Hsinchu name and romanization

Shinzu is how it’s pronounced. Hsinchu makes no sense.

Are you reading “Shinzu” in English there or in Chinese…? I’m no kind of linguist, but for me “Hsinchu” seems closer to how I’ve heard Taiwanese pronounce the city name than “Shinzu” does.

What kind of sound does the H-S letter combination make in English? Doesn’t even exist.

I would read it like the “hs” sound at the start of “Hsinchu”.

Obviously it’s not a common letter combination (there are some words, like fuchsin and fuchsia, though I had to look them up), but I feel like a native English speaker who hadn’t previously been exposed to Chinese or the city name would get closer to the correct pronunciation with “Hsinchu” than they would with “Shinzu”.

It was mostly the “zu” bit I was objecting to, btw.

A lot of Taiwanese like to move the h to the front in what, why, etc so I don’t know what they mean whit Hsinchu lol

Either use Hsinchu or Xinzhu

Don’t make up your own romanization


I would argue that a lot of foreigners like to put the h after the s (as Oyster did above).

“Hsin” is the correct spelling in Wade-Giles. “Sh” is pronounced differently from “Hs”.

No it’s not. Although that is how 新 is pronounced in Japanese (as in Shinjuku/新宿).

Actually, it’s Sin-tik.

Yep sure

In Taiwanese, sure. But the word comes from Taokas, a Formosan language. The place wasn’t named by the Taiwanese.

No, the word that supposedly came from Taokas was Tik-tshàm (竹塹). That settlement was not the same as the new walled city, Sin-tik (新竹), built to serve as the administration center of Northern Taiwan, where the Tamsui Prefectural Office (淡水廳) was located for 144 years. So while the Tik part might have come from Taokas, which as a Sintikish I still can’t find exactly which Taokas word it was supposed to be, but the name Sin-tik was coined by Taigi speakers.


While Tik-tshàm was the name of a Taokas village based in southwestern part of Sin-tik city, along the coast, there is no simple explanation for where that name came from, since the Dutch wrote down the village name as Pocael or Pocaal in their records and maps.

There was another Taokas village in the area recorded as Gingingh, which was transcribed into 眩眩社. This village was placed between the mouth of Thâu-tsîng-khe and present day downtown. However, Gingingh village disappeared in the records after the villages joined the Kingdom of Middag and defeated Koxiga’s expedition forces led by Iûnn Tsóo-tiông (楊祖重) in June of 1661. Iûnn was mortally wounded and died in Fort Provintia that same year.

Some claimed Tik-tshàm came directly from the word Taokas. If it is, it a terrible transcription. During the Qing period, the Taokas from the Tik-tshàm village referred to themselves as 斗葛 (táu-kat), which was a spot on transcription. So I doubt one could get Tik-tshàm from Taokas.

Most likely case is that Tik-tshàm was coined by early Taigi speakers to refer to the bamboo fort around the Pocael village. Taokas had a tradition of building walled villages, which they also did in coastal villages in present day Miaoli.


That’s how it’s pronounced in Mandarin too. Like Charlie Sheen.

That’s almost how exactly Taiwanese people pronounce it.

Even closer would be Shindsu.

Even if it was pronounced like the sheen in charlie sheen why didn’t you just write sheen in the first place lmao, ur clearly not beholden to the old systems if you’re writing Xin /hsin as shin which makes even less sense as an English transliteration since its just shin. Like shit but with a n.

I don’t think ʃ (voiceless postalveolar fricative) and ɕ (voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative) sound all that similar.

The Japanese sh is also ɕ (voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative), so if you’ve been pronouncing Shinkansen like Sheen khan sen, you’ve not been impressing the locals with your pronunciation.

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No, it’s not pronounced like Sheen.

Try saying “west/西” in Chinese (Hsi or Xi).

Now try saying “she” in English (eg. she is my sister).

Hear the difference?

Of course an argument could be made that there is no ʃ in Taiwanese Mandarin, except perhaps Hsu/Xü, so you could totally just use sh to represent ɕ like Japanese. I am in the camp of creating a romanization that works across all native languages of Taiwan, and ʃ occurs in Hakka, Saisiyat and Ita Thaw. So I prefer to keep their romanizations separate.

Actually that’s the more reasonable part imo. According to standard mandarin both Guoyu and putonghua it should be “Zhu” but in Taiwanese accent it’s almost always closer to “Zu”.