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How to pronounce 'Beijing'

Okay, for all non Chinese speakers, here’s a short video on how to pronounce the name of China’s capital properly. It also offers a memorable explanation of why the Beijing Summer Olympics logo is so beautifully linked to the Chinese characters used to spell the capital.

I know nothing about the “two characters” who put on this video but they should do more.


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Actually if you look around the official website, you can find references to both Jing and Wen. Officially it may be Jing but I think there is more to it than meets the eye.


They were actually teaching the pinyin pronunciation of Beijing, or more appropriately, the correct intonation - Běijīng.


RE: Logo
Panda Licker - 1
Angry Youth - 0


Jamie Ciocco

Tim, thanks so much for linking to our video! I'll let the Two Chinese Characters know.

in the video, the TCC are teaching the correct English pronunciation of Beijing, based on standard Mandarin Chinese. They specifically say NOT to say zhing, but instead to use a regular English "j" sound.

From the official Beijing 2008 Olympics site: "With inspiration from the traditional Chinese art form - calligraphic art, the character 'Jing' (the latter of the city's name) is developed into the form of a dancing human being...."

Thanks for your comments!!


It would be more insulting to know what Kaan-baligh is first.

Is the Chinese Olympic symbol really a stylized Jing (京)character? Are they making that up? I always thought it was supposed to be the Wen (文, culture) character to symbolize the coming of culture (or coming of age). It's more symbolic that way and makes a lot more sense in terms of Chinese ambition. "To show the world our culture"

If you look at Chinese etymology, no matter how much you stylize the "jing" character, it can never look like that at least not as a seal script.

James Cochran

Make the han people happy by correctly pronouncing it Kaan-baligh


Obviously neither of these people can actually pronunce Jing correctly. Jing =/="Zhing"
Bei is a little off too


Try this for size:

"shí-sì shì shí-sì,
sì-shí shì sì-shí,
shí-sì bù-dú sì-shí,
sì-shí bù-dú shí-sì"


So do we call this video "Dai Zi Bao"?

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"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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