If you study in a diverse school, work in a diverse company, or live in a diverse neighborhood or country, you may already have some Chinese friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates, colleagues, students, subordinates, professors, and managers. If you do business in China or across the world, you may likely meet some Chinese clients, business partners, competitors, and officials. Saying their names right is almost always one of the greatest challenges in communication, because the way that Mandarin Chinese sounds are Romanized in English alphabet (called "Pinyin", which means "spell of sounds") is sometimes not intuitive to English speakers, unlike many other languages. However, Chinese pronunciation is in fact not difficult, as nearly all the sounds have close enough English equivalents, if not exact. This website will help you say Chinese names (and all sounds in Mandarin Chinese) in their closest English pronunciations without you having to learn Chinese. Hopefully, it will reduce the communication barrier and make your neighborhood and workplace a little bit more diverse and inclusive than yesterday.
The goal of this website is not to teach you authentic Chinese, which requires tremendous effort and practice. Instead, it provides a quick dictionary search, helping you find the closest English pronunciations to Chinese words, without struggling to place your lips and tongue precisely. If learning authentic Chinese is your goal, you can sign up for a class or learn from the abundant resources online.
This website is created by Boxiao Li. He works as a petroleum engineer in Chevron in Houston, Texas, USA. He holds Bachelor of Environmental Science and Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Master and Ph.D. of Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University, with a Ph.D. minor in Management Science and Engineering.
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