Chinese (Mandarin)/Pronunciation of Finals

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Pronunciation of finalsEdit

Pinyin IPA Final-only form Explanation
-i [ɻ̩], [ɹ̩] (n/a) -i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant following z-, c-, s-, zh-, ch-, sh- or r-.

(In all other cases, -i has the sound of bee; this is listed below.)

a [a] a if ending a syllable, then as in "father"
e [ɤ] e when occurring at the end of a syllable and not in the combinations of ie, üe, ue, then a backward, unrounded vowel, which can be formed by first pronouncing a plain continental "o" (AuE and NZE law) and then spreading the lips without changing the position of the tongue. That same sound is also similar to English "duh", but not as open.
ai [ai̯] ai like English "eye", but a bit lighter
ei [ei̯] ei as in "hey"
ao [au̯] ao approximately as in "cow"; the a is much more audible than the o
ou [ou̯] ou as in "so", "dough"
an [an] an starts with plain continental "a" (AuE and NZE bud) and ends with "n"; as in "stun", "fun"
en [ən] en as in "taken"
ang [aŋ] ang as in German Angst, including the English loan word angst (starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; as in "flung", "dung", "young";like song in American English)
eng [əŋ] eng like e in en above but with ng added to it at the back
ong [ʊŋ] (n/a) starts with the vowel sound in book and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing
er [aɚ̯] er like ar (exists only on own, or as last part of final in combination with others- see bottom of list)
i [i] yi like English "ee", except when preceded by "c", "ch", "r", "s", "sh", "z" or "zh"
ia [i̯a] ya as i + a; like English "yard" or the name "iago"
ie [i̯e] ye as i + ê; but is very short; e (pronounced like ê) is pronounced longer and carries the main stress (similar to the initial sound ye in yet)
iao [i̯au̯] yao as i + ao
iu [i̯ou̯] you as i + ou
ian [i̯ɛn] yan as i + an; like English yen
in [in] yin as i + en; as in the English word "in";
iang [i̯aŋ] yang as i + ang
ing [iŋ] ying as i + ng
iong [i̯ʊŋ] yong as i + ong;
u [u] wu like English "oo", except in xu and yu, where it is pronounced as u
ua [u̯a] wa as u + a
uo, o [u̯o] wo as u + o (as o after initials b, p, m and f); the o is pronounced shorter and lighter than in the o final
uai [u̯ai̯] wai as u + ai
ui [u̯ei̯] wei as u + ei; here, the i is pronounced like ei
uan [u̯an] wan as u + an
un [u̯ən] wen as u + en; like the on in the English won
uang [u̯aŋ] wang as u + ang; like the ang in English angst or anger
(n/a) [u̯əŋ] weng as u + eng
ü [y] yu as in German "üben" or French "lune" (To get this sound, say "ee" with rounded lips)
üe [y̯e] yue as ü + ê; the ü is short and light
üan [y̯ɛn] yuan as ü + an;
ün [yn] yun as ü + en;
Interjections
ê [ɛ] (n/a) as in "bet". Only used in certain interjections.
o [ɔ] (n/a) plain continental 'or'. Only used in certain interjections.
io [i̯ɔ] (n/a) as i + o
Finals that are a combination of finals above + er final
Pinyin IPA Explanation
e'r [ɤ˞] as e + er (not to be confused with er final on its own- this form only exists with an initial character before it)
air, anr [aɚ̯] as ai + er, an + er
aor [au̯˞] as ao + er
our [ou̯˞] as ou + er
angr [ãɚ̯̃] as ang + er
iar, ianr [i̯aɚ̯] as ia + er, ian + er
inr, ir [i̯ɚ] as in + er, i + er
ingr [i̯ɚ̃] as ing + er
ur [u˞] as u + er
uor [u̯o˞] as uo + er
uir [u̯ɚ] as ui + er
ongr [ʊ̃˞] as ong + er
ür [y̯ɚ] as ü + er

About Chinese  —  How To Use This Textbook  —  How To Study Chinese  —  Writing in Chinese  —  Pinyin Basics  —  Initials  —  Finals  —  Tones


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order