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Pinyin Guide

Perhaps for future attempts at pronunciation, the following will be of
some general help.


Retroflex sounds involve turning the tongue backward on the roof of the
mouth much as the tongue moves when the word CREW is pronounced. It is
one of those skills like trilling "r's" that takes some time to master.

The caveat, of course, is that the romanization of Chinese sounds may
RESEMBLE English sounds, but they are often NOT AT ALL THE SAME as
English sounds. It really does take some face-to-face aural lessons to
understand how pinyin works.

A brief further rant on the subject includes the fact that this has been
one of the great historical problems with the teaching of the Chinese
language within China itself, a problem that Pinyin was supposed to
alleviate but which it has, instead, further complicated. Now zillions
of otherwise educated Americans especially newscasters (are they
educated?)  pronounce BeiJing as Beige Ing instead of Bay Jing. Go

E. Summer

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