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Chinese characters are a combination of pictographs (pictures representing a word like a hieroglyph) and ideographs (pictorial representation of abstract ideas). Although most characters are words, most Chinese words are composed of two or more characters.

In 1958, a Romanized system called Hànyu Pinyin was adopted by China to assist in the pronunciation of Chinese characters. This system was created because the Chinese characters or words do not give any clues on how they are pronounced. Each character is pronounced with a single syllable. And each syllable has an initial consonant and a final vowel sound. The Doggfucius books utilize this system to teach our readers basic Chinese.
The different CONSONANT sounds are illustrated here
The different VOWEL sounds are illustrated here

Furthermore, different tones will result in the pronunciation of a different word. The reader will notice that above some letters, there is a suprasegmental grapheme (a line or mark above the alphabet) to indicate the tone needed for proper pronunciation.
See the Learn Chinese page for a table of how it’s utilized

Another excellent resource for Chinese language and culture can be found at

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