- 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 (also called Pinyin, Romanized Chinese, and Pinyin Chinese) 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). (See also the Chinese wikibook page on using tones).
Alternative methods are used when diacritics are not convenient.
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
For spelling Putonghua
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.
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, 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.
There have been suggestions to use Pinyin as the indexing method. Hanyu Pinyin adopts internationally used Roman alphabet, making file order convenient. Pinyin uses phonetic values, avoiding the problem created by the lack of unity between traditional and simplified character strokes.
Technical terms translation
Technical terms translation problems
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 (Huìlánwǎng), 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); 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
When translating foreign languages, directly transliterating 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, 北京 (Běijīng) 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) and 普通话 (Pǔtōnghuà) use Hanyu Pinyin to transliterate to Beijing, Deng Xiaoping and Putonghua.
Standardization of person and place names
Romanization of technical terms and code names
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.
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 ("vocalised Arabic").
Pinyin reading materials
Pinyin reading material is an article written in Hanyu Pinyin. It can include Hanzi or English version. Pinyin reading materials with English versions can be used for learning Chinese as well as English.
Pīnyīn yuèdú-cáiliào shì yòng Hànyǔ Pīnyīn xiěchéng de wénzhāng. Tā kě bāokuò Hànzì huò Yīngwén bǎnběn. Pīnyīn yuèdú-cáiliào liántóng Yīngwén bǎnběn kě yònglái xuéxí Zhōngwén, yě kě xuéxí Yīngwén.
Pinyin reading materials are commonly used for learning Chinese.
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".
Hanyu Pinyin Orthography
Pinyin reading matters
Pinyin reading materials can be used for learning Chinese as well as English.
Pinyin tone marking
ā á ǎ à a = a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 = a ar aa ah 'a
āi ái ǎi ài = ai air aai aih
āng áng ǎng àng = ang arng aang ahng
ē é ě è = e er ee eh
- ér ěr èr = - err eer erh
ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ = v vr vv vh
- Alternative methods are used when diacritics are not convenient.
- Syllable-dividing mark is replaced by grave mark (`) when hyphen (') is used for indicating neutral tone.