Hanyu Pinyin Battle Lost?


#81

[quote=“Wazai”][quote]Under the policy, the city may see some long names for places such as the “Xiahaichenghuangmiaoqian Plaza.”
[/quote]
What an awful mess of a name. Why are words run together like this? Nobody can read that.[/quote]

Darn it, I am still just going to read the Chinese characters. It is easier. Sad, isn’t it?


#82

[quote][quote]Under the policy, the city may see some long names for places such as the “Xiahaichenghuangmiaoqian Plaza.”
[/quote]
What an awful mess of a name. Why are words run together like this? Nobody can read that.[/quote]
A couple of days ago someone at Taipei City Government confirmed for me the runittogether policy. I’m going to Taipei City Hall later this afternoon and will see if I can do anything to get them to reverse this.

But at least there does seem to be recognition that InTerCaPiTaLiZaTion was a mistake. From what I hear, although they’re not going to fix the street signs, subsequent material is to be written normally: Zhongxiao, not ZhongXiao.


#83

This letter, in support of Hanyu Pinyin, appeared in the Taipei Times last week.


#84

[quote]Even though foreigners have consistently demanded Hanyu Pinyin, “experts” falsely claim that foreigners prefer Tongyong.[/quote]Maybe Cranky can write to the TT about these “experts” and how they came the that conclusion ?


#85

The author, Allen Yu, is Operations Director of DHL Taiwan, and a past participant in a Hanyu Pinyin seminar that I ran for DHL earlier this year. Good to know that there are locals out there who have taken up the cause…


#86

Well, it’s not suprising that he finds the government’s romanization policy annoying, given the business that he’s in.

What amazes me is that Taiwan wants to attract foreign tourists but what are the odds of them knowing anything about Tongyong Pinyin? A million to one? If they’ve looked through phrase books or travel guides, they’re going to be far more familiar with Hanyu Pinyin.


#87

Did they really fix all the road signs in Taipei?


#88

I think the experts are right. I for one prefer Tongyong over Commie pinyin. My newbie friends that have never studied HanYu pinyin before also prefer anything over Zhongxiao. They don’t know how to pronounce the “Zh” or the “X” sound.

I still think they need to develop a new one that is one step better than Hanyu pinyin and uses English pronounciation for the Chinese sounds, so for example Zhongxiao would become jiongshiao or joongshao or jongshao or something like this.


#89

How do you know if they’re right if you haven’t seen what they say? But I can see how “newbies” could prefer Tongyong. Unfortunately, tourists and businesspeople are way more likely to be familiar with Hanyu Pinyin (trips to China, Hong Kong, etc.). Plus, you won’t get far using Tongyong for internet searches.


#90

So newbies prefer Tongyong and experts prefer Hanyu ? Which one should you listen to ? :wink: If I was to make a romanization systen, I wouldn’t come up with Hanyu Pinyin, I’m sure could come up with something more natural, maybe something like Tongyong. But the problem is there is already a standard that is universally accepted. Virtually everyone here uses pinyin where it matters. Tongyong can’t hope to compete. Having 2 systems as the same time is not an option as we seen from the situation here, and noone is going to give up Hanyu in favour of Tongyong.


#91

Hanyu would be used for scholarship in schools, but for the street signs for the tourists and businessmen, it would be Tongyong. One for the laymen one for the scholars. One in China one in Taiwan. I know that the UN says it is standard, but until they let Taiwan join the UN, I would say they should boycott Commie pinyin.


#92

Hobart, you’re full of shit.

Tongyong easier than Hanyu? Bullocks. How do you pronounce the ‘c’ in Tongyong, I ask you? Don’t look it up, just guess.

Use the system that most people understand. It’s as simple as that. I’d guess that’s there’s probably a couple of dozen people in the world that know Tongyong properly, and anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions who know Hanyu pinyin well (do Chinese students all learnit in the mainland?). It’s that simple.

I have yet to hear one single reason why Tongyong would be better than pinyin for Taiwan. Just give me one reason.

Brian


#93

Hanyu would be used for scholarship in schools, but for the street signs for the tourists and businessmen, it would be Tongyong. One for the laymen one for the scholars. One in China one in Taiwan. I know that the UN says it is standard, but until they let Taiwan join the UN, I would say they should boycott Commie pinyin.[/quote]

Hobart, Taiwan is only shooting itself in the foot. Using a system that no one else does will isolate Taiwan more, not less.


#94

But Hobart’s posts on this subject do serve to illustrate precisely why the situation is so fucked up. Like so many (ALL?) of the Tongyong proponents, his arguments have absolutely nothing to do with convenience, standards or logic and everything to do with politics. Perhaps that dirty commie mandarin should be banned in Taiwan altogether and only Taiwanese spoken, eh Hobart?


#95

[quote=“Hobart”]I think the experts are right. I for one prefer Tongyong over Commie pinyin. My newbie friends that have never studied HanYu pinyin before also prefer anything over Zhongxiao. They don’t know how to pronounce the “Zh” or the “X” sound.
I still think they need to develop a new one that is one step better than Hanyu pinyin and uses English pronounciation for the Chinese sounds, so for example Zhongxiao would become jiongshiao or joongshao or jongshao or something like this.[/quote]
The system that would suit you is Yale. I suppose there is a valid argument that a good system is one that attemps to describe Mandarin sounds with English phonics. Yet one of the reasons that some learners of Mandarin as a foreign/second language like the Zhuyinfuhao (bopomofo) system is that it is impossible to confuse its sounds with English ones, thus rendering it, in their opinion, more precise. From this point of view, the zh and j, sh and x, ch and q are fine because they emphasize the distinction between the dark and light sounds.

Yet, as others have pointed out, the time for choosing romanization systems, if one wants to facilitate international co-operation, communication and standardisation, has passed. I fear that your two systems idea would turn this into an island of Babel.


#96

[quote=“Sir Donald Bradman”]
Use the system that most people understand. It’s as simple as that. I’d guess that’s there’s probably a couple of dozen people in the world that know Tongyong properly, and anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions who know Hanyu pinyin well (do Chinese students all learnit in the mainland?). It’s that simple.

I have yet to hear one single reason why Tongyong would be better than pinyin for Taiwan. Just give me one reason.

Brian[/quote]

Political purposes is one vital reason why it is better. China would latch on to the fact that Taiwan uses their very same Hanyu pinyin like they complain when they use a difference one. I would cringe if my wife had to start romanizing her name just like Mainland China does. I loathe that day if it ever comes. I think the differences in romanization are charming. I like to be able to know from their romanized Chinese name what Asian country the Chinese are from.

The convienience you speak of is yours and mine. You and I know and love Hanyu pinyin. However, there are others like your parents and mine that might visit Taiwan and they do not know how to pronounce Hanyu pinyin. You took the time to learn Hanyu pinyin, you can take the time to learn Tongyong or some other one that is so intuitive you don’t have to learn it. Don’t be so lazy. Maybe Tongyong is easier than Hanyu pinyin. I don’t think that Tongyong is perfect, I still think Taiwan needs one that approximates English pronouciation so that newbies can at least take a stab at it, fresh off the plane. About how to pronouce the C in Tongyong, I didn’t look it up, but I would guess it would be like the C in Hanyu “ts”? If so, I don’t support that, I think it should be something more like “ts” so that some newbie could pronouce it.

By the way they already have two systems in place. You learn bopomofo or Hanyu pinyin in Taiwanese Chinese programs (scholars) yet they use another system on the street signs and place names and peoples romanized names (laymen). You get by just fine. Now they just need to decide on one for the street signs, not two or three of them. By the way, Stop bickering on the spelling, we should feel lucky they even have romanized street signs and not just Chinese characters. If they want to be different than China, let them be. Why should Taiwan cooperate with a UN standard if the UN doesn’t cooperate with Taiwan?

Again I still feel like you just want what is convienient for you.

Should we standardize Chinese characters next to make it easier for you guys? Two character systems coexhist now, why not two romanizations? If Taiwan wants to be different let it be. I can fully understand why they don’t want to be like China, but we know why KMT Mayor Ma, and and KMT Chairman Lien Chan are supporters of Hanyu.

About further alienizing Taiwan, I don’t buy that. Foreigners have been getting along well in Hong Kong for years and they don’t use Hanyu pinyin. How much further alienized can Taiwan get? If they change it to Hanyu pinyin standardization I think Taiwan would lose some of its charm.

I have never gotten lost because of the funky romanization here, have you? If Taiwan wants to be different than China, let it be. We will survive.

Finally, if I never reply to all of your messages it is because I think I am the only one in Taiwan that doesn’t really care which romanization system Taiwan uses as long as it isn’t Hanyu pinyin and I don’t have the time or energy to argue with you all. Luckily the current government is doing a good job of ignoring you at least until one day if the Pro-China KMT get into office again then you can finally have your islandwide use of Hanyu pinyin with a side order of corruption and Commie butt lickin’! :stuck_out_tongue:


#97

Just like the way they latch on to the fact that people in Taiwan celebrate Chinese New Year, eat rice, drive on the right hand side of the road, etc. just like the Chinese people across the Strait.

Half right. How can you support a system if you don’t even know how to pronounce it?


#98

:unamused: :unamused: :unamused:

'Nuff said.


#99

[quote]Political purposes is one vital reason why it is better.

China would latch on to the fact that Taiwan uses their very same Hanyu pinyin like they complain when they use a difference one. [/quote]

So what’s the problem here? There is no problem. You seem to be saying, we shouldn’t use Hanyu Pinyin because of China’s reaction. I say we should be unafraid of China’s reaction. It is a ridiculous and dangerous precedent to make decisions based on doing the opposite of whatever China does.

Political purposes is yet another reason why Taiwan SHOULD choose Hanyu Pinyin.

And they sure as hell don’t know how to pronounce Tongyong. What’s more, their Lonely Planet guide, phrasebook, or anybody they ask isn’t going to be of any help either.

It’s not just about convenience, it’s about necessity. It’s about people being able to communicate, find destinations, receive mail and find information on the Internet.

Even if it was just about convenience - we shouldn’t choose the most convenient system because … ???

Whilst it may be possible to make a system that is a little more intuitive than hanyu pinyin, a system that any English speaker could pronounce without much problem, without any training, is simply impossible. English and Chinese sounds are too different and the letters in the alphabet are too few.

I could quite easily make the effort to learn Tongyong, but it would be of next to no use. I still wouldn’t know which system a street sign, magazine article or Internet reference was trying to use and so wouldn’t be able to pronounce the name I was reading. I’d still have to make at least two searches on the Internet every time I wanted to look something up. Students of Mandarin in Taiwan would still have to learn at least two systems, buy more dictionaries and tryand get textbooks and teachers that used two (or three) systems.

The Tongyong ‘c’ is sometimes pronounced liek a HP ‘q’, sometimes not. Tongyong is probably even less ‘intuitive’ than HP. But the point is the most intuitive system is not the best.

Imagine if in the future the level of English in Taiwan got so good that it made perfect sense to make English an official language. I can just imagine the clowns who invented Tognyong and are trying to foist it on us, looking at English spelling and figuring that it wasn’t intuitive enough. It would be quite simple to invent a phonetically consistent way of writing English. With this in mind, and the fact that China was using standard spelling, they’d probably invent a new Taiwan English spelling system that better satisifed the needs of Taiwanese.

No, there’s more than two systems in place and it’s a bloody mess. That’s the problem. We get by, but not nearly as well as we could with one worldwide standard system.

It’s not just a UN standard. It’s what eveyone outside of Taiwan uses. Taiwan cooperates with a lot of UN things and other international standards because it makes things run a lot more smoothly and makes us not look like idiots for trying to do everything differently form everybody else just because China does it trhat way.

I want what’s convenient for everyone, best for Taiwan, and just not plain stupid (as choosing any system but HP would be).

That’s because HP is for Mandarin not Cantonese. I assume they have a standard system of romanising Cantonese words too. You don’t see ‘kowloon’ in a newspaper, ‘kaolune’ on a street sign, ‘cowloone’ in a textbook, and ‘caolun’ for the official mail system do you? If it was like Taiwan you would.

A lot.

I’ve often thought that having people’s names and place names spelt half a dozen different ways can be amusing, but hardly charming. You may as well say that if they started educating people to drive safely and not pollute the environment Taiwan would loose some of it’s charm. Something that is unique (because it’s uniquely stupid) is not necessarily charming.

I don’t think I have, but I have been unable to figure out where places are becuase I’ve got the names of other foreigners and they don’t know how to pronounce them and are unable to write them in a way that means I’d know where it was. I’ve been unable to tell foreigners how to get to some place, because I can’t tell them what the street signs are going to say. More seriously I’ve not receivedmail because the pinyin I wrote was different from the official post pinyin (MPS2 or soemthign I think) and different again form the street signs (on one side of the street at least).

And if Taiwan wants to do something the same as China we shouldn’t be fraid to do that either. We will survive China somehow trying to claim that adopting Hanyu Pinyin is an admission that Taiwan is a part of China after all.

So I’m yet to hear even one good reason why Taiwan should not adopt Hanyu Pinyin.

What makes me feel so strongly about this issue is not so much it’s impotance (there’s more improtant issues facing Taiwan) as the plain obviousness of what the solution must be and the ease with which the problem could be fixed. The fact that despite all the overwhelming reasons against it, they (those idiots who don’t even seem to understand the issue) are going to come up with a ‘solution’ that just makes things worse is just ridiculous beyond words.

Brian
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#100

Hobart, the government adopting Hanyu Pinyin or Tongyong Pinyin does not mean every person has to spell their name according to the system. Does Chen Shui-bian spell his name according to Tongyong Pinyin?