Pinyin is really strange. It is like the English word, but with different meaning and pronunciation.

I want to know the origin of pinyin. If someone can give a clear answer, I will be very thankful.

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    It's a romanisation system using the Latin alphabet. It has barely anything to do with English. – deutschZuid Jan 23 '14 at 0:48
  • Why does PRC use Latin alphabet to represent pinyin? @deutschZuid – gaoxinge Jan 23 '14 at 1:44
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    @gaoxinge Latin alphabets are popular, aren't they? – Mike Manilone Jan 23 '14 at 15:46
  • @MikeManilone I don't know very well about the history around the foundation of PRC. – gaoxinge Jan 24 '14 at 1:45
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    @gaoxinge I don't think I can explain this in a comment box with 600 character limit. You might want to do some research into it yourself. But my guess? The Latin script was/is the most widely adopted writing system in the world. You can guess the rest. – deutschZuid Jan 28 '14 at 22:49

We don't have pinyin(the one used today) until the foundation of PRC. The creator of Pinyin is this man, zhoyouguang (wiki) In my point of view, pinyin has little to do with English. So don't mess them up. Pinyin has its own pronunciation, its own combination rules. The practice of Pinyin is to, reduce the illiteracy of Chinese people, to better facilitate people's needs (say, type Chinese chars in QWERTY keyboard).
One thing to note is, other than pinyin, there is also a widely used kanji notation, namely zhuyin. It is also designed in the 20th century, and remains its popularity in Taiwan.

  • Can I say that "English Word" representation of pinyin is just a notation by using English Word? @FunkyBaby – gaoxinge Jan 22 '14 at 13:42
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    @gaoxinge yes, by the using of English letters. – FunkyBaby Jan 22 '14 at 14:53
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    Sorry, that is not English letters, it's Latin letters. – tomriddle_1234 Jan 22 '14 at 22:46
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    yes. To be precise, latin(roman) characters. What is interesting(shocking) is, there was even a debate (in 1950s iirc), that people should abolish chinese characters and use the romanisation version Chinese only. – FunkyBaby Jan 23 '14 at 4:19

another wiki link here that with much detail:


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    Please don't use external links as the only source to your answer. Summarise what's on the linked page in your answer and use the link as a supplement for further reading. As it stands right now, this is a very poor answer and should've been a comment to the question instead. – deutschZuid Jan 23 '14 at 1:00

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