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...

  • 4
    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, 2012 at 22:42

4 Answers 4


Here are my two favorite browser-based pinyin cheat-sheets:

https://chinese.yabla.com/chinese-pinyin-chart.php http://www.quickmandarin.com/chinesepinyintable/pinyintable_vertical.php

Whereas the site linked to in the currently top-ranked answer (lost-theory.org - 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. Enjoy!

  • 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, 2014 at 8:33

This is a pretty good website: http://lost-theory.org/chinese/phonetics/

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.

  • 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, 2012 at 3:47
  • @Oscar That unfortuantely is a problem you have to solve yourself. Jun 15, 2014 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.



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.

  • 1
    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, 2012 at 17:14

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