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I've just started taking Chinese lessons, and I've been trying to find a "cheat sheet" for pinyin pronunciation. All the sites I've found is either incomplete (only having some tones), only having the pronunciation as a description or comparison to English.

What I'm looking for is basically a table that looks like this:

ā ē ī ō ū ǖ
á é í ó ú ǘ
ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ ǚ
à è ì ò ù ǜ
a e i o u ü

Where I would be able to click on any one of them and hear the pronunciation. Sounds so simple, but I've just not been able to find one...

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You also need āng, ān, āi, uāi, etc. And aspiration (or not) of the consonant can change the way the vowel sounds. – Kang Ming Jun 5 '12 at 22:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

By now, on the second anniversary of your question, I should think it safe to assume you've got it all figured out. It is a good question though, which many beginners probably have.

Since this is my first post and I lack reputation, I may post no more than two links. Thus, here are my two favorite browser-based pinyin cheat-sheets:

Whereas the site linked to in the currently top-ranked answer ( - a nice, new find for me, BTW) uses big, lossless .wav files (which also unfortunately seem to include a great deal of background noise), the sites I link to above use compressed mp3s, so I think you'll have a vastly easier time using them on a slow connection.


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Yes, I'm past that point now thankfully. :) That yabla tool is quite impressive. Super simple design and is actually quick even on my 70s' style 'burktelefon' internet. I'll go ahead and accept your answer instead, since I think it's the best answer so far. Thanks! – Oscar Jun 26 '14 at 8:33

This is a pretty good website:

It contains the pronunciation of all initial and final combinations and all tones for each of them.

You first have to click on one the pinyin in the table and afterwards choose the correct tone on the top right.

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Thanks, it's just what I asked for! But I'm actually in China now on a very slow internet connection, and I noticed that I have to wait up to 5-10 seconds before I can hear the sounds when I click on them, heh. – Oscar Jun 6 '12 at 3:47
@Oscar That unfortuantely is a problem you have to solve yourself. – deutschZuid Jun 15 '14 at 23:52

I know this isn't a website as I asked for, but I just found this and it looks like it's going to be really helpful! It works fine under wine on linux too.

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Not what you're looking for but I found the explanation of pronunciation in Julian Wheatley's MIT textbook very helpful.

Check out the "Sounds and Symbols" sections available here.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

David, welcome to CL&U. We actually look for answers that provide an explanation by themselves, without relying on external sources only. You can link, but make sure your answer is self-sufficient. :) – Alenanno Jun 5 '12 at 17:14

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