Questions tagged [pinyin]

Questions about the official transcription writing system that is used to write the reading of chinese characters using the roman alphabet.

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1answer
42 views

Pinyin capitalization when sentence starts with a number

The first letter of a sentence in Pinyin is to be capitalized. Does this remain true if the sentence starts with an arabic numeral? For instance, Google Translate turns "23万人" into "23 Wàn rén" ...
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0answers
76 views

Need help with unknown engraving

I came across this engraving and I'm unsure of its age or meaning. I've looked at a plethora of pictorial guides and recognize serif-like hooks consistent with kaishu, but presume its a more modern ...
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1answer
79 views

Translation of 大日如来寺?

I have gotten interested in an esoteric Buddhist school originating from China and I was wondering what "dari rulai" meant. I have sort of figured out part of it: "dari" is probably great-day or ...
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2answers
288 views

Is the pinyin of 「操」in「情操」and「步操」the same in Mandarin?

Originally posted at http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?4,130404 由細到大,自己同身邊嘅人都將「劉備」個「備」字讀成與(比)字同音 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成與(粗)字同音 但最近睇港版,『三國 』(2013) 「劉備」個「備」字讀成「預備」個「備」 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成「...
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3answers
113 views

Why -ian instead of -ien and -üan instead of -üen?

Why are words like 天、面、先、盐 romanized in pinyin as tian, mian, xian, and yan, even though the ending is pronounced [iɛn], and would be better represented as -ien? Likewise, why are words like 卷、全、选、元 ...
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1answer
111 views

Is lo (咯) valid pinyin?

MDBG and Baidu provide a pronunciation of 咯 (as in the sentence-final particle indicating that something is obvious) as lo5. "lo" isn't listed on Wikipedia's pinyin table, and I thought only bo/po/mo/...
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1answer
75 views

How correct and how widespread is the usage of writing pinyin “ü” as “yu”?

I've come across a problem. I rendered the character 闾 into English as: lü in an article, but I'm being told that the proper writing should be: lyu Now, to me this looks like gobbledygook -or- ...
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1answer
57 views

How do I enter a four-character character using ibus?

I have begun my studies of the Chinese language and tried to set up my computer (which runs the Debian Stretch free operating system) to enable me to type Chinese characters. For that reason, I ...
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1answer
40 views

Are begging and ball homonyms in spoken mandarin?

Are 求 (beg) and 球 (ball) both written in pinyin as Qiú homonyms? I am trying to get the pronunciation for ball right. Are there authoritative homonym lists maintained somewhere?
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7answers
1k views

Why is it written LIU in Pinyin, when there's clearly an O sound?

Does anybody know why this decision was made in Pinyin, about not writing any hint of the sound /O/ in liu, instead of writing something like liou or liow ? Because the first reaction of any ...
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5answers
3k views

API for transliterating a traditional character (writing the pinyin)?

I was wondering if anyone here is aware of an API out there on the net anywhere that can receive a traditional character and send back the pinyin for it in JSON?
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2answers
67 views

Asking Chinese mother-in-law to learn pinyin?

I thought about asking this on parenting.se but it seemed specialized enough that this site made more sense. I'm a white man married to a Chinese woman, living in the US. Her parents live in China ...
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1answer
138 views

On Linux, how do I output Chinese Characters (not pinyin) using tones in the input

I would like to be able to input tone alongside the pronunciation in order to input Chinese characters on Linux (e.g. ta1 = 他, ta2 = 蹹, ta3 = 塔, ta4 = 踏). Most modern IMEs do not allow this input ...
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7answers
788 views

Do acronyms borrowed from English use neutral tone (aka tone 0 or tone 5) for all syllables?

I was just reading a Q&A here about Chinese words for DVD and the discussion also included other acronyms from English. It struck me that nobody wrote the pinyin for any of the terms which made ...
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2answers
415 views

Sogou IME (on Ubuntu): How to output pinyin with tone marks?

I have Sogou Pinyin on Ubuntu and things work fine, but I haven't been able to figure out how to type Pinyin with tone marks, e.g. 'mǎ', etc. I've looked into the settings but found no option like ...
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3answers
179 views

Yinwei or Yinvei? 因为

I’m a newbie here. I hear some people say 因为 as “yinwei”, but also some say it sound like “yinvei”. I’m not sure why there is a difference in pronunciation. Hope the question is the new one. If it’s ...
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1answer
102 views

Is this pinyin alphabet used to spell in Chinese Sign Language? Otherwise, which one is used in Mainland China?

Is this pinyin alphabet used to spell in Chinese Sign Language? Otherwise, which one is used in Mainland China?
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4answers
349 views

What is na4zi4pang2 (pinyin) in the decomposition of na4 (那)?

The New Practical Chinese Reader introduces the following decomposition: na4 (那) = na4zi4pang2 + yi4 (阝). I understand that 阝 represents radical 163 (yi4). Na4zi4pang2 (pinyin) looks close to ...
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2answers
157 views

The max number of characters that map to a single pronunciation

So it seems that there is no way to map the Pinyin version of the pronunciation of Chinese words into Chinese characters directly: If Pinyin (or Other Romanization) can be Translated Back into ...
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2answers
116 views

If Pinyin (or Other Romanization) can be Translated Back into Chinese Characters

From what it sounds like (also here): Chinese characters cannot be faithfully constructed backwards from a tone+syllable combination -- the mapping only goes one way (and even then, sometimes ...
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2answers
125 views

What pinyin combinations spell out English words?

I’m always impressed when I see a good combination of pinyin that spells out an English word. I’ve see companies with names similar to: 立刻(出行) li + ke = like People with names like: an + na = Anna ...
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3answers
117 views

Is Pinyin recommended for Mandarin Chinese?

Background: I am currently trying to learn Chinese. However, pronunciation isn't as straightforward as I thought. Question: Is Pinyin actually recommended and taught by Mandarin Chinese teachers? I'...
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4answers
2k views

Pinyin tones pronunciation cheat sheet

I've just started taking Chinese lessons, and I've been trying to find a "cheat sheet" for pinyin pronunciation. All the sites I've found is either incomplete (only having some tones), only having the ...
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2answers
217 views

How to enter pinyin itself under Windows?

Is it possible to enter text as if normal Chinese text is entering i.e. with guessing of correct characters, but later entering Pinyin of entered text, not characters themselves? zhèzhīgǒu
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2answers
78 views

Do all syllables occur in all tones?

For example, ne and nè are words. But there are no nē, né, or ně. I tried to Google this but I don't find any references to it. It's obviously not by final, because kē, ké, and kě all exist. Is ...
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3answers
133 views

How to type zero initial in the common Shuangpin Pinyin keyboard layouts?

Over the past few days I've gotten used to the Shuangpin layout. 自然码 to be specific, and I found it to be pretty good. But now I've come across a situation, where I don't know how to type it. And ...
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2answers
231 views

What is the true pinyin pronunciation for this radical?

I'm trying to learn a new method for learning and understanding chinese characters. So, I decided to start with memorizing every chinese radical. I'm use two different source but both wrote two ...
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2answers
419 views

Can Chinese words start with a vowel?

I've been searching around for random words. Dragon = long, green = lǜsè, river = he... I can't seem to find any words that start with a vowel. Do any Chinese words start with a vowel?
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1answer
276 views

The IPA for pinyin x

Every single source I come across on google list the IPA of pinyin x as /ɕ/, or the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. However, the sample sound on Wikipedia is quite distinct from it -- to me (...
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3answers
277 views

Tones and Pinyin, Foreigners vs Natives

Evidently, tones are a matter of concern for many learners of Chinese (see for example, this question on remembering tones). While learners struggle to describe the properties of tones (is the 3rd ...
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12answers
6k views

Chinese input on Windows based on pinyin and tones

What is the best way for me to type pinyin using a keyboard on Windows? I've tried the built-in IMEs, but... they don't feel very intuitive to me. For example, if I want to get wǔ, I need to type wu, ...
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8answers
2k views

Tool which can convert web pages from Hanzi to either Pinyin or Zhuyin Fuhao

Are there any tools that can convert an entire webpage from characters into either Pinyin or Zhuyin Fuhao? Ideally something like Google Translate. So perhaps a website where I enter the URL of the ...
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6answers
2k views

Are there any free/open fonts designed to help learn/read Chinese?

Problem As a Chinese student I found that one of the first barriers is reading. Indeed, when trying to acquire new vocabulary one might be faced with the opacity of the Chinese character as opposed ...
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3answers
309 views

Pinyin vs. Pronounciation of 嗯?

I've seen the word "嗯" many times in conversations and songs. I know that it pronounces like "hm", expressing curiosity. But when I check the pinyin of it, according to Wiktionary, it is like such: ...
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2answers
145 views

Where to start/continue my learning?

你好!我是美国人, 我做在中国 一年 也学习中文一年。我想 to continue with 我的中国学习. 现在 我能 rate my 中国口语 level as intermediate, 拼音 and 汉字 beginner level. I have not formally 学习 the language. 我的 method for learning thus far as just ...
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3answers
1k views

How do you say “cupcake”?

What is the pinyin and simplified Chinese characters used for the word cupcake? When looking it up there is no reliable answer. Some people seem to just call it by the chinese words for "cake" but ...
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6answers
172 views

About pronunciation of 大家

Can 大家 be pronounced like dà a ? I heard lots of Chinese'd pronounced just like that. Who can help me with this?
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1answer
116 views

Is “ne” used as a pronunciation for any character except 呢?

I am wondering about the Pinyin syllable ne (specifically, nè), because it is the ending of the name of a friend of mine. We are searching for a Chinese character that accurately represents this sound ...
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3answers
411 views

In ancient China, was there an equivalent of pinyin?

The question is the title. Considering pinyin is in romanised form, did the ancient Chinese have pinyin to help them learn characters, or did they just have to repeat them hundreds of times to help ...
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6answers
1k views

What is the difference sound between zi and ze?

I am currently learning the difference between zi and ze sound, and it is so hard for me to learn this. Could somebody tell the difference between them ? How to distinguish between zi and ze sound ? ...
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3answers
540 views

How well is pinyin known in Taiwan?

I've been using pinyin in my study, but a Taiwanese co-worker recently arrived. I see that Taiwan only made pinyin official in 2009, so I wonder how likely she is to have mastered pinyin, having ...
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1answer
173 views

Generating ruby markup for HTML

I am very much a beginner, and one of my learning methods is to listen to audio and follow along in text. But generally, my texts are in Hànzì. It's easy enough to convert Hànzì to pīnyīn but I want ...
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4answers
373 views

How do I type 𨳒 on a keyboard?

I am using the Google Cantonese Input and Google Pinyin Input on my phone and cannot find a way to type 𨳒. Even when I switch to the handwriting method, 𨳒 does not come up as an option and I get ...
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3answers
126 views

Can the pinyin for 边 be either “biān” or “bian” in general?

It looks like authors choose "biān" or "bian" as the pinyin for 边 haphazardly at dict.cn: 东边 = dōng biān 上边 = shàng biān 右边 = yòu bian 左边 = zuǒ biān 旁边 = páng biān 外边 = wài bian 一边 = yī ...
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3answers
284 views

Pinyin of 車 in idioms

In Cantonese, 車 has two pronunciations: [ce1] and [geoi1]. In Mandarin, 車 also has two different pinyin: [che1] and [ju1]. [ce1] corresponds to [che1]. [geoi1] corresponds to [ju1]. In most idioms,...
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2answers
182 views

Should tone sandhi be written in pinyin?

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes. ...
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5answers
2k views

Pinyin to Chinese characters

I'm trying to learn Chinese from books, online tutorials, but mostly from Rosetta Stone. I'm just starting, so there's still a lot I'm probably not understanding - so I don't know if I'm even asking ...
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3answers
85 views

Would a picture of an ordinary axe be inuitively assoicated with the word 鉞 (yuè)

Background: In this question over at ELU someone posted a picture of a ball with pictures seemingly illustrating the 26 letters of the English alphabet. The only picture that doesn't fit this ...
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4answers
201 views

How is 儿化 represented in other romanization systems like Wade-Giles, Zhuyin Fuhao, etc.?

I just realized that I have no idea how other romanization systems (besides pinyin) deal with 儿化 (er hua). What would be the Wade-Giles or Zhuyin-Fuhao equivalent to 电影儿 (diànyǐngr)?
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336 views

Should Pinyin be written as it is (collectively) pronounced or in terms of the individual syllables?

As in the title, should something like 不对 be written as bù duì (as in the individual characters) or as bú duì (the way it's actually spoken)? I know that my teacher writes e.g. 你好 as nǐ hǎo (i.e. ...