I did have a bump in the road. When I synced up my I-pod, all of my language content vanished. I am now going through the tedious process of getting all the content again, and re-installing it on my device again.
In the meantime, I decided to get my listen in with some basic YouTube videos. NinHaoChina produces many Chinese tutorial videos. Unfortunately it appears they are not uploading any new Chinese language material. (understandable, languages change at a glacial pace) Embedded below is a video I watched this morning. The video is about Pinyin, a very basic system to learn the four Chinese tones.
Here is another video that I watched today, going over useful Chinese expressions. Even though I am revisiting pinyin, we must jump into the harder stuff if we are to excel in any language. My goal is to watch this video six times before putting it to rest. I challenge you to watch this video Six times over as well. Repetition is how we master a language.
Pinyin (Chinese: 拼音; pinyin: Pīnyīn; Wade–Giles: P'in1-yin1; [pʰín ín]) or formally Hanyu Pinyin (simplified Chinese: 汉语拼音; traditional Chinese:漢語拼音; pinyin: Hànyǔ Pīnyīn; Wade–Giles: Han4-yü3 P'in1-yin1) is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into Latin script in China,Taiwan, and Singapore. It is often used to teach Standard Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and may be used as an input method to enter Chinese characters (汉字/漢字; hanzi) into computers.
The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s based on earlier forms of romanization. It was published by the Chinese government in 1958 and revised several times. The International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as the international standard in 1982. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is generally referred to as the New Phonetic System and is used for romanization alone rather than for educational and computer input purposes.
Hànyǔ means the spoken language of the Han people and pinyin literally means "spelled-out sounds." "Pinyin" is a shorthand form of "Pinyin wenzi" (Chinese: 拼音文字; pinyin: Pīnyīn wénzì; Wade–Giles: P'in1-yin1 wen2-tzu4), which means "alphabetical writing system." "Hanyu pinyin wenzi" thus means "the alphabetical writing system for the Chinese language."
Strokes are classified into eight basic forms, each strokes appearing in the character "eternally" and listed below according to their contemporary names:
There are 416 syllables in Mandarin Chinese, irrespective of the four tones. The following list shows the syllables in alphabetical order in Hanyu Pinyin.
A—a, ai, an, ang, ao,
B—ba, bai, ban, bang, bao, bei, ben, beng, bi, bian, biao, bie, bin, bing, bo, bu,
C—ca, cai, can, cang, cao, ce, cen, ceng, cha, chai, chan, chang, chao, che, chen,cheng, chi, chong, chou, chu, chua, chuai, chuan, chuang, chui, chun, chuo, ci, cong, cou, cu, cuan, cui, cun, cuo,
D—da, dai, dan, dang, dao, de, dei, den, deng, di, dia, dian, diao, die, ding, diu, dong, dou, du, duan, dui, dun, duo,
E—e, ê, ei, en, eng, er,
F—fa, fan, fang, fei, fen, feng, fo, fou, fu,
G—ga, gai, gan, gang, gao, ge, gei, gen, geng, gong, gou, gu, gua, guai, guan, guang, gui, gun, guo,
H—ha, hai, han, hang, hao, he, hei, hen, heng, hm, hng, hong, hou, hu, hua, huai, huan, huang, hui, hun, huo,
J—ji, jia, jian, jiang, jiao, jie, jin, jing, jiong, jiu, ju, juan, jue, jun,
K—ka, kai, kan, kang, kao, ke, kei, ken, keng, kong, kou, ku, kua, kuai, kuan, kuang, kui, kun, kuo,
L—la, lai, lan, lang, lao, le, lei, leng, li, lia, lian, liang, liao, lie, lin, ling, liu, lo, long, lou, lu, lü, luan, lüe, lun, luo,
M—m, ma, mai, man, mang, mao, me, mei, men, meng, mi, mian, miao, mie, min, ming, miu, mo, mou, mu,
N—n, na, nai, nan, nang, nao, ne, nei, nen, neng, ng, ni, nian, niang, niao, nie, nin, ning, niu, nong, nou, nu, nü, nuan, nüe, nuo,
P—pa, pai, pan, pang, pao, pei, pen, peng, pi, pian, piao, pie, pin, ping, po, pou, pu,
Q—qi, qia, qian, qiang, qiao, qie, qin, qing, qiong, qiu, qu, quan, que, qun,
R—ran, rang, rao, re, ren, reng, ri, rong, rou, ru, ruan, rui, run, ruo,
S—sa, sai, san, sang, sao, se, sen, seng, sha, shai, shan, shang, shao, she, shei, shen, sheng, shi, shou, shu, shua, shuai, shuan, shuang, shui, shun, shuo, si, song, sou, su, suan, sui, sun, suo,
T—ta, tai, tan, tang, tao, te, teng, ti, tian, tiao, tie, ting, tong, tou, tu, tuan, tui, tun, tuo,
W—wa, wai, wan, wang, wei, wen, weng, wo, wu,
X—xi, xia, xian, xiang, xiao, xie, xin, xing, xiong, xiu, xu, xuan, xue, xun,
Y—ya, yai, yan, yang, yao, ye, yi, yin, ying, yo, yong, you, yu, yuan, yue, yun,
Z—za, zai, zan, zang, zao, ze, zei, zen, zeng, zha, zhai, zhan, zhang, zhao, zhe, zhei, zhen, zheng, zhi, zhong, zhou, zhu, zhua, zhuai, zhuan, zhuang, zhui, zhun, zhuo, zi, zong, zou, zu, zuan, zui, zun, zuo.