung
Cou Ts'ou
Cu Ts'u
Cuan Ts'uan
Cui Ts'ui
Cun Ts'un
Cuo Ts'o
Pinyin Wade-Giles
Da Ta
Dai Tai
Dan Tan
Dang Tang
Dao Tao
De Te
Dei Tei
Deng Teng
Di Ti
Dian Tien
Diao Tiao
Die Tieh
Ding Ting
Diu Tiu
Dong Tung
Dou Tou
Du Tu
Duan Tuan
Dui Tui
Dun Tun
Duo To
Ei Ei
En En
Er Erh
Fa Fa
Fan Fan
Fang Fang
Fei Fei
Fen Fen
Feng Feng
Fo Fo
Fou Fou
Fu Fu
Ga Ka
Gai Kai
Gan Kan
Gang Kang
Gao Kao
Ge Ke
Gei Kei
Gen Ken
Geng Keng
Gong Kung
Gou Kou
Gu Ku
Gua Kua
Guai Kuai
Guan Kuan
Guang Kuang
Gui Kuei
Gun Kun
Guo Kuo
Ha Ha
Hai Hai
Han Han
Hang Hang
Hao Hao
He He
Hei Hei
Hen Hen
Heng Heng
Hong Hung
Hou Hou
Hu Hu
Hua Hua
Huai Huai
Huan Huan
Huang Huang
Hui Hui
Hun Hun
Huo Huo
Ji Chi
Jia Chia
Jian Chien
Jiang Chiang
Jiao Chiao
Jie Chieh
Jin Chin
Jing Ching
Jiong Chiung
Jiu Chiu
Ju Chü
Juan Chüan
Jue Chüeh
Jun Chün
Ka K'a
Kai K'ai
Kan K'an
Kang K'ang
Kao K'ao
Ke K'e
Ken K'en
Keng K'eng
Kong K'ung
Kou K'ou
Ku K'u
Kua K'ua
Kuai K'uai
Kuan K'uan
Kuang K'uang
Kui K'uei
Kun K'un
Kuo K'uo
La La
Lai Lai
Lan Lan
Lang Lang
Lao Lao
Le Le
Lei Lei
Leng Leng
Li Li
Lia Lia
Lian Lien
Liang Liang
Liao Liao
Lie Lieh
Lin Lin
Ling Ling
Liu Liu
Lo Lo
Long Lung
Lou Lou
Lu Lu
Luan Luan
Lüe Lüeh
Lun Lun
Luo Luo
Ma Ma
Mai Mai
Man Man
Mang Mang
Mao Mao
Me Me
Mei Mei
Men Men
Meng Meng
Mi Mi
Mian Mien
Miao Miao
Mie Mieh
Min Min
Ming Ming
Miu Miu
Mo Mo
Mou Mou
Mu Mu
Na Na
Nai Nai
Nan Nan
Nang Nang
Nao Nao
Ne Ne
Nei Nei
Nen Nen
Neng Neng
Ni Ni
Nian Nien
Niang Niang
Niao Niao
Nie Nieh
Nin Nin
Ning Ning
Niu Niu
Nong Nung
Nou Nou
Nu Nu
Nuan Nuan
Nüe Nüeh
Nuo No
Ou Ou
Pa P'a
Pai P'ai
Pan P'an
Pang P'ang
Pao P'ao
Pei P'ei
Pen P'en
Peng P'eng
Pi P'i
Pian P'ien
Piao P'iao
Pie P'ieh
Pin P'in
Ping P'ing
Po P'o
Pou P'ou
Pu P'u
Qi Ch'i
Qia Ch'ia
Qian Ch'ien
Qiang Ch'iang
Qiao Ch'iao
Qie Ch'ieh
Qin Ch'in
Qing Ch'ing
Qiong Ch'iung
Qiu Ch'iu
Qu Ch'ü
Quan Ch'üan
Que Ch'üeh
Qun Ch'ün
Ran Jan
Rang Jang
Rao Jao
Re Je
Ren Jen
Reng Jeng
Ri Jih
Rong Jung
Rou Jou
Ru Ju
Ruan Juan
Rui Jui
Run Jun
Ruo Jo
Sa Sa
Sai Sai
San San
Sang Sang
Sao Sao
Se Se
Sen Sen
Seng Seng
Sha Sha
Shai Shai
Shan Shan
Shang Shang
Shao Shao
She She
Shei Shei
Shen Shen
Sheng Sheng
Shi Shih
Shou Shou
Shu Shu
Shua Shua
Shuai Shuai
Shuan Shuan
Shuang Shuang
Shui Shui
Shun Shun
Shuo Shuo
Si Ssu
Song Sung
Sou Sou
Su Su
Suan Suan
Sui Sui
Sun Sun
Suo So
Ta T'a
Tai T'ai
Tan T'an
Tang T'ang
Tao T'ao
Te T'e
Teng T'eng
Ti T'i
Tian T'ien
Tiao T'iao
Tie T'ieh
Ting T'ing
Tong T'ung
Tou T'ou
Tu T'u
Tuan T'uan
Tui T'ui
Tun T'un
Tuo T'o
Wa Wa
Wai Wai
Wan Wan
Wang Wang
Wei Wei
Wen Wen
Weng Weng
Wo O
Wo Wo
Wu Wu
Xi Hsi
Xia Hsia
Xian Hsien
Xiang Hsiang
Xiao Hsiao
Xie Hsieh
Xin Hsin
Xing Hsing
Xiong Hsiung
Xiu Hsiu
Xu Hsü
Xuan Hsüuan
Xue Hsüueh
Xun Hsün
Ya Ya
Yan Yan
Yang Yang
Yao Yao
Ye Yeh
Yi I
Yin Yin
Ying Ying
Yong Yung
You Yu
Yuan Yüan
Yue Yüeh
Yun Yün
Za Tsa
Zai Tsai
Zan Tsan
Zang Tsang
Zao Tsao
Ze Tse
Zei Tsei
Zen Tsen
Zeng Tseng
Zha Cha
Zhai Chai
Zhan Chan
Zhang Chang
Zhao Chao
Zhe Che
Zhei Chei
Zhen Chen
Zheng Cheng
Zhi Chih
Zhong Chung
Zhou Chou
Zhu Chu
Zhua Chua
Zhuai Chuai
Zhuan Chuan
Zhuang Chuang
Zhui Chui
Zhun Chun
Zhuo Cho
Zi Tzu
Zong Tsung
Zou Tsou
Zu Tsu
Zuan Tsuan
Zui Tsui
Zun Tsun
Zuo Tso

Climate in China

As the world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and the U.S.) China lies largely at the same latitudes as the United States. Just like the U.S., the climate in China varies widely. The north has a subarctic climate and the south has a tropical climate. Rainfall occurs mainly in the southeast; the northwest contains the third largest desert in the world (Gobi Desert).

Holidays in China / Chinese Festivals

The Chinese New Year is the most important of the holidays. It is celebrated on the last day of the year with fireworks and family reunions. The festivities continue into the next day where they celebrate the Spring Festival with even more fireworks.

The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month with a parade of lanterns and a lion dance.

The Zhonghe Festival is on the second day of the second lunar month, sand they celebrate it by eating Chinese fajitas.

Tomb Sweeping Day (Qing Ming Jie) is their memorial day; celebrated around April 5th.

The Dragon Goat Festival (Tun Ng) is on the fifth day of the fifth month and, of course, has dragon boat races.

The Night of Sevens (Qi Xi) is on the seventh day of the seventh month, the only night that the goddess, Zhi Nu, can meet her mortal love, Niu Lang.

The Spirit Festival is on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (a week after the Night of Sevens). The Chinese burn paper "money" as offerings to their ancestors.

The Mid-Autumn festival is on the fifteenth day of the eighth month and they eat mooncake (based on the legend of Chang)

On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month they celebrate the Double Ninth Festival as a sort of second memorial day.

The Winter Solstice Festival is celebrated on the day of winter solstice and is known as teh Chinese Thanksgiving..

The Laba Festival is on the eighth day of the last lunar month and is celebrated as the day the Buddha attained enlightenment.

Chinese Sports / Chinese Music / Chinese Art

Martial arts were originated in China, starting with Wushu (and renamed Kung Fu). It is the home to the well-respected Shaolin Monastery and Wudang Mountains. Martial arts were originally just a method to train men for combat, but over time has become a way for people to become mentally centered and balanced, and even for healing (including acupuncture and herbology).

The Book of Songs, and Confucius influenced music and poetry. Chinese music started with solely percussion instruments and eventually added string and reed instruments. Chinese opera would also be introduced and branched regionally in additional to other performance formats such as variety arts.

Porcelain pottery has been a traditional art form in China for several thousands of years. Chinese paintings have a variety of styles of brush art and calligraphy (similar to the Japanese). Papercutting and folding (origami) is an art form that originated with the Chinese after the invention of paper.

Chinese Politics

The Communist Party of China continues to dominate the People's Republic of China. Currently, the government is organized with: the National People's Congress, the President, and the State Council. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China places the Congress with the highest state power. It meets yearly for 2 weeks to approve new policy, laws, and the budget. National legislation in China is adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and initiatives are presented to this Committee by the State Council. Congress generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, though its Standing Committee has increasingly asserted its role as the national legislature.

China has had border disputes given its size for thousands of years and continues to do so. For example, one resolved with Russia as recently as 2004. China has current disputes with India and Japan. China does not permit dual national citizenships.

Chinese Religion

Some of the most recognized spiritual figures include Guan Yin, Jade Emperor and Budai. The chinese believe in both the holy and the evil, fortune telling, and that health is directly related to the environment and spiritual health. Historically, doctors were paid to keep their village healthy, and were not paid when someone was sick (at least until the people were tired of hearing that evil spirits were to blame).

Today, temples throughout China host a variety of religions including: Buddhism, Daoism, Heaven worship, Islam, and Chinese folk religion.

Chinese Dress / Food in China

Hanfu, or traditional chinese dress is similar to the Japanese Kimodo (which may have been inspired by the hanfu). The chinese historically used hats to display position, and may have been the originators of the style of hat worn at school graduations.

Chinese cuisine is well-known for its rice dishes, eggplant, tofu, vegetable stir-fry, egg-drop soup, Kung Pao chicken, Mu sho pork, chop-seuy, chow mein, and fortune cookies. The chinese make use of leafy vegetables like bok choy and gai-lan and typically include fresh meat or seafood, which makes for its pungency. Pan-frying, stir-frying, and deep-frying are common cooking techniques often done using a pan, called a wok.

Chinese Localization

Mandarin Chinese is the most popular language in China, and by population it is the most spoken language in the world. Next to Japanese, Chinese is the most difficult of the languages to learn that are on this site.

Several other languages are spoken in China like Manchurian, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Yi, and Zhuang. There are several sublanguages as well: Gan, Huainan, Jin, Kejia or Hakka, Min, Pinghua, Tiawanese, Wu or Shanghaiese, Xiang or Hunanese, and Yue or Cantonese. There are over 1000 dialects in China to coincide with the thousands of regions within China. For example, each of these sublanguages will have several dialects of their own, and some may have over forty subdialects.