Hanyu/tongyong comparison chart


#1

Bu Lai En wrote in a different thread:

Hey Cranky,

I was just looking at your site again. It’s really good stuff. What I think would be really useful would be simpler comparison charts. The syllabic comparisons are great of course, but how about charts that compare just the initials and finals (and notes for exceptions or explanation), like (pinyin to tongyong) b=b, p=p … q=c, x=s etc. Taht way it would be easier to tell at a glance what the key differences are.

Bri


#2

I’ve never found that sort of comparison particularly useful, but if others do then I’ll try to get one up soon.
The GIO has one up on its site:
www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/5-gp/yearbook/appendix8.htm

Now that I look at it, though, I see that the GIO is using an old version of tongyong. I’ll get them to fix it.


#3

Thanks for the link. It’s useful. (they lie though).

Bri


#4

a poster says he will remind a government site that they aren’t using a current version of Tongyong Pinyin. Note that you will probably end up doing this more than once, as the Tongyong fellow has a nasty habit of changing his system even after his signs get put up. The whole sorry story is on my website.


#5

Yes, Dan’s quite right. When I went to talk with the GIO’s yearbook staff yesterday about the problem, I had to say of lot of things like, “Well, I’m not sure if that version is still correct, but that version is definitely wrong.”
What a confused mess tongyong is.

Dan’s page on this is at
www.geocities.com/jidanni/romanization.htm


#6

This isn’t what Bu Lai En requested, but it’s along similar lines. I’ve just added charts comparing zhuyin, Wade-Giles, MPS-2, hanyu pinyin, Yale, and [what seems to be the latest version of] tongyong pinyin.

www.romanization.com/tongyong/crosschart/hanyu.html

I decided gwoyeu romatzyh would be too much mafan for me, so didn’t include it.


#7

Gwoyeu romatzyh was indeed mafan, but I added it anyway.
www.romanization.com/tongyong/crosschart/gwoyeuromatzyh.html
This might help clear up for some the reason behind the spellings of some names (e.g. James Soong, Ma Ying-jeou).


#8

We (Taiwan News) also have such a chart at:
http://www.etaiwannews.com/Taiwan_Languages/2001/07/31/996582748.htm


#9

I have many such charts on my site. The chart you point to is more like the one I put at www.romanization.com/tongyong/differences.html

The two charts, however, give different versions of tongyong pinyin. The one on the News site doesn’t list -ui compounds as different; mine does. There are several other differences between the two, including the News giving jhhih (not jhih) as the tongyong equivalent of the hanyu zhi.

To the best of my knowledge, my charts are correct. If you could provide authoritative evidence to the contrary, I would be happy to update them to the tongyong du jour.

But it’s so hard to get straight information about tongyong, a flim-flam job that hasn’t even bothered with consistency with itself.

I wish the News would put up on its site all of the tongyong charts it published in a series last August. I’d be happy to put them on romanization.com; but my collection is incomplete. (I’ve written to the News asking for copies of the files but never received a response.)


#10

For the Palm enabled:

A simple app giving comparative tables for Tongyong (the version listed on the romanization.com’s site), Pinyin, Yale, Wade-Giles and MPS2 can be had for free at:

www.fanyi.com/software

Follow the link to “the Romanizer”.

Terry


#11

The person you want to talk to is Chester. He maintains etaiwannews.com. I will give him a copy of this posting and ask him to make the corrections. On the day of the election, we attempted to use Tong Yong for all legislators who didn’t already have a romanized name. Inevitably, the attempt failed miserably because no one really uses or understands Tong Yong. I was given a list of hundredes and hundreds of names. They put little stars next to the names supposedly in Tong Yong. Half of those were so wrong I almost cried! Instead of crying, I yelled. I hollared “WHY ARE WE TRYING SO HARD TO SHOVE THIS DOWN OUR THROATS ON ELECTION NIGHT?!”
Poor former education minister Ovid Tzeng (Zeng) personally felt the same shove. Now he tap dances. (on the day he lost his post he kind of snapped for a minute before the media and gleefully tap danced)
To be honest, I could have done it easily if given another day (it only takes a day to learn Tong Yong for someone fluent in Hanyu Pinyin), but the person assigned to do the job (poor Chester), doesn’t even need to use romanization, since he is Chinese.
Truly, the only people who are really vehement about romanization are those who need it the most: programmers, academics and non-native Chinese speakers like me.
Politicians are not really vehement. They only appear to be vehement about this issue. They only care about money and human rights. Somehow they got it into their heads that they are protecting the human rights of Taiwan by implementing Tong Yong.
The DPP and the TSU like Tong Yong. The CCP likes Hanyu Pinyin. Singapore likes Hanyu Pinyin. Most academics under 60 years old use Hanyu Pinyin. I like Hanyu Pinyin. Hakka linguists don’t like Tong Yong because it can’t be universal. Some would like Tong Yong if it really could be tong yong (通用 - universal), but it can’t, so they remain indifferent.
I would be indifferent if and only if those who say Taiwan should use Tong Yong actually memorized the charts and could use it correctly: I am 97% certain that they can’t. How could they? They don’t care about Tony Yong, but they care about the political implications they attach to it. This is another case of drawing Taiwan on the map bigger than it really is.
Adapting Hanyu Pinyin WILL bring China and Taiwan closer togehter, but WILL NOT increase China’s control over Taiwan: just as WTO framework can not be used to improve cross-strait relations.


#12

Terry: I couldn’t find “the Romanizer” you mentioned. Could you check the link and repost?

Schnell: Do you know if the News is going to litter its forthcoming Directory of Taiwan with tongyong (accurate or otherwise)?


#13

Of course we can’t do the directory in Tong Yong! We don’t know Tong Yong! but of course you’ll remember our big announcement that we are going to use Tong Yong (I think that was the day of the head transplant story).


#14

That’s a relief. I was afraid that the News was going to use tongyong “proudly,” screwing up that book even more.

Unfortunately, however, not knowing a system has not proved much of a deterrent to the government, businesses and media of Taiwan.


#15

Ooohhh…my bad again…I guess I didn’t put it up on my own site yet!! (slap! slap!)

You can get it at www.palmgear.com Search for “romanizer” and the download page should pop right up.

Terry


#16

I am no expert in any of this – pinyin vs. tongyong, etc… I have just started learning Mandarin and am at the most basic of basic levels. However, to facilitate my learning my boyfriend (who is Taiwanese) has taught me zhuyin.

Recently, a stranger, who saw me studying the zhuyin said it was stupid, a waste of time, just a political ploy, etc… (He was a Korean who had lived 4 years in Taiwan). What do others think?

I actually find it easier to figure out pronounciations by learning the zhuyin first. With pinyin I find myself more likely to think of the pronounciation of the letter as it is heard in English. Because the zhuyin is so different from what I’m used to, I learned it without any preconcieved ideas of what that “letter” should sound like.

I realize that at some point I will need to become familiar with pinyin (or is that W-G, Yale, tongyong?). And, cranky’s chart will definitely be a help (thanks).

I guess I’m ultimately confused as to why/how all these different systems started. And, why people can’t just agree on one. Can someone tell me?


#17

LJ

I started with Pinyin at uni about elevn years ago, and learnt Bopomofo in Taiwan because I had to. I use Pinyin because I know it back to front, but I don’t subscribe to the view that many academic sinologists have that it is the one and only method to use nowadays. Gwouyeh Roueamanazsx or whatever it is called can be used with reasonable accuracy too, as can Wade or Wade-Giles. I don’t know anything about Tong Yong as they introduced after I left and without asking me first.

Bopomofo is fine too - I don’t see how it matters as long as you don’t get too caught up in systems to the detriment of learning the language. I would recommend learning Pinyin and Bopomofo, as despite what you may be told, there is no political element to either. Pinyin is a good international standard where roman characters must be used, and bpmf is a traditional phonetic system that until recently was used in Malaysia and other places in Overseas Chinese schools.

If I remember rightly Pinyin was invented by a Polish linguist and adopted by PRC academics for teaching Chinese people phonetics. I cannot understand the need to introduce another system as Hokkien has already been romanised by Wade and Giles (as was Cantonese) and Pinyin has been the standard for Mandarin for years.

Many foreigners in Taiwan constantly argue over romanisation systems and I always found it turned into competition to determine whose Chinese was best or who went to the best university.

You mentioned Yale, which is an eminently sensible system, but simply seeks to duplicate the function of Pinyin. It does not in my opinion assist a learner in pronouncing “xue” whereas bpmf is excellent in this respect as it adds the “xi” sound to the “u” and “e” sounds. Yale might encourage a person to say “sway” instead. The Pinyin “xue” is sufficiently unlike English to escape any pre-recognition by the learner.

For simplicty’s sake I would recommend Pinyin and bpmf to begin with, and the others as an academic study when you are comfortable with the former. For this purpose a good understanding of the phonetics of Chinese is essential as each system deals with each aspect thereof in a different manner. Your best guide to pronunciation is obviously “do I sound Chinese ?”.

The other posters will be able to guide you as to conversion charts, and their advice will be valuable as many of these charts are inaccurate.

Hexuan (Hooosywuaaaaaaan in Gwoyeu Romatzyh)


#18
quote:
Originally posted by LJ: However, to facilitate my learning my boyfriend (who is Taiwanese) has taught me zhuyin.

Recently, a stranger, who saw me studying the zhuyin said it was stupid, a waste of time, just a political ploy, etc… (He was a Korean who had lived 4 years in Taiwan). What do others think?



I wouldn’t call it stupid, that’s a decision everyone has to make for him/herself. It would be kind of wasted time if you never have the chance to use it, but if you are living in Taiwan, such chances are plenty every day. However, you should also learn Pinyin, because that is the way most of the world outside Taiwan communicates in/about Chinese when not using chinese characters.

quote:

I actually find it easier to figure out pronounciations by learning the zhuyin first. With pinyin I find myself more likely to think of the pronounciation of the letter as it is heard in English. Because the zhuyin is so different from what I’m used to, I learned it without any preconcieved ideas of what that “letter” should sound like.



Zhuyin is a phonetic transcription of Mandarin as is Pinyin, but while Pinyin uses common latin characters Zhuyin has created its own. Did you know how to pronounce a Zhuyin character when you first saw them? No, someone had to tell you - and the same applies to Pinyin. Get someone who tells you the correct pronounciation of Pinyin, chances are your boyfriend will not know. And if you don’t know the exact pronounciation, the system (no matter which one) will not be of great use to you.

quote:

I guess I’m ultimately confused as to why/how all these different systems started. And, why people can’t just agree on one. Can someone tell me?



Why do we have different tv standards? Why are there new standards for computer hardware every few months? Why do railway tracks not have the same size world wide? There can be many reasons: Progress of science or technology, monetary reasons, political,…
As long as it is a technical standard, discussing the matter is still relatively easy. Unfortunately, a transcription system may also include the “feeling that it fits” - and feelings are a different matter. At some point in history, people wrote “Nanking”, according to Wade/Giles it probably should be “Nanching”(?) and in Pinyin it is “Nanjing”. Taiwan claims to apply Wade/Giles, but as it is not taught at schools almost no-one can use it and therefor, we could probably spot a few more variations here.
To get even through the wildest jungle of romanized Chinese, I would recommend to have at least a look at all systems, but really important are only two: Pinyin (worldwide) and Zhuyin (in Taiwan). As for the others…
Wade/Giles: What you see in Taiwan is almost never Wade/Giles but a wild puzzle of latin characters resembling something different for each person looking at it. (Its a bit like you would see a restaurant with “French Breakfast” written above the door - do you think they will serve french breakfast?)
Yale: Almost never mentioned even in the hot debates here on oriented.org, so of no greater importance in Taiwan.
Tong Yong: Who said “Yehova”? Tong Yong is the proof that a transcription system also has its political component. There are people in Taiwan fighting the transcription system mostly used worldwide (Hanyu Pinyin), because “it is from Mainland China”. They will not always give you this (real) reason, but speak about the “shortcomings” of Pinyin and about the “special conditions” in Taiwan. If Tong Yong were a computer program, it would be a “system under development”. They almost completed the alpha phase and will enter the beta stage soon. (Or did they already?) Beta testers are the people of Taiwan, but probably, participation will be voluntary as with Wade/Giles. I think I should mention that this would be proprietary software…

So, to put it into one sentence: Learning Zhuyin is ok, but you should definitely get someone who really knows Pinyin and learn that too - anything else is optional, at least in the beginning.

Olaf


#19
quote:
Originally posted by Schnell: Some would like Tong Yong if it really could be tong yong (通用 - universal), but it can't, so they remain indifferent.
I propose changing 通用 拼音 (Tong1yong4 Pinyin) which means the universal or common pinyin into 痛用 拼音 (Tong4yong4 Pinyin), which would mean the pinyin system that is painful to use. Whaddya think?


#20
quote:
Originally posted by Maoman: I propose changing 通用 拼音 (Tong1yong4 Pinyin) which means the universal or common pinyin into 痛用 拼音 (Tong4yong4 Pinyin), which would mean the pinyin system that is painful to use. Whaddya think?

Agree.