Learn Mandarin Chinese - Lesson 3 (Who are you?)
Questions and answers about full names and surnames.

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║ Sections


Display 1 - 0:42- Who are you?

Display 2 - 4:31- Reversed

Display 3 - 5:36- Who is he?

Display 4 - 6:33 - Pronouns

Display 5 - 8:09 - He / She

Display 6 - 9:04 - What's your surname?

Display 7 - 9:57 - Who / What

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║ Credits


Producer - Fame Ketover

Writers - John Harvey, Lucille Barale, Roberta Barry, Thomas Madden, Susan Pola

Script Supervisor - Fame Ketover

Chinese Speakers - Chuan Chao, Ying-chih Chen, Hsiao-jung Chen, Eva Diao, Jan Hu, Tsung-mi Li, Yunhui Yang

Original Music - Fame Ketover

Editor - Fame Ketover

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© 2015 Fames Games, all rights reserved. The Lenguin name and penguin mascot are trademarks of Fames Games.

║ Lesson Transcript


Full transcript ► http://lenguin.com/learn/chinese/who-are-you/video-transcript

Partial transcript


Hi, I'm Fame Ketover of Lenguin.com, and this is Mandarin Chinese. Open up and say "ah" because today we're going to be talking about vowel sounds.

The vowel sounds of Chinese all have approximate equivalents in English. We're going to go through some Chinese surnames to practice the sounds. Let's start, listen to the vowel sound.

Notice that the vowel sound "a" is spelled with the letter A as in Okinawa. Try repeating the surname after the speaker.

Notice the vowel sound "i" is spelled with an I as in Tahiti. Try repeating.

Notice that the sound "u" is spelled with a U. Though not quite the same, it's like the English vowel U in Honalulu. Try repeating.

Notice that even though its spelled the same, this does not sound much like the English vowel we use for "Hong Kong". It sounds more like the short double-o vowel in "hook". About the only word with this sound spelled with a single O in English is "woman". Try repeating.

Notice that the sound "e" is spelled with an E as in chicken. Notice also that this is not the vowel sound spelled with an E as in "hen". Try repeating.

You might find this sound "e" a bit close to the sound "a" and to the sound "o". The exercises at Lenguin.com will give you help in making these distinctions.

Now we're going to check out some diphthongs or vowel combinations. Listen to this surname.

Up until this point, we've treated the sound spelled W and Y as if they were regular consonants. But phonetically, they're shorted vowels, or semivowels, which glide into the full vowel of the syllable. They're so close to being vowels that when a semivowel is followed by a vowel, with the same articulation, it might be difficult to hear any transition. The syllable written WU may sound like "u" and the syllable written YI may sound like "i". Semivowels may follow consonants, and when they do, the Pinyin system writes them with the equivalent vowel letter: U instead of W, and I instead of Y. Listen to the speaker read the rows of surnames in this display.