Saturday, October 4, 2008


Chungcheng, Jhongjheng or Zhongzheng is the name of some places, roads, schools or organizations in Taiwan. It was derived from a given name of Chiang Kai-shek, thus when translating into or other non-Chinese languages, it sometimes would be replaced by "Chiang Kai-shek" instead of simply by transliteration.

The of "中正" in these names sometimes omitted the alphabet "''g''", or replaced the "u" by "o", or vice versa. And sometimes separated two syllables by a hyphen or . In Taiwanese Min Nan, it is pronounced as "Tiong-chèng" or "Diong-zìng". And the pronounced it as "Zúng-ziin" or "Zhùng-zhǐn".

In addition, some usages of "中正" in Chinese language are unrelated to Chiang Kai-shek, such as "zhongzheng" , the name of a government official of the Nine-rank system in the imperial China. In the history of Japan, it also exist some usage of "中正", such as the "Chuuseikai" , these names were also unrelated to Chiang.

Standard romanizations in Mandarin

* Wade-Giles: ''Chungcheng''
* : ''Jungjeng''
* Hanyu Pinyin: ''Zhongzheng''
* Tongyong Pinyin: ''Jhongjheng''


Political divisions

*Zhongzheng District , Taipei
*Jhongjheng District , Keelung
*Chungcheng Village


*Chungcheng Road
*Chungcheng Street


*Chungcheng Elementary School
*Chungcheng Junior High School
*Chungcheng Senior High School
*National Chung Cheng University
*Chung-Cheng Armed Forces Preparatory School


*Chungcheng Park

Chinese Postal Map Romanization

Chinese Postal Map Romanization refers to the system of romanization for Chinese place names which came into use in the late Qing dynasty and was officially sanctioned by the Imperial Postal Joint-Session Conference , which was held in Shanghai in the spring of 1906. This system of romanization was retained after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912 and since it was in use in the official postal atlas of the Republic of China, it remained the most common way of rendering Chinese place names in the West for a large part of the twentieth century. Following the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the system has gradually been replaced by Pinyin, which is now almost universally accepted.

The system was based on Wade-Giles for al purposes, especially for placenames in the official postal atlas, s and s. It uses some already common European names of Chinese places that override the Wade-Giles system, and incorporates some al and historical pronunciations.

Main differences with Wade-Giles include:
* Complete lack of diacritic and accent marks.
* ''Chi'', ''ch'i'', and ''hsi'' are represented as either ''tsi'', ''tsi'', and ''si'' or ''ki'', ''ki'', and ''hi'' depending on historic pronunciation, e.g.,
** Peking
** Tientsin
** Tsinan
* Unless it is the sole vowel in the syllable, the Wade-Giles ''u'' becomes ''w'', e.g.,
** Ankwo
** Chinchow
* Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian placenames are to be Romanized from the local dialects, such as , Cantonese, and .
* Popular pre-existing European names for place in China are to be retained, such as those of the treaty ports.

Other orthograpic peculiarities include:
* ''hs-'' becomes ''sh-'' or ''-s'', e.g.,
* ''-ê'' and ''-ei'' both become ''-eh'', e.g., and . ''-ê'' occasionally also can be ''-e'' or ''-ei''.
* final ''u'' sometimes become ''-uh', e.g.,

Yale Romanization

The Yale romanizations are four systems created during World War II for use by United States . They romanized the four East Asian languages of , Cantonese, , and . The four Romanizations, however, are unrelated in the sense that the same letter from one Romanization may not represent the same sound in another.


Mandarin Yale was developed to prepare American soldiers to communicate with their Chinese allies on the battlefield. Rather than try to teach recruits to interpret the standard romanization of the time, the Wade-Giles system, a new system was invented that utilized the decoding skills that recruits would already know from having learned to read English, i.e. it used English spelling conventions to represent Chinese sounds. It avoided the main problems that the Wade-Giles system presented to the uninitiated student or news announcer trying to get somebody's name right in a public forum, because it did not use the "rough breathing mark" to distinguish between sounds like ''jee'' and ''chee''. In Wade-Giles the first of those would be written ''chi'' and the second would be written ''ch'i''. In the Yale romanization they were written ''ji'' and ''chi''. The Yale system also avoids the difficulties faced by the beginner trying to read pinyin romanization because it uses certain Roman letters and combinations of letters in such a way that they no longer carry their expected values. For instance, ''q'' in pinyin is pronounced something like the ''ch'' in ''chicken'' and is written as ''ch'' in Yale Romanization. ''Xi'' in pinyin is pronounced something like the ''sh'' in ''sheep'', but in Yale it is written as ''syi''. ''Zhi'' in pinyin sounds something like the ''ger'' in ''gerbil'', and is written as ''jr'' in Yale romanization. For example: in Wade-Giles, "knowledge" is ''chih-shih''; in pinyin, ''zhishi''; but in Yale romanization it is written ''jr-shr''—only the latter will elicit a near-correct pronunciation from an unprepared English speaker.

The tone markings from Yale romanization were adopted for pinyin.


Unlike the Mandarin Yale romanization, Cantonese Yale is still widely used in books and dictionaries for Standard Cantonese, especially for foreign learners. Developed by Parker Po-fei Huang and Gerald P. Kok, it shares some similarities with Hanyu Pinyin in that unvoiced, unaspirated consonants are represented by letters traditionally used in English and most other European languages to represent voiced sounds. For example, is represented as ''b'' in Yale, whereas its aspirated counterpart, is represented as ''p''. Because of this and other factors, Yale romanization is usually held to be easy for American English speakers to pronounce without much training. In Hong Kong, more people use Standard Cantonese Pinyin and Jyutping, as these systems are believed to be more localized to Hong Kong people .



* The finals ''m'' and ''ng'' can only be used as standalone .


There are nine tones in six distinct tone contours in Cantonese.
Cantonese Yale represents tones using tone marks and the letter ''h'', as shown in the following table:

* Tones can also be written using the tone number instead of the tone mark and ''h''.
* In modern Standard Cantonese, the high-flat and high-falling tones are indistinguishable and, therefore, are represented with the same tone number.
* Three entering tone: entering high-flat, entering mid-flat, entering low-flat have the same tone contours with high-flat, mid-flat, low-flat, but it have difference in which affect its short falling cadence only. So we use the same representation between three entering tones and flat tones.



Korean Yale was developed by Samuel Elmo Martin and his colleagues at Yale University about half a decade after McCune-Reischauer, and is still used today, although mainly by , among whom it has become the standard romanization for the language. The Yale system places primary emphasis on showing a word's morphophonemic structure. This distinguishes it from the other two widely used systems for romanizing Korean, the Revised Romanization of Korean and McCune-Reischauer. These two usually provide the pronunciation for an entire word, but the morphophonemic elements accounting for that pronunciation often can not be recovered from the romanizations, which makes them ill-suited for linguistic use. In terms of morphophonemic content, the Yale system's approach can be compared to a North Korean orthography known as Chos?n? sin ch'?lchap?p .

The Yale romanization represents each morphophonemic element by the same Roman letter, irrelevant of its context, with the notable exceptions of and which the Yale system always romanizes as ''u'' after bilabial consonants because there is no audible distinction between the two in many speakers' speech, and of the ''wu'' that represents in all other contexts.

Vowel letters

Consonant letters

The letter ''q'' indicates '''' which is not shown in hangul spelling:
* ''halq il'' /''hallil''/
* ''halq kes'' /''halkket''/
* ''kulqca'' /''kulcca''/

In cases of letter combinations that would otherwise be ambiguous, a period indicates the orthographic syllable boundary. It is also used for other purposes such as to indicate sound change:
* ''nulk.un'' “old”
* ''kath.i'' /''kachi''/ “together”; “like”, “as” etc.

A macron over a vowel letter indicate that in old or dialectal language, this vowel is pronounced :
* ''māl'' “word”
* ''mal'' “horse”
Note: Vowel length as a distinctive feature seems to have disappeared at least among younger speakers of the Seoul dialect sometime in the late 20th century.

A superscript letter indicates consonants that have disappeared from a word's and standard pronunciation. For example, the South Korean orthographic syllable is romanized as follows:
* ''yeng'' where no initial consonant has been dropped.
Example: ''yenge''
* ''lyeng'' where an initial l  has been dropped or changed to n  in the South Korean standard language.
Examples: ''lyengto''; ''lNo Muhyen''
* ''nyeng'' where an initial n  has been dropped in the South Korean standard language.
Example: ''nYengpyen''

The indication of vowel length or pitch and disappeared consonants often make it easier to predict how a word is pronounced in Korean dialects when given its Yale romanization compared to its South Korean hangul spelling.

There are separate rules for Middle Korean. For example, ''o'' means in a romanization of the current language, but for Middle Korean, where is transcribed as ''wo''. Martin 1992 uses italics for romanizations of Middle Korean as well as other texts predating the 1933 abandonment of ''arae a'', whereas current language is shown in boldface.


Wade-Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system for the language used in Beijing. It developed from a system produced by in the mid-19th century, and reached settled form with Herbert Giles' - dictionary of 1892.

Wade-Giles was the main system of transcription in the English-speaking world for most of the 20th century, used in several standard reference books and in all books about China published before 1979. It replaced the Nanjing-based romanization systems that had been common until late in the 19th century. It has mostly been replaced by the pinyin system today, but parts of it, especially the names of individuals and certain cities remain in use in the Republic of China .

Transcription, not transliteration

Although frequently improperly called "transliteration", Wade-Giles' system is a of Chinese. There can be no transliteration of Chinese script into any phonetic script, like the Latin alphabet. Any system of romanization of Chinese renders the sounds and not the characters .


Wade-Giles was developed by Thomas Francis Wade, a British ambassador in China and Chinese scholar who was the first professor of Chinese at Cambridge University. Wade published the first Chinese textbook in English in 1867. The system was refined in 1912 by Herbert Allen Giles, a British diplomat in China.

The Wade-Giles system was designed to transcribe Chinese terms, for Chinese specialists. This origin has led to a general sense that the system is non-intuitive for non-specialists and not useful for teaching Chinese pronunciation.

The Republic of China has used Wade-Giles for decades as the de facto standard, co-existing with several official but obscure Romanizations in succession, namely, Gwoyeu Romatzyh , MPS II , and Tongyong Pinyin . Taiwanese place names are still being virtually written in Wade-Giles, and many Chinese Americans and also write their Chinese names in Wade-Giles.

The Hanyu Pinyin system is the official and most widely used system in the People's Republic of China. In Singapore, Pinyin is taught in national schools and widely used in official documents, although a reversal of government policy changed the requirement to register people's Chinese names in Pinyin. Wade-Giles spellings and Pinyin spellings for Taiwanese place names and words long accepted in English usage are still used interchangeably in English-language texts in both countries.

Technical aspects

One symbol-multiple sounds

A common complaint about the Wade-Giles system is the representation of the stop consonant pairs using apostrophes: ''p, p', t, t', k, k', ch, ch'''. However, the use of apostrophes preserves ''b'', ''d'', ''g'', and ''j'' for the romanization of containing voiced consonants, such as Shanghainese and Taiwanese whose century-old Pe?h-ōe-jī is similar to Wade-Giles. POJ, Legge romanization, Simplified Wade, and EFEO Chinese transcription use the letter ''h'' instead of an apostrophe to indicate aspiration . The convention of the apostrophe or "h" to denote aspiration is also found in romanizations of other Asian languages, such as McCune-Reischauer for and ISO 11940 for .

People unfamiliar with Wade-Giles often ignore the apostrophes, even so far as leaving them out when copying texts, unaware that they represent vital information. Hanyu Pinyin addresses this issue by employing the Latin letters customarily used for voiced stops, unneeded in Mandarin, to represent the unaspirated stops: ''b, p, d, t, g, k, j, q, zh, ch.''

Partly because of the popular omission of the apostrophe, the four sounds represented in Hanyu Pinyin by ''j'', ''q'', ''zh'', and ''ch'' all become ''ch'' in many literature and personal names. However, were the diacritics to be kept, the system reveals a symmetry that leaves no overlap:
* The non-retroflex ''ch'' and ''ch''' are always before either ''i'' or ''ü''.
* The retroflex ''ch'' and ''ch''' are always before ''a'', ''e'', ''ih'', ''o'', or ''u''.

Furthermore, Wade uses ''lo'' for three distinct sounds ; ''jo'' for two ; and ''no'' for two .

One sound-multiple symbols

In addition to several sounds presented using the same letter, sometimes, one single sound is represented using several sets of letters. There exists two versions of Wade-Giles Romanizations for each of the Pinyin syllables ''zi'', ''ci'', and ''si''.
* The older version writes ''ts?'', ''ts'?'', and ''ss?''
* The newer version writes:
** ''tzu'' for ''ts?'', but it still remains ''ts-'' before other vowels, as in ''tsung'' for the Pinyin ''zong''.
** ''tz'u'' for ''ts'?'', but remains ''ts'-'' before other vowels.
** ''szu'' or ''ssu'' for ''ss?'', but is ''s-'' before other vowels. Note, not ''ss-''.

Precision with empty rime

On the other hand, Wade-Giles shows precisions not found in other major Romanizations in regard to the rendering of the two types of empty s :
* ''-u'' after the sibilant ''tz'', ''tz''', and ''s'' .
* ''-ih'' after the retroflex ''ch'', ''ch''', ''sh'', and ''j'' .
These empty rimes are all written as ''-i'' in Hanyu Pinyin , and all written as ''-ih'' in Tongyong Pinyin. Zhuyin, as a non-Romanization, does not require the representation of any empty rime.

Partial interchangeability of ''uo'' and ''e'' with ''o''

What is pronounced as a close-mid back unrounded vowel is written usually as ''-e'' as in pinyin, but sometimes as ''-o''. This vowel in an isolate syllable is written as ''o'' or ''ê''. When placed in a syllable, it is ''e''; except when preceded by ''k'', ''k''', and ''h'', when it is ''o''.

What is actually pronounced as ''-uo'' is virtually always written as ''-o'' in Wade-Giles, except ''shuo'' and the three syllables of ''kuo'', ''k'uo'', and ''huo'', which already have the counterparts of ''ko'', ''k'o'', and ''ho'' that represent pinyin ''ge'', ''ke'', and ''he''.


In addition to the s used for distinguishing the , Wade-Giles uses hyphens to separate all syllables within a word, whereas Pinyin only uses apostrophes to separate ambiguous syllables. Originally in his dictionary, Giles used left apostrophes consistently. Such orientation was followed in Sinological works until the 1950s or 60s, when it started to be gradually replaced by right apostrophes in academic literature. On-line publications almost invariably use the plain apostrophe . Apostrophes are completely ignored in Taiwanese passports, hence their absence in overseas Chinese names.

If the syllable is not the first in a word, its first letter is not , even if it is a proper noun. The use of apostrophes, hyphens, and capitalization is frequently not observed in placenames and personal names. For example, the majority of overseas Chinese of Taiwanese origin write their given names like "Tai Lun" or "Tai-Lun", whereas the Wade-Giles actually writes "Tai-lun". The capitalization issue arises partly because ROC passports indiscriminately capitalize all letters of the holder's names . It is also due to the misunderstanding that the second syllable is a middle name.

Wade-Giles uses superscript numbers to indicate , and official Pinyin uses diacritics. The tone marks are ignored except in textbooks.

Comparison with Pinyin

* Wade-Giles chose the -like ''j'' to represent a Northerner's pronunciation of what now is represented as ''r'' in Pinyin.
* ''?'' always has a diaresis above, while Pinyin only employs it in the cases of ''nü'' and ''lü'', while leaving it out in ''-ue'', ''ju-'', ''qu-'', ''xu-'', ''-uan'' and ''yu-'' as a simplification because u cannot otherwise appear in those positions. Because ''yü'' must have a diaresis in Wade, the diaresis-less ''yu'' in Wade-Giles is freed up for what corresponds to ''you'' in Pinyin.
* The Pinyin vowel cluster ''ong'' is ''ung'' in Wade-Giles.
* After a consonant, both the Wade-Giles and Pinyin vowel cluster ''uei'' is written ''ui''. Furthermore, both Romanizations use ''iu'' and ''un'' instead of the complete syllables: ''iou'' and ''uen''.
* Single ''i'' is never preceded by ''y'', as in pinyin. The only exception is in placenames, which are hyphenless, so without a ''y'', syllable ambiguity could arise.
* The isolated syllable ''eh'' is written as ''ê'', like in Pinyin. But unlike Pinyin, which uses ''-e'' if there is a consonant preceding the sound, Wade-Giles uses ''-eh''.
* In addition to being the schwa, ''ê'' also represents the Pinyin ''er'' as ''êrh''.

Comparison chart

Note: In Hanyu Pinyin the so-called 5th accent is written leaving the syllable with no diacritic mark at all. In Tong-yong Pin-Yin a ring is written over the vowel instead.


Chinese Postal Map Romanization is based on Wade-Giles, but incorporating a number of exceptions that override the systematic rules.

Tongyong Pinyin

Tongyong pinyin was the official romanization of in the Republic of China between 2002 and 2008. The system was unofficially used between 2000 and 2002, years of study about a new romanization system for the Republic of China. The Ministry of Education approved the system in 2002 but its use was not mandatory. As of January 1, 2009, ''Tongyong pinyin'' will no longer be official, due to the Ministry of Education's approval of ''Hanyu pinyin'' on September 16, 2008.


The impetus behind the invention of Tongyong Pinyin came from the need for a standardized romanization system in Taiwan. For decades the island had employed various systems, usually simplifications or adaptations of Wade-Giles.

Tourists, expatriates and immigrants in Taiwan most often use English when they are not familiar with Mandarin. The Hanyu Pinyin system, the system used in the and by the United Nations, offers strengths as a consistent phonetic system for Mandarin but has serious shortcomings in helping speakers with no training pronounce Mandarin words reliably. The sounds Hanyu Pinyin assigns to the letters ''q'' and ''x'', for example, are not idiomatic in the languages of most users of the Roman alphabet. Tongyong Pinyin represents an effort to preserve the strengths of the pinyin system while overcoming some of these difficulties.

The majority of Taiwan native citizens do not speak Standard Mandarin as their mother tongue. The first language most individuals learn as children is Taiwanese. This language, unwritten until the nineteenth century, has historically lacked a consistent means of phonetic representation. The same situation exists with the mother tongues spoken by sizable minorities in Taiwan, such as Hakka and aboriginal peoples. The languages and literature of these people is a subject of study and education in Taiwan, and many place names are derived from languages other than Mandarin. Tongyong Pinyin thus represents an effort to provide a phonetic romanization system for Mandarin that, with very little modification, could be used to represent Taiwanese and other languages of the island .

Tongyong Pinyin was introduced in Taiwan in 1998 by Yu Bor-chuan . The goal was to preserve the strengths of pinyin while overcoming some of the pronunciation difficulties Hanyu Pinyin presents to international readers. Ironically, using the system he developed to ameliorate this problem, most international readers will pronounce the second character of his name incorrectly as "bore." Yu's system has undergone some subsequent revision.

Discussion and adoption of Tongyong Pinyin, like many other initiatives in Taiwan, quickly acquired a partisan cast turning on issues of national identity . Officials who identified most strongly with the nation itself, such as the Democratic Progressive Party and allied parties, saw no reason to adopt Hanyu Pinyin just because mainland China and the UN had. If Tongyong Pinyin more adequately met the nation's needs, the ROC had reason enough to adopt it . Officials who identified more strongly with Chinese culture, such as the Kuomintang , saw no reason to introduce a new system unique to Taiwan if Hanyu Pinyin had already gained international acceptance. Each side accused the other of basing its preference on anti-China or pro-China sentiment rather than an objective discussion of community goals .

In early October 2000 the Mandarin Commission of the Ministry of Education proposed to use Tongyong Pinyin as the national standard. Education Minister Ovid Tzeng submitted a draft of the Taiwanese Romanization in late October to the Executive Yuan but the proposal was rejected. In November 2000 Minister Tzeng suggested the government adopt Hanyu Pinyin with some modifications for local dialects, but the proposal was rejected. On 10 July 2002 the ROC's Ministry of Education held a meeting for 27 members. Only 13 attended. Two left early, plus the chairman could not vote, so the bill for using Tongyong Pinyin was passed by ten votes .

With the KMT's and electoral victories in 2008, Tongyong Pinyin will be replaced by Hanyu Pinyin as the ROC government standard, and will be the only official romanization system, starting in 2009 . The romanization system one encounters in Taiwan varies according to which government authority administers the facility. Street signs in most areas employ Tongyong Pinyin, including the cities of Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung and neighboring counties. Taipei uses Hanyu Pinyin exclusively . Taipei County uses Hanyu Pinyin with Tongyong Pinyin given in parentheses. Modified Wade-Giles spellings are still popularly used for many proper names, especially personal names and businesses.

The political impasse stalled Ministry of Education goals of replacing Zhuyin with pinyin to teach pronunciation in elementary school. Zhuyin is still widely used to teach Mandarin pronunciation to schoolchildren. Children's books published in Taiwan typically display Zhuyin characters next to Chinese characters in the text.

On September 17, 2008, the Ministry of Education announced that the government standard for romanization will be switched to Hanyu Pinyin nationwide, effective January 1, 2009.



Notable features of Tongyong Pinyin are:
* Tone 1 is unmarked.
* Hanyu Pinyin's ''zh-'' becomes ''jh-'' .
* Hanyu Pinyin's ''x-'' and ''q-'' are completely unused in Tongyong Pinyin: they become ''s-'' and ''c-'' .
* The Hanyu Pinyin ''-i'' known as the empty rime , are shown as ''-ih'' , i.e, those in Hanyu Pinyin as ''zi'' , ''ci'' , ''si'' , ''zhi'' , ''chi'' , ''shi'' , and ''ri'' all end in ''-ih'' in Tongyong Pinyin.
* ''ü'' used in pinyin is replaced by ''yu''.
* ''-eng'' becomes ''ong'' after ''f-'' and ''w-''
* ''wen'' becomes ''wun''
* ''-iong'' becomes ''yong'', e.g. ''syong'' instead of pinyin ''xiong'' . .
* Unlike Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin, ''-iu'' and ''-ui'' contractions can be optionally written out in full as ''-iou'' and ''-uei''. However, according to the Ministry of the Interior, in romanizations of names of places that is at township-level or below township-level, the letters must be written in full.


* Tongyong syllables in the same word are to be separated by hyphens, like Wade-Giles. Except that, in Ministry of the Interior's romanizations, placenames have no spaces between the syllables.
* Tongyong uses marks like Zhuyin, and not like Hanyu, i.e., Tongyong has no mark for the first tone, but a dot for the neutral tone .
* The optional syllable disambiguity mark is apostrophe , e.g., ''ji'nan'' vs. ''jin'an''. The mark may also, as in the Ministry of the Interior placenames, be a hyphen.

Shared Features with Hanyu Pinyin

Ignoring tone, 80.53% of the ''Tongyong Pinyin'' syllables are spelled identically to those of ''Hanyu Pinyin;'' 19.47% are spelled differently. The difference widens when syllables are measured according to average frequency of use in everyday life, resulting in a 48.84% difference in spellings.


The prevalence of Hanyu Pinyin as an established system weighs at least as heavily on the debate over Tongyong Pinyin as any feature of the system itself. Arguments presented in the ongoing debate include these.

Supporting Tongyong Pinyin


* Tongyong spelling, by design, yields more accurate pronunciation from non-Chinese speakers than does Hanyu Pinyin. Tongyong does not use the letters ''q'' and ''x'', for example, in ways that confuse non-Chinese speakers who lack training in the system.
* Persons familiar with Hanyu Pinyin will encounter nothing radically different when using Tongyong Pinyin.
* Tongyong eliminates the need for diacritics for the umlauted-u sound.
* The spellings "fong" and "wong" more accurately reflect the sounds of 風 and 翁 as pronounced in Standard Mandarin in Taiwan, as compared to "feng" and "weng".


* Tongyong is business-friendly because of the ease it offers in pronunciation. Internationals in Taiwan may more easily describe and find place names, personal names, businesses and locales.
* Tongyong Pinyin requires no more special accommodation in international correspondence than the difference in Chinese characters already requires.
* Tongyong strikes a balance between the need for internationalization and Taiwan's local needs.
* Tongyong Pinyin would not supplant Hanyu Pinyin in Taiwan, as Hanyu is rarely encountered outside the Taipei area anyway and has never been in common use. Tongyong is intended to supplant the many variants of Wade-Giles which remain the dominant form of romanization encountered in Taiwan. No one questions the superiority of Tongyong Pinyin to Wade-Giles and the benefit to be gained from the change.
* Tongyong does not force its exclusive use on those who have already studied Hanyu. One can use any system one wishes in rendering characters while typing or formatting documents in Mandarin. Computers and electronic devices in Taiwan already offer Hanyu Pinyin and MPS keyboards as options. Transitions between romanized forms are also easily achieved if needed.
* Romanization is most useful to individuals who, lacking training in Mandarin, encounter names and terms in press reports and literature. Students of Mandarin gain literacy in Chinese characters and drop romanization systems of any kind. It therefore makes sense, if one can preserve other goals, to make a priority of enabling confident first-time pronunciation of Mandarin words by the untrained.

Against Tongyong Pinyin


* Hanyu Pinyin romanization includes fewer phonological rules in its systematization than Tongyong Pinyin, albeit at the expense of requiring more phonemes. This may be seen in the Tongyong Pinyin treatment of the letters ''c'' and ''s''.

/c/ --> /_i
/s/ --> /_i

* Internal inconsistencies exist within Tongyong Pinyin, such as the use of different letters to represent the same sound: ''e'' vs. ''u'' and ''i'' vs. ''y'' ; or the use of the same letter to represent different sounds .
* Every Mandarin syllable can be expressed in equal or fewer keystrokes in Hanyu Pinyin compared to Tongyong Pinyin .
* Despite the fact that 19.47% of Tongyong syllables are spelled differently from Hanyu Pinyin, if measured according to average frequency of word use in everyday life, the percentage of different spellings is 48.84%.


* The standard romanization system of the PRC, and is Hanyu Pinyin. For this reason it is the system taught in educational systems outside of Taiwan. Internationals learning Mandarin thus have to learn Hanyu Pinyin anyway. Whatever the merits of a new system, it is unlikely to displace Hanyu Pinyin at this level.
* Any new system of romanization, regardless of its merits, makes romanization choices more complex rather than more simple. New spellings are introduced where established spellings already exist and even compete. "Qing Dynasty" and "Ch'ing Dynasty" can now also be spelled as "Cing Dynasty" . "Zhou Dynasty" or "Chou Dynasty" can now also be spelled as "Jhou Dynasty" .
* The use of Tongyong or Hanyu in Taiwan appears tied to too heavily to the fortunes of specific political parties. Given the situation, why not just default to the system everyone else is already using?
* Hanyu Pinyin is more business-friendly because businesses already use it.
* Tongyong Pinyin is currently more useful to visitors and tourists who are unfamiliar with Mandarin than to residents who have to learn Mandarin. Because Tongyong has not been adopted for language learning in Taiwan's schools, most natives of Taiwan continue to use other romanization methods . Expats and immigrants who study Chinese generally have to learn Hanyu Pinyin.
* Unlike the PRC, where citizens are taught Hanyu Pinyin in schools, Tongyong romanization is not taught in the general educational curriculum. As a result, few citizens of Taiwan ever use it. Given the fact that overseas learners of Mandarin are not taught Tongyong Pinyin either, there are few people in the world who use it in any practical sense. In other words, if locals do not use it and foreigners do not use it, why promote it?

Comparison between Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin

The differences between Hanyu and Tongyong pinyin are relatively straightforward:
*The palatalized consonants are written ''j, c, s'' rather than ''j, q, x''
*The retroflex consonants are ''jh, ch, sh'' rather than ''zh, ch, sh''
*The "buzzing" vowels are written ''ih '' rather than ''i''
*''Yu'' and ''yong'' are written this way even after a consonant '','' rather than as ''ü, u,'' or ''iong''
*''You'' and ''wei'' are written ''iou'' and ''uei'' after a consonant '','' rather than contracted to ''iu'' and ''ui''
*''Eng'' is written labialized ''ong'' after the labial consonants ''f, w ,'' though ''weng/wong'' contracts to ''ong'' after another consonant in both systems
*''Wen'' becomes ''wun''
*First tone is not written, but neutral tone is

Spelling in Gwoyeu Romatzyh

The spelling of Gwoyeu Romatzyh can be divided into its treatment of s, s and s. GR uses contrasting pairs of consonants to represent initials in Chinese: for example ''b'' and ''p'' represent IPA and . The letters ''j, ch'' and ''sh'' represent two different series of initials: the and the sounds. Although these spellings create no ambiguity in practice, readers more familiar with Pinyin should pay particular attention to them: GR ''ju'', for example, corresponds to Pinyin ''zhu'', not ''ju'' .

Many of the finals in GR are similar to those used in other . Distinctive features of GR include the use of ''iu'' for the close front rounded vowel spelt ''ü'' or simply ''u'' in Pinyin. Final ''-y'' represents certain allophones of ''i'': GR ''shy'' and ''sy'' correspond to Pinyin ''shi'' and ''si'' respectively.

The most striking feature of GR is its treatment of tones. The first tone is represented by the basic form of each syllable, the spelling being modified according to precise for the other three tones. For example the syllable spelt ''ai'' becomes ''air, ae and ''ay in the other tones. A neutral tone can optionally be indicated by preceding it with a dot or full stop: for example ''perng.yeou'' "friend".

, a common feature of Chinese, is marked in GR by the suffix ''-l''. Owing to the rather complex orthographical details, a given rhotacized form may correspond to more than one basic syllable: for example ''jiel'' may be either ''ji + el'' or ''ji + el'' .

A number of frequently-occurring morphemes have abbreviated spellings in GR. The commonest of these, followed by their Pinyin equivalents, are: ''-g'' , ''-j'' , ''-m'' , ''sh'' and ''-tz'' .

Basic forms

GR introduced several innovations in Chinese romanization. One of these, later adopted by Pinyin, was to use contrasting pairs of consonants to represent sounds in Chinese. For example ''b'' and ''p'' represent IPA and . Another feature of GR surviving in Pinyin was to write words as units: eg ''Gwoyeu'' rather than the Wade-Giles ''Kuo2-yü3''.

The basic features of GR spelling are shown in the following tables of initials and finals, the latter referring to the basic T1 forms. Many of the spelling features are the same as in Pinyin; differences are highlighted in the tables and after the second table. The follow in a separate section.

In the tables Pinyin spellings are given only where they differ from GR, in which case they appear in ''italics'' below the GR spelling. The tables also give IPA pronunciations in .


:GR differs from Pinyin
:[IPA pronunciation]
:alveolo-palatal consonants
:retroflex consonants


:GR differs from Pinyin
:[IPA pronunciation]


GR basic spellings are compared to the spelling conventions of Pinyin in the below. A , after the , compares spellings using all four tones.

Alveolar and retroflex series

The letter ''j'' and the s ''ch'' and ''sh'' represent two different series of sounds. When followed by ''i'' they correspond to the sounds ; otherwise they correspond to the sounds . In practice this feature creates no ambiguity, because the two series of consonants are in complementary distribution. Nevertheless it does make the correspondence between GR and Pinyin spellings difficult to follow. In some cases they agree ; but in other cases they differ—sometimes confusingly so .

This potential for confusion can be seen graphically in the , where the bold letters j, ch and sh cut across the highlighted division between alveolo-palatal and retroflex.

Other differences from Pinyin

GR also differs from Pinyin in its transcription of vowels and semivowels:
* GR uses ''iu'' for the close front rounded vowel spelt ''ü'' or in many cases simply ''u'' in Pinyin.
* Final ''-y'' represents allophones of ''i'' : GR ''shy'' and ''sy'' correspond to Pinyin ''shi'' and ''si'' respectively.
* No basic forms in GR begin with ''w-'' or ''y-'': Pinyin ''ying'' and ''wu'' are written ''ing'' and ''u'' in GR .

Other important GR spellings which differ from Pinyin include:
* GR writes ''au'' for Pinyin ''ao'' .
* ''el'' corresponds to Pinyin ''er'' . The most important use of ''-l'' is as a suffix.
* GR uses ''ts'' for Pinyin ''c'' and ''tz'' for Pinyin ''z''.
* ''-uen'' and ''-uei'' correspond to the contracted Pinyin forms ''-un'' and ''-ui''.
* GR also has three letters for dialectal sounds: ''v'' , ''ng'' , and ''gn'' .

As in Pinyin, an apostrophe is used to clarify syllable divisions. ''Pin'in'', the GR spelling of the word "Pinyin", is itself a good example: the apostrophe shows that the compound is made up of ''pin'' + ''in'' rather than ''pi'' + ''nin''.

Pinyin comparison: basic forms

The following list summarizes the differences between GR and Pinyin spelling. The list is in GR alphabetical order .

Tonal rules

:''Note:'' In this section the word "" is abbreviated as "T": thus T1 stands for Tone 1, or first tone, etc.

Wherever possible GR indicates tones 2, 3 and 4 by respelling the of the syllable, replacing a vowel with another having a similar sound . But this concise procedure cannot be applied in every case, since the syllable may not contain a suitable vowel for modification. In such cases a letter is added or inserted instead. The precise rule to be followed in any specific case is determined by the rules given below.

A colour-coded rule of thumb is given below for each tone: the same colours are used below in a . Each rule of thumb is then amplified by a comprehensive set of rules for that tone. These codes are used in the rules:

:* V = a vowel
:* NV = a non-vowel
:* ? = "but avoid forming "

Pinyin equivalents are given in brackets after each set of examples. To illustrate the GR tonal rules in practice, a comparing Pinyin and GR spellings of some Chinese provinces follows the detailed rules.

Tone 1: basic form
* Initial sonorants : insert ''-h-'' as second letter. ''rheng, mha''
* Otherwise use the .

Tone 2: i/u → y/w; or add -r
* Initial sonorants: use basic form. ''reng, ma''
* NV''i'' → NV''y'' . ''chyng, chyan, yng, yan, pyi''
* NV''u'' → NV''w'' . ''chwan, wang, hwo, chwu''
* Otherwise add ''r'' to vowel or diphthong. ''charng, bair''

Tone 3: i/u → e/o; or double vowel
* V''i'' or ''i''V → V''e'' or ''e''V . ''chean, bae, sheau'' , but not gee
* V''u'' or ''u''V → V''o'' or ''o''V . ''doan, dao, shoei'' , but not hoo
* Otherwise double the vowel. ''chiing, daa, geei, huoo, goou''
* Add initial ''y-/w-'' if necessary. ''yean, woo''

Tone 4: change/double final letter; or add -h
* V''i'' → V''y''. ''day, suey''
* V''u'' → V''w'' . ''daw, gow'' , but not chiw
* ''-n'' → ''-nn''. ''duann''
* ''-l'' → ''-ll''. ''ell''
* ''-ng'' → ''-nq''. ''binq''
* Otherwise add ''h''. ''dah, chiuh, dih''
* Add initial ''y-/w-'' if necessary. ''yaw, wuh''

Neutral tone

A dot may be placed before neutral tone syllables, which appear in their original tonal spelling: ''perng.yeou, dih.fang'' . used this device in the first eight chapters of the ''Mandarin Primer'', restricting it thereafter to new words on their first appearance. In ''A Grammar of Spoken Chinese'' he introduced a subscript circle to indicate an optional neutral tone, as in ''bujyodaw'', "don't know" .

GR ''u-'' and ''i-'' syllables
It is important to note that any GR syllables beginning ''u-'' or ''i-'' must be T1: in T2, T3 and T4 these syllables all begin with ''w-'' or ''y-'' respectively. An example in all four tones is the following: ''ing, yng, yiing, yinq'' .

Pinyin comparison: all tones

This table illustrates the GR in use by listing some Chinese provinces in both GR and Pinyin . The tonal spelling markers or "clues" are highlighted using the same as above. Note that T1 is the default tone: hence ''Shinjiang'' , for example, is spelt using the basic form of both syllables.

:GR tone key
:Tone 1 Tone 2 Tone 3 Tone 4


''Erhua'' , or the or retroflex ending, is indicated in GR by ''-el'' rather than ''-r'', which is already used as a . The appropriate is then applied to the rhotacized form: for example ''shell'' and ''ideal'' .

Most other romanization systems preserve the underlying form, but GR transcribes the surface form as pronounced. These are the main principles followed when a syllable is rhotacized in GR:
# final ''-y'' and ''-n'' are deleted.
# ''-el'' is added to final ''-i'' and ''-iu'', and replaces the finals lost by rule .
# ''-l'' is added to all other finals .
As a consequence the one-to-one correspondence between GR and Pinyin is broken, since one GR rhotacized form may correspond to several Pinyin forms. For example:
* ''jiel'' corresponds to both ''jīr'' and ''jīnr''.
* ''jial'' corresponds to both ''jiār'' and ''jiānr''.

Tone sandhi

The most important manifestation of tone sandhi in Mandarin is the change of a T3 syllable to T2 when followed by another T3 syllable . GR does not reflect this change in the spelling: the word for "fruit" is written ''shoeiguoo'', even though the pronunciation is closer to ''shweiguoo''. Four common words with more complicated tone sandhi are mentioned below under .


A number of frequently-occurring morphemes have abbreviated spellings in GR. The commonest of these, followed by their Pinyin equivalents, are:

:occurs in ''sherm'' , ''jemm/tzemm'' and ''tzeem''
:also in compounds such as ''jiowsh'' , ''dannsh'' , etc.


In its original form GR used the two "spare" letters of the alphabet, ''v'' and ''x'', to indicate reduplication. This mimicked the method by which the Chinese script indicates repeated with an iteration mark . In GR the letter ''x'' indicates that the preceding syllable is repeated , ''vx'' being used when the preceding ''two'' syllables are repeated .

This concise but completely unphonetic, and hence unintuitive, device appears in Chao's ''Mandarin Primer'' and all W. Simon's texts . Eventually, however, it was silently discarded even by its inventor: in Chao's ''Grammar'' as well as his ''Sayable Chinese'' all reduplicated syllables are written out in full in their GR transcription.


The following words and do not follow the rules of GR:
* The name ''Romatzyh'' follows international usage .
* The characters 一 , 七 , 八 , and 不 are always written ''i'', ''chi'', ''ba'', and ''bu'', respectively, regardless of the tone in which they are pronounced. In other words changes due to tone sandhi are not reflected in GR.

Simplified Wade

Simplified Wade is a modification of the Wade-Giles romanization system for writing Mandarin Chinese. It was devised by the Swedish Olov Bertil Anderson, who first published the system in 1970. Simplified Wade uses tonal spelling: in other words it modifies the letters in a syllable in order to indicate differences. It is one of only two Chinese romanization systems that indicate tones in such a way . All other systems utilize diacritics or numbers to indicate tone.

Spelling conventions

One of the important changes that Anderson made to Wade-Giles to was to replace the apostrophe following with an . This modification, previously used in the Legge romanization, was also adopted by Joseph Needham in his ''Science and Civilisation in China'' series. The table below illustrates the spelling difference.

The indication of tones in Simplified Wade is done by adding letters to the end of the syllable. The table below gives an example.