Lately I’ve been wondering about how to help spread Hanyu Pinyin around Taiwan. Even with a blue legislature, the push to standardize Taiwan’s romanizations with Hanyu Pinyin is going to encounter apathy, ambivalence and ignorance. Part of the problem is that people just don’t know how to use romanization systems - of any kind. I saw it a few days ago in a China Post editorial where they were mixing systems within the space of one word, I see it in road signs and place names around Taiwan, and I see it in my buxiban students, who very often don’t know the romanization for their own names.
I’d like to create an online resource for people, foreign or Chinese/Taiwanese, that would help people get instant pinyin for whatever character they input. I’m not quite sure yet how it would work - originally I was thinking along the lines of a wiki, but Taffy thinks that a simpler framework would be a more elegant solution. I’d like to tap a few Forumosan brains for ideas here. Hosting the site wouldn’t be a problem - I’m concerned more about setting it up and having a group of people to help maintain it. We’d also need a fairly intuitive name for the domain - something that a Taiwanese person with limited English would “get”.
I’ve already spoken to Taffy and Cranky Laowai. Dragonbones? Ironlady? Juba? Are there other pinyin enthusiasts out there who would like to get involved? If you have any ideas please post them here. Once I’ve heard from you here, I’ll try to organize a sit-down meeting over coffee where we can discuss how to go about implementing our ideas.