A phonetic pangram is a bit of text which uses all the sounds, or phonemes, in a language (as opposed to the letters of characters). Very useful for practising pronunciation. This is one in English:

“The beige hue on the waters of the loch impressed all, including the French queen, before she heard that symphony again, just as young Arthur wanted.”

Does such a thing exist for Mandarin or other Chinese languages? In English, there are around 44 phonemes ( https://www.dyslexia-reading-well.com/44-phonemes-in-english.html ), but Chinese languages would presumably have much more.

1 Answer 1


but chinese languages would presumably have much more

well, the cantonese has 1800+ syllables. the short answer to your question is: no.

the long answer:

cantonese has 19 initial, 56 final and 9 tone. though 19 * 56 * 9 = 9576, fortunately, there’re limited combinations of initial, final and tone. nowadays, only 1800+ syllables exist, for 8000 - 50,000 chinese characters.

an example: the initial “s” combined with the final “e”, it become “se”, this “sound” has 6 tones. that, each syllable represent several characters:

se1 | 些奓奢畬賒

se2 | 寫捨瀉灺舍

se3 | 赦卌卸厙庫涻瀉灺猞舍騇

se4 | 蛇佘畬輋闍

se5 | 社舍

se6 | 射社麝

cantonese syllable, sound: e

tone is very important in cantonese, without the proper tone, one cannot get the correct character from hearing.

a text with 1800+ characters is extremely long, for the purpose of practising pronunciation, that i don’t think such thing would exist.

  • This doesn’t seem to be correct. Other sources give 67 phonemes for Mandarin for instance - quora.com/How-many-phonemes-are-there-in-Mandarin-Chinese .. if you look at the English example it doesn’t have every single sound (every consonant-vowel combination), just the building blocks to make every sound.
    – cannyboy
    Jan 24, 2020 at 17:15

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