Hanyu Pinyin Battle Lost?


#101

[quote=“HakkaSonic”]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?[/quote]Does Ma Ying-Jiouew spell his name with Hanyu pinyin ?


#102

Others have already countered most everything quite nicely, so I’ll content myself with just one small note:

Many names are already romanized the same in China and Taiwan. Should people use tongyong more, this will increase. My guess is that at least one-third of personal names would be the same in tongyong and hanyu. Clearly those Taiwanese would have to change their names lest they appear as Commie butt lickers. :unamused:

BTW, Hobart, what’s with the “Mainland China” and your worry about what China might say? You’re starting to sound like a member of the New Party. :laughing:


#103

Amazingly, most of them have indeed been changed to hanyu pinyin – though an orthographically incorrect form, e.g. ZhongXiao instead of the correct Zhongxiao. This was a big mistake. One of the many problems with this is that all of the apostrophes have been dropped, so a number of road names are misspelled (e.g. Ren’ai, to give the correct form), including all those with a final “an” (e.g. Chang’an, Xi’an, Da’an).

“Keelung” Road has been retained :imp:. And we still have Civic/Civil/whatever-the-hell-it-is Boulevard.

There are a few signs in the main part of town that have yet to be changed. But I’d guess that at least 95 percent of the work has been completed.


#104

I think the experts are right. [/quote]
Note how Hobart dropped the well-deserved dismissive quotes around “experts.”

If the Taipei Times would give me enough space, I might respond.


#105

Would anyone happen to know what happened to Mandarin Phonetic Symbols-2 (


#106

One of the many absurd claims of the tongyong boosters is that tongyong is needed because Taiwan should have a made-in-Taiwan system. That, however, is what Taiwan already had in MPS2.

It was invented right here back in the 1980s, when hanyu pinyin was becoming more and more popular.

Taiwan’s adoption of MPS2 was an implicit acknowledgment that hanyu pinyin is superior to Wade-Giles and that no one was ever going to use Gwoyeu Romatzyh (the ROC’s official romanization system c. 1936-86). Although it is said to be a modified GR, it’s really more like a modified Yale system.

But no one really gave a damn about the system, not even most of its inventors. Some highway signs were changed over (as is being done more thoroughly now with tongyong), but that’s about it.

I think what you mean is that it is more intuitive. Hanyu pinyin does not approximate the sounds of Mandarin, it represents them – no less well than any other romanization system. Intuitiveness, however, only goes so far, and it too often ends up an excuse for a sloppy chabuduo approach. No system is ever going to be fully intuitive to those who aren’t native speakers of Mandarin.


#107

I think what you mean is that it is more intuitive.[/quote]
More intuitive for English speakers. MPS2 might be preferable to Hanyu pinyin, from an anglocentric point of view. Hanyu pinyin, on the other hand, clearly referred to several European languages, including English, in its use of Roman letters to represent the Chinese language.

e.g.

E: Like the French E or E acute, depending on the preceding consonant.
C, Z, U and U umlaut: Pronounced moreorless as they are in German.
SH, CH, R: Pronounced moreorless as they are in English.
ZH: Follows the logic of SH and CH - pronounced like ZH in romanised Russian.
X: Pronounced similarly to X in Portuguese and to the letter chi (which looks like an X) in modern Greek.
Q: As in Albanian, if I remember rightly.


#108

At the moment, I don’t have time to respond to all of the posts directed at my previous posts in this thread, but I will copy the following post from another thread that I just posted as I feel some things need to be cleared up.

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]Hobart, if spelling things correctly in the only standard romanization system offends you. I suggest you go to itaiwan.org. I think their illogical hate of everything Chinese will appeal to you, well… hate of everything really.
Communist leaders = evil, therefore Hanyu pinyin = evil ? Support of pinyin = support of communism ? I must be missing something…

K
aohsiung is more well known than Gaoxiong. The signs say
K
uting even if there’s no way to know how it’s pronouced. It would help if people could use pinyin by themselves, but some people do awful romanization - “Goo Teen” ?
Maybe we can let the mods fix it, or just let people look silly calling refering to
C
hunghsiao ?[/quote]

I don’t hate everything Chinese?! I am actually quite enamored with everything Chinese. I even consider myself a Sinophile. I also love traveling to China and I like the people in China. I just don’t like the government there threatening my Taiwanese family, way of life and home here in Taiwan. I never said that supporting Hanyu pinyin means supporting Communism. If that were the case, I would be a supporter of Chinese communism as well.

Didn’t you realize I myself love to use Hanyu pinyin?! I studied Hanyu pinyin in University back home when I learned Mandarin and again when I was in part time study of Mandarin in Taiwan I sought out Chinese classes that used Hanyu pinyin based texts. However, in Taiwan for place names, street names and people’s names, I prefer anything except Hanyu pinyin.

While the use of Hanyu pinyin is not politicized by Taiwan’s foreign residents, it is by the PRC’s and Taiwan’s governments and it is by me.

Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China. I don’t want to see the place names, street signs and people’s names in Taiwan romanized to like China.

From my many travels to China and my University Chinese history classes among other Chinese studies classes I took I am very familiar with Hanyu pinyin. If Hanyu pinyin was used for the romanization of all place names, street signs and peoples names in Taiwan it would look to me as if the Communist PRC took over the place.

If you are confused by the strange romanization in Taiwan, ask a local how to read the Chinese characters and the even that strange romanization that Taiwan chooses to use will still help you to remember what the characters are. I have never had a problem and I know how to say Kuting.


#109

[quote]If Hanyu pinyin was used for the romanization of all place names, street signs and peoples names in Taiwan it would look to me as if the Communist PRC took over the place. [/quote]Looks to like like you equate Hanyu pinyin with communism/PRC which is sad… Only you, and politicians trying to whip up anti-chinese feelings for a few votes will see it that way. I suggest you don’t listen to them, no-one else here does.
Should we ban red because that is very closely associated with communism ?
No one is asking for here to be like the PRC, I don’t think even the KMT is keen on the communists. Just want a sensible system, even if it was invented by the PRC, that doesn’t automatically make it bad.
Or maybe everyone else is wrong is wanting the best system for Taiwan without subscribing to petty politics ?
So you love Hanyu Pinyin ? do you accept that is the best system ? If so, why not use it ? If you don’t think it’s the best system, why don’t you search out schools that use Tongyong ? You sound a little confused.


#110

But it shouldn’t be. It’s as silly as those myths about the PRC in the cultural revolution changing traffic lights so red meant go, and driving on the ‘left’ side of the road.

I don’t think you understand the problem at all. Re-read my last post to see why inconsistent romanisation causes problems. It’s not to do with me not being able to pronounce the words.

Brian


#111

Matthew, I think you misunderstand me. I am not equating advocates of Hanyu pinyin with advocates of unification with Communist China. I know many or most of the foreign community here that supports Hanyu pinyin do not want to see Taiwan become a province of Communist China.

You are right however, that I have some sort of phobia about seeing all of Taiwan’s street signs look just like China’s.

Taiwan’s sovereignty is not petty politics. Maybe I am a little extreme in thinking the PRC and the Pro-unificationists would use this as one more piece of evidence that Taiwan and China are the same country. However, it is not worth the risk to find out.

Furthermore, I think that when foreign business men and visiting tourists see the same romanization in China and Taiwan it might help to reinforce their belief in China’s lie that Taiwan is a part of China. (Ask the average person back home if Taiwan is part of China, and they often say “Yes, I think I read that somewhere”, etc.)

I agree that Taiwan has a problem now with the romanization of street signs and place names. Some of the romanizations are awful and not even consistent. I agree there has to be a change at least to a uniform system.

Do I think Hanyu is the best romanization? Yes, but it is not the best for Taiwan to plaster it all over the country’s street signs now due to the Cold War between Taiwan and China. If China becomes a democracy or Taiwan gets a seat in the UN, then it will be a different situation. Right now, Tongyong or anything else besides Hanyu is best.

Finally I think the time is overdue for academics in Taiwan to develop another new system as what little I know about Tongyong it has its problems. I suggest something extremely intuitive based on English phonetics and if possible much better than Hanyu pinyin.


#112

No it’s not a good time to develop a new system. That’s as silly as one small country developing a new system for spellign English.

Street signs will not look the same as those in China. They’ll still have traditional chracters and hell, they might even be a different colour. That’s like a Canadian saying “I don’t want our street signs to look the same as the Yankees’. Let’s change ‘Park Road’ and spell it ‘Parke Roade’ so it doesn’t look like any ‘Park Road’ in America (ay)”

And yet again, it’s not just street signs. There’s the Internet, the post, newspapers, magazines, books, textbooks, dictionaries etc etc

Brian


#113

English is a language, where as Hanyu pinyin is not a language, it is a zhuyin system used to teach little PRC kids how to read Chinese characters.

This is totally different. The USA is not pointing missles or threatening to invade Canada and force communism upon their nation. Also, I am suggesting a new system for the street signs so that it is an improvement over Hanyu pinyin and more intuitive for tourists and visiting businessmen.

When was the last time you read a hanyu pinyin newspaper, magazine or book? Dictionaries can still use Hanyu pinyin or bopomofo or whatever and yes this should be about street signs and place names only. Are they going to stop using bopomofo to teach youngsters in Taiwan how to read Chinese? Are they going to force you at gun point to learn to read your Chinese characters with Tongyong instead of Hanyu pinyin?


#114

Hobart, can you please write to Chen Shui-bian and tell him his name is in Hanyu pinyin? He needs another “e” if he wants to be more Tongyongy.


#115

Hey HakkaSonic,
That’s funny. Maybe you should also write to Chairmans Soong and Lien Chan to let them know that their names are not romanized in the standard of their beloved homeland.
Hobart


#116

[quote=“Hobart”]Hey HakkaSonic,
That’s funny. Maybe you should also write to Chairmans Soong and Lien Chan to let them know that their names are not romanized in standard of their beloved homeland.
Hobart[/quote]

Why would I? I’m not complaining about anyone’s name being in any particular pinyin system. You are and I’m just trying to help out.


#117

I think I will let him slide. :wink: Actually, I am not really spazzing about it. If that is the way he romanizes his Chinese name, then who am I to say anything.


#118

[quote=“Hobart”]Hey HakkaSonic,
That’s funny. Maybe you should also write to Chairmans Soong and Lien Chan to let them know that their names are not romanized in standard of their beloved homeland.[/quote]

Is there any way common sense and logic can get through this communist-type indoctrination ? Seems Hobart is incapable of seperating Hanyu pinyin from the PRC
:unamused:


#119

[quote]Quote:
Street signs will not look the same as those in China. They’ll still have traditional chracters and hell, they might even be a different colour. That’s like a Canadian saying “I don’t want our street signs to look the same as the Yankees’. Let’s change ‘Park Road’ and spell it ‘Parke Roade’ so it doesn’t look like any ‘Park Road’ in America (ay)”

This is totally different. The USA is not pointing missles or threatening to invade Canada and force communism upon their nation. Also, I am suggesting a new system for the street signs so that it is an improvement over Hanyu pinyin and more intuitive for tourists and visiting businessmen.
[/quote]

Well which is it then? Either the reason you want Pinyin on street signs is :

A) Because you don’t want Taiwanese street signs looking like Chinese ones - something to do with character - you mentioned osmething abotu charm before. In this case it is as silly as Canadians wanting to spell their street signs differntly to look different from Americans.

or

B) Because you think there’s a better system (more intuitive), which of course, of you read my previous posts you’ll know, there isn’t.

[quote]Quote:
And yet again, it’s not just street signs. There’s the Internet, the post, newspapers, magazines, books, textbooks, dictionaries etc etc

When was the last time you read a hanyu pinyin newspaper, magazine or book? Dictionaries can still use Hanyu pinyin or bopomofo or whatever and yes this should be about street signs and place names only. Are they going to stop using bopomofo to teach youngsters in Taiwan how to read Chinese? Are they going to force you at gun point to learn to read your Chinese characters with Tongyong instead of Hanyu pinyin?[/quote]

As I made clear in a previous post, I’m not talking about whole newspapers, magazines or books in Hanyu Pinyin. I’m talking about when you read an English newspaper, magazine or book and they mention a person or place, and you’d like to know who that is. For example the Taipei Times at least (despite using two different romanisations in the same paper) puts the Chinese characters in brackets, but if I read a reference to a name in the China Post, or maybe some magazine about history, or art with a Chinese name in it, I’m not going to knwo who the hell they’re talking about unless I can first figure out which romanisation system they are using, (presuming I’ve already learnt the 4 or 5 main systems in use in Taiwan).

I’m not talking about making kidsin school learn hanyu pinyin instead of zhuyin fuhao. I’m talking about romanisation - ie what system to use when Mandarin is romanised (that is written in latin (English) letters). There has to be only one system, and anything but Hanyu Pinyin would be absolutely stupid.

Still waiting for ONE good reason why not to choose Hanyu pinyin as the standard for romanisation. I’m sorry but "I don’t want Taiwanese street signs to look like Chinese street signs "is not a good reason (you could paint them a different colour) and neither is “Hanyu pinyin is communist” (letters can’t be communist). You haven’t given me another reason.

Brian


#120

Because they don’t want to. Simple enough. Taiwan isn’t China. Yet. If people really like Hanyu Pinyin*, there’s a simple answer. Take the next China Airlines flight to Hong Kong and cross over to the PRC. All their problems will be solved. Anyway, if we want everything to be the same, let’s stop all that silly spelling in English…like labour, colour, centre, tyre…

*Personally I prefer Wade-Giles.

:smiley: