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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13
votes
5answers
5k views

How were Chinese characters taught to Chinese children before the introduction of pinyin?

Before schools started to use pinyin for teaching characters to Chinese children, how and/or what was used to teach it instead? And what about how dictionaries showed the pronunciation of characters?
17
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7answers
2k 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 ? The first reaction of any newcomer to ...
11
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8answers
5k views

Why were some letters like Q, X, C, chosen for Pinyin which confuse non-Chinese speakers?

A romanization system is basically a system in which roman (latin) letters are used for languages that use non-roman scripts. This has the obvious benefit that people who can (maybe only) read roman ...
10
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6answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
462 views

What are the most common Mandarin words for each pinyin syllable?

I've been practicing my pronunciation by reciting the different pinyin syllables described in my book. My book lists some examples of common words for some syllables. I was wondering where I could ...
10
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2answers
529 views

Why one-to-many mapping between IPA and Pinyin?

I am referring to the Origin of zhuyin symbols table on Wikipedia. Under Rhymes and Medials the following 3 entries confuse me: Zhuyin IPA Pinyin ㄧ i i/y ㄨ u u/w ㄩ y ü/yu/u Why are there multiple ...
13
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7answers
913 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 ...
12
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2answers
9k views

How do I type the lü for Character Romanization?

I am studying classical Chinese and when I try to type in any words that require the ü it just randomly chooses a character. How do I use the Traditional pinyin entry method on a Mac and get the the ...
4
votes
5answers
311 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 ...
12
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4answers
921 views

In pinyin, why is there an inconsistency between bo, po, suo, duo etc

We have: bo, po, mo, fo, wo But then: duo, suo, luo, zuo, ruo, cuo, guo, huo, nuo, tuo In each, the vowel is pronounced the same, but the creators of pinyin have chosen two different spellings....
11
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6answers
2k views

Are there rules about the differences between pinyin spelling and pronunciation?

I noticed that sometimes certain finals in Chinese sound differently when combined with different initials. For e.g., what is spelled "u" sometimes is pronounced "ü". Other times, ...
11
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4answers
3k 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 ...
10
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4answers
394 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,...
5
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7answers
217 views

Pronunciation of word-initial glides (pinyin 'y' and 'w')

As a non-native speaker, I read pinyin and want to pronounce 'yi' as /ji:/ and 'wu' as /wu:/. But sometimes I think I hear just /i:/ and /u:/. Is that really the case or am I just (not) hearing ...
7
votes
4answers
430 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Pinyin “h” sound, pronunciation

I notice that the pinyin "h" is in many books just the same as in English. But when I listen to people, some people stress the "h" and there is a tiny gggg, and some gurgling ...
6
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5answers
2k views

Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters

I'm designing a curriculum to teach middle school students elementary Chinese. When I started learning, I began with Traditional Chinese characters and pinyin together on day one. I'm not so sure the ...
4
votes
2answers
424 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「...
4
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2answers
245 views

Is pinyin an accurate pronunciation guide?

Pinyin seems to be an EXACT pronunciation guide to Chinese words, but is it exact? I am not a Chinese speaker so don't know for sure. I would like to take the Pinyin transcription of Chinese words and ...
4
votes
2answers
296 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

-uan pinyin pronunciation

It seems to me that in Mandarin, two different vowel sounds are used for words whose pinyin ends with -uan. In some words, like 全 (quán) and 元 (yuán), the vowel sounds like "oo-en" (the nucleus/coda ...
3
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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 ...
0
votes
2answers
240 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 ...