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The politics of pinyin

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Threads dealing with Taiwan's history belong in the Culture & History thread. Please do not post articles - use links instead. Quoted sources should be limited to one paragraph in length, or less. If you see a post that you feel is against the rules, you can send a report to the moderators so we can look into it

Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby suntex01 » 15 Jan 2012, 11:24

Chris wrote:
suntex01 wrote:When you listen to Spanish, French people speak english, they don't always use the correct pronounciation of the word. It is true the other way around as well. Why do you suppose this is? I can bet you this is due to fact that they visualized the word and learned the pronounciation of words from spelling rather than from listening. So instead of relating to the pronounciation of whatever language they were speaking, they related back to their own language.

But they're not relating it to the letters of their own language, but the sounds of their own language. There's a difference.

People grow up used to producing certain sets of sounds with their mouths, and that is carried over into their pronunciation of foreign languages. The result is "accent", and I don't think there's any difference in "accent intensity" between your average Frenchman speaking English and your average Chinese speaking English, all else being equal.


It getting to the point where its almost hard for me to explain it in writing.
You're narrowing it down too much and skipping too many steps.
In the case of Spanish / French / Italian speaking english, even if relating it to sounds of their own language.
It is still through the passage / training that they received associated with each letter inb their own respective language.
I understand that for people such as Japanese, certain Romanian tone doesn't come easy without extensive conscious training.
But that's not what I was addressing. I'm trying to point out the example that in the Spanish language there is only one pronounciation for most vowels.
This is not the case for English, in english just "a" has multiple pronounciations. But alot of Spanish speakers still pronounce it the one way in certain words.
Same with words ending in ing where G is the soft "g" sound, but non-native speakers tend to enunciate the G with the hard "g" at the end.
Thus this is not a problem of accent but rather, the word was most likely visualized before hearing it.
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby Mawvellous » 15 Jan 2012, 16:54

Can we declare Tongyong officially dead now? The main Tongyongnist groups seem to have given up and it is even less likely that a DPP president will try and revive it if they win in four years.
We just need to eradicate all traces of Tongyong Pinyin now..how about starting with the Banqiao High Speed Rail station?
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby MikeN » 16 Jan 2012, 10:06

Dog's_Breakfast wrote: 3) The MRT in Taipei - would be nice if the maps inside the trains were the same as the signs in the stations. It's been awhile since I was in Taipei, but I remember seeing "Xindian" on the map and "Xindian" in the station - I'm sure this had everything to do with politics and was not a simple spelling mistake.


Another victim of Forumosa's pinyin spellcheck? :)
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby mike029 » 22 Jan 2012, 00:18

In my experience helping friends with engrish it's very clear to me that Mainlanders actually understand the concept of spelling words, unlike the Taiwanese who just memorize how to write the letters in which order.
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby fanglangzhe » 27 Apr 2012, 21:50

What's the latest on this? Is tong yong pinyin officially dead? As in legally dead? I mean, is there a law on the books saying that the only legal romanization of Mandarin chinese is hanyu pinyin? does anyone care?
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby cranky laowai » 27 Apr 2012, 22:59

I don't think it's a matter of law (i.e., through the Legislature) but rather an administrative decree from the Executive Yuan, which takes its cue from the Ministry of Education, which, unofficially, does whatever the president tells it to.

Under Chen, Tongyong was officially promulgated; but administrative areas (counties and independent-level cities) were at least in theory free to do as they wanted. So Taipei (under then Mayor Ma) kept Hanyu Pinyin. Xinzhu went with Hanyu Pinyin (sort of), as did Taizhong (sort of).

Under President Ma, the supposed freedom of individual areas in this regard no longer exists. They're all officially supposed to use Hanyu Pinyin. But, of course, that's not the case, esp. in the south. So Tongyong is officially dead ... but that doesn't mean all of the old signs in it have been changed or that that will happen in the near future.

The Taipei Times continues to engage in necrophilia, though Hanyu Pinyin slips in there every once in a while.
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby Dog's_Breakfast » 29 Apr 2012, 10:57

MikeN wrote:
Dog's_Breakfast wrote: 3) The MRT in Taipei - would be nice if the maps inside the trains were the same as the signs in the stations. It's been awhile since I was in Taipei, but I remember seeing "Xindian" on the map and "Xindian" in the station - I'm sure this had everything to do with politics and was not a simple spelling mistake.


Another victim of Forumosa's pinyin spellcheck? :)


Yes, you are correct. How I hate Forumosa's automatic "correction." Let me try it again, this time with a Cyrillic "S":

I remember seeing "Xindian" on the map and "Ѕindian" in the station - I'm sure this had everything to do with politics and was not a simple spelling mistake.

Hey, cool, that worked. Up yours, auto-correction!
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby Zla'od » 29 Apr 2012, 11:36

As a demonstration of my allegiance to Satan, I shall now create a new romanization system that will reconcile all previous ones, and also be perfectly intelligible to dogs. (Does the system still count as "romanization" if it relies primarily on upper-row keyboard characters?)
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby Weinstock » 29 Jun 2012, 06:15

wade giles doesnt make any sense. if you went around saying kin men, no one would know what you were talking about, because it is pronounced as jin men.
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Re: The politics of pinyin

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2012, 06:45

Weinstock wrote:wade giles doesnt make any sense. if you went around saying kin men, no one would know what you were talking about, because it is pronounced as jin men.

In Wade-Giles, it should properly be "Chin-men".
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