I sometimes read newspapers aloud to practice pronunciation, but encounter the issue of percentage points, e.g. 20% and 31% differ by "11 percentage points" (or just "11 points" for brevity). For a concrete example, I recently encountered this:

screenshot of newspaper article

I'm unsure how to pronounce "11%" here. The obvious thing to say is 百分之十一, but I'm worried that might be incorrect because it's referring to percentage points.

Question: How do you read "11%" aloud when it refers to percentage points?


You’re correct 百分之十一 is right.

In Guoyu % is also read:

So: 十一pā is also an acceptable reading.

You can also look up: 百分点 - I believe it’s on the new HSK vocab you posted somewhere.

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This is an article introducing the percentages and percentage points from the National Bureau of Statistics: link

Thought it did not explicitly say how they would be written, from the last sentence of the article:


We can see that for perctage point, percentage points would not be written with “%”, but with “个百分点” explicitly.

Also, “xx个百分点” is also how percentage points should read in Chinese.

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To make it simpler, %30 is "10个百分点" more than %20, but is "百分之50" larger.

That is to say, "10个百分点" is the subtraction of the two numbers before %, while "百分之50" is the same as %50 in English which describes the proportion. And you can easily tell that, when you want to use "百分点", you must make sure the two percentages have the same "base" so that they can be compared.

In your sentence, "...超出特朗普约11%" describes votes_counts_Biden/votes_counts_Trump=111%, so it should be read as "百分之十一"。

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In Malaysia, when we read 11% in Chinese, we will say "十一巴仙"

巴仙 is mimicking the sound per-cent.

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  • Interesting. This is the first time I'm hearing any Chinese communities using this. In sound borrowing, I think I've heard of someone saying 11葩 in Mandarin. Correct me if I'm wrong. – Daniel Cheung Nov 21 at 12:22
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    Yes because n Malaysia, Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia. Depending on the family background and growing environment, the proficiency level is different. As general, Malaysian Chinese can speak well in 3 languages, other than our own dialect like hakka, hokkien or fuchao ect. So it is commonly that we may mix the languages in our casual conversation. But in formal, we would speak in more proper style, in this case.... say during a presentation , it would be proper to say 百分之十一. – Disrudog Nov 22 at 1:15

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