Pronouncing certain Mandarin Pinyin consonants

January 13, 2009 at 10:28 am (Languages, Mandarin)

According to the Pinyin system used to transliterate Mandarin, the following letters should be pronounced as follows:
C – ts
Z – dz
Ch – ch
Q – ch
J – j
Zh – j
Sh – sh
X – sh


  1. JC said,

    Of course! That’s to make it easier!

  2. geoff said,

    I was surprised recently to find that “X” was pronounced “sh.” I watch a grotesquely large number of wuxia TV series, and wanted to learn how “wuxia” was pronounces. I assumed that the “x” would have a “ks” kind of sound, but it was a simple “sh.”

    Seems so wasteful.

  3. geoff said,

    how “wuxia” was pronounces.

    That would be “pronounced.”

  4. dicentra said,

    A chinese woman told me that X was “s.”

    Or maybe that strange, almost-whistling “sh” that you can only say if you give yourself a huge underbite. In Madrid, they use that “sh” for S (as opposed to “th” for C and Z).

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