|Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet|
|Mandarin for Standard Mandarin|
Hanyu Pinyin (ISO standard)
Latinxua Sin Wenz
Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II
Chinese Postal Map Romanization
|Cantonese for Standard Cantonese|
Hong Kong Government
S. L. Wong (phonetic symbols)
S. L. Wong (romanisation)
Standard Cantonese Pinyin
for Taiwanese, Amoy, and related
Hainanhua Pinyin Fang'an
|Min Dong for Fuzhou dialect|
|Hakka for Moiyan dialect|
Kejiahua Pinyin Fang'an
For Siyen dialect
General Chinese (Chao Yuenren)
Romanisation in Singapore
Romanisation in Taiwan
Pinyin, more formally Hanyu Pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. The Romanization of Chinese is the use of the Latin alphabet to write Chinese Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan The Chinese transcription of the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO was the most used phonetic transcription of Chinese in the French speaking world until the middle Gwoyeu Romatzyh (literally "National Romanization " abbreviated GR, is a system for writing Mandarin Chinese in the Latin alphabet The spelling of Gwoyeu Romatzyh (GR can be divided into its treatment of initials finals and tones GR uses contrasting unvoiced/voiced Latinxua Sin Wenz ( also known as Sin Wenz, Latinxua Sinwenz, Zhongguo Latinxua Sin Wenz, Beifangxua Latinxua Sin Wenz or Latinxua Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II (國語注音符號第二式 abbreviated MPS II is a Romanization system formerly used in the Republic of China ( Taiwan Chinese Postal Map Romanization ( Traditional Chinese: 郵政式拼音 Simplified Chinese: 邮政式拼音 Pinyin: Yóuzhèngshì Pīnyīn refers to the Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin The Yale romanizations are four systems created during World War II for use by United States military personnel. Legge romanization is a Transcription system for Mandarin Chinese, used by the prolific 19th century sinologist James Legge. Simplified Wade is a modification of the Wade-Giles Romanization system for writing Mandarin Chinese. Below is a table from pinyininfo which compares the different Romanizations of Standard Mandarin. Standard Cantonese is the standard variant of the Cantonese (Yuet language Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating the Standard Cantonese The Hong Kong Government Cantonese Romanisation ( not an official name is the more or less consistent way for romanising Cantonese Proper nouns Jyutping (sometimes spelled Jyutpin) is a Romanization system for Standard Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK The Meyer-Wempe Romanization system was developed by two Catholic missionaries in Hong Kong, Bernhard F Sidney Lau is a system of romanisation for Standard Cantonese, developed by Sidney Lau for teaching Cantonese For Cantonese romanisation scheme derived by S L Wong see S L For Cantonese transcription scheme derived by S L Wong see S L Standard Cantonese Pinyin ( is a Romanization system for Standard Cantonese developed by Yu Bingzhao (余秉昭 in 1971, and subsequently modified Standard Romanization is a Romanization system for Standard Cantonese developed by Christian missionaries in South China in 1888 The Yale romanizations are four systems created during World War II for use by United States military personnel. The Barnett-Chao (abbreviated here as B-C) system of romanization for writing Cantonese is based on the principles of the Gwoyeu Romatzyh system (abbreviated Northern Wu Romanization Scheme So called "Long-short" (长短音 because its use of assigning 2 vowel letters for long vowels and 1 vowel letter for short vowels (those syllables that The Southern Min language or Min Nan ( POJ: Bân-lâm-gú or "Southern Fujian" language refers to a family of Chinese languages Dialects Pe̍h-ōe-jī ( POJ) ( is an Orthography in the Latin alphabet created and introduced to Fujian and Taiwan by Presbyterian Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating the Standard Cantonese Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating the Standard Cantonese The Eastern Min language or Min Dong ( Foochow Romanized: Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄ is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province Foochow Romanized, aka Bàng-uâ-cê ( BUC for short Chinese characters: 平話字 or Mei County ( Chinese 梅县 pinyin Méixiàn is a county in northeastern Guangdong province the People's Republic of China. Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating the Standard Cantonese Pe̍h-ōe-jī ( POJ) ( is an Orthography in the Latin alphabet created and introduced to Fujian and Taiwan by Presbyterian General Chinese (GC is a phonetic system invented by Yuen Ren Chao to represent the pronunciations of all major Chinese dialects simultaneously This transcription is known as the Palladiy system and is the official Cyrillization of Chinese in Russia. Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin ( Xiao'erjing ar شِيَوْ عَر دٍ or in its shortened form Xiaojing ( is the practice of writing Sinitic languages The Romanisation of the Chinese language in Singapore is not dictated by a single policy nor is its policy implementation consistent as the local Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan In Linguistics, romanization (or latinization, also spelled romanisation or latinisation) is the representation of a Word or Hanyu means the Chinese language, and pinyin means "spell sound", or the spelling of the sound. 
Pinyin is the most common standard for representing Standard Mandarin in the Latin alphabet. The correspondence between letter and sound does not follow any single other language, but do not depart any more from the norms of the Latin alphabet than many European languages. For example, the aspiration distinction between b, d, g and p, t, k is similar to English, but not to French. Z and c also have that distinction; however, they are pronounced as [ts] is in languages such as German, Italian, and Polish, which do not have said distiction. 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 represents the fact that many Chinese pronounce sh, zh, ch as s, z, c. In the x, j, q series, x rather resembles its pronunciation in Catalan, though q is more novel.
In 1954, the Ministry of Education of the PRC assigned a Committee (Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language) to reform the written language. This committee developed Hanyu Pinyin based upon existing systems of that time (Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, it uses the diacritic markings from Zhuyin). Gwoyeu Romatzyh (literally "National Romanization " abbreviated GR, is a system for writing Mandarin Chinese in the Latin alphabet Latinxua Sin Wenz ( also known as Sin Wenz, Latinxua Sinwenz, Zhongguo Latinxua Sin Wenz, Beifangxua Latinxua Sin Wenz or Latinxua The main force behind pinyin was Zhou Youguang (born 1905, turning 103 in 2008 in good health). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use   Zhou Youguang was working in a New York bank when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the war. He became an economics professor in Shanghai. Shanghai ( 上[[wikt 海|海]] is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest urban areas in the world with over 20 million The government assigned him to help the development of a new romanisation system. The switch to language and writing largely saved him from the wrath of the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China was a struggle for power within the Communist Party of China that manifested into Mao Zedong ( 26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976) was a Chinese Military and political leader who led
A first 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. The 1st National People's Congress ( Chinese: 第一届全国人民代表大会 was in session from 1954 to 1959 Events 660 BC - Traditional founding date of Japan by Emperor Jimmu. Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. It was then introduced to primary schools as a way to teach Standard Mandarin pronunciation, and used to improve the literacy rate among adults. Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan In 2001, the Chinese Government issued the National Common Language Law, providing a legal basis for applying pinyin. 
Hanyu Pinyin superseded older romanization systems such as Wade-Giles (1859; modified 1892) and Chinese Postal Map Romanization, and replaced Zhuyin as the method of Chinese phonetic instruction in mainland China. Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Chinese Postal Map Romanization ( Traditional Chinese: 郵政式拼音 Simplified Chinese: 邮政式拼音 Pinyin: Yóuzhèngshì Pīnyīn refers to the Mainland China, Continental China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term synonymous with the area that is under the jurisdiction Hanyu Pinyin was adopted in 1979 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as the standard romanization for modern Chinese (ISO-7098:1991). It has also been accepted by the Government of Singapore, the Library of Congress, the American Library Association, and many other international institutions. The Government of Singapore is formed by the Political party which gains a simple majority in the general Elections held in Singapore at least once every The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress The American Library Association ( ALA) is a group based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally It has also become a useful tool for entering Chinese language text into computers. Since the Chinese language uses a logographic script — that is a script where one or more " characters " corresponds roughly to one "word" or Chinese speaking Standard Mandarin at home use pinyin to help children associate characters with spoken words which they already know; however, for the many Chinese who do not use Standard Mandarin at home, pinyin is used to teach them the Standard Mandarin pronunciation of words when they learn them in elementary school. Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan See also Primary education An elementary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of Compulsory education known as elementary
Pinyin vowels are pronounced similarly to vowels in Romance languages, and most consonants are similar to English. In Phonetics, a vowel is a Sound in spoken Language, such as English ah! or oh!, pronounced with an open Vocal tract The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, or Neolatin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family comprising all In Articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a Speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the upper Vocal tract, the upper vocal English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States A pitfall for English-speaking novices is, however, the unusual pronunciation of x, q, j, c, zh, ch, sh and z (and sometimes -i) and the unvoiced pronunciation of d, b, and g. More information on the pronunciation of all pinyin letters in terms of English approximations is given further below.
The pronunciation of Chinese is generally given in terms of initials and finals, which represent the segmental phonemic portion of the language. In Phonetics and Phonology, a syllable onset is the part of a Syllable that precedes the Syllable nucleus. In the study of Phonology in Linguistics, the rime or rhyme of a Syllable consists of a nucleus and an optional coda 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). Semivowels — also known as glides or non-syllabic vowels —are Vowels that form Diphthongs with full syllabic vowels In Phonology, a syllable coda comprises the Consonant sounds of a Syllable that follow the nucleus, which is usually a Vowel
For a complete table of all pinyin syllables, see pinyin table. This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin syllables used in Standard Mandarin.
In each cell below, the first line indicates the IPA, the second indicates pinyin.
1 /ɻ/ may phonetically be /ʐ/ (a voiced retroflex fricative). In Phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a Consonant articulated with both Lips The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet In Phonetics, labiodentals are Consonants articulated with the lower Lip and the upper Teeth. Co-articulated consonants or complex consonants are consonants produced with two simultaneous places of articulation. Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets In Phonetics, retroflex consonants are Consonant sounds used in some Languages (They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants In Phonetics, alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) Consonants are palatalized postalveolar Fricatives articulated with Palatal consonants are Consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the Hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. A nasal consonant (also called nasal stop or nasal continuant) is produced with a lowered velum in the mouth allowing air to escape freely through the Laterals are "L"-like Consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both Affricate Consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or) but release as a fricative (such as or or occasionally into Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together Approximants are speech sounds ( Phonemes) that could be regarded as intermediate between Vowels and typical Consonants In the articulation of approximants The voiced retroflex fricative is a type of Consonantal sound used in some spoken Languages The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet This pronunciation varies among different speakers, and is not two different phonemes.
2 the letter "w" may be considered as an initial or a final, and may be pronounced as /w/ or /u/
3 the letter "y" may be considered as an initial or a final, and may be pronounced as /j/ or /i/
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|
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
The only syllable-final consonants in standard Mandarin are -n and -ng, and -r which is attached as a grammatical suffix. Chinese syllables ending with any other consonant is either from a non-Mandarin language (southern Chinese languages such as Cantonese, or minority languages of China), or it indicates the use of a non-pinyin Romanization system (where final consonants may be used to indicate tones).
|[uəŋ], [ʊŋ] 4|
1 /ər/ (而, 二, etc. ) is written as 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 Standard Mandarin. Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan
2 "ü" is written as "u" after j, q, x, or y.
3 "uo" is written as "o" after b, p, m, or f.
4 It is pronounced [ʊŋ] when it follows an initial, and pinyin reflects this difference.
In addition, ê [ɛ] is used to represent certain interjections. An interjection is a Part of speech that usually has no connection with the rest of the sentence and simply expresses Emotion on the part of the speaker
All rules given here in terms of English pronunciation are approximate, as several of these sounds do not correspond directly to sounds in English.
|b||[p]||unaspirated p, as in spit|
|p||[pʰ]||aspirated p, as in pit|
|m||[m]||as in English mom|
|f||[f]||as in English fun|
|d||[t]||unaspirated t, as in stop|
|t||[tʰ]||aspirated t, as in top|
|n||[n]||as in English nit|
|l||[l]||as in English love|
|g||[k]||unaspirated k, as in skill|
|k||[kʰ]||aspirated k, as in kill|
|h||[x]||like the English h if followed by "a"; otherwise it is pronounced more roughly (not unlike the Scots ch)|
|j||[tɕ]||like q, but unaspirated. Scots ( The Scots leid) refers to Anglic varieties derived from early northern Middle English spoken in parts of Scotland and Northern (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".|
|q||[tɕʰ]||like church; pass it backwards along the tongue until it is free of the tongue tip|
|x||[ɕ]||like sh, but 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, and to huge or Hugh in some English dialects|
|zh||[ʈʂ]||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|
|ch||[ʈʂʰ]||as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture or tree in American English, but strongly aspirated|
|sh||[ʂ]||as in shinbone, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to undershirt in American English|
|r||[ʐ] or [ɻ]||Similar to the English r in rank, but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. The initial "r" can also be described as French "j" [ʒ] or a cross between English "r" and French "j". In Cyrillised Chinese the same sound is always rendered with letter "ж" (French "j"). This transcription is known as the Palladiy system and is the official Cyrillization of Chinese in Russia.|
|z||[ts]||unaspirated c (halfway between beds and bets) (more common example is suds)|
|c||[tsʰ]||like ts, aspirated (more common example is bats)|
|s||[s]||as in sun|
|w||[w] or [u]||may be considered as an initial or a final, and may be pronounced as w or u as in English|
|y||[j] or [i]||may be considered as an initial or a final, and may be pronounced as y or i as in English|
The following is an exhaustive list of all finals in Standard Mandarin. Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan Those ending with a final -r are listed at the end.
To find a given final:
|-i||[z̩], [ʐ̩]||n/a||Displayed as an "i" after: "zh", "ch", "sh", "r", "z", "c" or "s". After "z", "c" or "s", sounds like a prolonged "zzz" sound. After "zh", "ch", "sh" or "r", sounds like a prolonged American "r" sound. In some dialects, pronounced slightly more open, allowing a clear-sounding vowel to pass through (a high, central, unrounded vowel, something like IPA /ɨ/; say 'zzz' and lower the tongue just enough for the buzzing to go away).|
|a||[ɑ]||a||as in "father"|
|o||[uɔ]||o||starts with English "oo" and ends with a plain continental "o".|
|e||[ɤ], [ə]||e||a back, unrounded vowel, which can be formed by first pronouncing a plain continental "o" (AuE and NZE law) and then spreading the lips without changing the position of the tongue. Australian English ( AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. New Zealand English ( NZE, en-NZ) is the form of the English language used in New Zealand. That same sound is also similar to English "duh", but not as open. Many unstressed syllables in Chinese use the schwa (idea), and this is also written as e. In Linguistics, specifically Phonetics and Phonology, schwa can mean the following An unstressed and toneless neutral|
|ê||[ɛ]||(n/a)||as in "bet". Only used in certain interjections.|
|ai||[aɪ]||ai||like English "eye", but a bit lighter|
|ei||[ei]||ei||as in "hey"|
|ao||[ɑʊ]||ao||approximately as in "cow"; the a is much more audible than the o|
|ou||[ou̯]||ou||as in "so"|
|an||[an]||an||starts with plain continental "a" (AuE and NZE bud) and ends with "n"|
|en||[ən]||en||as in "taken"|
|ang||[ɑŋ]||ang||as in German Angst, including the English loan word angst (starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; like song in American English)|
|eng||[ɤŋ]||eng||like e above but with ng added to it at the back|
|ong||[ʊŋ]||n/a||starts with the vowel sound in b'ook and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing|
|er||[ɑɻ]||er||like English "are" (exists only on its own, or as the last part of a final in combination with others - see bottom of this list)|
|Finals beginning with i- (y-)|
|i||[i]||yi||like English "ee", except when preceded by "c", "ch", "r", "s", "sh", "z" or "zh"|
|ia||[iɑ]||ya||as i + a; like English "yard"|
|io||[iɔ]||yo||as i + plain continental "o". Australian English ( AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. New Zealand English ( NZE, en-NZ) is the form of the English language used in New Zealand. The velar nasal is a type of Consonantal sound used in some spoken Languages The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents Only used in certain interjections.|
|ie||[iɛ]||ye||as i + ê; but is very short; e (pronounced like ê) is pronounced longer and carries the main stress (similar to the initial sound ye in yet)|
|iao||[iɑʊ]||yao||as i + ao|
|iu||[iou̯]||you||as i + ou|
|ian||[iɛn]||yan||as i + ê + n; like English yen|
|in||[in]||yin||as i + n|
|iang||[iɑŋ]||yang||as i + ang|
|ing||[iŋ]||ying||as i but with ng added to it at the back|
|iong||[iʊŋ]||yong||as i + ong|
|Finals beginning with u- (w-)|
|u||[u]||wu||like English "oo"|
|ua||[ua]||wa||as u + a|
|uo||[uɔ]||wo||as u + o; the o is pronounced shorter and lighter than in the o final|
|uai||[uaɪ]||wai||as u + ai|
|ui||[ueɪ]||wei||as u + ei; here, the i is pronounced like ei|
|uan||[uan]||wan||as u + an|
|un||[uən]||wen||as u + en; like the on in the English won|
|uang||[uɑŋ]||wang||as u + ang; like the ang in English angst or anger|
|n/a||[uɤŋ]||weng||as u + eng|
|Finals beginning with ü- (yu-)|
|ü||[y]||yu||as in German "üben" or French "lune" (To get this sound, say "ee" with rounded lips)|
|ue||[yɛ]||yue||as ü + ê; the ü is short and light|
|üan||[yɛn]||yuan||as ü + ê+ n;|
|ün||[yn]||yun||as ü + n;|
|Finals that are a combination of finals above + r final|
|ar||[ɑɻ]||like ar in American English "art"|
|er||[ɤɻ]||as e + r; not to be confused with er final on its own- this form only exists with an initial character before it|
|or||[uɔɻ]||as o + r|
|eir||[ɝ]||as schwa + r|
|aor||[ɑʊɻ]||as ao + r|
|our||[ou̯ɻ]||as ou + r|
|enr||[əɻ]||as schwa + r|
|angr||[ɑ̃ɻ]||as ang + r, with ng removed and the vowel nasalized|
|engr||[ɤ̃ɻ]||as eng + r, with ng removed and the vowel nasalized|
|ongr||[ʊ̃ɻ]||as ong + r, with ng removed and the vowel nasalized|
|ir||[iəɻ]||as i + schwa + r|
|ir||[əɻ]||after "c", "ch", "r", "s", "sh", "z", "zh": as schwa + r.|
|iar||[iɑɻ]||as i + ar|
|ier||[iɛɻ]||as ie + r|
|iaor||[iɑʊɻ]||as iao + r|
|iur||[iou̯ɻ]||as iou + r|
|ianr||[iɑɻ]||as i + ar|
|iangr||[iɑ̃ɻ]||as i + angr|
|ingr||[iɤ̃ɻ]||as i + engr|
|iongr||[yʊ̃ɻ]||as i + ongr|
|ur||[uɻ]||as u + r|
|uar||[uɑɻ]||as u + ar|
|uor||[uɔɻ]||as uo + r|
|uair||[uɑɻ]||as u + ar|
|uir||[uɝ]||as u + schwa + r|
|uanr||[uɑɻ]||as u + ar|
|unr||[uəɻ]||as u + schwa + r|
|uangr||[uɑ̃ɻ]||as u + angr|
|ür||[yəɻ]||as ü + schwa + r|
|üer||[yɛɻ]||as ue + r|
|üanr||[yɑɻ]||as ü + ar|
|ünr||[yəɻ]||as ü + schwa + r|
Pinyin differs from other romanizations in several aspects, such as the following:
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. A summary of possible pinyin syllables (not including tones), can be reviewed at: pinyin table
Although Chinese characters represent single syllables, Mandarin Chinese is a polysyllabic language. This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin syllables used in Standard Mandarin. A syllable ( Greek:) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds Spacing in pinyin is based on whole words, not single syllables. However, there are often ambiguities in partitioning a word. Orthographic rules were put into effect in 1988 by the National Educational Commission (国家教育委员会, pinyin: Guójiā Jiàoyù Wěiyuánhuì ) and the National Language Commission (国家语言文字工作委员会, pinyin: Guójiā Yǔyán Wénzì Gōngzuò Wěiyuánhuì).
The pinyin system also uses diacritics for the four tones of Mandarin, usually above a non-medial vowel. A diacritic ( also called a diacritic or diacritical mark, point, or sign, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Spoken Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan In Phonetics, a vowel is a Sound in spoken Language, such as English ah! or oh!, pronounced with an open Vocal tract Many books printed in China mix fonts, with vowels and tone marks rendered in a different font than 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 "ɑ" (with no curl over the top) rather than the standard style of the letter "a" found in most fonts. The official rules of Hanyu Pinyin, however, specify no such practice. Note that tone marks can also appear on consonants in certain vowelless exclamations.
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:
mā má mǎ mà
A sound sample of the four tonesProblems listening to the file? See media help.
The words are "mother", "hemp", "horse", "scold" and a question particle, respectively.
Since most computer fonts do not contain the macron or caron accents, a common convention is to add a digit representing the tone to the end of individual syllables. For example, "tóng" (tong with the rising tone) is written "tong2". The number used for each tone is as the order listed above (except the "fifth tone", which, in addition to being numbered 5, is also sometimes not numbered or numbered zero, as in ma0 (吗/嗎, an interrogative marker).
|Tone||Tone Mark||Number added to end of syllable|
in place of tone mark
|First||macron ( ˉ )||1||mā||ma1||mɑ˥˥|
|Second||acute accent ( ˊ )||2||má||ma2||mɑ˧˥|
|Third||caron ( ˇ )||3||mǎ||ma3||mɑ˨˩˦|
|Fourth||grave accent ( ˋ )||4||mà||ma4||mɑ˥˩|
|"Neutral" or "Fifth"||No mark|
or dot before syllable (·)
The rules for determining on which vowel the tone mark appears are as follows:
(y and w are not considered vowels for these rules. )
The reasoning behind these rules is in the case of diphthongs and triphthongs, i, u, and ü (and their orthographic equivalents y and w when there is no initial consonant) are considered medial glides rather than part of the syllable nucleus in Chinese phonology. In Phonetics, a diphthong (also gliding vowel) (from Greek grc δίφθογγος "diphthongos" literally "with two sounds" or "with In Phonetics, a triphthong (from Greek τρίφθογγος, "triphthongos" literally "with three sounds" or "with three Phonology ( Greek φωνή (phōnē voice sound + λόγος (lógos word speech subject of discussion is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning The rules ensure that the tone mark always appears on the nucleus of a syllable.
Another algorithm for determining the vowel on which the tone mark appears is as follows:
An umlaut is placed over the letter u when it occurs after the initials l and n in order to represent the sound [y]. Diaeresis or trema See also Diaeresis History Historically the diaeresis mark or trema is far older than the umlaut mark This is necessary in order to distinguish the front high rounded vowel in lü (e. g. 驴/驢 donkey) from the back high rounded vowel in lu (e. g. 炉/爐 oven). Tonal markers are added on top of the umlaut, as in lǘ.
However, the ü is not used in other contexts where it represents a front high rounded vowel, namely after the letters j, q, x and y. For example, the sound of the word 鱼/魚 (fish) is transcribed in pinyin simply as yú, not as yǘ. This practice is opposed to Wade-Giles, which always uses ü, and Tongyong Pinyin, which always uses yu. Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 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 jü. Genuine ambiguities only happen with nu/nü and lu/lü, which are then distinguished by an umlaut diacritic.
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. Occasionally, uu (double u), u: (u followed by a colon) or U (capital u) is used in its place.
Taiwan adopted Tongyong Pinyin on the national level in October 2002. Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. Tongyong pinyin ( was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) between 2002 and 2008 Tongyong Pinyin is a modified version of Hanyu Pinyin. The adoption of Tongyong Pinyin has also resulted in political controversy. Much of the controversy centered on issues of national identity, with proponents of Chinese reunification favoring the Hanyu Pinyin system which is used on the People's Republic of China, and proponents of Taiwanese independence favoring the use of Tongyong Pinyin. There is also a specific Chinese reunification of 1928. Chinese reunification ( is a goal of Chinese nationalism that refers to
Localities with governments controlled by the Kuomintang, most notably Taipei City, have overridden the 2002 administrative order and converted to Hanyu Pinyin (although with a slightly different capitalization convention than the Mainland). Taipei ( Taiwanese Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-pak-chhī Jhuyin Fuhao: ㄊㄞˊ ㄅㄟˇ ㄕˋ Hakka: Thòi-pet-sṳ has been the capital of As a result, the use of romanization on signage in Taiwan is inconsistent, with many places using Tongyong Pinyin but some using Hanyu Pinyin, and still others not yet having had the resources to replace older Wade-Giles or MPS2 signage. Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II (國語注音符號第二式 abbreviated MPS II is a Romanization system formerly used in the Republic of China ( Taiwan This has resulted in the odd situation in Taipei City in which inconsistent pinyin transcriptions are shown in freeway directions — with freeway signs, which are under the control of the national government, using one pinyin, but surface street signs, which are under the control of the city government, using the other. This situation is also ironic in a historical sense, as it was the KMT that long promoted the use of Wade-Giles system (of which Taiwanese pinyin is essentially a modified form).
Primary education continues to teach pronunciation using the zhùyīn system in Taiwan. Although the ROC government has stated the desire to use romanization rather than zhùyīn in education, the lack of agreement on which form of pinyin to use and the huge logistical challenge of teacher training has stalled these efforts.
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. Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating the Standard Cantonese Guangdong ( EFEO: Kouangtong; Pinyin Guǎngdōng; Postal map spelling: Kwangtung) is a province on the Standard Cantonese is the standard variant of the Cantonese (Yuet language 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 (少数民族语地名汉语拼音字母音译转写法) promulgated in 1976, place names in non-Chinese languages like Mongol, Uyghur, and Tibetan are also officially transcribed using pinyin. The Mongolian language (mn [[ImageMonggol kelesvg 17px]] Mongɣol kele, Cyrillic: Монгол хэл Mongol khel) is the best-known member of Uyghur (/ ug-Latn Uyƣurqə/ug-Cyrl Уйғурчә, or / ug-Latn Uyƣur tili/ug-Cyrl Уйғур Tibetan refers to a group of languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering South Asia as well as by overseas The pinyin letters (26 Roman letters, ü, ê) are used to approximate the non-Chinese 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)||Chinese name||Pinyin for Chinese name|
Pinyin is now used by foreign students learning Chinese as a second language. Ürümchi or Ürümqi, sometimes spelled Wulumuqi (English uːˈruːmtʃi ئۈرۈمچی|Ürümchi) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Lhasa, ( in English l̥ʰásə or in Tibetan; Chinese: 拉萨 Pinyin: Lāsà sometimes spelled Lasa, is the administrative capital of the Golmud, sometimes spelled Ge'ermu or Geermu ( Mongolian: Голмуд meaning "Rivers" in local Western Mongolian dialect; Tibetan Tibetan pinyin is the official transcription system for the Tibetan language in the People's Republic of China.
Pinyin assigns some Roman letters phonological values which are quite different from that of most languages. Phonology ( Greek φωνή (phōnē voice sound + λόγος (lógos word speech subject of discussion is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning
Pinyin is purely a representation of the sounds of Mandarin, therefore it lacks the semantic cues that Chinese characters can provide. Semantics is the study of meaning in communication The word derives from Greek σημαντικός ( semantikos) "significant" from A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese ( It is also unsuitable for transcribing some Chinese spoken languages other than Mandarin. Spoken Chinese ( comprises many regional variants the largest of which are Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, and Min.
Simple computer systems, able only to display only 7-bit ASCII text (essentially the 26 Latin letters, 10 digits and punctuation marks) long provided the most convincing argument in favor of pinyin over Hanzi. American Standard Code for Information Interchange ( ASCII) 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 PCs and digitizing tablets allow users to input characters directly by writing with a stylus. A Tablet PC is a Notebook or slate-shaped Mobile computer, equipped with a Touchscreen or Graphics tablet/screen hybrid technology which allows A graphics tablet (or digitizing tablet, graphics pad, drawing tablet) is a computer Input device that allows one to hand-draw images and graphics A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a Writing utensil. The word is also used for a computer accessory ( PDAs)
Some Internet users using the Internet Explorer browser may have difficulty displaying characters bearing the third tone mark. If the following character displays as an empty square box: ǔ, do the following: on the Internet Explorer menu at the top of the screen select "Tools," then "Internet Options," then "Accessibility. " Check the box labeled "Ignore font styles specified on Web pages. " Click "OK. " After that, select "Tools," then "Internet Options," then "Fonts. " In the menu at the left, select "Arial Unicode MS" (or "Arial," if this font is not available), then click "OK. " It may also be necessary to select "View," then "Encoding," then "Unicode (UTF-8). "
Activate the "US Extended" keyboard in System Preferences and then do:
Many Chinese IME's allow an additional Hanyu Pinyin toggle in addition to the simplified/traditional toggle. The user can then type pinyin and tone marks using the alphanumeric keys on a standard keyboard; the popular Ziguang Pinyin IME is one such example. Pinyinput is a Windows-based IME that allows you to type toned pinyin with ease. Because it works at the system level, it will allow you to type pinyin with tones in any Windows program just as easily as you would type Chinese (in fact even easier, because you don't need to select the correct character). Activate the IME then start typing pinyin. Type a number from 1-4 after a pinyin syllable, and the corresponding tone will automatically be placed on the correct vowel of that syllable.