Also keep in mind some English sounds in the above table are only approximations. Um, how does pinyin differ from English? To make things worse, many different family names sound the same and have the same pinyin. Wait, doesn't Chinese have tones?
You don't need to worry about them for the time being. Can you tell me how to read Chinese names? Beware zi, ci, si, zhi, chi, shi, ri: It's not a bad idea to ask which is which. The Devil is in the details. However many students including me choose to switch the order in pinyin.
What else should I know? Formally it is represented by umlauted u, i.
Chinese family names have lost their function in distinguishing families. For zhi, chi, shi, ri, when making the buzzing zzz, curve the tongue up a little bit.
There are a few exceptions. Want to learn more? Either way is acceptable. Most others are the same as in English. It helps if you know French.
What you see is pinyin , literally 'spell out the sound'.
For instance to pronounce 'xu', first say sh e , then keep everything fixed but round your lips. For instance 'Zhu' can be at least 4 different family names! Sure, you can learn pinyin in 5 minutes.
For zi, ci, si, try the sound of a flying bee zzz or the word 'buzz'. Some ramifications: More confusing paper citations, where traditionally one cites only the family name. Different systems are used in Hong Kong , Taiwan , and Singapore, where the following is not applicable.
Let me list them: