Pronunciation - Pinyin / Initials / Consonants

In each cell below, the first line indicates the IPA, the second indicates pinyin. You can hear recordings of the Initials here

  Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-
palatal
Palatal Velar
Plosive [p]
b
[pʰ]
p
  [t]
d
[tʰ]
t
      [k]
g
[kʰ]
k
Nasal [m]
m
  [n]
n
       
Lateral approximant     [l]
l
       
Affricate     [ts]
z
[tsʰ]
c
[tʂ]
zh
[tʂʰ]
ch
[tɕ]
j
[tɕʰ]
q
   
Fricative   [f]
f
[s]
s
[ʂ]
sh
[ʐ] 1
r
[ɕ]
x
  [x]
h
Approximant       [ɻ] 1
r
  [j]2  or [ɥ]3
y  
[w]2
w

1 /ɻ/ may phonetically be [ʐ] (a voiced retroflex fricative). This pronunciation varies among different speakers, and is not two different phonemes.
2 the letters "w" and "y" are not included in the table of initials in the official pinyin system. They are an orthographic convention for the medials "i", "u" and "ü" when no initial is present. When "i", "u" or "ü" are finals and no initial is present, they are spelled "yi", "wu", and "yu", respectively.
3 "y" is pronounced [ɥ] (a labial-palatal approximant) before "u".

The conventional order (excluding w and y), derived from the zhuyin system, is:

b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c

b(o)

p(o)

m(o)

f(o)

 

d(e)

t(e)

n(e)

l(e)

g(e)

k(e)

h(e)

 

j(i)

q(i)

x(i)

 

zh(i)

ch(i)

sh(i)

r(i)

 

z(i)

c(i)

s(i)

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