I am trying to find someone that will help me take words that are spoken in Spanish, such as Hola, and represent the sounds made by hola in Chinese Pinyin so someone who doesn't speak Spanish could speak a few words of greeting etc.

I would also like to have some help doing the same from English into Pinyin and Pinyin into English.

  • 3
    Pinyin may not present the sounds properly, use Rome sound instead.
    – zzy
    Jan 29 '15 at 1:08
  • And really the "la" of 'hola' is not a Mandarin sound either, though Mandarin has sounds close to it. Pedroski is right. Jan 30 '15 at 18:54
  • While Pedroski is right, there are some legitimate uses for the information Bob is asking for, like phrase books for travelers who are not realistically going to learn the language. Besides, the most important thing to get right in Spanish is not 'rr' or 'z', but the vowels, so while the final result would still sound quite funny I think to a certain extent it can be useful Jan 31 '15 at 14:40
  • That said, I think Bob should include the words he'd like to approximate. Otherwise the answer "I can help you" would be perfectly valid, but useless for everyone else Jan 31 '15 at 14:43
  • @NannuoLei Phrase books need to give short explanations of the Spanish sounds, not just try to match them to pinyin spellings. And really, phrasebooks are disappearing fast in favor of i-phone apps. Jan 31 '15 at 18:15

I can help you with this. This process is called "transliteration".

For example. "Hola" would be "哦啦"

  • 3
    This might help someone more than pinyin would. But I wonder if Spanish people would actually recognize the result. Pedroski is right that people usually benefit more from an explanation than just approximate Chinese words. Feb 2 '15 at 17:53
  • I thought the idea was to teach Chinese people Spanish though. Of course when you are learning Chinese the best way to get the sounds correct it an oral diagram and reviewing the IPA script. (or having someone explain these things to you) Feb 3 '15 at 3:46
  • The idea in the question is to teach Chinese people Spanish that Spanish people will recognize. So OP wants pinyin spellings that will sound like Spanish. I think 哦啦 might work better than ola or óla or òla since o is not a common initial sound in Chinese. But neither syllable of hola is really a putonghua syllable. Feb 3 '15 at 7:43

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