I use the word “eliminating” because that is precisely what is necessary. This foul, non-intuitive, bastardized disaster of a way to Romanize Chinese; how can we effectively remove it from the Ile Formosa? Is it possible? Could it ever happen?
Regardless of what you think of Ma Ying Jou, I think he did the world (and i do say the world because Taipei is supposed to be international city) a great service by expelling Giles from Taipei (well at least from Taipei City’s MRT system, its road signs, and quite a few of its buses)
I understand the DPP accused Ma of wanting to be closer to China because he wished to adopt the Pinyin system they use. This is quite possibly one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. At the very least, you would think the President of Taiwan would learn to speak English properly before he decided that bastardized Wade-Giles was the most effective Romanization system for Taiwan to use.
I am learning Chinese now, but it will be quite some time before my knowledge of Chinese characters is sufficient to read more than a little. And what about foreign businesspeople and tourists who come to Taiwan? Chances are that many of them won’t know any Chinese at all. So of course, they are going to be reading the Romanized version. And when it says “Taichung” “Kaohsiung” and whatever other bastardized Wade-Giles spelling, they will inevitably mispronounce the word and become confused when a Chinese person looks at them with a puzzled expression.
So with the DPP’s insistence on the virtues of Giles, what it will it take for all of Taiwan to adopt Hanyu Pinyin? China coming in and taking over?