Multiple Place name spellings

I used to live in Chia Yi and would commute to Bai Ho everyday, 45 minutes on a scooter. I would pass signs that would say Jia I, Chia Yi, Jia Yi and I saw signs that said Pai Ho, Bai Ho, Pai He and Bai He. Why doesn’t the gov’t say this is the way we spell things and let it be. It’s really confusing because if you didn’t know where you were going you’d get really lost.

Andy

Actually, the government does have guidelines, though you’d never know it by the signage throughout Taiwan. The reason these have not been implemented (or have been implemented so badly) has to do with several things: [ul][li]incompetance,[/li]
[li]romanization (and just about anything that involves the foreign population) is given an extremely low priority, and [/li]
[li]fixing signs costs money, and local governments don’t want to spend their own funds on such directives from the central government. [/li][/ul]
Even Taipei, which has pushed for standards (using Hanyu Pinyin) more than any other place in Taiwan, continues to make a mess of things. Many of the newly romanized MRT station names, for example, are wrong.

For more on the mess, just search the archives for “pinyin” or “romanization.”

Yeah, I think the Taipei record stands at 5 different “official” spellings for one road.
That said they recently have replaced most of them with unified signs, all in Hanyu Pinyin. But Taipei remains Taipei.

My advise: remember the Chinese characters for places you want to go.
While I probably can’t write most of them I do recognize them when I see them. Them.

Five different official spellings, but how many unoffical spellings are there? :unamused:

[quote=“Rascal”]Yeah, I think the Taipei record stands at 5 different “official” spellings for one road.
That said they recently have replaced most of them with unified signs, all in Hanyu Pinyin. But Taipei remains Taipei.[/quote]

It’s quite ridiculous how the process of chosing a romanization system was so politicized, like many other things here.

I didn’t put “official” in quotation marks for no reason … :wink:

yah… i love that to man… mrt is great… like on the one map on the train the station name is spelled one way… on the lcd monitor that announces the station its dif and outside at the actual station it may be even another way… guting… kuting

Even on buses they made mistakes … it is confusing for those can’t read Chinese cuz they would automatically assumed that Kuting and Guting are 2 different places…

The MRT is currently updating all station names, maps, signs etc. - so I do hope once they finish it’s one spelling. Just give it some time.
And I also noticed a lot of buses changed to Hanyu Pinyin already.

Yes, Taipei is moving toward standardization through Hanyu Pinyin. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone, however, that Taipei has botched the job. With apostrophes having been omitted (again!), as well as some other spacing and punctuation errors, a number of place names are wrong: Yongan (should be Yong’an), Xinbeitou (Xin Beitou), Xiaonanmen (Xiao Nanmen), Qilian (Qili’an – three syllables, not two!), Daan (Da’an). There are also missing en dashes or at least hyphens in Zhongxiao-Fuxing, Zhongxiao-Dunhua, etc.

Perhaps the funniest misspelling, for those who can see humor in such sloppiness, is “Jingan.” The stop’s name is jing + an, which must be written “Jing’an” because in Hanyu Pinyin syllables are assumed to begin with consonants unless there’s an apostrophe to indicate otherwise (or the word starts with a vowel, of course). What the MRT has, however, is the equivalent of jin + gan, which sounds rather vulgar.

That has been done even worse. Places with -ong have tended to become -ueng (for example Zhong --> Zhueng, Dong --> Dueng).

I should note, though, that although Taipei has done a sloppy job, the situation in the capital is still much better than anywhere else in the country.

That has been done even worse. Places with -ong have tended to become -ueng (for example Zhong --> Zhueng, Dong --> Dueng).[/quote]You realise why that is? It’s because of ‘interference’ from the Zhuyin Fuhao system, which uses two symbols (the symbols for the wu & eng sounds) where pinyin uses the unique ‘ong’. I suppose they might even be using some kind of computer conversion for this purpose.

Another common error in writing Hanyu pinyin here is the use of ‘uei’ instead of ‘ui’.

[quote=“Rascal”]My advise: remember the Chinese characters for places you want to go.
While I probably can’t write most of them I do recognize them when I see them. Them.[/quote]

In Taipei they do have this Manhattan naming system, i.e. 10st Ave., 13th St., for some of the large thoroughfares. However the maps don’t use them and the signs are very small and only appears at major intersections. In my opinion you’re better looking at the romanized street names, even if they are a mess.

Not to mention taxi drivers probably don’t know either when you advise your destination in numbers …

The decision to implement a nick-numbering system in Taiwan has been a complete and total failure. It was inteded to be used for the short-time visitor to Taiwan, who presumably would have been too busy and/or stupid to figure out the romanized signs. Yet somehow, business travellers to Beijing, Shanghai, Korea, Japan, and a thousand other places manage just fine. I just wish that someone would embarrass the city government over this issue. It was too stupid and condescending an idea to be allowed to die a quiet death. :unamused:

I missed Chai Yi on your list…