Pinyin
Pinyin
Chinese
Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Pinyin, or Hàny? P?ny?n, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang,[1] based on earlier forms of romanization of Chinese. It was published by the Chinese government in 1958 and revised several times.[2] The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982,[3] followed by the United Nations in 1986.[1] The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for romanization alone (in part to make areas more English-friendly) rather than for educational and computer-input purposes.[4][5]

The word Hàny? (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) means "The spoken language of the Han people." P?ny?n () literally means "spelled sounds".[6]

History of romanization of Chinese before 1949

In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji (; X?zì Qíj?; Hsi-tzu Ch'i-chi; "Miracle of Western Letters") in Beijing.[7] This was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years later, another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi (?; Hsi Ju Erh-mu Tzu; "Aid to the Eyes and Ears of Western Literati") at Hangzhou.[8] Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, and the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese.[9]

One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing Dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi (; F?ng Y?zhì; Fang I-chih; 1611-1671).[10]

The first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu (1862-1910). A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there. This galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script. While Song did not himself actually create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts.[9]

Wade-Giles

The Wade-Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, and further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese-English Dictionary of 1892. It was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979.[11]

Sin Wenz

In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters which had been developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was originally intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East.[12] This Sin Wenz or "New Writing"[13] was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, with the major exception that it did not indicate tones.[14]

In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy (in characters) for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal. Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Yat-sen's son, Sun Fo; Cai Yuanpei, the country's most prestigious educator; Tao Xingzhi, a leading educational reformer; and Lu Xun. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, biographies (including Lincoln, Franklin, Edison, Ford, and Charlie Chaplin), some contemporary Chinese literature, and a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and completely replace characters. Opposition arose, however, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, and therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years.[15]

Yale Romanization

In 1943, the U.S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is very close to pinyin, but doesn't use English letters in unfamiliar ways; for example, pinyin x is written as sy. Medial semivowels are written with y and w (instead of pinyin i and u), and apical vowels (syllabic consonants) with r or z. Accent marks are used to indicate tone.

History of Hanyu Pinyin

Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is often called "the father of pinyin",[1][16][17][18] Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. He became an economics professor in Shanghai, and in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist.[1]

Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, and the diacritic markings from zhuyin.[19] "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later; "I'm the son of pinyin. It's [the result of] a long tradition from the later years of the Qing dynasty down to today. But we restudied the problem and revisited it and made it more perfect."[20]

A draft was published on February 12, 1956. The first edition of Hanyu Pinyin was approved and adopted at the Fifth Session of the 1st National People's Congress on February 11, 1958. It was then introduced to primary schools as a way to teach Standard Chinese pronunciation and used to improve the literacy rate among adults.[21]

Beginning in the early 1980s, Western publications addressing Mainland China began using the Hanyu Pinyin romanization system instead of earlier romanization systems;[22] this change followed the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the PRC in 1979.[23] In 2001, the PRC Government issued the National Common Language Law, providing a legal basis for applying pinyin.[21] The current specification of the orthographic rules is laid down in the National Standard GB/T 16159-2012.[24]

Usage

Pinyin superseded older romanization systems such as Wade-Giles (1859; modified 1892) and postal romanization, and replaced zhuyin as the method of Chinese phonetic instruction in mainland China. The ISO adopted pinyin as the standard romanization for modern Chinese in 1982 (ISO 7098:1982, superseded by ISO 7098:2015); the United Nations followed suit in 1986.[1][25] It has also been accepted by the government of Singapore, the United States' Library of Congress, the American Library Association, and many other international institutions.[26][not in citation given]

The spelling of Chinese geographical or personal names in pinyin has become the most common way to transcribe them in English. Pinyin has also become the dominant method for entering Chinese text into computers in Mainland China, in contrast to Taiwan where Bopomofo is most commonly used.

A school slogan asking elementary students to speak Putonghua is annotated with pinyin, but without tonal marks.

Families outside of Taiwan who speak Mandarin as a mother tongue use pinyin to help children associate characters with spoken words which they already know. Chinese families outside of Taiwan who speak some other language as their mother tongue use the system to teach children Mandarin pronunciation when they learn vocabulary in elementary school.[27][28]

Since 1958, pinyin has been actively used in adult education as well, making it easier for formerly illiterate people to continue with self-study after a short period of pinyin literacy instruction.[29]

Pinyin has become a tool for many foreigners to learn Mandarin pronunciation, and is used to explain both the grammar and spoken Mandarin coupled with Chinese characters (; ; Hànzì). Books containing both Chinese characters and pinyin are often used by foreign learners of Chinese; pinyin's role in teaching pronunciation to foreigners and children is similar in some respects 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").

The tone-marking diacritics are commonly omitted in popular news stories and even in scholarly works. This results in some degree of ambiguity as to which words are being represented.

Overview

In Yiling, Yichang, Hubei, text on road signs appears both in Chinese characters and in Hanyu Pinyin

When a foreign writing system with one set of coding/decoding system is taken to write a language, certain compromises may have to be made. The result is that the decoding systems used in some foreign languages will enable non-native speakers to produce sounds more closely resembling the target language than will the coding/decoding system used by other foreign languages. Native speakers of English will decode pinyin spellings to fairly close approximations of Mandarin except in the case of certain speech sounds that are not ordinarily produced by most native speakers of English: j, q, x, z, c, s, zh, ch, sh, and r exhibiting the greatest discrepancies. (When Chinese speakers call out these letters, they read them as: ji, qi, xi, zi, ci, si, zhi, chi, shi, and ri. The i in the last four sounds more like r and the use of i is purely a matter of convention.)

Most native speakers of English find these sounds difficult.

In this system, the correspondence between the Roman letter and the sound is sometimes idiosyncratic, though not necessarily more so than the way the Latin script is employed in other languages. For example, the aspiration distinction between b, d, g and p, t, k is similar to that of English (in which the two sets are however also differentiated by voicing), but not to that of French. Letters z and c also have that distinction, pronounced as [ts] and [ts?] (whilst reminiscent of both of them being used for the phoneme [ts] in the German language and Latin script-using Slavic languages respectively). From s, z, c come the digraphs sh, zh, ch by analogy with English sh, ch. Although this introduces the novel combination zh, it is internally consistent in how the two series are related, and reminds the trained reader that many Chinese pronounce sh, zh, ch as s, z, c (and English-speakers use zh to represent /?/ in foreign languages such as Russian anyway). In the x, j, q series, the pinyin use of x is similar to its use in Portuguese, Galician, Catalan, Basque, and Maltese; and the pinyin q is akin to its value in Albanian; both pinyin and Albanian pronunciations may sound similar to the ch to the untrained ear. Pinyin vowels are pronounced in a similar way to vowels in Romance languages.

The pronunciation and spelling of Chinese words are generally given in terms of initials and finals, which represent the segmental phonemic portion of the language, rather than letter by letter. Initials are initial consonants, while finals are all possible combinations of medials (semivowels coming before the vowel), the nucleus vowel, and coda (final vowel or consonant).

Initials and finals

Unlike European languages, clusters of letters - initials (; ; sh?ngm?) and finals (; ; yùnm?) - and not consonant and vowel letters, form the fundamental elements in pinyin (and most other phonetic systems used to describe the Han language). Every Mandarin syllable can be spelled with exactly one initial followed by one final, except for the special syllable er or when a trailing -r is considered part of a syllable (see below). The latter case, though a common practice in some sub-dialects, is rarely used in official publications. One exception is the city Harbin (; ), whose name comes from the Manchu language.

Even though most initials contain a consonant, finals are not always simple vowels, especially in compound finals (; ; fùyùnm?), i.e. when a "medial" is placed in front of the final. For example, the medials [i] and [u] are pronounced with such tight openings at the beginning of a final that some native Chinese speakers (especially when singing) pronounce y? (?, clothes, officially pronounced /í/) as /jí/ and wéi (?; ?, to enclose, officially pronounced /u?i/) as /w?i/ or /wu?i/. Often these medials are treated as separate from the finals rather than as part of them; this convention is followed in the chart of finals below.

Initials

In each cell below, the bold letters indicate pinyin, and the brackets enclose the symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

1y is pronounced [?] (a labial-palatal approximant) before u.
2 the letters w and y are not included in the table of initials in the official pinyin system. They are an orthographic convention for the medials i, u and ü when no initial is present. When i, u, or ü are finals and no initial is present, they are spelled yi, wu, and yu, respectively.

The conventional order (excluding w and y), derived from the zhuyin system, is:

b  p  m  f   d  t  n  l   g  k  h   j  q  x   zh  ch  sh  r   z  c  s

Finals

Front Central Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i ?i? o y ?ü?
? ?i?
u ?u?


? ?e? o o ?o?
? ?er?


? ?ê?


a ?a?
Close-mid
Open-mid
Open


In each cell below, the first line indicates IPA, the second indicates pinyin for a standalone (no-initial) form, and the third indicates pinyin for a combination with an initial. Other than finals modified by an -r, which are omitted, the following is an exhaustive table of all possible finals.1[30]

The only syllable-final consonants in Standard Chinese are -n and -ng, and -r, which is attached as a grammatical suffix. A Chinese syllable ending with any other consonant either is from a non-Mandarin language (a southern Chinese language such as Cantonese, or a minority language of China), or indicates the use of a non-pinyin romanization system (where final consonants may be used to indicate tones).

Coda
? /i/ /u/ /n/ /?/
Medial ? [?]

-i
[?]
e
-e
[a]
a
-a
[ei?]
ei
-ei
[ai?]
ai
-ai
[ou?]
ou
-ou
[au?]
ao
-ao
[?n]
en
-en
[an]
an
-an
[]

-ong
[]
eng
-eng
[a?]
ang
-ang
/j/ [i]
yi
-i
[je]
ye
-ie
[ja]
ya
-ia
[jou?]
you
-iu
[jau?]
yao
-iao
[in]
yin
-in
[j?n]
yan
-ian
[j]
yong
-iong
[i?]
ying
-ing
[ja?]
yang
-iang
/w/ [u]
wu
-u
[wo]
wo
-uo 3
[wa]
wa
-ua
[wei?]
wei
-ui
[wai?]
wai
-uai
[w?n]
wen
-un
[wan]
wan
-uan
[w]
weng
 
[wa?]
wang
-uang
/y/ [y]
yu
2
[?e]
yue
-üe 2
[yn]
yun
-ün 2
[n]
yuan
-üan 2

1[a] is written er. For other finals formed by the suffix -r, pinyin does not use special orthography; one simply appends r to the final that it is added to, without regard for any sound changes that may take place along the way. For information on sound changes related to final r, please see Erhua#Rules.
2ü is written as u after j, q, or x.
3uo is written as o after b, p, m, f, or w.

Technically, i, u, ü without a following vowel are finals, not medials, and therefore take the tone marks, but they are more concisely displayed as above. In addition, ê [?] (?; ?) and syllabic nasals m (?, ?), n (?, ?), ng (?, ?) are used as interjections.

Rules given in terms of English pronunciation

Most rules given here in terms of English pronunciation are approximations, as several of these sounds do not correspond directly to sounds in English.

Pronunciation of initials

Pinyin IPA English approximation[31] Explanation
b [p] spit unaspirated p, as in spit
p [p?] pay strongly aspirated p, as in pit
m [m] may as in English mummy
f [f] fair as in English fun
d [t] stop unaspirated t, as in stop
t [t?] take strongly aspirated t, as in top
n [n] nay as in English nit
l [l] lay as in English love
g [k] skill unaspirated k, as in skill
k [k?] kay strongly aspirated k, as in kill
h [x] loch roughly like the Scots ch. English h as in hay or, more closely in some American dialects, hero is an acceptable approximation. One way to produce this sound is by very slowly making a "k" sound, pausing at the point where there is just restricted air flowing over the back of the tongue (after the release at the beginning of a "k")
j [t?] churchyard No equivalent in English, but similar to an unaspirated "-chy-" sound when said quickly. Like q, but unaspirated. Is similar to the English name of the letter G, but curl the tip of the tongue downwards to stick it at the back of the teeth. Not like the s in vision despite the common English pronunciation of "Beijing". The sequence "ji" word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of ?(?) ji.
q [t] punch yourself No equivalent in English. Like punch yourself, with the lips spread wide as when one says ee. Curl the tip of the tongue downwards to stick it at the back of the teeth and strongly aspirate. The sequence "qi" word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of ?(?) chi.
x [?] push yourself No equivalent in English. Like -sh y-, with the lips spread as when one says ee and with the tip of the tongue curled downwards and stuck to the back of the teeth. The sequence "xi" is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of ?(?) shi.
zh [] junk Rather like ch (a sound between choke, joke, true, and drew, with tongue tip curled more upwards). Voiced in a toneless syllable.
ch [] church As in chin or nurture in American English, but with the tongue tip curled more upwards and strongly aspirated.
sh [?] shirt As in shoe, or marsh in American English, but with the tongue tip curled more upwards.
r [?~?] ray Similar to the English r in reduce, but with the tongue tip curled more upwards, unrounded lips and lightly fricated.
z [ts] reads unaspirated c, similar to something between suds and cats; as in suds in a toneless syllable
c [ts?] hats like the English ts in cats, but strongly aspirated, very similar to the Czech, Polish, and Slovak c.
s [s] say as in sun
w [w] way as in water. Before an e or a it is sometimes pronounced like v as in violin.*
y [j], [?] yea as in yes. Before a u, pronounced with rounded lips.*
* Note on y and w

Y and w are equivalent to the semivowel medials i, u, and ü (see below). They are spelled differently when there is no initial consonant in order to mark a new syllable: fanguan is fan-guan, while fangwan is fang-wan (and equivalent to *fang-uan). With this convention, an apostrophe only needs to be used to mark an initial a, e, or o: Xi'an (two syllables: [?i.an]) vs. xian (one syllable: [?in]). In addition, y and w are added to fully vocalic i, u, and ü when these occur without an initial consonant, so that they are written yi, wu, and yu. Some Mandarin speakers do pronounce a [j] or [w] sound at the beginning of such words--that is, yi [i] or [ji], wu [u] or [wu], yu [y] or [?y],--so this is an intuitive convention. See below for a few finals which are abbreviated after a consonant plus w/u or y/i medial: wen -> C+un, wei -> C+ui, weng -> C+ong, and you -> C+iu.

** Note on the apostrophe

The apostrophe (') is used before a syllable starting with a vowel ('a, o', or e) in a multiple-syllable word when the syllable does not start the word (which is most commonly realized as [?]), unless the syllable immediately follows a hyphen or other dash.[32] This is done to remove ambiguity that could arise, as in Xi'an, which consists of the two syllables xi ("?") an ("?"), compared to such words as xian ("?"). (This ambiguity does not occur when tone marks are used: The two tone marks in Xn unambiguously show that the word consists of two syllables. However, even with tone marks, the city is usually spelled with an apostrophe as X?'?n.)

Pronunciation of finals

This table may be a useful reference for IPA vowel symbols

The following is a list of finals in Standard Chinese, excepting most of those ending with r.

To find a given final:

  1. Remove the initial consonant. Zh, ch, and sh count as initial consonants.
  2. Change initial w to u and initial y to i. For weng, wen, wei, you, look under ong, un, ui, iu.
  3. For u after j, q, x, or y, look under ü.
Pinyin IPA Form with zero initial Explanation
-i [~z?], [~] (n/a) -i is a buzzed continuation of the consonant following z-, c-, s-, zh-, ch-, sh- or r-.

(In all other cases, -i has the sound of bee; this is listed below.)

a [a] a like English father, but a bit more fronted
e [?] e a back, unrounded vowel (similar to English duh, but not as open). Varies between [?] and [] depending on the speaker.
ai [ai?] ai like English eye, but a bit lighter
ei [ei?] ei as in hey
ao [au?] ao approximately as in cow; the a is much more audible than the o
ou [ou?] ou as in North American English so
an [an] an like British English ban, but more central
en [?n] en as in taken
ang [a?] ang as in German Angst.

(Starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; like song in some dialects of American English)

eng [] eng like e in en above but with ng appended
ong [] (n/a) starts with the vowel sound in book and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing. Varies between [o?] and [u?] depending on the speaker.
er [a] er Similar to the sound in bar in American English. Can also be pronounced [?] depending on the speaker.
Finals beginning with i- (y-)
i [i] yi like English bee
ia [ja] ya as i + a; like English yard
ie [je] ye as i + ê where the e (compare with the ê interjection) is pronounced shorter and lighter
iao [jau?] yao as i + ao
iu [jou?] you as i + ou
ian [j?n] yan as i + an; like English yen. Varies between [jen] and [jan] depending on the speaker.
in [in] yin as i + n
iang [ja?] yang as i + ang
ing [i?] ying as i + ng
iong [j] yong as i + ong. Varies between [jo?] and [ju?] depending on the speaker.
Finals beginning with u- (w-)
u [u] wu like English oo
ua [wa] wa as u + a
uo, o [wo] wo as u + o where the o (compare with the o interjection) is pronounced shorter and lighter (spelled as o after b, p, m or f)
uai [wai?] wai as u + ai, as in English why
ui [wei?] wei as u + ei
uan [wan] wan as u + an
un [w?n] wen as u + en; as in English won
uang [wa?] wang as u + ang
(n/a) [w] weng as u + eng
Finals beginning with ü- (yu-)
u, ü [y] yu as in German über or French lune.

(Pronounced as English ee with rounded lips)

ue, üe [?e] yue as ü + ê where the e (compare with the ê interjection) is pronounced shorter and lighter
uan [n] yuan as ü + an. Varies between [?en] and [?an] depending on the speaker.
un [yn] yun as ü + n
Interjections
ê [?] (n/a) as in bet
o [?] (n/a) approximately as in British English office; the lips are much more rounded
io [j?] yo as i + o

Orthography

Letters

Pinyin differs from other romanizations in several aspects, such as the following:

  • Syllables starting with u are written as w in place of u (e.g., *uan is written as wan). Standalone u is written as wu.
  • Syllables starting with i are written as y in place of i (e.g., *ian is written as yan). Standalone i is written as yi.
  • Syllables starting with ü are written as yu in place of ü (e.g., *üe is written as yue).
  • ü is written as u when there is no ambiguity (such as ju, qu, and xu), but written as ü when there are corresponding u syllables (such as and ). In such situations where there are corresponding u syllables, it is often replaced with v on a computer, making it easier to type on a standard keyboard.
  • When preceded by a consonant, iou, uei, and uen are simplified as iu, ui, and un (which do not represent the actual pronunciation).
  • As in zhuyin, what are actually pronounced as buo, puo, muo, and fuo are given a separate representation: bo, po, mo, and fo.
  • The apostrophe (') is used before a syllable starting with a vowel (a, o, or e) in a multiple-syllable word when the syllable does not start the word (which is most commonly realized as [?]), unless the syllable immediately follows a hyphen or other dash.[32] This is done to remove ambiguity that could arise, as in Xi'an, which consists of the two syllables xi (?) an (?), compared to such words as xian (?). (This ambiguity does not occur when tone marks are used: The two tone marks in "Xn" unambiguously show that the word consists of two syllables. However, even with tone marks, the city is usually spelled with an apostrophe as "X?'?n".)
  • Eh alone is written as ê; elsewhere as e. Schwa is always written as e.
  • zh, ch, and sh can be abbreviated as ?, ?, and ? (z, c, s with a circumflex). However, the shorthands are rarely used due to difficulty of entering them on computers, and are confined mainly to Esperanto keyboard layouts. Early drafts and some published material used diacritic hooks below instead: ? (?/?), ?, ? (?).[33]
  • ng has the uncommon shorthand of ?.
  • Early drafts also contained the letter ? or ?, borrowed from the Cyrillic script, in place of later j.[33]
  • The letter v is unused (except in spelling foreign languages, languages of minority nationalities, and some dialects), despite a conscious effort to distribute letters more evenly than in Western languages. However, sometimes, for ease of typing into a computer, the v is used to replace a ü.

Most of the above are used to avoid ambiguity when writing words of more than one syllable in pinyin. For example, uenian is written as wenyan because it is not clear which syllables make up uenian; uen-ian, uen-i-an, and u-en-i-an are all possible combinations whereas wenyan is unambiguous because we, nya, etc. do not exist in pinyin. See the pinyin table article for a summary of possible pinyin syllables (not including tones).

Words, capitalization, initialisms and punctuation

Although Chinese characters represent single syllables, Mandarin Chinese is a polysyllabic language. Spacing in pinyin is based on whole words, not single syllables. However, there are often ambiguities in partitioning a word. The Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography (; ; Hàny? P?ny?n Zhèngcíf? J?b?n Gu?zé) were put into effect in 1988 by the National Educational Commission (?; ?; Guóji? Jiàoyù W?iyuánhuì) and the National Language Commission (; ; Guóji? Y?yán Wénzì G?ngzuò W?iyuánhuì).[34] These rules became a Guobiao standard in 1996[34] and were updated in 2012.[35]

  1. General
    1. Single meaning: Words with a single meaning, which are usually set up of two characters (sometimes one, seldom three), are written together and not capitalized: rén (?, person); péngyou (, friend); qi?okèlì (, chocolate)
    2. Combined meaning (2 or 3 characters): Same goes for words combined of two words to one meaning: h?if?ng (; , sea breeze); wèndá (; , question and answer); quánguó (; , nationwide); chángyòngcí (; ,common words)
    3. Combined meaning (4 or more characters): Words with four or more characters having one meaning are split up with their original meaning if possible: wúfèng g?nggu?n (?; ?, seamless steel-tube); huánjìng b?ohù gu?huà (; , environmental protection planning); g?om?ngsu?nji? (?; ?, potassium permanganate)
  2. Duplicated words
    1. AA: Duplicated characters (AA) are written together: rénrén (, everybody), kànkan (, to have a look), niánnián (, every year)
    2. ABAB: Two characters duplicated (ABAB) are written separated: yánji? yánji? (?, to study, to research), xu?bái xu?bái (?, white as snow)
    3. AABB: Characters in the AABB schema are written together: láiláiw?ngw?ng (?; ?, come and go), qi?nqi?nwànwàn (?; ?, numerous)
  3. Prefixes (?; qiánfù chéngfèn) and Suffixes (?; ?; hòufù chéngfèn): Words accompanied by prefixes such as (?, vice), z?ng (?; ?, chief), f?i (?, non-), f?n (?, anti-), ch?o (?, ultra-), l?o (?, old), ? (?, used before names to indicate familiarity), k? (?, -able), (?; ?, -less) and bàn (?, semi-) and suffixes such as zi (?, noun suffix), r (?; ?, diminutive suffix), tou (?; ?, noun suffix), xìng (?, -ness, -ity), zh? (?, -er, -ist), yuán (?; ?, person), ji? (?, -er, -ist), sh?u (?, person skilled in a field), huà (?, -ize) and men (?; ?, plural marker) are written together: fùbùzh?ng (; , vice minister), chéngwùyuán (; , conductor), háizimen (; , children)
  4. Nouns and names (; ; míngcí)
    1. Words of position are separated: mén wài (; , outdoor), hé li (; , under the river), hu?ch? shàngmian (?; ?, on the train), Huáng Hé y?nán (?; ?, south of the Yellow River)
      1. Exceptions are words traditionally connected: ti?nshang (, in the sky or outerspace), dìxia (, on the ground), k?ngzh?ng (, in the air), h?iwài (, overseas)
    2. Surnames are separated from the given names, each capitalized: L? Huá (; ), Zh?ng S?n (; ). If the surname and/or given name consists of two syllables, it should be written as one: Zh?g? K?ngmíng (?; ?).
    3. Titles following the name are separated and are not capitalized: Wáng bùzh?ng (; , Minister Wang), L? xi?nsheng (, Mr. Li), Tián zh?rèn (, Director Tian), Zhào tóngzhì (; , Comrade Zhao).
    4. The forms of addressing people with suffixes such as L?o (?), Xi?o (?), (?) and ? (?) are capitalized: Xi?o Liú (; , [young] Ms./Mr. Liu), Dà L? (, [great; elder] Mr. Li), ? S?n (, Ah San), L?o Qián (; , [senior] Mr. Qian), L?o Wú (; , [senior] Mr. Wu)
      1. Exceptions are: K?ngz? (, Confucius), B?og?ng (, Judge Bao), X?sh? (, Xishi), Mèngchángj?n (; , Lord Mengchang), among others
    5. Geographical names of China: B?ij?ng Shì (, city of Beijing), Héb?i Sh?ng (, province of Hebei), Y?lù Ji?ng (; , Yalu River), Tài Sh?n (, Mount Tai), Dòngtíng Hú (, Dongting Lake), Táiw?n H?ixiá (?; ?, Taiwan Strait)
      1. Monosyllabic prefixes and suffixes are written together with their related part: D?ngsì Shítiáo (??; ??, Dongsi 10th Alley)
      2. Common geographical nouns that have become part of proper nouns are written together: H?ilóngji?ng (; , Heilongjiang)
    6. Non-Chinese names are written in Hanyu Pinyin: ?pèi ?wàngjìnm?i (·?; ·?, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme); D?ngj?ng (; , Tokyo)
  5. Verbs (; ; dòngcí): Verbs and their suffixes -zhe (?; ?), -le (?) or -guo ((?; ?) are written as one: kànzhe (; , seeing), jìnxíngguo (; , have been implemented). Le as it appears in the end of a sentence is separated though: Hu?ch? dào le. (?; ?, The train [has] arrived).
    1. Verbs and their objects are separated: kàn xìn (, read a letter), ch? yú (; , eat fish), k?i wánxiào (; , to be kidding).
    2. If verbs and their complements are each monosyllabic, they are written together; if not, they are separated: g?ohuài (; , to make broken), d?s? (, hit to death), huàwéi (; , to become), zh?ngl? h?o (, to sort out), g?ixi? wéi (; , to rewrite as)
  6. Adjectives (; ; xíngróngcí): A monosyllabic adjective and its reduplication are written as one: m?ngm?ngliàng (, dim), liàngtángtáng (, shining bright)
    1. Complements of size or degree such as xi? (?), y?xi? (), di?nr (; ) and y?di?nr (; ) are written separated: dà xi? (), a little bigger), kuài y?di?nr (?; ?, a bit faster)
  7. Pronouns (; ; dàicí)
    1. Personal pronouns and interrogative pronouns are separated from other words: W? ài Zh?ngguó. (; , I love China); Shéi shu? de? (?; ?, Who said it?)
    2. The demonstrative pronoun zhè (?; ?, this), (?, that) and the question pronoun n? (?, which) are separated: zhè rén (; , this person), nà cì huìyì (?; ?, that meeting), n? zh?ng bàozh? (?; ?, which newspaper)
      1. Exception--If zhè, or n? are followed by di?nr (; ), b?n (?), bi?n (?; ?), shí (?; ?), huìr (; ), l? (?; ?), me (?; ?) or the general classifierge (?; ?), they are written together: nàl? (; , there), zhèbi?n (; , over here), zhège (; , this)
  8. Numerals (; ; shùcí) and measure words (; ; liàngcí)
    1. Numbers and words like (?, each), m?i (?, each), m?u (?, any), b?n (?, this), g?i (?; ?, that), w? (?, my, our) and n? (?, your) are separated from the measure words following them: li?ng ge rén (; , two people), gè guó (; , every nation), m?i nián (, every year), m?u g?ngch?ng (; , a certain factory), w? xiào (, our school)
    2. Numbers up to 100 are written as single words: s?nshís?n (, thirty-three). Above that, the hundreds, thousands, etc. are written as separate words: ji?yì q?wàn èrqi?n s?nb?i w?shíliù (; , nine hundred million, seventy-two thousand, three hundred fifty-six). Arabic numerals are kept as Arabic numerals: 635 f?nj? (635 ; 635 , extension 635)
    3. The (?) of ordinal numerals is hyphenated: dì-y? (, first), dì-356 (? 356, 356th). The ch? (?) in front of numbers one to ten is written together with the number: ch?shí (, tenth day)
    4. Numbers representing month and day are hyphenated: w?-sì (, May fourth), y?èr-ji? (·?, December ninth)
    5. Words of approximations such as du? (?), lái (?; ?) and j? (?; ?) are separated from numerals and measure words: y?b?i du? gè (?; ?, around a hundred); shí lái wàn gè (?; ?, around a hundred thousand); j? ji? rén (; , a few families)
      1. Shíj? (; , more than ten) and j?shí (; , tens) are written together: shíj? gè rén (?; ?, more than ten people); j?shí (; , tens of steel pipes)
    6. Approximations with numbers or units that are close together are hyphenated: s?n-w? ti?n (, three to five days), qi?n-b?i cì (, thousands of times)
  9. Other function words (; ; x?cí) are separated from other words, including:
    1. Adverbs (; ; fùcí): h?n h?o (, very good), zuì kuài (, fastest), f?icháng dà (, extremely big)
    2. Prepositions (; ; jiècí): zài qiánmiàn (, in front)
    3. Conjunctions (; ; liáncí): n? hé w? (, you and I/me), N? lái háishi bù lái? (?; ?, Are you coming or not?)
    4. "Constructive auxiliaries" (?; ?; jiégòu zhùcí) such as de (?/?/?), zh? (?) and su? (?): mànmàn de zou (?), go slowly)
      1. A monosyllabic word can also be written together with de (?/?/?): w? de sh? / w?de sh? (; , my book)
    5. Modal auxiliaries at the end of a sentence: N? zh?dào ma? (; , Do you know?), Kuài qù ba! (!, Go quickly!)
    6. Exclamations and interjections: À! Zh?n m?i! (?!!), Oh, that's so beautiful!)
    7. Onomatopoeia: mó d?o huòhuò (?, honing a knife), h?ngl?ng y? sh?ng (?; ?, rumbling)
  10. Capitalization
    1. The first letter of the first word in a sentence is capitalized: Ch?nti?n lái le. (; , Spring has arrived.)
    2. The first letter of each line in a poem is capitalized.
    3. The first letter of a proper noun is capitalized: B?ij?ng (, Beijing), Guójì Sh?diàn (?; ?, International Bookstore), Guóji? Y?yán Wénzì G?ngzuò W?iyuánhuì (; , National Language Commission)
      1. On some occasions, proper nouns can be written in all caps: B?IJ?NG, GUÓJÌ SH?DIÀN, GUÓJI? Y?YÁN WÉNZÌ G?NGZUÒ W?IYUÁNHUÌ
    4. If a proper noun is written together with a common noun to make a proper noun, it is capitalized. If not, it is not capitalized: Fójiào (, Buddhism), Tángcháo (, Tang dynasty), j?ngjù (; , Beijing opera), chu?nxi?ng (, Szechuan lovage)
  11. Initialisms
    1. Single words are abbreviated by taking the first letter of each character of the word: Be?j?ng (, Beijing) -> BJ
    2. A group of words are abbreviated by taking the first letter of each word in the group: guóji? bi?ozh?n (?; ?, Guobiao standard) -> GB
    3. Initials can also be indicated using full stops: Be?j?ng -> B.J., guóji? bi?ozh?n -> G.B.
    4. When abbreviating names, the surname is written fully (first letter capitalized or in all caps), but only the first letter of each character in the given name is taken, with full stops after each initial: L? Huá (; ) -> L? H. or L? H., Zh?g? K?ngmíng (?; ?) -> Zh?g? K. M. or ZH?G? K. M.
  12. Line Wrapping
    1. Words can only be split by the character:
      gu?ngmíng (, bright) -> gu?ng-
      míng
      , not gu-
      ?ngmíng
    2. Initials cannot be split:
      Wáng J. G. (; ) -> Wáng
      J. G.
      , not Wáng J.-
      G.
    3. Apostrophes are removed in line wrapping:
      X?'?n (, Xi'an) -> X?-
      ?n
      , not X?-
      '?n
    4. When the original word has a hyphen, the hyphen is added at the beginning of the new line:
      ch?shu?-m?lóng (?; ?, heavy traffic: "carriage, water, horse, dragon") -> ch?shu?-
      -m?lóng
  13. Hyphenation: In addition to the situations mentioned above, there are four situations where hyphens are used.
    1. Coordinate and disjunctive compound words, where the two elements are conjoined or opposed, but retain their individual meaning: g?ng-jiàn (, bow and arrow), kuài-màn (, speed: "fast-slow"), shíq?-b? suì (?; ?, 17-18 years old), d?-mà (; , beat and scold), Y?ng-Hàn (; , English-Chinese [dictionary]), J?ng-J?n (, Beijing-Tianjin), lù-h?i-k?ngj?n (?; ?, army-navy-airforce).
    2. Abbreviated compounds (; ; lüèy?): g?nggòng gu?nxì (?; ?, public relations) -> g?ng-gu?n (; , PR), chángtú diànhuà (?; ?, long-distance calling) -> cháng-huà (; , LDC).
      Exceptions are made when the abbreviated term has become established as a word in its own right, as in ch?zh?ng () for ch?jí zh?ngxué (?; ?, junior high school). Abbreviations of proper-name compounds, however, should always be hyphenated: B?ij?ng Dàxué (?; ?, Peking University) -> B?i-Dà (, PKU).
    3. Four-syllable idioms: f?ngpíng-làngjìng (?; ?), calm and tranquil: "wind calm, waves down"), hu?j?n-rút? (?; ?, spend money like water: "throw gold like dirt"), zh?-b?-mò-yàn (?; ?, paper-brush-ink-inkstone [four coordinate words]). (The AA-BB reduplication above is an instance of this.)[36]
      1. Other idioms are separated according to the words that make up the idiom: b?i h?igu? (; , to be made a scapegoat: "to carry a black pot"), zh? x? zh?ugu?n fànghu?, bù x? b?ixìng di?nd?ng (,; ,, Gods may do what cattle may not: "only the official is allowed to light the fire; the commoners are not allowed to light a lamp")
  14. Punctuation
    1. The Chinese full stop (?) is changed to a western full stop (.).
    2. The hyphen is a half-width hyphen (-).
    3. Ellipsis can be changed from 6 dots (......) to 3 dots (...).
    4. The enumeration comma (?) is changed to a normal comma (,).
    5. All other punctuation marks are the same as the ones used in normal texts.

Tones

Relative pitch changes of the four tones

The pinyin system also uses diacritics to mark the four tones of Mandarin. The diacritic is placed over the letter that represents the syllable nucleus, unless that letter is missing (see below). Many books printed in China use a mix of fonts, with vowels and tone marks rendered in a different font from the surrounding text, tending to give such pinyin texts a typographically ungainly appearance. This style, most likely rooted in early technical limitations, has led many to believe that pinyin's rules call for this practice and also for the use of a Latin alpha (?) rather than the standard style of the letter (a) found in most fonts. (The same problem happens to g--often written as ?, or U+0261). The official rules of Hanyu Pinyin, however, specify no such practice.[37](3.3.4.1:8)

  1. The first tone (Flat or High Level Tone) is represented by a macron (?) added to the pinyin vowel:
    ? () ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
  2. The second tone (Rising or High-Rising Tone) is denoted by an acute accent (?):
    á () é í ó ú ? Á É Í Ó Ú ?
  3. The third tone (Falling-Rising or Low Tone) is marked by a caron/há?ek (?). It is not the rounded breve (?), though a breve is sometimes substituted due to font limitations.
    ? () ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
  4. The fourth tone (Falling or High-Falling Tone) is represented by a grave accent (`):
    à () è ì ò ù ? À È Ì Ò Ù ?
  5. The fifth tone (Neutral Tone) is represented by a normal vowel without any accent mark:
    a (?) e i o u ü A E I O U Ü
In dictionaries, neutral tone may be indicated by a dot preceding the syllable; for example, ·ma. When a neutral tone syllable has an alternative pronunciation in another tone, a combination of tone marks may be used: zh?·dào ().[38]

These tone marks normally are only used in Mandarin textbooks or in foreign learning texts, but they are essential for correct pronunciation of Mandarin syllables, as exemplified by the following classic example of five characters whose pronunciations differ only in their tones:

The four main tones of Standard Mandarin, pronounced with the syllable ma.

Traditional characters:

?(m?)?()?(m?)?()?(·ma)

Simplified characters:

?(m?)?()?(m?)?()?(·ma)

The words are "mother", "hemp", "horse", "scold", and a question particle, respectively.

Numerals in place of tone marks

Before the advent of computers, many typewriter fonts did not contain vowels with macron or caron diacritics. Tones were thus represented by placing a tone number at the end of individual syllables. For example, tóng is written tong2. The number used for each tone is as the order listed above, except the neutral tone, which is either not numbered, or given the number 0 or 5, e.g. ma5 for ?/?, an interrogative marker.

Tone Tone Mark Number added to end of syllable
in place of tone mark
Example using
tone mark
Example using
number
IPA
First macron ( ¯ ) 1 m? ma1 ma?
Second acute accent ( ´ ) 2 ma2 ma
Third caron ( ? ) 3 m? ma3 ma
Fourth grave accent ( ` ) 4 ma4 ma
"Neutral" No mark
or dot before syllable (·)
no number
5
0
ma
·ma
ma
ma5
ma0
ma

Rules for placing the tone mark

Briefly, the tone mark should always be placed by the order--a, o, e, i, u, ü, with the only exception being iu, where the tone mark is placed on the u instead. Pinyin tone marks appear primarily above the nucleus of the syllable, for example as in kuài, where k is the initial, u the medial, a the nucleus, and i the coda. The exception is syllabic nasals like /m/, where the nucleus of the syllable is a consonant, the diacritic will be carried by a written dummy vowel.

When the nucleus is /?/ (written e or o), and there is both a medial and a coda, the nucleus may be dropped from writing. In this case, when the coda is a consonant n or ng, the only vowel left is the medial i, u, or ü, and so this takes the diacritic. However, when the coda is a vowel, it is the coda rather than the medial which takes the diacritic in the absence of a written nucleus. This occurs with syllables ending in -ui (from wei: (wèi -> -uì) and in -iu (from you: yòu -> -iù.) That is, in the absence of a written nucleus the finals have priority for receiving the tone marker, as long as they are vowels: if not, the medial takes the diacritic.

An algorithm to find the correct vowel letter (when there is more than one) is as follows:[39]

  1. If there is an a or an e, it will take the tone mark.
  2. If there is an ou, then the o takes the tone mark.
  3. Otherwise, the second vowel takes the tone mark.

Worded differently,

  1. If there is an a, e, or o, it will take the tone mark; in the case of ao, the mark goes on the a.
  2. Otherwise, the vowels are -iu or -ui, in which case the second vowel takes the tone mark.

If the tone is written over an i, the tittle above the i is omitted, as in y?.

Phonological intuition

The placement of the tone marker, when more than one of the written letters a, e, i, o, and u appears, can also be inferred from the nature of the vowel sound in the medial and final. The rule is that the tone marker goes on the spelled vowel that is not a (near-)semi-vowel. The exception is that, for triphthongs that are spelled with only two vowel letters, both of which are the semi-vowels, the tone marker goes on the second spelled vowel.

Specifically, if the spelling of a diphthong begins with i (as in ia) or u (as in ua), which here serves as a near-semi-vowel, this letter does not take the tone marker. Likewise, if the spelling of a diphthong ends with o or u representing a near-semi-vowel (as in ao or ou), this letter does not receive a tone marker. In a triphthong spelled with three of a, e, i, o, and u (with i or u replaced by y or w at the start of a syllable), the first and third letters coincide with near-semi-vowels and hence do not receive the tone marker (as in iao or uai or iou). But if no letter is written to represent a triphthong's middle (non-semi-vowel) sound (as in ui or iu), then the tone marker goes on the final (second) vowel letter.

Using tone colors

In addition to tone number and mark, tone color has been suggested as a visual aid for learning. Although there are no formal standards, there are a number of different color schemes in use.

  • Dummitt's color scheme was one of the first to be used. It is tone 1 - red, tone 2 - orange, tone 3 - green, tone 4 - blue, and neutral tone - black.[40]
  • The Unimelb color scheme is tone 1 - blue, tone 2 - green, tone 3 - purple, tone 4 - red, neutral tone - grey
  • The Hanping color scheme is tone 1 - blue, tone 2 - green, tone 3 - orange, tone 4 - red, neutral tone - grey.[41]
  • The Pleco color scheme is tone 1 - red, tone 2 - green, tone 3 - blue, tone 4 - purple, neutral tone - grey
  • The Thomas color scheme is tone 1 - green, tone 2 - blue, tone 3 - red, tone 4 - black, neutral tone - grey

Third tone exceptions

In spoken Chinese, the third tone is often pronounced as a "half third tone", in which the pitch does not rise. Additionally, when two third tones appear consecutively, such as in (n?h?o, hello), the first syllable is pronounced with the second tone. In pinyin, words like "hello" are still written with two third tones (n?h?o).

The ü sound

An umlaut is placed over the letter u when it occurs after the initials l and n in order to represent the sound [y]. This is necessary in order to distinguish the front high rounded vowel in (e.g. ?; ?; "donkey") from the back high rounded vowel in lu (e.g. ?; ?; "oven"). Tonal markers are added on top of the umlaut, as in l?.

However, the ü is not used in the other contexts where it could represent a front high rounded vowel, namely after the letters j, q, x, and y. For example, the sound of the word ?/? (fish) is transcribed in pinyin simply as , not as y?. This practice is opposed to Wade-Giles, which always uses ü, and Tongyong Pinyin, which always uses yu. Whereas Wade-Giles needs to use the umlaut to distinguish between chü (pinyin ju) and chu (pinyin zhu), this ambiguity cannot arise with pinyin, so the more convenient form ju is used instead of . Genuine ambiguities only happen with nu/ and lu/, which are then distinguished by an umlaut.

Many fonts or output methods do not support an umlaut for ü or cannot place tone marks on top of ü. Likewise, using ü in input methods is difficult because it is not present as a simple key on many keyboard layouts. For these reasons v is sometimes used instead by convention. For example, it is common for cellphones to use v instead of ü. Additionally, some stores in China use v instead of ü in the transliteration of their names. The drawback is that there are no tone marks for the letter v.

This also presents a problem in transcribing names for use on passports, affecting people with names that consist of the sound or , particularly people with the surname ? (L?), a fairly common surname, particularly compared to the surname ? (), ? (L?), ? () and ? (). Previously, the practice varied among different passport issuing offices, with some transcribing as "LV" and "NV" while others used "LU" and "NU". On 10 July 2012, the Ministry of Public Security standardized the practice to use "LYU" and "NYU" in passports.[42][43]

Although nüe written as nue, and lüe written as lue are not ambiguous, nue or lue are not correct according to the rules; nüe and lüe should be used instead. However, some Chinese input methods (e.g. Microsoft Pinyin IME) support both nve/lve (typing v for ü) and nue/lue.

Pinyin in Taiwan

Taiwan (Republic of China) adopted Tongyong Pinyin, a modification of Hanyu Pinyin, as the official romanization system on the national level between October 2002 and January 2009, when it switched to Hanyu Pinyin. Tongyong Pinyin ("official phonetic"), a variant of pinyin developed in Taiwan, was designed to romanize languages and dialects spoken on the island in addition to Mandarin Chinese. The Kuomintang (KMT) party resisted its adoption, preferring the Hanyu Pinyin system used in Mainland China and in general use internationally. Romanization preferences quickly became associated with issues of national identity. Preferences split along party lines: the KMT and its affiliated parties in the pan-blue coalition supported the use of Hanyu Pinyin while the Democratic Progressive Party and its affiliated parties in the pan-green coalition favored the use of Tongyong Pinyin.

Tongyong Pinyin was made the official system in an administrative order that allowed its adoption by local governments to be voluntary. A few localities with governments controlled by the KMT, most notably Taipei, Hsinchu, and Kinmen County, overrode the order and converted to Hanyu Pinyin before the January 1, 2009 national-level switch,[4][5] though with a slightly different capitalization convention than mainland China. Most areas of Taiwan adopted Tongyong Pinyin, consistent with the national policy. After 2009 switch, many street signs in Taiwan today still display Tongyong Pinyin but some, especially in northern Taiwan, display Hanyu Pinyin. It is still not unusual to see spellings on street signs and buildings derived from the older Wade-Giles, MPS2 and other systems.

The adoption of Hanyu Pinyin as the official romanization system in Taiwan does not preclude the official retention of earlier spellings. International familiarity has led to the retention of the spelling Taipei ("Taibei" in pinyin systems) and even to its continuation in the name of New Taipei, a municipality created in 2010. Personal names on Taiwanese passports honor the choices of Taiwanese citizens, who often prefer the Wade-Giles romanization of their personal names. Transition to Hanyu Pinyin in official use is also necessarily gradual. Universities and other government entities retain earlier spellings in long-established names, and budget restraints preclude widespread replacement of signage and stationery in every area. Primary education in Taiwan continues to teach pronunciation using zhuyin (MPS or Mandarin Phonetic Symbols).

Comparison with other orthographies

Pinyin is now used by foreign students learning Chinese as a second language.

Pinyin assigns some Latin letters sound values which are quite different from that of most languages. This has drawn some criticism as it may lead to confusion when uninformed speakers apply either native or English assumed pronunciations to words. However, this problem is not limited only to pinyin, since many languages that use the Latin alphabet natively also assign different values to the same letters. A recent study on Chinese writing and literacy concluded, "By and large, pinyin represents the Chinese sounds better than the Wade-Giles system, and does so with fewer extra marks."[44]

Because Pinyin is purely a representation of the sounds of Mandarin, it completely lacks the semantic cues and contexts inherent in Chinese characters. Pinyin is also unsuitable for transcribing some Chinese spoken languages other than Mandarin, languages which by contrast have traditionally been written with Han characters allowing for written communication which, by its unified semanto-phonetic orthography, could theoretically be readable in any of the various vernaculars of Chinese where a phonetic script would have only localized utility.

Comparison charts

Vowels a, e, o
IPA a ? ? ? ai ei au ou an ?n a? a?
Pinyin a o ê e ai ei ao ou an en ang eng ong er
Tongyong Pinyin a o e e ai ei ao ou an en ang eng ong er
Wade-Giles a o eh ê/o ai ei ao ou an ên ang êng ung êrh
Zhuyin ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
example ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Vowels i, u, y
IPA i je jou j?n in i? j u wo wei w?n w y ?e n yn
Pinyin yi ye you yan yin ying yong wu wo/o wei wen weng yu yue yuan yun
Tongyong Pinyin yi ye you yan yin ying yong wu wo/o wei wun wong yu yue yuan yun
Wade-Giles i/yi yeh yu yen yin ying yung wu wo/o wei wên wêng yüeh yüan yün
Zhuyin ? ? /? ?
example ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Non-sibilant consonants
IPA p p? m f tjou twei tw?n t ny ly k k x?
Pinyin b p m feng diu dui dun te ger ke he
Tongyong Pinyin b p m fong diou duei dun te nyu lyu ger ke he
Wade-Giles p p? m fêng tiu tui tun t?ê kor k?o ho
Zhuyin ? ? ?
example ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Sibilant consonants
IPA t?j?n t?j tin n ? ? ts? tswo ts? ts ts s? s?
Pinyin jian jiong qin xuan zhe zhi che chi she shi re ri ze zuo zi ce ci se si
Tongyong Pinyin jian jyong cin syuan jhe jhih che chih she shih re rih ze zuo zih ce cih se sih
Wade-Giles chien chiung ch?in hsüan chê chih ch?ê ch?ih shê shih jih tsê tso tz? ts?ê tz ss?
Zhuyin ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
example ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tones
IPA ma ma ma ma ma
Pinyin m? m? ma
Tongyong Pinyin ma m?
Wade-Giles ma1 ma2 ma3 ma4 ma
Zhuyin `
example (traditional/simplified) ?/? ?/? ?/? ?/? ?/?

Computer input systems

Simple computer systems, able to display only 7-bit ASCII text (essentially the 26 Latin letters, 10 digits, and punctuation marks), long provided a convincing argument for using pinyin instead of Chinese characters. Today, however, most computer systems are able to display characters from Chinese and many other writing systems as well, and have them entered with a Latin keyboard using an input method editor. Alternatively, some PDAs, tablet computers, and digitizing tablets allow users to input characters graphically by writing with a stylus, with concurrent online handwriting recognition.

Other languages

Pinyin-like systems have been devised for other variants of Chinese. Guangdong Romanization is a set of romanizations devised by the government of Guangdong province for Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka (Moiyen dialect), and Hainanese. All of these are designed to use Latin letters in a similar way to pinyin.

In addition, in accordance to the Regulation of Phonetic Transcription in Hanyu Pinyin Letters of Place Names in Minority Nationality Languages (; ) promulgated in 1976, place names in non-Han languages like Mongolian, Uyghur, and Tibetan are also officially transcribed using pinyin in a system adopted by the State Administration of Surveying and Mapping and Geographical Names Committee known as SASM/GNC romanization. The pinyin letters (26 Roman letters, plus ü and ê) are used to approximate the non-Han language in question as closely as possible. This results in spellings that are different from both the customary spelling of the place name, and the pinyin spelling of the name in Chinese:

Customary Official (pinyin for local name) Traditional Chinese name Simplified Chinese name Pinyin for Chinese name
Shigatse Xigazê Rìk?zé
Urumchi Ürümqi ? ? W?l?mùqí
Lhasa Lhasa L?sà
Hohhot Hohhot ? ? H?héhàotè
Golmud Golmud Gé'?rmù
Qiqihar Qiqihar ? ? Qíqíh?'?r

Tongyong Pinyin was developed in Taiwan for use in rendering not only Mandarin Chinese, but other languages and dialects spoken on the island such as Taiwanese, Hakka, and aboriginal languages.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Margalit Fox (14 January 2017). "Zhou Youguang, Who Made Writing Chinese as Simple as ABC, Dies at 111". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Pinyin celebrates 50th birthday". Xinhua News Agency. 2008-02-11. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ "ISO 7098:1982 - Documentation - Romanization of Chinese". Retrieved . 
  4. ^ a b Shih Hsiu-Chuan (2008-09-18). "Hanyu Pinyin to be standard system in 2009". Taipei Times. p. 2. 
  5. ^ a b "Government to improve English-friendly environment". The China Post. 2008-09-18. 
  6. ^ The online version of the canonical[clarification needed "According to which group?"]Guoyu Cidian () defines this term as: ?,(A system of symbols for notation of the sounds of words, rather than for their meanings, that is sufficient to accurately record some language.) See this entry online. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  7. ^ Sin, Kiong Wong (2012). Confucianism, Chinese History and Society. World Scientific. p. 72. ISBN 9814374474. Retrieved 2014. 
  8. ^ Brockey, Liam Matthew (2009). Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724. Harvard University Press. p. 261. ISBN 0674028813. Retrieved 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Chan, Wing-tsit; Adler, Joseph (2013). Sources of Chinese Tradition. Columbia University Press. pp. 303, 304. ISBN 0231517998. Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ Mair, Victor H. (2002). "Sound and Meaning in the History of Characters: Views of China's Earliest Script Reformers". In Erbaugh, Mary S. Difficult Characters: Interdisciplinary Studies of Chinese and Japanese Writing. Colombus, Ohio: Ohio State University National East Asian Language Resource Center. 
  11. ^ Ao, Benjamin (1997). "History and Prospect of Chinese Romanization". Chinese Librarianship: an International Electronic Journal. 4. 
  12. ^ Norman, Jerry (1988). Chinese, Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge University Press. p. 261. ISBN 0521296536. Retrieved 2014. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Lionel M.; Weston, Timothy B. (2007). China's Transformations: The Stories Beyond the Headlines. Rowman & Littlefield. p. XX. ISBN 074253863X. 
  14. ^ Chen, Ping (1999). Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521645727. Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ John DeFrancis, The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984), pp. 246-247.
  16. ^ "Father of pinyin". China Daily. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2009.  Reprinted in part as Simon, Alan (21-27 Jan 2011). "Father of Pinyin". China Daily Asia Weekly. Hong Kong. Xinhua. p. 20. 
  17. ^ Obituary: Zhou Youguang, Architect of a Bridge Between Languages, Dies at 111 --NPR, January 14, 2017
  18. ^ Branigan, Tania (2008-02-21). "Sound Principles". London: The Guardian. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ Rohsenow, John S. 1989. Fifty years of script and written language reform in the PRC: the genesis of the language law of 2001. In Zhou Minglang and Sun Hongkai, eds. Language Policy in the People's Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1949, p. 23
  20. ^ Branigan, Tania (2008-02-21). "Sound principles". The Guardian. London. 
  21. ^ a b "Hanyu Pinyin system turns 50". Straits Times. 2008-02-11. Retrieved . 
  22. ^ Terry, Edith. How Asia Got Rich: Japan, China and the Asian Miracle. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. 632. Retrieved from Google Books on August 7, 2011. ISBN 0-7656-0356-X, 9780765603562.
  23. ^ Terry, Edith. How Asia Got Rich: Japan, China and the Asian Miracle. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. 633. Retrieved from Google Books on August 7, 2011. ISBN 0-7656-0356-X, 9780765603562.
  24. ^ "GB/T 16159-2012". 
  25. ^ Lin Mei-chun (2000-10-08). "Official challenges romanization". Taipei Times. 
  26. ^ Ao, Benjamin (1997-12-01). "History and Prospect of Chinese Romanization". Chinese Librarianship: an International Electronic Journal. Internet Chinese Librarians Club (4). ISSN 1089-4667. Retrieved . 
  27. ^ Snowling, Margaret J.; Hulme, Charles (2005). The science of reading: a handbook. Blackwell handbooks of developmental psychology). 17. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 320-22. ISBN 1-4051-1488-6. 
  28. ^ R.F. Price (2005). Education in Modern China. Volume 23 of "China : history, philosophy, economics" (2, illustrated ed.). Routledge. p. 123. ISBN 0-415-36167-2. 
  29. ^ Price (2005), pp. 206-208
  30. ^ You can hear recordings of the Finals here
  31. ^ Shea, Marilyn. "Pinyin / Ting - The Chinese Experience". hua.umf.maine.edu. 
  32. ^ a b "Apostrophes in Hanyu Pinyin: when and where to use them". 
  33. ^ a b Andrew West, Eiso Chan, Michael Everson: Proposal to encode three uppercase Latin letters used in early Pinyin (Unicode L2/17-013). 2017-01-16
  34. ^ a b "Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography". Qingdao Vocational and Technical College of Hotel Management (in Chinese). Department of Educational Administration. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  35. ^ "Release of the National Standard Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography". China Education and Research Network (in Chinese). China Education and Research Network. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 2014. 
  36. ^ "Use of the Hyphen; Abbreviations and Short Forms". Pinyin.info. Retrieved . 
  37. ^ Tung, Bobby; Chen, Yijun; Liang, Hai; LIU, Eric Q.; Zhang, Aijie; Wu, Xiaoqian; Li, Angel; Ishida, Richard. "Requirements for Chinese Text Layout". W3C. Retrieved 2016. 
  38. ^ Section 7.3 of the current standard GB/T 16159-2012.
  39. ^ Swofford, Mark. "Where do the tone marks go?". Pinyin.info. Retrieved . 
  40. ^ Nathan Dummitt, Chinese Through Tone & Color (2008)
  41. ^ "Hanping Chinese Dictionary color scheme". 2013-01-10. Retrieved . 
  42. ^ Huang, Rong. "? ?"ü""YU"". Retrieved 2012. 
  43. ^ Li, Zhiyan. ""?"? "LYU"". Retrieved 2012. 
  44. ^ Taylor, Insup and Maurice M. Taylor (1995), Writing and literacy in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, Volume 3 of Studies in written language and literacy, John Benjamins, p. 124.

Further reading

  • Yin Binyong/ and Mary Felley (1990). Chinese Romanization. Pronunciation and Orthography (Hanyu Pinyin he zhengcifa ). Beijing: Sinolingua. ISBN 7-80052-148-6 / ISBN 0-8351-1930-0.
  • Gao, J. K. (2005). Pinyin shorthand: a bilingual handbook = [Pinyin su ji fa]. Dallas, TX: Jack Sun. ISBN 1-59971-251-2
  • Kimball, R. L. (1988). Quick reference Chinese: a practical guide to Mandarin for beginners and travelers in English, Pinyin romanization, and Chinese characters. San Francisco, CA: China Books & Periodicals. ISBN 0-8351-2036-8
  • Uy, Dr. Tim and Jim Hsia (ed.) (2009). Webster's Digital Chinese Dictionary: Advanced Reference Edition. Mountain View, CA: Loqu8 Press. 
  • Wu, C.-j. (1979). The Pinyin Chinese-English dictionary. Hong Kong: Commercial Press. ISBN 0-471-27557-3.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


Pinyin
 



 
Connect with defaultLogic
What We've Done
Led Digital Marketing Efforts of Top 500 e-Retailers.
Worked with Top Brands at Leading Agencies.
Successfully Managed Over $50 million in Digital Ad Spend.
Developed Strategies and Processes that Enabled Brands to Grow During an Economic Downturn.
Taught Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies at the graduate level.



Manage research, learning and skills at defaultLogic. Create an account using LinkedIn or facebook to manage and organize your IT knowledge. defaultLogic works like a shopping cart for information -- helping you to save, discuss and share.


  Contact Us