- 1 The formulation of Hanyu Pinyin
- 2 The explanation of Hanyu Pinyin
- 3 The application of Pinyin
- 3.1 To spell Chinese language
- 3.2 Application technology
- 3.2.1 Indexing
- 3.2.2 Technical terms translation
- 3.2.3 Standardization of person and place names
- 3.2.4 Romanization of technical terms and code names
- 3.3 Learn Chinese
- 3.4 Hanzi input
- 4 Appendix
The formulation of Hanyu Pinyin
Pinyin (Hanyu Pinyin in full name) was officially declared by the government of the People's Republic of China in 1958.
The explanation of Hanyu Pinyin
What is Hanyu Pinyin?
Hanyu Pinyin is a type of transliteration for the Chinese language, a tonal language, where accents 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
- "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
|a||[a]||as the vowel in "star" without the "r" sound||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)||yǔyán* (language)|
- The two dots of ü is omitted after "j, q, x, y".
Pronunciation of consonants
|b||[b]||b, as in bit||Běijīng (capital of China)|
|p||[p]||as in English||piányi (cheap), piàoliang (beautiful)|
|m||[m]||as in English||miàntiáo (noodles)|
|f||[f]||as in English||fācái (get rich)|
|d||[d]||d, as in dark||dà (big)|
|t||[t]||as in English||tàipíng (peace)|
|n||[n]||as in English||nánrén (man)|
|l||[l]||as in English||lǎorén (old man)|
|g||[g]||g, as in gill, never as
|k||[k]||as in English||kèrén (guest)|
|h||[x]||like the English h if followed by "a"; otherwise it is pronounced more roughly (not unlike the Scots ch)||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; very similar to the final sound in German ich, Portuguese enxada, luxo, xícara, puxa, and to huge or Hugh in some English dialects||xiǎohái (child), Xizang (Tibet)|
|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 (be on fire)|
|ch||[tʂʰ]||as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture 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 (a big 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||Lhasa (capital of Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region), Suzhou (capital of the province of Jiansu, near Shanghai)|
|y||[j]||as in English||yuèliang (moon)|
|w||[w]||as in English||wàiguórén (foreigner)|
|ng||[ŋ]||as in English||ng (What?, Huh?)|
Pinyin syllable table
- "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.
There are four tone marks in Hanyu Pinyin and they are essential to correct pronunciation: ā, á, ǎ, à, written above the first vowel of the word (the vowel "a" in this example), or written as a1, a2, a3, a4, respectively. (See also the Chinese wikibook page on using tones).
We should divide Pinyin text by words and write syllables connectedly, such as "I am a foreigner" should be written as "Wǒ shì wàiguórén" in Pinyin.
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
To spell Chinese language
Phonetic notation of Hanzi
To spell Putonghua
There is no particular order to Hanzi, because Hanzi don't use Roman alphabet (i.e. ABC), so in indexing application is inconvenient. There are currently many indexing methods to Hanzi, including character stroke, character radical, Four-Corner System, Zhuyin, Hanyu Pinyin and etc. The structural problems of Hanzi make indexing difficult.
Solutions to indexing problems
Related governments together stipulate a unified Hanzi strokes and radicals standard.
Suggestion to use Pinyin as indexing method, because Hanyu Pinyin adopts internationally used Roman alphabet, making file order convenient. Pinyin uses phonetic, avoiding traditional and simplified character strokes non-unified problem.
Technical terms translation
Technical terms translation problems
Majority of written language uses Roman alphabet. Hanzi is not a language of alphabetic writing and is not convenient for translation, causing a lot of confusion. Technological terms such as Internet can be translated as Huhliarnwaang (互联网), Guorjih huhliarnwaang (国际互联网), Yintewaang (因特网); laser translated as leirsheh (雷射), leirsheh (镭射), lairsaih (莱塞), jiguang (激光). Proper nouns such as National, Panasonic, Technics is translated as Lehsheng-pair (乐声牌); Sharp is translated as Shengbaao (声宝), Xiahpuu (夏普); Sony is translated as Xinlih (新力), Suoonir (索尼). Place names such as Beeijing is translated as Peking, Beijing; Guaangzhou is translated as Canton, Kwangchow, Guangzhou. People names such as the surname Luor (罗) is translated as Luo, Lo, Law; Lii (李) is translated as Lee, Li; Nixon is translated as Nirkehxuhn (尼克逊), Nirkehsong (尼克松). The same person can be translated into many names.
Technical terms translation problem solutions
When translating foreign languages, directly transliterate foreign languages can solve problem. For example, Internet directly translate to Internet; laser directly translate to laser; National, Panasonic and Technics directly translate to National, Panasonic and Technics. Names of Chinese people, places and technical terms all use Pinyin to transliterate to foreign languages. For example, Beeijing, Dehng Xiaaopirng and Puutonghuah use Hanyu Pinyin to transliterate to Beijing, Deng Xiaoping and Putonghua.
Standardization of person and place names
Romanization of technical terms and code names
It is quite easy to learn Chinese by Pinyin which is a phonetic alphabet system to write Chinese. The grammar of Chinese is quite simple.
Hanyu Pinyin input method
Hanyu 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".
Pinyin reading matters
- The Problems of Hanzi Application in IT
- Pinyin-English News Summary for learners of Chinese language
- Pinyin vocabulary (Pinyin-Hanzi-English Chinese-English dictionary)