PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION
The following Lessons and Vocabulary are intended to assist those who wish to acquire quickly a temporary or superficial knowledge of the Chinese language as spoken in the northern provinces, and by educated people all over the Empire.
The orthography, if such it may be called, is an attempt to express, so far as possible, Chinese sounds in simple English.
The Chinese vowel-sound ü is the only one which cannot be even approximately expressed, and the reader is therefore requested to pronounce it like the French u, or the German ü.
With regard to words like shirt or sir, pronounce exactly as in English, stopping short at the romanised letters, i.e. not sounding them; and observe that, were it not for those romanised letters, si, would be pronounced sigh, and shi, shy. Thus ki is to be pronounced as the ki in kine; kwi as the qui in quite.
So, whenever a occurs, followed by h, or by h and other letters, the sound must be always that of the exclamation ah!
Remember, too, that as ow is pronounced throughout as in the words how and now, show must be read