[quote]Sir Donald Bradman wrote:
I’ve always thought it weird that pinyin uses ‘shen’ with an ‘n’. Zhuyin uses what are the equivalents of ‘sh’ and ‘e’ in pinyin. That seems more accurate to me. There’s no 100% standard 1 to 1 mathc between pinyin and zhuyin.
Remember they’re not ‘Chinese’ but a system of romanising the Chinese.
If you want to say that, then you’d also have to say that Chinese characters aren’t really “Chinese.”
Your statement seems to be suffering from a bad case of what I call the “comics myth,” under which no one really speaks or hears Mandarin or any other Chinese language. Instead, when they would speak, they instead have bubbles filled with Chinese characters that rise from their mouths, just like in comic strips. And the “listeners” don’t really hear Mandarin but instead just look above the “speaker” and read the characters. [/quote]
No, there’s a difference between a ‘writing system’ and a ‘system of phonetic notation’ (I think there’s official linguistics terms for these, but I don’t know them). While the former is rarely purely phonetic, the ‘notation system’ is an attempt to represent the sounds that are heard. It’s like the difference between ‘written English’ and KK phonetics. My point in saying that “pinyin is not really Chinese” is that just because in pinyin there is an ‘n’ at the end of the syllable, doesn’t mean that there is an ‘n’ sound in spoken Chinese.
I’ve never heard ‘shenme’ spoken with a nasal ‘n’ in the middle of it, so I think the zhuyin is more accurate.
I never said it was. I said that in this case it is more accurate. By that I mean that if every letter (or combination of letters) in pinyin, or every symbol (or combination) in zhuyin, is meant to represent a certain sound, then the pinyin ‘shen’ is less accurate in representing the sound of the word than the zhuyin eqivalent.