Wage Giles, Pinyin or something else?

Dear Forumosans,

I’m currently doing an MA in translation (Chinese - English) in the UK. I’m translating a piece on traditional Chinese landscape paintings (my degree was in art - and I love Chinese paintings). I’ve pretty much completed the translation, and am faced with a few problems. Mainly how to express the names of painting styles and artists (the article is only about 1200 words long, but has about 10 different artists names).

Should I use the Wade Giles stystem? As western scholars of Chinese art may be more familiar with it. Example: (artists) Chang Dai Chien, Shih T’ao, (style) hsie yi.

Or, should I use Pinyin, and expect that people with an interest in Chinese art would be up to date with the newer renderings? (artists) Zhang Daqian, Shi Tao, (style) xie yi.

It’s for an assignment, so whichever direction I go for, I have to say why in the commentary.

A massive thanks for any feedback in advance! :bow:

I do not feel that it matters much as long as you explain your reasoning and are consistent within the text (since it is for school). Or you could consider doing WG first then Hanyu Pinyin following in parenthesis where there is a difference.

Use of Wade-Giles tends to look rather fuddy-duddy at this point. I’d use Hanyu Pinyin and, if necessary, add an appendix with W-G equivalences.

Thank you Ironlady! I will probably go for the Hanyu Pinyin system then, I can always argue that new times need new translations (or something like that). I’ll try to avoid using both as there are already a load of names, specialist terms, parentheses and footnotes in my translation - the more I add, the less readable is seems to get.

Thank you cranky laowai! I totally agree with you about how WG looks. It’s just that they tend to use it in almost most of the books on Chinese art I have (which do tend to be a bit older).