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Letter English words Example 1 Example 2 Notes
b bay (sometimes overlaps with p)
p pay péi (pei and bei are often said for the same character)
m may mén
f fair fèn
d day duō dāng
t take tiān (tian and dian can be confused when listening)
n nay
l lay lán lǎo
g gay gāi gōng
k kay kaò
h hay hái Huáng Hé (often said with a rasp at the back of the throat)
j jeep jiē (palatial)
q cheer qián qiē
x she xiān xièxie (palatial)
zh junk zhaō zhěng (retro - devoiced)
ch church chángcháng chéng (retro)
sh shirt shì shū (retro)
r leisure rén ròu (retro) (can include a bit of the s on leisure)
z reads zaì zǎn (devoiced)
c hats cǎo
s say sān sòng
y yea yǎn yéye
w way wèn
Vowels
a father
o saw (halfway between o and a)
e British her zhè chē (in the back of the throat)
i (no illustration) zhi1 (after z, c, s, zh, ch, sh, r)
i see qi1 (after other consonants)
u rude
ü French tu, German Fühlen (ee with rounded lips)

er are èr ér
ai eye hái baǐ
ei eight méi geǐ
ao now hǎo zaō
ou oh doū zhoū
an can sǎn wǎn
en British turn wén fen3

ang German Gang wàng tāng
eng sung zhèng céng
ong German Lunge zhōng sòng
ia Asia jiā xià
ie yes jiē qiē
iao yeowl qiǎo jiaō
iu yoke /yukon jiù / jiǔ liú / xiū (varies with consonant)
ian yen tiān diǎn
in in qīn jin4 (the j creates slightly more ee sound)

iang e+yang liáng xiǎng (approximately - with the 'a' in papa)
ing sing tīng bìng
iong German Jünger xióng qióng rén
ua guano huà zhuā
uo wall guó cuò
uai wife kuaì guaǐ
uan one yuán zhuǎn
un went cùn kǔn
uang oo+ahng zhuàng guǎng
üe ü+eh
üan ü+an
ün German grün
kongr corn yoǔ kòngr kòngr (soften n)
wanr w + far wánr wánr (n is silent)
dianr d + yar diǎnr yoǔ yí diǎnr (n is silent)


Source : http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/topics/pinyin/pinyin.html

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