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In this pinyin lesson, we learn four Initials, which are zh, ch, sh, r. We also learn some Chinese characters that use "zh, ch, sh, r". In addition, you can have listening exercises and quizzes for zh, ch, sh, r.

Initials

Initials are called 声母 in simplified Chinese( pinyin: shēngmǔ). There are 21 initials excluding y and w.

The conventional order is:
b, p, m, f; d, t, ,n, l; g, k, h; j, q, x; zh, ch, sh, r; z, c, s

Pronunciation Guide for zh, ch, sh, r

The letters zh, ch, sh, r are known as the retroflex initials, meaning that they should be pronounced with the tongue curled backwards.

The following guide is given in terms of English pronunciation. They are approximate, as there are some sounds of Pinyin do not correspond directly to sounds in English.

1. zh: as j in “just”, but with your tongue tip curled far back.

Play

2. ch: as ch in “chiken”.
Play

3. sh: as sh in “sheep”.
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4. r: as r in “round”.
Play

Example Words

Example 1:

Chinese Character: 纸
Pinyin: zhǐ

Play

English translation: paper
paper
Example 2:

Chinese Character: 吃
Pinyin: chī

Play

English translation: eat
eat
Example 3:

Chinese Character: 十
Pinyin: shí

Play

English translation: ten
ten

Example 4:

Chinese Character: 日
Pinyin: rì

Play

English translation: sun
sun

Exercises:

Exercise 1: Tone Exercise

Listen to the audio first, and then repeat.

1. zhā zhá zhǎ zhà

Play

2. chā chá chǎ chà
Play

3. shā shá shǎ shà
Play

4. rē ré rě rè
Play

Listening Quiz (7)

Choose the right answer after you listen to the audio.
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If you are interested in learning Chinese, please take a look at the Free Chinese Lessons that are practical and fun.

2 Responses to “Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days – Day 7: Initials, zh, ch, sh, r”

  1. Belina Chingangu

    hallo >> Am really enjoying these lessons cause they are really helping me and i think am beginning to learnn so many words and pronaunciations .. thank you fot all this Belina

    Reply

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