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Pinyin
Simplified Chinese: 拼音
Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet
Traditional Chinese: 漢語拼音方案
Simplified Chinese: 汉语拼音方案
Chinese romanization
Mandarin for Standard Mandarin
    Hanyu Pinyin (ISO standard)
    EFEO
    Gwoyeu Romatzyh
        Spelling conventions
    Latinxua Sin Wenz
    Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II
    Chinese Postal Map Romanization
    Tongyong Pinyin
    Wade-Giles
    Yale
    Legge romanization
    Simplified Wade
    Comparison chart
Cantonese for Standard Cantonese
    Guangdong Romanization
    Hong Kong Government
    Jyutping
    Meyer-Wempe
    Sidney Lau
    S. L. Wong (phonetic symbols)
    S. L. Wong (romanisation)
    Standard Cantonese Pinyin
    Standard Romanization
    Yale
    Barnett-Chao
Wu
    Long-short (romanization)
    latin phonetic method of Shanghainese
Min Nan
for Taiwanese, Amoy, and related
    Pe̍h-oē-jī
for Hainanese
    Hainanhua Pinyin Fang'an
for Teochew
    Peng'im
Min Dong for Fuzhou dialect
    Foochow Romanized
Hakka for Moiyan dialect
    Kejiahua Pinyin Fang'an
For Siyen dialect
    Phak-fa-s
See also:
   General Chinese (Chao Yuenren)
   Cyrillization
   Xiao'erjing
   Bopomofo
   Romanisation in Singapore
   Romanisation in the ROC
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Pinyin, or more formally Hanyu Pinyin. Hanyu means the Chinese language, and pinyin means "phonetics", or more literally, "spelling sound" or "spelled sound".[1] One of the well-known solution is Mandarin Pinyin, which is currently the most commonly used Romanization system for Standard Mandarin (a kind of Chinese language). Developed by a government committee in the People's Republic of China (PRC), the system was initially approved by the Chinese government on February 11, 1958.[2] The International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as the international standard in 1982,[3] and since then it has been adopted by many other organizations. Since January 1, 2009, it is also the official romanization system in Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC).[4][5] It is used to teach Chinese schoolchildren and foreign learners the standard pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese, to spell Chinese names in foreign publications and to enter Chinese characters (hanzi) on computers and cellphones.

Contents

History

In 1954, the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China (PRC) created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language. This committee developed Hanyu pinyin based upon several preexisting systems: (Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, and the diacritic markings from zhuyin).[6] The main force behind pinyin was Zhou Youguang.[7] Zhou was working in a New York bank when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after establishmnent of the PRC in 1949. He became an economics professor in Shanghai and was assigned to help the development of a new romanization system.

A first draft was published on February 12, 1956. The first edition of Hanyu pinyin was approved and adopted at the Fifth Session of the 1st National People's Congress on February 11, 1958. It was then introduced to primary schools as a way to teach Standard Mandarin pronunciation and used to improve the literacy rate among adults. In 2001, the Chinese Government issued the National Common Language Law, providing a legal basis for applying pinyin.[8]

Usage

Pinyin superseded older romanization systems such as Wade-Giles (1859; modified 1892) and Chinese Postal Map Romanization, and replaced zhuyin as the method of Chinese phonetic instruction in mainland China. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted pinyin as the standard romanization for modern Chinese in 1982 (ISO 7098:1982, superseded by ISO 7098:1991); the United Nations followed suit in 1986.[9] It has also been accepted by the government of Singapore, the United States' Library of Congress, the American Library Association, and many other international institutions.[10]

The spelling of Chinese geographical or personal names in pinyin has become the most common way to transcribe them in English. Pinyin has also become a useful tool for entering Chinese language text into computers.

Chinese speaking Standard Mandarin at home use pinyin to help children associate characters with spoken words which they already know; however, for the many Chinese who do not use Standard Mandarin at home, pinyin is used to teach them the Standard Mandarin pronunciation of words when they learn them in elementary school.

Pinyin has become a tool for many foreigners to learn the Mandarin pronunciation, and is used to explain the grammar and spoken Mandarin together with hanzi. Books containing both Chinese characters and pinyin are popular with foreign learners of Chinese; pinyin's role in teaching pronunciation to foreigners and children is similar in some respects to furigana-based books (with hiragana letters written above or next to kanji) in Japanese or fully vocalised texts in Arabic ("vocalised Arabic").

Overview

The correspondence between letter and sound does not follow any single other language, but does not depart any more from the norms of the Latin alphabet than many European languages. For example, the aspiration distinction between b, d, g and p, t, k is similar to that of English, but not to that of French. Z and c also have that distinction; however, they are pronounced as [ts], as in languages such as German, Italian, and Polish, which do not have that distinction. From s, z, c come the digraphs sh, zh, ch by analogy with English sh, ch. Although this introduces the novel combination zh, it is internally consistent in how the two series are related, and reminds the trained reader that many Chinese pronounce sh, zh, ch as s, z, c. In the x, j, q series, the Pinyin use of x is similar to its use in Catalan, Basque, and Portuguese; and the Pinyin q is akin to its value in Albanian, both Pinyin and Albanian pronunciations may sound similar to the ch to the untrained ear. Pinyin vowels are pronounced in a similar way to vowels in Romance languages. More information on the pronunciation of all pinyin letters in terms of English approximations is given further below.

The pronunciation and spelling of Chinese words are generally given in terms of initials and finals, which represent the segmental phonemic portion of the language, rather than letter by letter. Initials are initial consonants, while finals are all possible combinations of medials (semivowels coming before the vowel), the nucleus vowel, and coda (final vowel or consonant).

Initials and finals

Unlike in European languages, initials (simplified Chinese: 声母; traditional Chinese: 聲母; pinyin: shēngmǔ) and finals (simplified Chinese: 韵母; traditional Chinese: 韻母; pinyin: yùnmǔ)—and not consonants and vowels—are the fundamental elements in pinyin (and most other phonetic systems used to describe the Han language). Nearly each Chinese syllable can be spelled with exactly one initial followed by one final, except in the special syllable er and when a trailing -r is considered part of a syllable (see below). The latter case, though a common practice in some sub-dialects, is rarely used in official publications.[11]

Even though most initials contain a consonant, finals are not simple vowels, especially in compound finals (simplified Chinese: 复韵母; traditional Chinese: 複韻母; pinyin: fuyunmu), i.e., when one "final" is placed in front of another one. For example, [i] and [u] are pronounced with such tight openings that some native Chinese speakers (especially when singing or on stage) pronounce (Chinese: , clothes, officially pronounced as /i/) as /ji/, wéi (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: , to enclose, officially as /uei/) as /wei/ or /wuei/. The concepts of consonants and vowels are not incorporated in pinyin or its predecessors, despite the fact that the Roman alphabets are used in pinyin. In the entire pinyin system, there is not a list of consonants, nor a list of vowels.

Initials

In each cell below, the first line indicates the IPA, the second indicates pinyin.

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-
palatal
Palatal Velar
Plosive [p]
b
[pʰ]
p
[t]
d
[tʰ]
t
[k]
g
[kʰ]
k
Nasal [m]
m
[n]
n
Lateral approximant [l]
l
Affricate [ts]
z
[tsʰ]
c
[ʈʂ]
zh
[ʈʂʰ]
ch
[tɕ]
j
[tɕʰ]
q
Fricative   [f]
f
[s]
s
[ʂ]
sh
[ʐ] 1
r
[ɕ]
x
[x]
h
Approximant       [ɻ] 1
r
[j]2  or [ɥ]3
y  
[w]2
w

1 /ɻ/ may phonetically be /ʐ/ (a voiced retroflex fricative). This pronunciation varies among different speakers, and is not two different phonemes.
2 the letters "w" and "y" are not included in the table of initials in the official pinyin system. They are an orthographic convention for the medials "i", "u" and "ü" when no initial is present. When "i", "u" or "ü" are finals and no initial is present, they are spelled "yi", "wu", and "yu", respectively.
3 "y" is pronounced as [ɥ] before "u".

Conventional order (excluding w and y), derived from the zhuyin system, is:

b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s

Finals

In each cell below, the first line indicates IPA, the second indicates pinyin for a standalone (no-initial) form, and the third indicates pinyin for a combination with an initial. Other than finals modified by an -r, which are omitted, the following is an exhaustive table of all possible finals.1

The only syllable-final consonants in standard Mandarin are -n and -ng, and -r, which is attached as a grammatical suffix. Chinese syllables ending with any other consonant is either from a non-Mandarin language (southern Chinese languages such as Cantonese, or minority languages of China), or it indicates the use of a non-pinyin Romanization system (where final consonants may be used to indicate tones).

FinalMedial
Nucleus Coda Ø iuy
aØ[ɑ]
a
-a
[i̯a]
ya
-ia
[u̯a]
wa
-ua
i[aɪ̯]
ai
-ai
[u̯aɪ̯]
wai
-uai
u[ɑʊ̯]
ao
-ao
[i̯ɑʊ̯]
yao
-iao
n[an]
an
-an
[i̯ɛn]
yan
-ian
[u̯an]
wan
-uan
[y̯ɛn]
yuan
-üan 2
ŋ[ɑŋ]
ang
-ang
[i̯ɑŋ]
yang
-iang
[u̯ɑŋ]
wang
-uang
əØ[ɤ]
e
-e
[i̯ɛ]
ye
-ie
[u̯ɔ]
wo
-uo/-o 3
[y̯œ]
yue
-üe 2
i[eɪ̯]
ei
-ei
[u̯eɪ̯]
wei
-ui
u[oʊ̯]
ou
-ou
[i̯oʊ̯]
you
-iu
n[ən]
en
-en
[in]
yin
-in
[u̯ən]
wen
-un
[yn]
yun
-ün 2
ŋ[əŋ]
eng
-eng
[iŋ]
ying
-ing
[u̯əŋ], [ʊŋ] 4
weng
-ong
[y̯ʊŋ]
yong
-iong
Ø[z̩], [ʐ̩]

-i
[i]
yi
-i
[u]
wu
-u
[y]
yu
2

1 [əɹ] (而, 二, etc.) is written er. For other finals formed by the suffix -r, pinyin does not use special orthography; one simply appends -r to the final that it is added to, without regard for any sound changes that may take place along the way. For information on sound changes related to final -r, please see Standard Mandarin.
2 "ü" is written as "u" after j, q, x, or y.
3 "uo" is written as "o" after b, p, m, or f.
4 It is pronounced [ʊŋ] when it follows an initial, and pinyin reflects this difference.

Technically, i, u, ü without a following vowel are finals, not medials, and therefore take the tone marks, but they are more concisely displayed as above. In addition, ê [ɛ] (欸, 誒) and syllabic nasals m (呒, 呣), n (嗯, 唔), ng (嗯,


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Pinyin

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
pinyin

Plural
-

pinyin

  1. Alternative spelling of Pinyin.

Mandarin

Verb

pinyin (Pinyin pin1yin1, traditional and simplified 拼音)

  1. spell; phoneticize

Noun

pinyin (Pinyin pin1yin1, traditional and simplified 拼音)

  1. spelling

Derived terms

Proper noun

pinyin (Pinyin pin1yin1, traditional and simplified 拼音)

  1. Alternative spelling of Pinyin.

External links


Romanian

Etymology

From Chinese 拼音

Noun

pinyin n.

  1. pinyin

See also

  • plat (1st tone)
  • crescând (2nd tone)
  • scăzând-crescând (3rd tone)
  • scăzând ( 4th tone)

Spanish

Adjective

pinyin m. and f. (plural pinyines)

  1. pinyin

Usage notes

The Real academia española Diccionario de la lengua española has no entry.


Simple English

Pinyin is a type of transliteration for the Chinese language, a tonal language, where accents are used to show tones. It is the official form of the Latin alphabet transliteration used for the People's Republic of China and most of the world. And it is the standard form of Chinese Romanization for the United Nations. Pinyin is also helpful to learn the Chinese language because of its persitant tones and that helps the prononciation of a word. Pinyin was invented in the late 1950's.

Other websites

Rules for Hanyu Pinyin


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 10, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Pinyin, which are similar to those in the above article.








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