Return of Pinyin Wars


#162

True, should read as 'used for foreigners, in ’


#163

Is it worth it to wait until those bigger issues are dealt with before settling on a romanization? It could be a long wait.


#164

Here’s an idea: require each municipality to pick exactly one romanization system. No need for it to be the same everywhere. It just has to be the same for a particular place name. This way we make the political statement a local one, and any party that has a decent regional following can have its way to some extent.

Let every individual romanize his name as he sees fit, within reason. Or just take an English name. That will probably work better.


#165

Language is organic, and exists outside of an individual user. It either works in the community of language-users, or doesn’t.

Language will never be formatted, formalised, or controlled by a single dictator, or an elite group, including a government-endorsed one.

A language, and representations of that language can never be bound.

Languages evolve according to the people and their choices, like a river that flows, and evolves in its course.

Language, like history, weaves, and winds.

Jilong is not Keelung.

Jeelong could make sense, even Gee! Long!

But Keelung doesn’t cut it; nor does Key Lung.


#166

Make it Key Largo, and the tourist trade might pick up.


#167

If only locals will use a text, why not stick to Zhuyin, since they’ve known it since elementary school? But being written in Chinese doesn’t mean a text is only for locals.

In mainland museums you sometimes see HP in the Chinese text to show how an obscure character is pronounced. It’s beneficial for anyone reading the Chinese text, local or not.

Think of it as everyone using Windows, as much as we hate it, instead of Linux.

I like your analogy, except that I completely disagree with it. HP and TP are more like Windows 7 and Windows 8, if you know what I mean. Or Windows International and Windows Taiwan, if you can imagine such a thing.


#168

People in Taiwan don’t really care about HYP. 99% of people don’t care about politics, only a few people in the article above. Taiwanese often no little about the outside world and don’t understand that hyp has become the standard and why it’s useful to have a standard Romanization system.

To your point about there being no reason for Taiwanese to study it, you are just flat out wrong. Loads and loads of people in the business community understand it and use it , because they are visiting China a lot. It takes no time to study.

You seem completely oblivious that hyp is the standard in the UN and for Chinese learning globally. This isn’t 1995 anymore, we live in an increasingly sinicized world and loads of people know Pinyin but can’t really read Chinese. And loads of these people complain

Taiwan needs to use one system. Ideally they will use HYP as that is the global standard. It’s not a political issue, it has nothing to do with Taiwan’s political situation. It doesn’t change anything. It’s not political


#169

The thing is that Taiwan does not need one system. It needs a system TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE WORLD. It is like those forums done all in Taiwanese: very few outside of that hall can understand it. They can react angrily, say that the world does not care about them. How can you listen to someone you do not understand? Bad enough is that the context -historical, geo political, internal politics, etc- is so complex. It is hard to understand already, you need to explain it clearly. Why not do it in a language outsiders can understand? You can say it is a Taiwanese issue -even if truthfully it affects at leats the whole region and Taiwan needs the world support. You can dream of being so important everyone learns Taiwanese -but that is not even happening with Mandarin, it is not widespread lingua franca. I love Taiwanese people and language. But not even a forum done in Mandarin Chinese can be widespread. If you do choose a limited form of communication, then, do not complain that the world does not listen. They cannot listen to words they do not understand.

Same here with the hanyu pinyin. You use the means available and widespread to make people use the metro -spend money- , go to tourist places- and spend money- find their way and book hotels -and spend more money! Tourists spending money is beneficial. Tourists coming is beneficial. If you want to close yourself to the world, which is the end of choosing a form of communication that is highly limited, then do not complain when you find that little box you locked yourself up confining and makes you lose money.

This is my daily life. My work entails fighting people who have this mentality but our product is supposed to be geared towards foreigners out there, in the world beyond our shores. If Taiwan wants respect, it needs to respect its interlocutor and speak clearly. Communicate.


#170

This is such a good point and was the comparison I was making with Hong Kong. So many of these attempts of internationalization like the IoT Hub or the English website you mentioned are doomed to fail because its always designed from the perspective of an older Taiwanese persons view of foreigners or the outside world.


#171

If you are interested in tourism marketing, really worth reading on everything they do in HK. For a place with nearly no attractions, they really know how to sell themselves and keep repeat visitors, even things like getting business travelers to extend their trip by one day.


#172

The system to communicate with the world is called English.


#173

[quote=“OrangeOrganics, post:168, topic:87309, full:true”]
To your point about there being no reason for Taiwanese to study it, you are just flat out wrong. Loads and loads of people in the business community understand it and use it , because they are visiting China a lot. It takes no time to study.[/quote]

I didn’t say that; you’re putting words in my mouth. I merely said that people won’t learn a phonetic system because they might one day be stuck on a computer without zhuyin or other similar minor hypothetical situations.

If it takes no time to study, then an alternate system with only a few different letters surely takes no time to study for someone already familiar with one system (not to mention probably totally familiar with the Roman alphabet.)

You seem completely oblivious that hyp is the standard in the UN and for Chinese learning globally. This isn’t 1995 anymore, we live in an increasingly sinicized world and loads of people know Pinyin but can’t really read Chinese.

I’m not oblivious to that at all. Not sure why you’re saying I am.

And loads of these people complain

I am saying that complaints are overblown and desires of a country to use a particular system for their own language carry weight.

Taiwan needs to use one system. Ideally they will use HYP as that is the global standard. It’s not a political issue, it has nothing to do with Taiwan’s political situation. It doesn’t change anything. It’s not political

It is as can clearly be seen by the political wrangling over it. I think we’re rehashing, so unless something new comes up I’ll leave it there.


#174

That might change with the likely rise of China and the possible self-destruction of the US… :wink:


#175

These arent minor hypothetical situations. A reported million Taiwanese live in China and now that young people are going there in droves to work for innovative Chinese companies rather than Taiwanese manufacturers its an issue that is even more prescient. Loads of startups and businesses are going to China for investment as well. Major Asian conferences are now commonly in Shanghai, Chengdu. Thats the state of play in 2017. Taiwanese are going to China all the time and most are going to have to learn Pinyin for convenience. In fact a large chunk of business people know how to use it.

Moreover, Taiwan is trying to position itself as a Greater China business hub for R&D and tech companies. Pretty hard to do if you wont follow the most minor of international conventions.

The point is that it takes a native mandarin speaker 30 minutes to learn Pinyin, not a language learner. Nobody is going to learn an alternate system as it has no value and the native population dont even use it.

It would be like universities in New Zealand not accepting IELTS or TOEFL, instead requiring students to sit a domestic English exam. They are free to do that, its just a major annoyance and seems counter-intuitive and provincial


#176

Still, there are many linguistic constraints to Chinese becoming lingua franca… not to mention economic/sociopolitical, etc. Lingua franca shift ain’t happening in our lifetime, if ever to wards Chinese. It is not a given. There are studies about that.

Think about French, still widely used in the international scientific community to exchange information, despite the prevalence of English. English is riding more a means of exchjange from the British Empire, and the spread of entertainment -movies/tv and now Internet. I’ll give it another 100 years, maybe less. And many things can happen in China in that span. Even after the US implodes in a civil war, English will keep on being the lingua franca.


#177

These arent minor hypothetical situations. A reported million Taiwanese live in China and now that young people are going there in droves to work for innovative Chinese companies rather than Taiwanese manufacturers its an issue that is even more prescient. Loads of startups and businesses are going to China for investment as well. Major Asian conferences are now commonly in Shanghai, Chengdu. Thats the state of play in 2017. Taiwanese are going to China all the time and most are going to have to learn Pinyin for convenience. In fact a large chunk of business people know how to use it.

Those aren’t; you’re right about that. However you’ve changed the subject:

This is what you said, and what I responded to; not anything about business people needing it for example.


#178

It wasn’t meant seriously, but it is not entirely impossible that the importance of Chinese will increase to a point that more people are able to use it than English. There are already like 1 billion people able to use Chinese, right?


#179

…and like 3 billion using English. One billion Spanish too. The problem with Chinese is it is just too complicated to write. Many people may speak it, but the linguistic constraint to make the jump into written makes it unpractical. True, English with its crazy spelling is also unpractical, but in level of difficulty it is between mastering a stick shift versus assembling a particle accelerator. Or at least, it feels that way sometimes.


#180

Sure, from a foreigner’s perspective. The Chinese are able to use it, though, without finding it unpractical. I think Hanyu Pinyin serves as a usable bridge that makes the language less unpractical.

Surely there will be new solutions in the field of technology that possibly will solve the problems different languages still pose today. A few decades from now, there will probably be just one world language that is used and understood by most people and that could possible be a mix of English, Chinese, Spanish, etc. with a heavy dose of new terminology we can’t even imagine right now.


#181

That was the my original point if you look above. Taiwanese often have to end up using Pinyin if they are doing business in China or going there regularly for business trips.