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Why e is pronounced differently in de (的, 地) and ye (也,夜)?

Systems designed to represent pronunciation and to be practical at the same time don't have a 1:1 mapping between spoken sounds and written symbols. Or in other words, each sound can be represented ...
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15 votes

Why is the Pinyin for 波 bo1 not buo1? And why is 多 duo1 instead of do1?

For all practical purposes, you can think of this as a spelling convention. The finals are pronounced the same, even if all finals are to some extent influenced by the preceding initial. In Pinyin, ...
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13 votes
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What are the most common Mandarin words for each pinyin syllable?

After a bit of searching I could not find a proper resource to answer this question, so I started compiling compiled a comprehensive list by hand. Since you say that the most common character for each ...
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12 votes
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What's the pronunciation of 不在乎

Dictionaries, in general, will not incorporate tone sandhi rules into their pronunciations (of which Mandarin has quite a few) Wikipedia says the following: Mandarin Chinese Mandarin features several ...
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11 votes

What's the pronunciation of 不在乎

The correct one should be bu2 zai4 hu. Unless there is an emphasis for "NOT" CARE, a 4th tone bu4 is then used, but I rarely hear that as a native speaker. Let's review the tone change rule for 不, A ...
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11 votes
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Yinwei or Yinvei? 因为

/v/ is not an initial found in MSM. The initial /v/, though, is often found in Northern Mandarin and its branches. In fact, it can still be found, even, in distant branches like Sichuanese. If you ...
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11 votes
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Why the pinyin of 鱼 is yú instead of ǘ?

Under the section Pronunciation of initials for the pinyin page on Wikipedia there is the following: Note on y and w Y and w are equivalent to the semivowel medials i, u, and ü (see ...
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10 votes

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

There are several libraries for converting Chinese characters to pinyin. If you are comfortable with programming languages (which you probably are if you are asking for an API), your choice will ...
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10 votes
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Why is 台北 spelled Taipei, not Taibei?

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 ...
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9 votes
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How to write characters containing the ǚ pinyin symbol in most common Chinese Input Methods?

As pinyin doesn't use the letter v, then words containing the u with umlaut can be written with v key, then combined with the number keys to get different tones. For example: v+1 = ǖ v+2 = ǘ v+3 = ...
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8 votes

Pinyin "h" sound, pronunciation

In standard Mandarin, the pinyin h is pronounced as [x] in IPA, like ch in Scottish English loch -- yes, you're right that there's a tiny g, because [x] is a velar consonant. However, in south China, ...
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8 votes
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How to enter 女人 with QQ pinyin?

nvren 'v' replaces 'ü' in Chinese input.
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8 votes
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The max number of characters that map to a single pronunciation

The Phonology of Standard Chinese by San Duanmu (端木三) has a list of the 15 most common syllables, followed by the number of different characters pronounced that way, not including tones. yi (106),ji (...
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8 votes
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-uan pinyin pronunciation

There are several cases in Mandarin of multiple sounds sharing the same symbols in Pinyin, such as -uan as you've noticed, as well as -i which has multiple sounds associated with it. In the case of -...
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7 votes
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Should names in idiomatic expressions be capitalised?

Pinyin is never an established written language. We have a standard, 《汉语拼音正词法基本规则》, but no one actually bothered to learn it. In short, it treats pinyin as if it is a romanized language. You follow ...
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7 votes
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What is the Socio-linguistic Function of Mixing Pinyin and Characters Together By Adult Native Chinese Writers?

The 训读 (this jargon comes from Japanese) phenomenon is rare in Chinese, but it does exist, e.g. 廿 may be pronounced as èr shí (二十), 圕 as tú shū guǎn (图书馆), 哩 as yīng lǐ (英里). Doesn't that happen in ...
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7 votes
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Zhuyin (bopomofo) vs Pinyin

Zhuyin is commonly encountered in Taiwan and Taiwan-centric overseas communities. Not sure about its prevalence in other overseas communities a la Singapore, but I've found zhuyin easier to use with ...
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7 votes

What does this mean in English, very few words (Screenshot inside)?

illusional romance 梦幻:梦是睡觉时的妄想,幻是魔术师的表演。二个都是虚假的。 情缘:情通常指男女爱情,缘是缘分(the fate, the lot, the second cause)。 补充: '梦幻' also means '美好的'(extraordinary, too good to be true)。 For example: 梦幻音乐。 It means ...
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7 votes
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On Linux, how do I output Chinese Characters (not pinyin) using tones in the input

Try using Terra-Pinyin (地球拼音) which runs on rime (中州韻) which runs on either ibus or fcitx. It allows you to input using "-" to represent 1st tone, "/" to represent 2nd tone, ">" to represent 3rd tone, ...
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6 votes

Uncommon (Unorthodox?!) Pinyin: What are these?

I think I know one. 扥 dèn This means "pull with a little brutal force".
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6 votes
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Pinyin to Chinese characters

I suggest that you shouldn't do this. 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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  • 850
6 votes
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Braille and Chinese Input

I had a student in Taiwan who was blind, so I've had a chance to work with this. There are articles on Chinese Braille in both the English and Chinese Wikipedias if you haven't read them yet. It is ...
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6 votes
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What are the advantages / disadvantages for learning tones with Pinyin vs with Gwoyeu Romatzyh?

In general, I think too much importance is ascribed to which transcription system is used. Students' ability to distinguish, pronounce and remember tones depends on many factors and the way the tones ...
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6 votes
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Is Pinyin recommended for Mandarin Chinese?

Hanyu pinyin (or pinyin) is the de facto standard for transliteration of Standard Chinese, especially for materials using simplified Chinese characters. In the last ten years, I have used or browsed ...
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6 votes
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Why does "Lüzhijiang" or "Lvzhijiang" Bridge (绿汁江大桥) look so strange to me?

"Lü" is the hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音,below abbreviated as pinyin) of 绿, and pinyin is the current standard way of romanizing mandarin Chinese。It's standard in the sense that it's the standard in ...
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  • 411
5 votes

Uncommon (Unorthodox?!) Pinyin: What are these?

Skimmed through the Pinyin index page of 汉典, and found that, as user58955 commented, most of the uncommon pinyin included there were either dialectal or obsolete, as a native speaker, I have never ...
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  • 521
5 votes
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Pinyin tones pronunciation cheat sheet

Here are my two favorite browser-based pinyin cheat-sheets: https://chinese.yabla.com/chinese-pinyin-chart.php http://www.quickmandarin.com/chinesepinyintable/pinyintable_vertical.php Whereas the ...
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5 votes

How to write "BiángBiáng麵" using pinyin?

Phonetic Substitution Although the character cannot currently be typed into a computer, wikipedia notes that one may use a phonetic substitution. I doubt that most people would recognise this 58 ...
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5 votes
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Why is 那儿 just one syllable?

I will elaborate on my comment above, as you wished. The main reason for this behavior of your IME software is that it is configured to make guesses about what you want to type. Since there are so ...
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