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I just tried to type in taipei in iOS but it didn't return any correct prediction. After my investigation, I found that it is taibei, not taipei, to get the correct pinyin result.

However, now I wonder why it is called taipei. 台 is tai like 台风 and 北 is bei like 北美洲. So why is it called taipei? I think in traditional chiese it should also be typed in as taibei...

  • You can also see Tsinghua University which is 清华大学(qing1hua2 da4xue2). – Ethan Gao Nov 1 '16 at 2:04
  • This begs the question as to why the Wade-Giles version Taipei survives whereas the Wade-Giles spelling Peking has been largely expunged. Is this political? – ThomasDoe Nov 1 '16 at 17:30
  • @ThomasDoe: Almost all cities in Taiwan are more often seen with Wade-Giles spelling than Pinyin. – Olle Linge Nov 22 '16 at 16:52
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From wiki: the spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei. "Taibei" is pinyin, which iOS supports as an input method.

Wade-Giles used to be the standard method of romanization so it shows up in a lot of older Chinese names like "Chiang Ching-kuo".

Pinyin has its own disadvantages, especially when spoken by English speakers. Consonants like "zh", "q", or syllables like "ri", "shi" sound very different from what an English speaker might expect.

  • It's the same reason that Beijing was spelled as "Peking" (as "peking duck") – YChi Lu Dec 13 '17 at 22:24

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