Today we learn the first alphabet, it’s also the first vowels. Interestingly, both Mandarin Chinese and English have this sound. But they are somehow very different. The most conspicuous one is that there are 4 tones in Chinese while the same vowel has several sounds in English.
Before we dive into 4 tones. Let’s just practice how to pronounce the a sound, just like the a in father.
Now you have heard the sound, please write it on a sheet of paper or you can download this Exercise Sheet. Write it and repeat the sound.
Now let’s move on to the 4 tones of a. Please listen to them and see if there are similar sounds in your own language. The sounds are played in order.
Here is an example of hand writing of initial a: