Yale romanization of Cantonese
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The Yale romanization of Cantonese was developed by Parker Po-fei Huang and Gerald P. Kok and published in 1970. Unlike the Yale romanization of Mandarin, it is still widely used in books and dictionaries, especially for foreign learners. It shares some similarities with Hanyu Pinyin in that unvoiced, unaspirated consonants are represented by letters traditionally used in English and most other European languages to represent voiced sounds. For example, [p] is represented as b in Yale, whereas its aspirated counterpart, [pʰ] is represented as p.
Because of this and other factors, Yale romanization is usually held to be easy for speakers of American English to pronounce without much training. In Hong Kong, more people use Cantonese Pinyin and Jyutping, as these systems are more localized to Hong Kongers. Foreign students of Cantonese who attend The University of Hong Kong learn with Sidney Lau's spelling of Cantonese from his three-volume textbooks, while those who attend The Chinese University of Hong Kong's New-Asia Yale-in-China Chinese Language Center are taught to use the Yale spelling of Cantonese and eventually learn to read those traditional English voiced consonants in a new unvoiced Cantonese way subconsciously, without realizing they are doing so or without usually being aware of the linguistic difference.
- Only the finals m and ng can be used as standalone nasal syllables.
- Tones can also be written using the tone number instead of the tone mark and h.
- Traditional Chinese linguistics treats the tones in syllables ending with a stop consonant as separate "entering tones". Cantonese Yale follows modern linguistic conventions in treating these the same as tones 1, 3 and 6, respectively.
|Traditional||Simplified||Romanization using Tone Marks||Romanization using Numbers|
|你好||Néih hóu||Nei5 hou2|
Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems:
Maahng Houh Yìhn
|春眠不覺曉，||Chēun mìhn bāt gok híu,|
|處處聞啼鳥。||chyu chyu màhn tàih níuh.|
|夜來風雨聲，||yeh lòih fūng yúh sīng,|
|花落知多少？||fā lohk jī dō síu?|
- David Rossiter; Gibson Lam; Vivying Cheng (2005). "The Gong System: Web-Based Learning for Multiple Languages, with Special Support for the Yale Representation of Cantonese" (PDF). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Advances in Web-Based Learning — ICWL 2005. Springer Verlag. pp. 209–220. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
- Ng Lam & Chik 2000: 515. "Appendix 3: Tones. The student of Cantonese will be well aware of the importance of tones in conveying meaning. Basically, there are seven tones which, in the Yale system, are represented by the use of diacritics and by the insertion of h for ..."
- Gwaan 2000: 7. "Basically, there are seven tones which, in the Yale system, are represented by the use of diacritics and by the insertion of h for the three low tones. The following chart will illustrate the seven tones: 3 Mid Level, 1 High Level, 5 Low Faliing, 6 Low Level..."
- Modern Standard Cantonese has only six tones. The high-flat and high-falling tones are allophones of the same phoneme.
- Gwaan, Choi-wa (關彩華) (2000). English-Cantonese Dictionary - 英粤字典: Cantonese in Yale Romanization (2nd ed.). Chinese University Press. ISBN 962-201-970-6.
- Matthews, Stephen & Yip, Virginia (1994). Cantonese. A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08945-X.
- Ng Lam, Sim-yuk & Chik, Hon-man (2000). Chinese-English Dictionary 漢英小字典: Cantonese in Yale Romanization, Mandarin in Pinyin. Chinese University Press. ISBN 962-201-922-6.