"Correct" pronunciation of my street name?

First of all, this isn’t a big concern; I’m just curious. What is the correct (standard?) way to pronounce the name of my street, 朝陽街? And yes, I’ve done my research.

When I moved to this apartment three years ago, I looked in a few dictionaries and found that the first character 朝 can be pronounced zhāo ㄓㄠ or cháo ㄔㄠˊ. Looking at the pinyin on the street signs didn’t help me at all…



So I thought, perhaps I need to go by the meaning to determine the correct pronunciation…


Hmm, both words have similar pleasant/auspicious meanings. No help there.

When I’ve asked various Taiwanese friends and students about this, even they are unsure and a friendly argument usually ensues between them.

This normally causes nothing negative in my life. However, it is a bit troublesome when giving my address to taxi drivers. My experience has been this: When I initially pronounce my street as zhāo yáng, about half of the time the taxi driver doesn’t understand until I change it to cháo yáng. And, you guessed it, when I start with cháo yáng, I need to change it to zhāo yáng about 50% of the time before they can plug it into their GPS.

So, is this really a case of “pronunciation is in the eye of the beholder”? Or, does anyone know if there exists a resource that definitively indicates the pronunciation of my street?


I presume it derives from the name of the Chinese city, which is Cháoyáng

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Wait, maybe I’m wrong.

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Maybe your lizhang would know

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I’ve heard both. I don’t think there’s a consensus.


I was thinking of another street in Taipei where that naming convention is prevalent, but no

The one in Sanchong has Guangyang, Sanyang, and Chongyang streets close by. In those names the first characters are not verbs, so I would opt for Zhao in this case.

The students of the tech university in Taichung seem to prefer Chao, because it better fits the image of students looking into a bright future.

There’s a trail on Yilan’s Nan’ao coast. I think we used Zhaoyang for that one in articles before, in line with Green Island’s Zhaori Hot Springs. l think in these names the idea is just ‘morning sun’, not ‘looking at the sun’.


Multinaming is part of the fun :slight_smile: ask an old school teacher, an old school farmer, and young student and get 3 names as well.




This reminds me of Xiangyang Rd. in Taipei. There are two: 向陽路 and 襄陽路, two different names in Chinese (with different tones) but same spelling in English. You’d better have very accurate pronunciation when you tell a taxi driver as one is in Nangang and the other is near Taipei main station.

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Well, if you don’t speak Chinese well, better have a name card or have someone write the character for you before taking a cab, or take an Uber.

I think they should actually translate the names.

Also reminds me of Houtong/Houdong Railway Station.


I think it should be “dong”, because it refers to a tunnel, but most people seem to prefer the “tong” spelling.

Is that more of a Wade-Giles holdover? The presence of a train station (with associated announcements) make that correct pronunciation pretty clear.

They can go with “Sun-facing Rd.” for 向陽, but 襄陽 is the name of a city in China.

I meant to say pronunciation, not spelling. Locals prefer ㄊㄨㄥˊ over ㄉㄨㄥˋ

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Do they? I stand corrected then!

But the trains say it as dong4, right?

I was under that impression. Have not been to the cat village for a while, though.

I’ve only ever heard the latter pronunciation. :thinking:

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猴硐 is a phonetic transliteration of the Luilang (the languages of Luili, Siulang, Bulisiat, and Liao’a villages, often referred to as Ketagelan by Mandarin speakers) word ‘hoton’ which means monkey.

The word hoton can trace its etymology back to Proto-Austronesian word for Formosan rock macaques *luCuŋ, which is the only other primate on the Austronesian homeland. In the Bunun language, the word for macaques is also hutung, although it can also be utung. It is also a cognate for the Malay word for long tailed monkeys lotong.

So, the correct way to pronounce it in Mandarin would be houdong, as t in IPA corresponds better with d in pinyin.

By the way, 猴硐 shares an etymology with Loudong (羅東) of Yilan county, which used to be called 老董, and is a transliteration of the Kabalan word for monkey, Rutuŋ.