Return of Pinyin Wars


#41

I think it makes a lot of sense. These are three different places with different cultures and languages. Applying the respective Romanization helps understanding the context.[/quote]

We’re talking about the same language here.

Texas culture is different than Minnesota culture. Their pronunciation of the English language is also very different. Would we suggest that the way we transcribe those sounds be different in each place? Of course not. That doesn’t facilitate communication.

The whole point here is to facilitate communication. Adopting varying romanization systems for the same language (Mandarin Chinese) does not facilitate communication.


#42

[quote=“Taiwanguy”]
We’re talking about the same language here.

Texas culture is different than Minnesota culture. Their pronunciation of the English language is also very different. Would we suggest that the way we transcribe those sounds be different in each place? Of course not. That doesn’t facilitate communication.

The whole point here is to facilitate communication. Adopting varying romanization systems for the same language (Mandarin Chinese) does not facilitate communication.[/quote]

Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to understand theatre if you’ve been taught theater? Romanization unity is needed by country basis, not language basis.


#43

[quote=“hansioux”][quote=“Taiwanguy”]
We’re talking about the same language here.

Texas culture is different than Minnesota culture. Their pronunciation of the English language is also very different. Would we suggest that the way we transcribe those sounds be different in each place? Of course not. That doesn’t facilitate communication.

The whole point here is to facilitate communication. Adopting varying romanization systems for the same language (Mandarin Chinese) does not facilitate communication.[/quote]

Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to understand theatre if you’ve been taught theater? [/quote]
Are you making my point for me? Of course it’s not that hard to understand theatre when you’ve learned theater. But it IS very hard to know which Mandarin sound or word we are referring to when someone writes “Chin.” Is that 親 or 金 or 陳 or whatever…? I have no idea. For a Tongyong example, if someone wrote down Jhihciang, there are like 2 people in the world that actually know what that is referring to…lol. Exaggeration, of course.

The fact of the matter is that YES, Taiwan is free to choose whatever system they want. I would never deny the Taiwanese people their right to choose what they’d like to use as a standardized method of romanization. BUT I REALLY HOPE they will choose WISELY. Taiwanese people will not, at any point in the foreseeable future, utilize a romanization of the Chinese language on a regular basis. There are no serious pushes to rid the elementary school system of the horrors of Zhuyin Fuhao so that isn’t going to change. As long as that doesn’t change, there is ZERO chance that schools in Taiwan are going to start educating students on romanization. Why would they? Therefore, the romanization question for Taiwan’s central and local gov’ts should be limited to one thing and one thing only: Which system is more convenient for the millions of foreigners that RELY on romanization to navigate and communicate around the island? The answer to that question is OBVIOUS and, as far as I’m concerned, not up for any serious debate: Hanyu Pinyin.


#44

[quote=“Taiwanguy”][quote=“hansioux”][quote=“Taiwanguy”]
We’re talking about the same language here.

Texas culture is different than Minnesota culture. Their pronunciation of the English language is also very different. Would we suggest that the way we transcribe those sounds be different in each place? Of course not. That doesn’t facilitate communication.

The whole point here is to facilitate communication. Adopting varying romanization systems for the same language (Mandarin Chinese) does not facilitate communication.[/quote]

Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to understand theatre if you’ve been taught theater? [/quote]
Are you making my point for me? Of course it’s not that hard to understand theatre when you’ve learned theater. But it IS very hard to know which Mandarin sound or word we are referring to when someone writes “Chin.” Is that 親 or 金 or 陳 or whatever…? I have no idea. For a Tongyong example, if someone wrote down Jhihciang, there are like 2 people in the world that actually know what that is referring to…lol. Exaggeration, of course.[/quote]

What you are talking about isn’t an issue of “more than one Romanization standards for a language in different coutnries,” it’s simply a issue of the design of certain Romanization systems.

That Tongyong example is even farther off your original point. People who have learned Tongyong will understand Tongyong. People who have learned Wade-Giles and don’t ignore ’ when writing Wade-Giles wouldn’t have any problem either.

So no, I’m not making your point for you, and neither are you making your point for you apparently…

[quote=“Taiwanguy”]
There are no serious pushes to rid the elementary school system of the horrors of Zhuyin Fuhao so that isn’t going to change.[/quote]

As I said before, if the sole purpose of a common romanization is to denote Mandarin, then there will never be a serious push, because both systems suck equally.


#45

But that’s the whole point. No one has learned Tongyong. No one wants to learn Tongyong. No one knows Wade-Giles either. 99% (made up stat, but I imagine it’s pretty close to accurate at this point in time) of all people studying Chinese, either to gain fluency or for tourist/travel reasons, familiarize themselves with Hanyu Pinyin. Every guidebook I’ve ever seen in the past decade uses Hanyu Pinyin. All serious Mandarin learning materials use Hanyu Pinyin. So if Taiwan counties or the central gov’t decides to go with anything other than Hanyu Pinyin, they are, in effect, requiring that foreigners in Taiwan learn TWO romanizations: Hanyu Pinyin, because EVERYONE uses it, and whatever romanization Taiwan chooses, because the gov’t uses it. That’s dumb and completely pointless.

[quote][quote=“Taiwanguy”]
There are no serious pushes to rid the elementary school system of the horrors of Zhuyin Fuhao so that isn’t going to change.[/quote]

As I said before, if the sole purpose of a common romanization is to denote Mandarin, then there will never be a serious push, because both systems suck equally.[/quote]

Why do they suck? Both Hanyu Pinyin and Zhuyin Fuhao are perfectly functional as transcriptions of Mandarin. They’re not perfect, but I see no problem in using either to educate children on Mandarin pronunciation. My problem with Zhuyin is that it ONLY serves that function. Hanyu Pinyin has the added benefit of being in the latin alphabet, so it can also be used in international addresses, facilitating communication with foreigners, international documentation (passports, etc.), and more. Zhuyin is fine…just absolutely one-dimensional in its use.


#46

This is 100% correct. Even studying in Taiwan during the CSB years, we used Wade Giles and Yale rather than TY. Locals don’t know it. Foreigners don’t know it. It’s an uphill battle to teach it to anyone.

That is very incorrect. All academics who study China are very well acquainted with Wade-Giles. I wouldn’t mind if Taiwan returned to WG, as long as people used it correctly – let’s not forget those apostrophes!

Yes but I don’t think that’s terribly relevant. People manage to go to Hong Kong and Macau, which largely use ad hoc Romanization for Cantonese, and they get around just fine. This is why I support either an established system (Hanyu preferably, WG as a distant second choice) or just switching to Taiwanese Romanization instead. (Plus other indigenous languages, to be decided by local residents; Miaoli for example would have street signs in Hakka romanization)

The counterargument is that serious Mandarin learners can read the street signs in Chinese characters, so the romanization isn’t very important.

I fail to see how Zhuyin is a horror. It has lots of problems – inaccurate phoneme mappings that are based on Northeast China pronunciation and still manage to get that somewhat wrong – but it’s just as functional as Japanese kana for learning and typing and looking things up. It’s quite useless to Chinese language learners, but for locals it’s doing fine.


#47

Tongyong needs to be eradicated form the face of the earth. Hunted down, rooted out and cleansed. Every memory of it purged. It is a travesty.


#48

:salute:


#49

Something for Hok to think about. When I was learning English, the school taught us Kenyon and Knott. However, later I found out that’s not the pronunciation key used in most dictionaries especially English-English dictionaries used in the English-speaking world.

There’s no need to complain.


#50

[quote=“sofun”]Something for Hok to think about. When I was learning English, the school taught us Kenyon and Knott. However, later I found out that’s not the pronunciation key used in most dictionaries especially English-English dictionaries used in the English-speaking world.

There’s no need to complain.[/quote]

Apples and oranges. KK is used only to teach English; Romanization for any East Asian language is used on street signs, postal addresses, passports, maps, history books…


#51

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]
Apples and oranges. KK is used only to teach English;[/quote]
That means you can’t use learning Mandarin as an excuse to promote pinyin for a unified romanization.

Street signs etc are locale-dependent. No need to make Singapore the same as Beijing.


#52

[quote=“Hokwongwei”][quote=“sofun”]Something for Hok to think about. When I was learning English, the school taught us Kenyon and Knott. However, later I found out that’s not the pronunciation key used in most dictionaries especially English-English dictionaries used in the English-speaking world.

There’s no need to complain.[/quote]

Apples and oranges. KK is used only to teach English; Romanization for any East Asian language is used on street signs, postal addresses, passports, maps, history books…[/quote]

Romanization maybe, but not Hanyu Pinyin. HP is almost exclusively used for Chinese.

I prefer HP but I don’t have any angst with TP. But no more changing. It’s HP.

WG is another story. That one should be eradicated forever.


#53

This is 100% correct. Even studying in Taiwan during the CSB years, we used Wade Giles and Yale rather than TY. Locals don’t know it. Foreigners don’t know it. It’s an uphill battle to teach it to anyone.

That is very incorrect. All academics who study China are very well acquainted with Wade-Giles. I wouldn’t mind if Taiwan returned to WG, as long as people used it correctly – let’s not forget those apostrophes![/quote]

Fine… But I doubt many academics are relying on romanization for communication or navigation.

Yes but I don’t think that’s terribly relevant. People manage to go to Hong Kong and Macau, which largely use ad hoc Romanization for Cantonese, and they get around just fine. This is why I support either an established system (Hanyu preferably, WG as a distant second choice) or just switching to Taiwanese Romanization instead. (Plus other indigenous languages, to be decided by local residents; Miaoli for example would have street signs in Hakka romanization)[/quote]

Of course. Any standard romanization system (even an ad hoc one) can fulfill foreigner navigation needs. The crux of my argument is that HP can fill that role with many additional benefits.

The counterargument is that serious Mandarin learners can read the street signs in Chinese characters, so the romanization isn’t very important.[/quote]

I don’t just mean serious Chinese learners. Any decent modern beginner materials is likely to use HP as well.

I fail to see how Zhuyin is a horror. It has lots of problems – inaccurate phoneme mappings that are based on Northeast China pronunciation and still manage to get that somewhat wrong – but it’s just as functional as Japanese kana for learning and typing and looking things up. It’s quite useless to Chinese language learners, but for locals it’s doing fine.[/quote]

Oh, I agree. I explained my view on Zhuyin Fuhao in a post earlier. It functions pretty much identically to HP in teaching phonetics and for typing. It’s just that it’s completely one-dimensional. It can’t be used on signs or for international documents or Chinese as a second language learners… That’s why I hate it.


#54

[quote=“sofun”][quote=“Hokwongwei”]
Apples and oranges. KK is used only to teach English;[/quote]
That means you can’t use learning Mandarin as an excuse to promote pinyin for a unified romanization.

Street signs etc are locale-dependent. No need to make Singapore the same as Beijing.[/quote]

It’s all a moot argument really if the populace is too undereducated to even know how to spell their own addresses – and names. I know plenty of people who ask me “How do I spell my name again?” For a country as advanced and educated as Taiwan, that’s a really, truly pathetic failure of education.


#55

There is no ideal romanization and there probably never will be, but I’d prefer tongyong to hanyu.

[moved from here:]
http://tw.forumosa.com/t/life-on-the-mrt/782/2122?source_topic_id=87309


#56

Singapore and Malaysia (and probably others) also use Hanyu to teach their kids. Keyboards/apps all use Hanyu Pinyin to type Mandarin Characters. Why would Taiwan not want to use what is basically the universally accepted standard? So we would have to learn 2 types? Tongyong for reading and Hanyu for typing?

From what I’ve seen, Hanyu makes the most sense, IMO. Do we pronounce Kaohsiung with a “K”? What about Keelung? I used to say Taichung just like it’s spelled, with the “ch” sound, before I started learning Chinese. Not to mention Zhongli, Chungli, Jongli! And why the hell does Taipei have a “p”??

:2cents:


#57

Taiwan already has a huge problem with haphazard implementation of romanization. Adding Yu’s “system”, which is unintelligible to most people and has itself changed in an inconsistent fashion over the years, would basically being telling the world that Taiwan effectively has no interest in romanization at all, and everyone who can’t read characters can just go to hell.


#59

not sure why they needed to make a news story out of this. that group of protesters literally looks like 5 retarded ah beis with nothing better to do.


#60

Let Tongyong die a well-deserved death.

The funny thing is that those “protesters” will never use or benefit from Tongyong (or any romanization system) themselves. They just think they know what’s best for foreigners.


#61

Uh…because it’s the Taipei Times?

Hanyu pinyin is “the official language of the People’s Republic of China”? WTF!? What are the editors at that rag smoking? (I’ve actually heard rumors about that)