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Chinese Alphabet

Chinese Alphabet Video

Video? Why not? Watch the Chinese alphabet by video so you’ll hear and see how to say each of the blends in each category.

The Chinese alphabet is really a system of  blends known as Chinese PinYin. Still, it has two categories of blends,

  • the initials and
  • the finals

that are similar to our consonants and vowels. Take a moment to watch this video on the Chinese alphabet now.

Does the Chinese Alphabet Really Exist?

Technically, no. The Chinese language is not a phonetic language.  Instead, it is a pictorial language that uses characters to get ideas across. But, for those of us trying to learn Chinese coming from a phonetic language, it’s a bit overwhelming.  That’s why a system of blends was designed (originally for foreigners learning the language), but adopted for use in elementary schools in China today.

The Chinese Alphabet = Chinese PinYin

So, for all intents and purposes, the Chinese alphabet is really Chinese PinYin because it is a system of blends rather than just individual letters. Still, after learning phonics in grammar school, you’ll find that Chinese PinYin is pretty easy to use.

Why Should I Care About the Chinese Alphabet?

Well, with the Chinese alphabet you’ll be able to read any text of Chinese characters that also includes the Chinese PinYin below it.  It’s very common for

  • primary readers
  • children’s books
  • books for foreigners

to include PinYin below the characters.  Eventually, though, you’ll need to use Chinese characters exclusively, but learning to speak the Mandarin language will come before reading or writing it–just like for every Chinese person.

Learn the Chinese alphabet because it’s foundational to Chinese.


How Are You in Chinese

Asking How Are You in Chinese

When asking how are you in Chinese, first notice whom you are addressing.

  • Whether you already know the person or not matters.
  • Whether or not you can be informal with this person also matters.

Formal How Are You in Chinese

When you’ve just met someone or are addressing someone formally, then you’ll use the Chinese phrase 你好吗? for how are you in Chinese. To get the details on this phrase, watch the video below to learn more Mandarin Chinese.

Informal How Are You in Chinese

When you know someone well and can afford to be less formal with them, then use the phrase 你怎么样? for how are you in Chinese. In Chinese PinYin, this phrase would be read “Nǐ zěn me yàng?” and is closer to asking, “How’s it going?” or “How have you been?”

How Are You in Chinese

Review of How Are You in Chinese

All in all, it’s not that hard to say how are you in Chinese. Just remember whom you’re addressing and use the corresponding formal or informal question for how are you in Chinese.

How to Say Please in Chinese

Please in Chinese by Video

请 (qǐng) is the Chinese character for please in Chinese.  But, if you want to know

  • how to use it or
  • what it sounds like to say please in Chinese, you should take a moment to watch this brief video.

More on Please in Chinese

There’s more than one way to say please in Chinese. The general term used is the please used in polite situations and for general requests.  In English to stress our “please” we can say it with emphasis or change the tone of our voice, but with Mandarin Chinese, there’s another phrase for please that’s used when you want to beg.

For begging please in Chinese, use 拜托了to express sincerity or desperation, as the case may be. For info on this phrase for please in Chinese, take a moment to watch the video.

For more on learning Chinese, download the free study guide!

How Can I Say Late in Chinese?

One Chinese character for late is “chí.” This character is mentioned with the increasing second tone and pronounced as “ch” + “er.”

Chinese character for late

Chinese character for late

If combined together with the character for early, “chí” + “zao” might be utilized to mean both sooner or later and early or late (as in “Don’t come early or late to dinner.”). Other definitions could possibly be tardy or slow (either sluggish or dim-witted), dependent on the context.

When combined with other characters, you might find such terms as

  • dusk,
  • twilight, or
  • hesitation.

For more on learning Chinese, download the free study guide!

How Do I Say Early in Chinese?

Early morning is amongst the very best times on the day! Basically, morning in Chinese is mentioned as “early” + “on.” The Chinese character for early is “zao,” stated using the falling and rising third tone and pronounced as “ds” in hands + “ou” as in ouch.

early in Chinese

Some other meanings for “zao” are

  • premature
  • precocious
  • in addition to getting doubled (“zao” “zao”) to mean ASAP (as soon as you can) or coupled with other characters for words like
    • breakfast,
    • morning workouts, or
    • long ago.

For more on learning Chinese, download the free study guide!

How to Say Narrow in Chinese

Remarkably, this Chinese character for narrow, also has a number of the same connotations as in English. “Zhai,” said using the falling and rising third tone, is pronounced “j” + “eye.”

narrow in Chinese

Other meanings for “zhai” include

  • narrow-minded
  • petty
  • not properly off
  • hard up

Like a lot of the other adjectives, it is not essential to include “is” when using “zhai” as a predicate adjective as in

  • This road is narrow.
  • The alley is also narrow.

Instead, just use the adjective following the noun

  • This road narrow.
  • Alley also narrow.

That’s, obviously, unless you happen to be emphasizing the truth, then you definitely can use the “shì….de” grammatical alternative (with “zhai” in amongst).

Don’t forget to download the free study guide!

Say Thin in Chinese

WARNING: This character cannot be utilized in reference to a person to imply that he or she is slim and trim! Instead, use “shòu” for this.

The Chinese character for thin (when referring to objects) is “bó” which may alternatively be pronounced also as “báo.” The very first enunciation is “b” + “wo” (that’s in between “woah” and “wow”) although the second is “b” + “ou” as in “ouch.”

thin in Chinese

You will appreciate the list of possibilities for making use of this character!

  • flimsy
  • weak
  • shabbily
  • infertile ground (as in thin topsoil)
  • slight
  • meager
  • ungenerous