How do I explain Chinese pronounciation?

I’m writing a little chinese language guide and using pinyin for pronounciation. I couldn’t figure out yet how to type the little bow or lineon top of the vocals, the sign for the 3. and 1. tones in Chinese.

Anybody knows how to do that? I can’t just draw it, that looks too unprofessional…

Which operating system and word processor?

Use this tool I made:

Type in the pinyin with numbers to indicate the tones.
Under “add HTML coding for Web pages,” select no.
Under “output style,” select code soup (invidually coded characters only).
Then click “convert.”

Copy the results and paste them into a Word document.

Thanks, I found these bastards under the symbols that one can insert in office xp. They are hidden way down somewhere, but usefull once you’ve found them…

I have changed the titel of this post as it is of no use anymore. I hope nobody minds…

I have an other question now:

Since I’m writing a little Chinese language guide for our German customers, I need to explain Chinese pronounciation to them.

I’m using pinyin as transcription, so how shall I explain the pronounciation of q,x,j,sh,zh,ch and all the like?

I have unfortunatly left my beginners Chinese books at home and didn’t find anything on the internet either. Any of you German speaking people here have an idea?

Thanks in advance

q = tj wie tja
j = dj - that’s a hard one :s
x = ch wie ich
sh = sch wie schule
zh = dsch wie Dschingis Khan :wink:
ch = tsch wie Rutsch
c = z wie Zug
z = ts wie ???

Does that help? a little bit???


Make a little table of the letters with two columns. In the left hand colum place the pinyin phonemes and in the right hand column place the corresponding German phoneme. Where there is no direct match, improvise.

Remember that q, x, and j cannot be taught without the vowel “yi” next to it. So it should be qi, xi and ji.

iris, yeah i have thought about the same…
hexuan, that’s what i’m trying to do
maoman, yup i got that

j = dj - that’s a hard one :s

c = z wie Zug
z = ts wie ???[/quote]

How about

j = j wie Jimmy
c = c wie Celsius
z = z wie Zug oder Zahnartzt oder etwas

Thanks Juba, these were pretty helpful…

So any ideas how i explain x, shi, zhi, chi. Couldn’t come up with any ideas yet…

Loose approximations:

sh = “sh” in “sharp”
zh = “g” in “germ”
j = “g” in “gene”
ch = “ch” in “Charlie”
x = “c” in “Cialis” … Yes, the erection drug.
q = “ch” in “chin”
s = “s” in “sign”

OK … It was worth a shot.

I’ve finished the project already. But thanks anyways…

OK, I need an English version of my little Chinese language guide now. How would you explain the following sounds in English? Example: S as in Sun.


c like ts-h in “that’s hot”
h like h in “hat” (south China) or ch in “Loch” (north China)
o like o in “oar”
q like ch in “cheese”
si like s-z in “this zoo”
u like u in “flute”

wow, great help. thanks a lot!!