Last modified on 25 July 2014, at 14:57

Pinyin

"Double Happiness" Ink and color on silk by the Chinese artist Cui Bo, active during the reign of Shenzong.

The formulation of Hanyu PinyinEdit

Historic backgroundEdit

Pinyin (Hanyu Pinyin in full name) was officially declared by the government of the People's Republic of China in 1958.

The explanation of Hanyu PinyinEdit

What is Hanyu Pinyin?Edit

Hanyu Pinyin (also called Pinyin, Romanized Chinese, and Pinyin Chinese) is a type of transliteration for the Chinese language (a tonal language) where accents are used to show tones. It is the official form of the Latin alphabet transliteration used for the People's Republic of China and most of the world. And it is the standard form of Chinese Romanization for the United Nations.

PronunciationEdit

VowelsEdit

Pinyin IPA
a [a]
e [ə]
ê [ɛ]
i [i]
-i (after zh,ch,sh,r) [ʅ]
-i (after z,c,s) [ɿ]
o [o]
u [u]
ü [y]
  • "u" after "j, q, x, y" is pronounced as "ü" (the two dots is omitted in spelling)
  • "e" after "i, u, ü, y" is pronounced as "ê" (the hat "^" is omitted in spelling)
  • "e" before "i" is pronounced as "ê" (the hat "^" is omitted in spelling)
  • "o" before "ng" is pronounced as "u" ("u" is written as "o" in spelling)

ConsonantsEdit

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

Basic combinations of vowels and consonantsEdit

ai ei ao ou
an en ang eng ong
  • "ei" is pronounced as "êi" ("êi" is written as "ei" in spelling)
  • "ong" is pronounced as "ung" ("ung" is written as "ong" in spelling)

Pronunciation of vowelsEdit

Pinyin IPA Explanation Examples
a [a] as the vowel in "star" without the "r" sound bàba (papa)
e [ə] as the vowel in "stir" gēge (elder brother)
ê [ɛ] as the vowel in "their" xièxie (thank)
i [i] as the vowel in "bit" dìdi (younger brother)
-i (after zh,ch,sh,r) [ʅ] similar to the consonant "r" in "rank", but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards zhīchí (support)
-i (after z,c,s) [ɿ] similar to the consonant in "zoo" zìsī (selfish)
o [o] as the vowel in "law" lǎopo (wife)
u [u] as the vowel in "food" mǔqin (mother)
ü [y] as in German "üben" or French "lune" (To get this sound, say "ee" with rounded lips) yǔyán* (language)
  • The two dots of ü is omitted after "j, q, x, y".

Pronunciation of consonantsEdit

Pinyin IPA Explanation Examples
b [b] b, as in bit Běijīng (capital of China)
p [p] as in English piányi (cheap), piàoliang (beautiful)
m [m] as in English miàntiáo (noodles)
f [f] as in English fācái (get rich)
d [d] d, as in dark dà (big)
t [t] as in English tàipíng (peace)
n [n] as in English nánrén (man)
l [l] as in English lǎorén (old man)
g [g] g, as in gill, never as large guójiā (country)
k [k] as in English kèrén (guest)
h [x] like the English h if followed by "a"; otherwise it is pronounced more roughly (not unlike the Scots ch) hēshuǐ (drink water)
j [tɕ] like q, but unaspirated. (To get this sound, first take the sound halfway between joke and check, and then slowly pass it backwards along the tongue until it is entirely clear of the tongue tip.) While this exact sound is not used in English, the closest match is the j in ajar, not the s in Asia; this means that "Beijing" is pronounced like "bay-jing", not like "beige-ing". You may simply pronounce it as zh and a Chinese may understand it. jiàotáng (church), jiā (home or family)
q [tɕʰ] like church, but with less of the "ch"/"h" sound; pass it backwards along the tongue until it is free of the tongue tip shēngqì (get angry)
x [ɕ] like sh, but with less of the "s" sound. Take the sound and pass it backwards along the tongue until it is clear of the tongue tip; very similar to the final sound in German ich, Portuguese enxada, luxo, xícara, puxa, and to huge or Hugh in some English dialects xiǎohái (child), Xizang (Tibet)
zh [tʂ] ch with no aspiration (take the sound halfway between joke and church and curl it upwards); very similar to merger in American English, but not voiced Zhōngguó (China), zháohuǒ (be on fire)
ch [tʂʰ] as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture in American English, but strongly aspirated chīfàn (have a meal), chǎojià (quarrel)
sh [ʂ] as in shinbone, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to undershirt in American English shāmò (desert), Shànghǎi (a big city in China)
r [ɻ] similar to the English r in rank, but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards rè (hot), rèqíng (passion)
z [ts] unaspirated c (halfway between beds and bets), (more common example is suds) zǎoshànghǎo (good morning!), qīzi (wife), Zhāng Zǐyí (name of a Chinese actress)
c [tsʰ] like ts, aspirated (more common example is cats) cǎo (grass), cì, time
s [s] as in sun Lhasa (capital of Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region), Suzhou (capital of the province of Jiansu, near Shanghai)
y [j] as in English yuèliang (moon)
w [w] as in English wàiguórén (foreigner)
ng [ŋ] as in English ng (What?, Huh?)

Pinyin syllable tableEdit

a e i o u/ü* ai ei ao ou an en ang eng ong n ng
a e o ai ei ao ou an en ang n ng
b ba bi bo bu bai bei bao ban ben bang beng
p pa pi po pu pai pei pao pou pan pen pang peng
m ma me mi mo mu mai mei mao mou man men mang meng
f fa fo fu fei fou fan fen fang feng
w wa wo wu wai wei wan wen wang weng
d da de di du dai dei dao dou dan den dang deng dong
t ta te ti tu tai tao tou tan tang teng tong
n na ne ni nu/nü* nai nei nao nou nan nen nang neng nong
l la le li lo lu/lü* lai lei lao lou lan lang leng long
g ga ge gu gai gei gao gou gan gen gang geng gong
k ka ke ku kai kei kao kou kan ken kang keng kong
h ha he hu hai hei hao hou han hen hang heng hong hng
j ji ju*
q qi qu*
x xi xu*
y ya ye yi yo yu* yao you yan yang yong
zh zha zhe zhi zhu zhai zhei zhao zhou zhan zhen zhang zheng zhong
ch cha che chi chu chai chao chou chan chen chang cheng chong
sh sha she shi shu shai shei shao shou shan shen shang sheng
r re ri ru rao rou ran ren rang reng rong
z za ze zi zu zai zei zao zou zan zen zang zeng zong
c ca ce ci cu cai cei cao cou can cen cang ceng cong
s sa se si su sai sao sou san sen sang seng song
bi bie biao bian bin bing
pi pie piao pian pin ping
mi mie miu miao mian min ming
di die diu diao dian ding
ti tie tiao tian ting
ni nie niu niao nian niang nin ning
li lia lie liu liao lian liang lin ling
ji jia jie jiu jiao jian jiang jiong jin jing
qi qia qie qiu qiao qian qiang qiong qin qing
xi xia xie xiu xiao xian xiang xiong xin xing
yi yin ying
du dui duo duan dun
tu tui tuo tuan tun
nu nue nuo nuan
lu lue luo luan lun
gu gua gui guo guai guan guang gun
ku kua kui kuo kuai kuan kuang kun
hu hua hui huo huai huan huang hun
ju* jue juan jun
qu* que quan qun
xu* xue xuan xun
yu* yue yuan yun
zhu zhua zhui zhuo zhuai zhuan zhuang zhun
chu chua zhui chuo chuai chuan chuang chun
shu shua shui shuo shuai shuan shuang shun
ru rui ruo ruan run
zu zui zuo zuan zun
cu cui cuo cuan cun
su sui suo suan sun
  • "u" after "j, q, x, y" is pronounced as "ü" (the two dots is omitted in spelling), but the two dots of "nü" and "lü" cannot be omitted.

TonesEdit

There are four tone marks in Hanyu Pinyin and they are essential to correct pronunciation: ā, á, ǎ, à, written above the first vowel of the word (the vowel "a" in this example), or written as a1, a2, a3, a4, respectively. (See also the Chinese wikibook page on using tones).

OrthographyEdit

We should divide Pinyin text by words and write syllables connectedly, such as "I am a foreigner" should be written as "Wǒ shì wàiguórén" in Pinyin.

Syllable-dividing markEdit

Syllable-dividing mark is the mark for dividing syllables, used before the syllables starting with vowels "a", "o", or "e", such as "pí'ǎo".

The application of PinyinEdit

To spell Chinese languageEdit

Phonetic notation of HanziEdit

For spelling PutonghuaEdit

Chinese is normally written by ideographics. But for non-Chinese-speaking people, it is hard to recognize them. Pinyin can help Chinese learners recognize them more easily. This is a useful way to learn Chinese.

Application technologyEdit

IndexingEdit

Indexing problemsEdit

There is no particular order to Hanzi, because Hanzi don't use Roman alphabet (also called Latin alphabet, i.e. ABC), so in indexing application is inconvenient. There are currently many indexing methods to Hanzi, including character stroke, character radical, Four-Corner System, Zhuyin, Hanyu Pinyin and etc. The structural problems of Hanzi make indexing difficult.

Solutions to indexing problemsEdit

Related governments together stipulate a unified Hanzi strokes and radicals standard.

Suggestion to use Pinyin as indexing method, because Hanyu Pinyin adopts internationally used Roman alphabet, making file order convenient. Pinyin uses phonetic, avoiding traditional and simplified character strokes non-unified problem.

Technical terms translationEdit

Technical terms translation problemsEdit

Majority of written language uses Roman alphabet (also called Latin alphabet). Hanzi (also called Chinese character) is not an alphabetic written language and is not convenient for translation, causing a lot of confusion. Technological terms such as Internet can be translated as 互联网 (Huìlánwǎng), 国际互联网 (Guójì Hùliánwǎng), 因特网 (Yīntèwǎng); laser translated as 雷射 (léishè), 镭射 (léishè), 莱塞 (láisài), 激光 (jīguāng). Brand names such as National, Panasonic, Technics are translated as 乐声牌 (Lèshēng-pái); Sharp is translated as 声宝 (Shēngbǎo) , 夏普 (Xiàpǔ); Sony is translated as 新力 (Xīnlì), 索尼 (Suǒní). Place names such as 北京 (Běijīng) is translated as Peking, Beijing; 广州 (Guǎngzhōu) is translated as Canton, Kwangchow, Guangzhou. People names such as the surname 罗 (Luó) is translated as Luo, Lo, Law; 李 (Lǐ) is translated as Lee, Li; Nixon is translated as 尼克逊 (Níkèxùn), 尼克松 (Níkèsōng). The same person can be translated into different names.

Technical terms translation problem solutionsEdit

When translating foreign languages, directly transliterating foreign languages can solve problem. For example, Internet directly translate to Internet; laser directly translate to laser; National, Panasonic and Technics directly translate to National, Panasonic and Technics. Names of Chinese people, places and technical terms all use Pinyin to transliterate to foreign languages. For example, 北京 (Běijīng) 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) and 普通话 (Pǔtōnghuà) use Hanyu Pinyin to transliterate to Beijing, Deng Xiaoping and Putonghua.

Standardization of person and place namesEdit

Romanization of technical terms and code namesEdit

Learn ChineseEdit

It is quite easy to learn Chinese by Pinyin which is a phonetic alphabet system to write Chinese. The grammar of Chinese is quite simple.

Hanzi inputEdit

Hanyu Pinyin input methodEdit

Hanyu Pinyin input method is a popularly used phonetic input method. To key in Putonghua's pinyin which will automatically convert into Hanzi. For example: "BABA" is for inputting "爸爸".

Clipboard

To do:
Probably request a transwiki of the articles w:Microsoft Pinyin IME w:Sogou Pinyin

AppendixEdit

Hanyu Pinyin OrthographyEdit

DictionariesEdit

Pinyin reading mattersEdit

Please see Category:Pinyin

Pinyin tone markingEdit

Pinyin tone-marking methods are as follows:

ā á ǎ à a = a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 = a ar aa ah 'a *

For example:

This is a good scheme.

zhè shì yī ge hǎo de fāng'àn.

zhe4 shi4 yi1 ge5 hao3 de5 fang1'an4. **

zheh shih yi 'ge haao de fang`ahn. **

  • * Grave mark (`) is used for syllable division when apostrophe (') is used for showing neutral tone.
  • ** Alternative methods are used when diacritics are not convenient.