NeiHu or Neihu or...?

I’m not even where to start looking for the following in the archives but…

Forget about whether you use Hanyu Pinyin, Tongyong Pinyin or Sam’s Pinyin. When you romanize, what is the proper way to do place names, etc… of two characters or more?

I’ve noticed that most Tiawanese romanize their names like this Fu Jing-shan. The surname is capitalized, as is the first character of the given name. The second character, however, is written in all lower case letters and connected to the first by a hyphen. So, that’s how I do it.

However, place names and street names are written different ways.

I’ve seen Neihu as that, plus NeiHu and Nei Hu. I’ve only ever seen Tamshui like this, no capital on the second character, no space, no hyphen. The street names aren’t standard either. Some roads are Firstsecond, some are FirstSecond, some are First Second, etc… And, if it has three characters should it be FirstSecondThird? First SecondThird? First Second-third?

Does it really matter? Am I obsessing over nothing. Maybe. I don’t know. But, I’d like some guidance.


Jona-Than or is that Jona Than or Jonathan?

You’re correct about personal names. In traditional Wade-Giles style, they should be Familyname Given-name. In hanyu pinyin, they would be Familyname Givenname. The style is a little less certain when it comes to two-character family names; but there aren’t many of those.

See my unfinished page (mainly in Chinese) at my very unfinished beta site:

For street names, the worst two styles are, unfortunately the most popular: ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and InTerCaPiTaLiZaTion. Ugh! The latter style is, in its own way, a kind of Chinglish, though it might not seem that way to everyone at first glance. The best is to treat words and names as real words, not as blocks of syllables: Nanjing, not NanJing or Nan-ching. See
See also but ignore the last column, which is in an outdated tongyong. (Taipei put up lots of signs in a system that then changed!)

The same applies to place names. This gets a little trickier when names involve prefixes (e.g. xiao, xin, etc.) and suffixes (hu, shan, etc.). But in general, I favor Prefix Namesuffix. See

Welcome to Taiwan.

There are rules for Hanyu Pinyin and for Wade-Giles, but as you have noticed the Taiwan government is not following them. You can fully expect them not to follow their own rules for this new Wuyong Pinyin they are about to foist on poor newbie students of Chinese who you would think would have enough on their plate without having to learn three phonemic transcription systems.

A few examples of HYPY


Mao Zedong

Fuxing Nan Lu

Wulumuqi Lu

Xi’an Lu

Jixie shi yizhong liyong lixue yuanli zucheng de zhuangzhi.

(Machines are devices that operate on mechanical principles)


Fandong Pai shi bu hui dui renmin fa shanxin de.

(Reactionaries will never show kindness to the people)

or perhaps even

Nongmin Yundong Jiangxisuo

(the Peasant Movement Institute)






Naiyou Buding

Zhenzhu Naicha

Zhen bu yinggai jixu xie zhe zhong fei hua…

[quote=“hexuan”]Naiyou Buding
Zhenzhu Naicha[/quote]
Should be buding and naicha. Sorry, just picking nits. Unless you mean Naicha, alias Liu Ruoying - that Taiwanese singer-actress with whom I am in love :blush: :blush: :blush:

< Naicha with a big N

Hanyu pinyin word division and capitalisation rules:
Clever tip: Open it with your word processor instead of your browser - Then you can print it double sided and you can save it as a .doc file.



For names, the typically accepted format is (using my Chinese name): Fu Jing-shan.

For street names, district/city/county names of two characters it should be: Tamshui, Neihu, Peitou, Nanjing, etc…

Now, I’m assuming that Hsin Peitou is ok, since it is three characters. And, from what I understand Hsin in this case means new. So, generally New Peitou.

Does I’se have it right?



For names, the typically accepted format is (using my Chinese name): Fu Jing-shan.[/quote]
Yes and no. There is no “jing” in Wade-Giles, whose format you’ve copied. So your name would be “Fu Ching-shan” in Wade-Giles, a romanization system I cannot recommend. In hanyu pinyin (both romanization and style), it would be “Fu Jingshan”. I recommend using “Fu Jingshan”.

Technically, it’s not the number of characters that determines the form. It’s just that most places have two-character names.

Yes, in this case xin/hsin means new. But translating parts of names into English is generally not a good idea. So, “Xin Beitou”, not “New Beitou”.

Well, my boyfriend gave me the name and he romanizes it “Jing-shan.” So, even though it isn’t correct, I think I’ll keep it that way. Hey, if Taiwan can screw up romanization of everything else, I can do it with my own name. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry I wasn’t clear. I was not trying to suggest translating part of the name into English. I was just using that as an example, since part of the name meant “new.” Like having New Smithville in English instead of Newsmithville. In this case you have a Peitou and a “New” Peitou. I realize it shoud be written as Hsin/Xin Peitou.

Sheesh… trying to account for 16 different ways of spelling something gives me hand cramps. :frowning:


:? :? :?

Why is it showing Beitou, in parantheses, twice? I didn’t type it that way. I swear… :frowning:

So many people use non-standard and non-useful spellings – usually through no fault of their own, because Taiwan is so sloppy about this – that I set some things to be corrected automatically. In this way I haven’t had to spend as much time going back and fixing posts.