Return of Pinyin Wars


#142

I meant it’s a given there won’t be a single system :slight_smile:


#143

The Green-controlled cities and counties seem to be pushing Tongyong, with different degrees of consistency. Last time I was in “Kaohsiung” most of the signage seemed to be in Tongyong.


#144

Ah, got it! I was wondering why you seemed unduly optimistic.


#145

[quote=“rowland, post:130, topic:87309, full:true”]
It occurs to me that we could market a simplified Hanzi character set, so long as it’s not THAT one.[/quote]

Has anyone ever told you you sound like the Chairman’s twin, separated at birth? :trollface:

Btw in case you didn’t know…


#146

Well, I don’t advocate marketing of grand schemes at gunpoint. Except in self defense, I prefer gentler forms of persuasion. That’s a pretty big difference in my view.


#147

Trying to force unity down people’s throats is problematic in many ways.

Selling the mere idea of a single system accomplishes nothing, for reasons explained by others here.

We need to pick a system that we can convince people to unify around, together with a plan to convince people. Preferably without coercion.

We don’t want to be Stalinist. Or even Davos. Or even Microsoft. If we do it right, they won’t even know we did anything. It will look like a consensus just sort of emerged. That’s the best persuasion.


#148

It’s like PC (Windows) and Mac, Coca Cola and Pepsi, Adidas and Nike, McDonalds and KFC or fried rice and fried noodle… Everyone have their own preferences, in the end…

“It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.”
-Mao Zedong- or was it Deng Xiaoping who said it?

I try to sum it up:
I (and most people) agree that foreigners are the (only?) ones that used Pinyin.
Most locals wouldn’t have a clue about it. Even Taiwanese Chinese language teachers (often) had difficulties understand it.
I would say it matters of prestige for “Taiwan” proponents as they need “to be different” than “China” as “we are Taiwan, not China”.
Solution? Use multiple name plaques for placename, like in Singapore.

新莊
Xīnzhuāng - Sinjhuang


#149

The Rosetta Stone of Absurdity. Keep adding languages until people’s brains explode.

I like how they put the English in the place of honor. But doesn’t making the Chinese characters so small irk the locals?


#150

[quote=“lostinasia, post:140, topic:87309”]Is
Tongyong being used consistently these days? When l lived in Tainan the Romanization was a right mess, with 西門路 spelled at least three different ways as you drove along it.
[/quote]

Heh, that’s still the case, and the exact road I use as an example when this topic comes up in classes.


#151

I say we can use Tonyong for academic purposes. In localized items that only locals will use. We do not need to kill it.

However, simple signs for foreign tourists should be kept simple. Hence, the easiest way is a system most people use, even if it is not the best. Think of it as everyone using Windows, as much as we hate it, instead of Linux. It makes sending stuff easier and hence COMMUNICATING. Th epoint is getting the message across.

I am a linguist by training and a translator by trade and these issues are my daily bread of pain. I suffer inmensively with officials’ names, who spell their nam one way today and another tomorrow. And then demand your apologies because they have studied in the States 6 months and hence know how to write their name in English. It is not Englihs, sir, you are using the Latin alphabet to put your Chinese name into some resemblance of comprehesive pinyin that pople can search and know who you are…


#152

I don’t think it should be used academically, unless you’re doing research on the confluence of politics and linguistics or something. It’s a bad system. I say kill it. [quote=“Icon, post:151, topic:87309”]
I am a linguist by training and a translator by trade and these issues are my daily bread of pain. I suffer inmensively with officials’ names, who spell their nam one way today and another tomorrow. And then demand your apologies because they have studied in the States 6 months and hence know how to write their name in English. It is not Englihs, sir, you are using the Latin alphabet to put your Chinese name into some resemblance of comprehesive pinyin that pople can search and know who you are…
[/quote]

This is why a single, consistent system should be promoted at the national level. Something like Hanyu pinyin.


#153

Yes it is, it takes a native mandarin speaker an hour to learn Pinyin. Pretty much everyone I know who goes to mainland for business ends up learning it, because they have to. Its not trouble whatsoever.

Like what? Badly communicating with foreigners is the only example.

Im not sure if you are Taiwanese or maybe you have been here for a long time and not really noticed the sea of change. Chinese is big. We are not in 1995 anymore, kids everywhere are learning Chinese, everyone is communicating with China, business people are doing courses in basic Pinyin. There is a decent chance that someone coming to Taiwan will know Pinyin in 2017. Its just annoying to not follow the standard.


#154

Taiwanese can do what they want at the end of the day. But if every attempt at internationalization is geared from the vantage point of the older members of the native population (Like Icon’s example of English websites) then it is all pretty fruitless.

Hong Kong does everything it can to make communication smoother and be the most international business hub around. The international community are included as stakeholders in these type of decisions. They dont have to do that either.


#155

The system most people use is English, either natively or as a strong second language. By English pronunciation rules - such as they are - “Xinyi” sounds like a stifled sneeze.

Hanyu? Mainlanders use that, but there are fewer of them these days, and a lot of the locals are saying good riddance.

Rejecting Hanyu is a political statement that Taiwanese could be inclined to make. Let’s debate an alternative that they might accept that would work for waiguo types.


#156

Then they will know some Chinese and pinyin and the differences should be trivial to them. It may be annoying, but that doesn’t hold a candle to political realities faced by people who live here, if they deem it desirable to have another system for such reasons.


#157

In related news, New Zealand has decided that all instances of the letter z in the country are to be changed to j, while what was j will now be written gi. Doing so will help distinguish the country from the hated wallaby-humpers over the Tasman Sea.

Honestly, we’re having this fucking debate again? History repeating itself, the first time as farce, the second time as mind-numbing, spirit-crushing tedium.

Pro-independence Taiwanese should not be so hopelessly insecure as to need to screw up a perfectly good romanisation system for minor political point-scoring. Stick with Pinyin.


#158

The reality of Taiwan is that it is a mostly Mandarin speaking island, next to China, whose economy is interconnected with that of China. Even if Taiwan gained independence none of those things are going to change. The business community understand this and only a band of academics, staunch DPPers, naive university students and idealistic foreigners think otherwise.

They should do though as there is a large possibility of it happening. If it was my native tongue i would. I keep tabs on American spelling and idioms to enable smoother communication when doing business.

The differences are not trivial, hence the number of people complaining. You are discussing hypothetical situations and everyone else is putting forward lived realities.
Using Hanyu Pinyin has no relationship whatsoever with Taiwan’s political situation, if anything it helps it by making the country more international and a better place to do business/attract investment etc. Taiwan needs economical strength and internationalization if the main goals is Independence, not trifling disputes and name-changes.


#159

If Taiwanese identity is so fragile that a romanization system built for foreigners threatens it, maybe their are bigger issues to deal with.


#160

*not only built for foriegners


#161

[quote=“OrangeOrganics, post:158, topic:87309, full:true”]
The reality of Taiwan is that it is a mostly Mandarin speaking island, next to China, whose economy is interconnected with that of China. Even if Taiwan gained independence none of those things are going to change. The business community understand this and only a band of academics, staunch DPPers, naive university students and idealistic foreigners think otherwise.[/quote]

Great. I don’t see the relevance though.

They should do though as there is a large possibility of it happening. If it was my native tongue i would. I keep tabs on American spelling and idioms to enable smoother communication when doing business.

We were discussing whether they will do it. If you think they should, that’s fine, but I don’t see the relevance. I’m saying they in fact won’t do it for such trivial reasons.

The differences are not trivial, hence the number of people complaining.

I disagree. There’s a few different letters, that’s it, which aren’t any kind of great challenge. People might complain for many reasons.

You are discussing hypothetical situations and everyone else is putting forward lived realities.

I don’t see how.

Using Hanyu Pinyin has no relationship whatsoever with Taiwan’s political situation, if anything it helps it by making the country more international and a better place to do business/attract investment etc. Taiwan needs economical strength and internationalization if the main goals is Independence, not trifling disputes and name-changes.

That’s fine and dandy, but that’s not how it’s perceived by many here, right or wrong. What I’m saying is that I accept the perceptions of local people about their own political realities, that-- especially considering the unique political situation here–those realities are in fact meaningful, that I personally don’t see how any benefits of pinyin over using another similar system would outweigh such concerns in the balance, and that I am inclined to defer to them if local people see them as important.