Pinyin is a tricky animal. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you master the pinyin pronunciation system, then you'll have a very sure foundation to build excellent Mandarin on.
Pinyin and saying all the sounds correctly cannot be just an afterthought. This is one issue you'll always be happy that you were proactive on from the start.
Audrey has years of experience teaching folks the nuts and bolts of these sounds and drilling them until they get it right. Plus, her experience of formal training as a broadcaster should only reinforce your confidence that she has the know-how to steer you right.
Enjoy these two videos, compliments of my pronunciation coach (and wife), each teaching you what most Westerners find to be some of the most difficult sounds. If you can get your tongue around these, there's no sound you can't conquer.
The next pinyin sound pair that requires a closer look is the sounds for j and zh. These two pinyin initials may be deceptively similar to the untrained ear. The solution?
To start training our ears and get ourselves mouthing the right sounds! So let's turn to Audrey once again for the keys to unlock the tricks of pinyin pronunciation for the Mandarin initials zh and j...
Making these distinctions early between sounds like 'x' and 'sh' or 'zh' and 'j' which may at first, to our untrained ears, seem awfully close, will prove very useful for smooth development in your speaking and listening abilities. We hope these videos will have done a lot towards putting you on the right track.
Happy Mandarin learning!