consonant that begins as a stop but releases as a fricative

Affricates are consonants that are said with a stop with a fricative immediately afterwards. For example, the 'ch' sound in English (written as /t͡ʃ/ in IPA) is said with an 't' (/t/) sound with an 'sh' (/ʃ/) sound immediately afterwards. Both voiced and voiceless affricates exist; in English, they are /d͡ʒ/ (the 'j' sound) and /t͡ʃ/ (the 'ch' sound) respectively.

Affricates in English
Voicing IPA Often written as letter(s)... Sample word in English Sample word in IPA
Voiceless affricate t͡ʃ ch chew /t͡ʃu/
Voiced affricate d͡ʒ j Jew /d͡ʒu/

In Mandarin Chinese, affricates are told apart by aspiration, or breathiness, since voiced affricates do not exist; aspirated affricates, or breathy affricates, are /t͡ɕʰ/ (written as 'q' in Hanyu Pinyin), /t͡sʰ/ ('c'), and /ʈ͡ʂʰ/ ('ch'), and unaspirated affricates, or non-breathy affricates, are /t͡ɕ/ ('j'), /t͡s/ ('z'), and /ʈ͡ʂ/ ('zh').

Affricates in Mandarin Chinese
Aspiration Pinyin IPA Sample Chinese word Word meaning
Aspirated ch- /ʈ͡ʂʰ/ 炒 chǎo to fry
c- /t͡sʰ/ 草 cǎo grass / straw
q- /t͡ɕʰ/ 桥 qiáo bridge
Unaspirated zh- /ʈ͡ʂ/ zhào 找 to look for / to seek
z- /t͡s/ zǎo 早 morning
j- /t͡ɕ/ jiào 叫 to call (oneself)