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The same happens with other characters with the same "finals": 就 - Jiù 扭 - Niǔ etc... From this page of Chinesepod.com: Mandarin's iu sound can confuse you because what is written is actually an abbreviated form of "iou," a straightforward combination of the vowel sounds i and ou. Thus the iu syllable sounds similar to the "yo" of the English word ...


The pronunciations of finals do not change when used after different finals, with perhaps only one exception: 'i'. It has three variations: 'zi ci si', 'zhi chi shi ri', and all others. NOTE: Not many Chinese know the differences, but you can compare: English pinyin Lee li she shi (the two consonants are also different) see si The three ...


I think one of the reasons is the loss of tone and/or stress in the syllable. But see this table, "Chinese (Mandarin)/Pronunciation of Finals", it provides a good summary of the changes.


One of the easiest ways to hear the different pinyin sounds is to look on YouTube. The trickiest ones for me to learn were the different pronunciations of "i". Here are some videos that explain the differences: zhi, chi, shi, r sound a bit like English "sure". ji, qi, xi sound a bit like English "she". zi, ci, si sound a bit like the vowel at the end of ...


As I said in another answer, I think pinyin was actually developed to help Russian speakers learn Mandarin. It may be that "iu" in Russian is pronounced with an added "o" sound. That question has some other answers with interesting information about the development of pinyin. In spite of its quirks, I've found pinyin a lot easier to use than zhuyin fuhao. ...


'U' is pronounced 'Ü' with the initials J, Q, X and the pseudo-initial 'Y'. Otherwise it is always pronounced 'U'. Something that might help one remember it, is that J, Q and X are also pronounced with the same tongue-position but with slightly varying flow of air. So J, Q and X are basically one pronunciation. I like to think that the inventors of pinyin ...


Because pinyin wasn't created by Westerners; it was created by the Chinese government. Also transliteration systems, by nature, aren't perfect analogues to the mother tongue, and you're just setting yourself up for heartbreak if you expect them to be. Relevant: Gwoyeu Romatzyh

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