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The formulation of Pinyin[edit | edit source]
Historic background[edit | edit source]
The explanation of Pinyin[edit | edit source]
What is Pinyin?[edit | edit source]
Pinyin (also called Hanyu Pinyin, Romanized Chinese or Pinyin Chinese) is a type of transliteration for Putonghua - the Standard Chinese language (a tonal language) where tone marks are used to show tones. It is the official form of the Latin alphabet transliteration used for the People's Republic of China and most of the world. And it is the standard form of Chinese Romanization for the United Nations.
|-i (after zh,ch,sh,r)||[ʅ]|
|-i (after z,c,s)||[ɿ]|
- "u" after "j, q, x, y" is pronounced as "ü" (the two dots is omitted in spelling)
- "e" after "i, u, ü, y" is pronounced as "ê" (the hat "^" is omitted in spelling)
- "e" before "i" is pronounced as "ê" (the hat "^" is omitted in spelling)
- "o" before "ng" is pronounced as "u" ("u" is written as "o" in spelling)
Basic combinations of vowels and consonants[edit | edit source]
- "ei" is pronounced as "êi" ("êi" is written as "ei" in spelling)
- "ong" is pronounced as "ung" ("ung" is written as "ong" in spelling)
Pronunciation of vowels[edit | edit source]
|a||[a]||as the vowel in father||bàba (papa)|
|e||[ə]||as the vowel in "stir"||gēge (elder brother)|
|ê||[ɛ]||as the vowel in "their"||xièxie (thank)|
|i||[i]||as the vowel in "bit"||dìdi (younger brother)|
|-i (after zh,ch,sh,r)||[ʅ]||similar to the consonant "r" in "rank", but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards||zhīchí (support)|
|-i (after z,c,s)||[ɿ]||similar to the consonant in "zoo"||zìsī (selfish)|
|o||[o]||as the vowel in "law"||lǎopo (wife)|
|u||[u]||as the vowel in "food"||mǔqin (mother)|
|ü||[y]||as in German "üben" or French "lune" (To get this sound, say "ee" with rounded lips)||lǚyóu (travel), yǔyán* (language)|
- The two dots of ü is omitted after "j, q, x, y".
Pronunciation of consonants[edit | edit source]
|b||[p]||p unaspirated, as in sport||Běijīng (capital of China)|
|p||[pʰ]||p aspirated, as in port||piányi (cheap), piàoliang (beautiful)|
|m||[m]||as in English||miàntiáo (noodles)|
|f||[f]||as in English||fācái (get rich)|
|w||[w]||as in English||wàiguórén (foreigner)|
|d||[t]||t unaspirated, as in stand||dà (big)|
|t||[tʰ]||t aspirated, as in tent||tàipíng (peace)|
|n||[n]||as in English||nánrén (man)|
|l||[l]||as in English||lǎorén (old man)|
|g||[k]||k unaspirated, as in sky||guójiā (country)|
|k||[kʰ]||k aspirated, as in kit||kèrén (guest)|
|ng||[ŋ]||as in English||fēngzi (lunatic), ńg (huh?)|
|h||[x]||like the English h if followed by "a"; otherwise it is pronounced more roughly (not unlike the Scots ch)||hāhā (sound of laughter), hēshuǐ (drink water)|
|j||[tɕ]||like q, but unaspirated. (To get this sound, first take the sound halfway between joke and check, and then slowly pass it backwards along the tongue until it is entirely clear of the tongue tip.) While this exact sound is not used in English, the closest match is the j in ajar, not the s in Asia; this means that "Beijing" is pronounced like "bay-jing", not like "beige-ing". You may simply pronounce it as zh and a Chinese may understand it.||jiàotáng (church), jiā (home or family)|
|q||[tɕʰ]||like church, but with less of the "ch"/"h" sound; pass it backwards along the tongue until it is free of the tongue tip||shēngqì (get angry)|
|x||[ɕ]||like sh, but with less of the "s" sound. Take the sound and pass it backwards along the tongue until it is clear of the tongue tip; similar to the final sound in German ich, Portuguese enxada, luxo, xícara, puxa, and to huge or Hugh in some English dialects||xiǎohái (child), Xīzàng (Xizang/Tibet)|
|y||[j]||as in English||yuèliang (moon)|
|zh||[tʂ]||ch with no aspiration (take the sound halfway between joke and church and curl it upwards); very similar to merger in American English, but not voiced||Zhōngguó (China), zháohuǒ (catch fire)|
|ch||[tʂʰ]||as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nature in American English, but strongly aspirated||chīfàn (have a meal), chǎojià (quarrel)|
|sh||[ʂ]||as in shinbone, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to undershirt in American English||shāmò (desert), Shànghǎi (city in China)|
|r||[ɻ]||similar to the English r in rank, but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards||rè (hot), rèqíng (passion)|
|z||[ts]||unaspirated c (halfway between beds and bets), (more common example is suds)||zǎoshànghǎo (good morning!), qīzi (wife), Zhāng Zǐyí (name of a Chinese actress)|
|c||[tsʰ]||like ts, aspirated (more common example is cats)||cǎo (grass), cì, time|
|s||[s]||as in sun||Lāsà (Lhasa, capital of Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region), Sūzhōu (capital of the province of Jiangsu, near Shanghai)|
- Nearly all consonants in Chinese are voiceless.
Pinyin syllable table[edit | edit source]
- "u" after "j, q, x, y" is pronounced as "ü" (the two dots is omitted in spelling), but the two dots of "nü" and "lü" cannot be omitted.
Tones[edit | edit source]
Unstressed syllable also called neutral tone which is unmarked, for example yuèliang (moon).
Syllable-dividing mark[edit | edit source]
Syllable-dividing mark is the mark for dividing syllables, used before the syllables starting with vowels "a", "o", or "e", such as "pí'ǎo".
The application of Pinyin[edit | edit source]
To spell Chinese language[edit | edit source]
Phonetic notation of Hanzi[edit | edit source]
For spelling Putonghua[edit | edit source]
Chinese is normally written by ideographics. But for non-Chinese-speaking people, it is hard to recognize them. Pinyin can help Chinese learners recognize them more easily. This is a useful way to learn Chinese. Pinyin can also be used in place of Hanzi when Hanzi is not convenient.
Indexing problems[edit | edit source]
There is no particular order to Hanzi as it does not use the Roman alphabet (also called the Latin alphabet, i.e. ABC), so ordering by alphabetical order is inconvenient. There are currently many indexing methods to Hanzi, including character stroke, character radical, Four-Corner System, Zhuyin, Pinyin and etc. The structural problems of Hanzi cause indexing difficulty.
Solutions to indexing problems[edit | edit source]
There have been suggestions to use Pinyin as the indexing method. Pinyin adopts internationally used Roman alphabet, makes convenient file order. Pinyin uses phonetic values, avoiding the problem created by the lack of unity between traditional and simplified character strokes.
Technical terms translation[edit | edit source]
Technical terms translation problems[edit | edit source]
Majority of written language uses Roman alphabet (also called Latin alphabet). Hanzi (also called Chinese character) is not an alphabetic written language and is not convenient for translation, causing a lot of confusion. Technological terms such as Internet can be translated as 互联网 (Hùliánwǎng), 国际互联网 (Guójì Hùliánwǎng), 因特网 (Yīntèwǎng); laser translated as 雷射 (léishè), 镭射 (léishè), 莱塞 (láisài), 激光 (jīguāng). Brand names such as National, Panasonic, Technics are translated as 乐声牌 (Lèshēng-pái), 松下 (Sōng-xià); Sharp is translated as 声宝 (Shēngbǎo), 夏普 (Xiàpǔ); Sony is translated as 新力 (Xīnlì), 索尼 (Suǒní). Place names such as 北京 (Běijīng) is translated as Peking, Beijing; 广州 (Guǎngzhōu) is translated as Canton, Kwangchow, Guangzhou. People names such as the surname 罗 (Luó) is translated as Luo, Lo, Law; 李 (Lǐ) is translated as Lee, Li; Nixon is translated as 尼克逊 (Níkèxùn), 尼克松 (Níkèsōng). The same person can be translated into different names.
Technical terms translation problem solutions[edit | edit source]
When translating foreign languages, directly transliterating foreign languages can solve problems. For example, Internet directly translates to the Internet; laser directly translates to the laser; National, Panasonic and Technics directly translate to National, Panasonic and Technics, or as kanji of Japan: 松下 (Sōng-xià). Names of Chinese people, places and technical terms all use Pinyin to transliterate to foreign languages. For example, 北京 (Běijīng) 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) and 普通话 (Pǔtōnghuà) use Pinyin to transliterate to Beijing, Deng Xiaoping and Putonghua.
Standardization of person and place names[edit | edit source]
Romanization of technical terms and code names[edit | edit source]
Romanization[edit | edit source]
Romanization, also called Latinization, is the process using Roman alphabet to write a language which is not written originally using Roman alphabet. Such as the Romanized Chinese, that is Hanyu Pinyin.
Romahuà, yě jiàozuò Latinhuà, jiùshì yòng Roma Zìmǔ shūxiě yuánběn bùshì yòng Roma Zìmǔ shūxiě de wénzì. Lìrú Romahuà Zhōngwén, yějiùshì Hànyǔ Pīnyīn.
Learn Chinese[edit | edit source]
Pinyin is a tool for learning Mandarin, and is used to explain both the grammar and spoken Mandarin. Books containing both Hanzi and Pinyin are used by learners of Chinese; Pinyin's role in teaching pronunciation is similar to Furigana-based books (with Hiragana letters written above or next to Kanji, directly analogous to Zhuyin) in Japanese or fully vocalised texts in Arabic ("vocalized Arabic").
Pinyin reading materials[edit | edit source]
Pinyin reading materials are commonly used for learning Chinese.
Hanzi input[edit | edit source]
Pinyin input method[edit | edit source]
Pinyin input method is a popularly used phonetic input method. To key in Putonghua's pinyin which will automatically convert into Hanzi. For example: "BABA" is for inputting "爸爸".
Resources[edit | edit source]
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Pinyin Orthography[edit | edit source]
Dictionaries[edit | edit source]
Pinyin reading matters[edit | edit source]
The reading materials of this book can be used for learning Chinese as well as English.
Pinyin tone marking[edit | edit source]
ā á ǎ à a = a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 = a ar aa ah 'a *
āi ái ǎi ài = ai air aai aih
ān án ǎn àn = an arn aan ahn
āng áng ǎng àng = ang arng aang ahng
ē é ě è = e er ee eh
- ér ěr èr = - err eer erh
nǖ nǘ nǚ nǜ = nv nvr nvv nvh
lǖ lǘ lǚ lǜ = lv lvr lvv lvh
de = d, dy, or de, can be written distinguishably as follows:
d indicating subordination; suffix indicating an adjective
dy -ly, suffix indicating an adverb
de indicating a verb followed by an adverb or adverb clause; infix indicating be able to
le indicating a past tense; indicating a new situation
bu not, no; non-, un-; be unable to
'g non-specific measure word
'r non-syllabic diminutive suffix; retroflex final
- * Syllable-dividing mark can be replaced by grave mark (`) when apostrophe (') is used for indicating neutral tone.
- Alternative methods can be used when diacritics are not convenient.