Chinese Alphabet

This page contains a table including the following: Chinese alphabet through text (below) and through a video (left side), which contains characters, or you can call them even letters which help you pronounce the words in a given language, you will also learn about the different consonants and vowels. For a list of all characters check our Chinese Characters. Make sure to check our Learn Chinese page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.

Chinese Alphabet


    

Here is a quick chart, but please read what comes after it to have a better understanding.


English Chinese Character Pinyin
 
Aēi
B
C西
D
E
F艾弗ài fú
G
H艾尺ài chǐ
Iài
Jjié
Kkāi
L艾勒ài lè
M艾马ài mǎ
N艾娜ài nà
Oó
P
Q吉吾jí wú
R艾儿ài ér
S艾丝ài sī
T
U伊吾yī wú
Vwéi
W豆贝尔维dòu bèi ěr wéi
X艾克斯yī kè sī
Y吾艾wú ài
Z贼德zéi dé

For a list of all characters check our Chinese Characters.

There is no Chinese alphabet in the sense we understand it in the West. Chinese characters are not letters (with some exceptions), Chinese characters represent an idea, a concept or an object. While in the west each of the letters of our alphabet represents a sound that generally has no particular meaning. In modern Chinese there is a set of more than 400 syllables, made of two elements: an initial, the sheng and a final the yun. The first part, the sheng is the consonant that begins a syllable. The sheng is followed by a yun that is usually a vowel. The Chinese computerized fonts for words processor include 6500 characters for the simplified form. These are different Chinese symbols:

Chinese Alphabet

Chinese Phonetics

Pinyin is a Chinese system for transliterating Mandarin Chinese into 25 European characters (the letter “v” is not included).
In Chinese, each character corresponds to one syllable (which corresponds to a part of an English word, and entire word or more than one word). Chinese syllables consist of three elements: initial sound, final sound and tone. The initial sounds are consonants and the final sounds contain at least one vowel. Some syllables consist only of an initial sound or a final sound.
Note that "c", "ch", "j", "q", "r", "sh", "x", "z" and "zh" are spelt differently.

In Chinese (Mandarin) there are 21 initial sounds: b, c, ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, sh, t, x, z, zh
In Chinese (Mandarin) there are 35 final sounds:
6 simple finals: a, e, i, o, u, ü
13 compound finals: ai, ao, ei, ia, iao, ie, iou, ou, ua, uai, üe, uei, uo
16 nasal finals: 8 front nasals: an, en, ian, in, uan, üan, uen, ün
                       8 back nasals: ang, eng, iang, ing, iong, ong, uang, ueng
Additional syllables in Mandarin Chinese: 5 special cases: er, hm, hng, ng, ~r

The initial and final sounds make a total of 56 basic sounds. Combinations of initials and finals plus the special cases result in 411 possible combinations. Applying the four tones of Mandarin Chinese to this, we get a total of around 1,600 unique syllables.

    

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some Chinese alphabet, consonants and vowels. Try to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. For a list of all characters check our Chinese Characters. Make sure to check our Learn Chinese page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.