In each cell below, the bold letters indicate pinyin and the brackets enclose the symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Most rules given here in terms of English pronunciation are approximations, as several of these sounds do not correspond directly to sounds in English.
The following is a list of finals in Standard Chinese, excepting most of those ending with r.
These tone marks normally are only used in Mandarin textbooks or in foreign learning texts, but they are essential for correct pronunciation of Mandarin syllables, as exemplified by the following classic example of five characters whose pronunciations differ only in their tones:
The above can be summarized as the following table. The vowel letter taking the tone mark is indicated by the fourth-tone mark.
In addition to tone number and mark, tone color has been suggested as a visual aid for learning. Although there are no formal standards, there are a number of different color schemes in use, Dummitt's being one of the first.
The Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet lists the letters of pinyin, along with their pronunciations, as:
Pinyin differs from other romanizations in several aspects, such as the following:
Pinyin is now used by foreign students learning Chinese as a second language, as well as Bopomofo.
Due to The Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography, all accented letters are required to have both uppercase and lowercase characters as per their normal counterparts.
Other punctuation mark and symbols in Chinese are to use the equivalent symbol in English noted in to GB/T 15834.Regulation of Phonetic Transcription in Hanyu Pinyin Letters of Place Names in Minority Nationality Languages