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Level 0: Tutorial (A: Pinyin initials and finals)

Terms in this set (60)

[initial] [PALATAL] Similar to the Pinyin letter "j", but with strong exhalation! As the ending sound in "watch", "switch" and the "ch" in "cheese".

Make an English "ch" sound. Feel what's happening in your mouth as you make it. Make the "ch" several more times. Where is your tongue? Where exactly is the sound coming from?

You should be able to determine that your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth to make the sound, and the sound is coming from that place. OK, good.

To make q the sound comes from the same place in your mouth, but you need to reposition your tongue. Instead of curving up to put the tip on that place on the roof of your mouth, let your tongue flop down to the bottom of your mouth. The tip of your tongue should be right behind your lower front teeth, just touching them.

Now comes the tricky part. Bend your tongue upward to that place on the roof of your mouth without moving the tip of your tongue. Whatever you do, make sure that the tip of your tongue stays touching your lower front teeth! Your tongue should be able to flex upward in the middle. Basically you're just raising your entire tongue toward the roof of your mouth, but leaving the tip touching your lower front teeth.

In that position, try to make the "ch" sound. Remember, the sound should come from the same place. You can feel if it's coming from the same place on the roof of your mouth. If it is, then you did it. That's the Mandarin q.