Return of Pinyin Wars


#62

As I mentioned a while ago, imagine how late everyone would get to work if the MRT Robot Lady had to announce that the next stop was Large Serenity Woodland Forest Public Garden!!


#63

It would be kind of cool… But then imagine a mainland city having a station with the same name and the protesters demanding the one in Taipei be changed to Big Peace Majestic Forest Metric Park, to reflect Taiwan’s unique identity. :trollface:


#64

Well, they are quoting Yu. And you are supposed to quote verbatim.


#65

But is that even what Yu actually said? Considering the standards at TT, it’s more likely just a translation fail. Yu may be an idiot (you’d have to be to invent a steaming pile like Tongyong), but I don’t think he’s Taipei Times dumb.


#66

Indeed. Something could have been lost in translation… but I have heard worse. Especially from academics. Sigh. From both sides of the aisle.


#67

My favourite part of the Taipei Times article linked above is a quote from National Language Education Promotion Office head Wu Chung-yi:

“The romanization used on road signs and at transportation stations is intended for foreigners… Every foreigner learning Mandarin learns Hanyu pinyin, because it is the international standard,” Wu said. “The decision has nothing to do with the nation’s self-determination or any ideologies, because the key point is to ensure that foreigners can read signs.”

“It is impossible to reason with the groups, as they are bent on politicizing the matter,” he added.

Awesome!

Guy


#68

Well, that makes sense. Until you stop to think about it.

Hanyu is a sucky way to learn Mandarin. And what about brief visitors who aren’t studying Mandarin anyway? `Coz it’s also a sucky romanization.

Most things rammed down our throat by Communists kind of suck, actually. And they come pre-politicized.


#69

its no less sucky than all the other 30 ways of romanizing chinese that taiwan uses.
just stick to one, and pinyin more or less works. i don’t see whats to argue, Taiwanese don’t even use it.


#70

How is Hanyu Pinyin more a product of political ideology than Tongyong Pinyin?


#71

Using tonyong in a hanyu world is edgy and radical. You’re making an implicit political statement either way, so it may as well be a cool one.

Hanyu pinyin does not cut the mustard giving a cabbie directions. I’ve taken to printing out the hanzi with a map and a phone number. Or I’ll just direct him verbally to a suitable landmark and walk from there.

And all my effort learning Mandarin makes me feel like a chump when I realize the crazy old guy on the street has been jabbering at me in Hokkien for several minutes. The world would be a hell of a lot simpler if everyone spoke the same language, but that isn’t likely to happen in my lifetime. Romanization is just a facet of that larger problem.

Google Maps is Google, and Google tends to be quirky and evil. There are alternatives, sort of.

As long as we’re using software, the problem of multiple writing systems can in theory be solved at a software level. Just so long as the number of systems is finite, and someone sees fit to put them all in there. It’s the computer’s job to work with any reasonable input whatsoever. It’s the programmer’s job to make the computer do that.

Openstreetmaps.org could stand to improve quite a bit in that area. Navigator is… adequate.


#72

And Tongyong does?


#73

If the DPP continues their current trends they will certainly try to jam Tongyong down everyone’s throat just to antagonize China. But in the end, Hanyyu will become the standard romanization of Chinese when China takes over in 4 years thanks to Tsai Ing-wen and her DPP lackeys.


#74

Try out “what3words” You could deliver water to a camel in the middle of the Sahara with that app.


#75

I think Taiwanese (>90%) use Tongyong Pinyin for their (sic: English) naming.
There are some brave soul using Wade-Giles (sans the diacritics).
But I never know (notice) any Taiwanese using Hanyu Pinyin.
Changing a latinized translation system would means “correcting” all other people names. Learning from history, this usually didn’t end well.

How’d you feel when reading/seeing: Taibei instead of Taipei, or Xinzhu instead of Hsinchu and Gaoxiong instead of Kaohsiung?

There will always be an issue of Latinizing language that is not written (originally) in Latin alphabets.
Japan and China sort it out (kinda).

Others, African countries, Arabic countries, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan and Korea unfortunately not yet.

On a side note: Do you think Americans would be agreeing of using British-spelling (i.e. correcting them “wrong” spelling of armor, labor and harbor?).

Think the issue like British English and American English, Dutch and Afrikaans, Spanish and South American Spanish or Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese


#76

Haven’t tried it yet. Anyone else?


#77

Neither did. Even for educated college degree students, giving them address/writing in Hanyu and Tongyong would make them scream.

My Chinese teacher even saying: “this is meaningless without context” when us writing a sentence in Hanyu Pinyin. (Chinese as Foreign language typically conducted in Hanyu Pinyin).


#78

it would be fine for anyone who has learnt to read pinyin because thats how they would say those names in chinese anyway? i wouldn’t mind losing keelung at least, thats just retarded. especially when taiwanese say it to me like i can only understand the name if said that way.


#79

Even the Taipei Times uses Hanyu Pinyin in its articles about the Chinese language. (Names of people are still given in Wade-Giles, accompanied by characters.)

How’d you feel when reading/seeing: Taibei instead of Taipei, or Xinzhu instead of Hsinchu and Gaoxiong instead of Kaohsiung?

How do you feel when reading Beijing instead of Peking, Guangzhou instead of Canton, or even Sri Lanka instead of Ceylon? I think most people have gotten over it by now.

On a side note: Do you think Americans would be agreeing of using British-spelling (i.e. correcting them “wrong” spelling of armor, labor and harbor?).

It would be more like learning “labor” in the US and then going to the UK and struggling to read “leygh-bah” because some patriotic Briton decided anything American is automatically bad, and when you ask the locals how to pronounce it, they haven’t a clue. :2cents:


#80

[quote=“arcticsquid, post:75, topic:87309, full:true”]
I think Taiwanese (>90%) use Tongyong Pinyin for their (sic: English) naming.
There are some brave soul using Wade-Giles (sans the diacritics).
But I never know (notice) any Taiwanese using Hanyu Pinyin.[/quote]
Actually, probably over 80% of Taiwanese use Wade-Giles to spell their names (e.g. Tsai Ing-wen). Perhaps another 15% make up their own spelling (e.g. Ma Ying-jeou), and another 3% use Tongyong (typified by “jh”, “sy”, “cy”, “wun” and “iou”). A few do use Hanyu Pinyin. I’ve seen it. The “x” and “zh” give it away.

I haven’t seen actual figures, but having dealt with Taiwanese names on a daily basis for over 20 years, this is my educated guess.


#81

I have a number of objections to Tongyong, but my main one is simply that nobody uses it.

Taiwanese don’t use it, as romanization of words isn’t taught in schools. Foreigners learn Hanyu Pinyin, and so don’t use it either.

Tongyong is actually modeled on Hanyu Pinyin, but with a few tweaks here and there for no other purpose than just to be different. When there were already a dozen romanization systems in existence (HYPY, Wade-Giles, Yale, MPS2, Guoyeu Romatzyh, Latinxua, to name a few), all Tongyong did was add more confusion to an already confusing mix.

Let it die.