Chinese alphabet

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There are and have been several Chinese alphabets, that is pre-existing alphabets adapted to write down the Chinese language. However, the standard Chinese writing system uses a non-alphabetic script with an alphabet for supplementary use.[1] There is no original alphabet native to China. China has its Pinyin system though sometimes the term is used anyway to refer to logographic Chinese characters (sinograms). It is more appropriately used, though, for phonemic transcriptions such as pinyin.

Alphabetic transcription of Chinese[edit]

For the use of the Latin alphabet to transcribe Chinese, see:

For the use of Cyrillic script to transcribe Chinese, see:

For the use of the Arabic alphabet to transcribe Chinese, see:

For another phonetic script in widespread use in Taiwan (often called an alphabet but actually a semi-syllabary) see:

Under the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), an alphabetic script called 'Phags-pa was used to write Late Middle Chinese (as well as Tibetan and Mongolian).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Does Chinese have an alphabet?". - Chinese characters FAQ. Retrieved 2008-05-31.

To translate Chinese, see: