Congratulations on choosing Little Pim Chinese.
This Little Pim Companion Guide is designed to help you with the proper pronunciation of
Mandarin Chinese if you want to learn along with your young viewer. Children are visual and
aural learners – they watch the screen, hear what’s being said, and easily understand and
repeat; and as they repeat after Little Pim the teacher, they will have perfect accents! Adults,
however, may need a bit of written help to understand the differences in pronunciation and/or to
remember new words.
In addition to the pronunciation tips on this sheet, you can:
– Download our Companion Script, which includes all the words and phrases in Little Pim in
Chinese (simplified characters), English and Pinyin. Pinyin, or “spell sound” is the most widely
used phonetic spelling of Chinese words. If you want to read all the words and sentences as they
are spoken, you can print this out and follow along with the DVD.
– Choose the optional English Subtitles in the Start Up Menu of the DVD to read English subtitles
as you watch.
The big picture:
Here is a brief guide to pronouncing the consonants that are dissimilar to English:
- B unaspirated p, as in spit
- P aspirated p, as in pit
- D unaspirated t, as in stand
- T aspirated t, as in top
- H like x, as in loch or Bach
- J like djh, as in ajar
- Q like ch, as in cheek, only with lips spread as when you say ee
- X like sh, as in she, but with tip of your tongue resting against your lower front teeth
- C like ts, as in bats, only more aspirated
- R like zh, as in azure, but with the tongue curled upwards
The Accent indicates the tone for the whole syllable, not only the vowel it is above.
- The first tone ( mā ) is pronounced flat and slightly high.
- The second tone ( má ) goes up, like asking a question.
- The third tone ( mǎ ) goes down and then up.
- The forth tone ( mà ) goes down like a sharp order, as in a sharp “Fetch!” to a dog.
No tone means neutral or unaccentuated.
For a more complete guide to Pinyin, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanyu_Pinyin.