Talk:Standard Chinese/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Why is it called "mandarin"?

Chinese people speak Chinese, why is it "mandarin"?

See the discussion at [Chinese language]. -- 20:09, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

mandarin is the english name for a group of northern chinese dialects, and this one happens to be the chosen as the official language. end of story —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Tone rule exception

The compound "集散 (24)" is cited as an example of ordering compound words by tone, but I was under the impression that "集" has the entering tone. Is it OK if I remove it? --ian 00:07, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Go ahead. -- ran (talk) 00:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Done--thanks! --ian 01:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Tone question, neutral tone

We have a question at the tofu article: should "doufu" be written dou4fu3 or dou4fu5 ("5" symbolizing no tone) in pinyin? Editor LDHan's dictionary says it should be pronounced dou4fu5, but Wikipeditor says that Chinese should always be written with the proper tones, despite any differences in pronunciation that are used in everyday speech. Also, how would the names "Lao Zi" or "Sun Zi" be written--are the "Zi"s "5th tone" or 3rd tone? "Ni hao" is often pronounced "ni2hao3" even though it should actually be ni3hao3," but how should it be written in pinyin? Thanks in advance for expert assistance. Badagnani 19:12, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

There are two separate things here: the neutral tone, and tone sandhi. "Ni3hao3" pronounced as "ni2hao3" is tone sandhi, the third tone changes to second before a third tone. Pinyin doesn't show this change, it's always written as "Ni3hao3".
The "zi" as in eg zhuo1zi (desk) or "Lao3zi" is pronounced unstressed in the the neutral tone: zhuo1zi, Lao3zi. If zi is pronounced with its full tone, Lao3zi would be Lao3zi3 and pronounced Lao2zi3 (due to tone sandhi) which is not how it's pronounced. The neutral tone should be shown by having no tone mark in pinyin, eg ma1ma, mei2guan1xi, bu4ke4qi.
So the question is whether the standard pronunciation is "dou4fu" or "dou4fu3". LDHan 19:48, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
This is quite the eye opener. I never really realize that there was such as issue in Standard Mandarin. Regarding "dou4fu" (like +) or "dou4fu3" (like +) I think the words should be said with modifying the sounds. In the case of "Ni2 hao3" "Ni3 hao3" it's more a matter of colloquial convienience, namely if you say both really fast they sound almost the same. Sjschen 22:38, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I have to admit I’m getting a bit confused. I have ask a person from mainland China to pronouce a few words: doufu comes out something like 5-3 / 2-1 in tones, but they have also said doufu is not 5-3 / 2-1-4, so I’m not sure if fu is neutral, or is third with only the falling part pronounced without the final rising part (missing out the third tone rising part is common),. They also say meiguanxi as mei2guan1xi4. LDHan 00:44, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I've heard a lot of Chinese speakers pronounce "doufu" with a clear 4th tone for "dou," and the "fu" is almost "swallowed" (inaudible), to such an extent that you can hear the "f" but the vowel ("u") almost isn't even pronounced. It sounds almost like "douf4." Badagnani 02:53, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Maybe tofu is just such a commonplace thing that anyway you say it someone will understand....? Perhaps it's one of those effects of different languages/dialects drifting into different dialects/"colloqiuals"? In such situations maybe using "dou4fu3" is better? I say both mei2guan1xi1 and mei2guan1xi4, but in different situations that require emphasis. The former is a sentence ending in a "." the latter is more a sentence ending with a "!". This IS very confusing. Sjschen 05:11, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I’m inclined to say that "fu" is neutral tone as it seems to be said with much less emphasis compared with "dou", eg other words with the neutral tone: ma1ma (mother), wo3de (my), zuo3le (done). The third tone is very often said with only the falling part pronounced (half third tone, ban4san1sheng1) , eg ni3hao3 pronounced as 3-4 / 2-1 ( tone contour with 5 being the highest pitch), but "hao" in nihao is not classed as a neutral tone, I presume one reason is because it is not de- emphasised eg ma1ma (mother), wo3de (my), zuo3le (done). LDHan 14:18, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I can only speak from personal experince and observation, I'm more inclined to say that "fu" should be a 3 sound, as this is what I almost always hear from mandarin speakers. To my knowledge all sounds should be said as they are or as close as possble. I am still inclined to believe what we are talking about is a matter of pronounciations from speakers of other dialects or just colloquial pronounciations. Sjschen 00:32, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
The Chinese officials have designated a number of phrases that must be pronounced in the "soft-tone". In those cases, inc. 'doufu', I think we should leave the tone empty. --Deryck C. 15:04, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it's probably a good thing that the Chinese scholars decided to call it "light tone" rather than "neutral tone." As a long-time language teacher, I have noticed that if students have the wrong idea about what a tone is supposed to be in a compound, the "neutral" tone will come out sounding funny. My experience leads me to believe that the tone is still there, but it is so little stressed that you won't notice it unless it is wrong. I think one could work out a test, asking native speakers to read two compounds, e.g., 娘娘; 醞釀, and intentionally giving the second one a neutral tone. Those might not be the best examples, but I think you will get the idea. P0M 03:27, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Laozi being pronounced lao3zi? This is contrary to my experience, I'm afraid. Everyone around me (including me) pronounces zhuo1zi (with a neutral tone) but lao3zi3 (with a third tone). The same goes for other historical figures whose names contain "子". Actually, pronouncing "lao3zi" would result in a completely different word, which means literally "father" and is used as a self-reference to show contempt. (i.e. I'm your father, so whatever I say is right, etc) The justification for pronouncing "子" in person's names with a third tone is simple. There, the 子 actually has a meaning: it is a honorific for a certain range of people (for example, honorable scholars; though I can't be sure on this part). Therefore, it's different from 子 in zhuo1zi. This also explains why it is wang2zi3 instead of wang2zi. It is "the son of the king", not "the king-y". Once again, maybe this is a Taiwanese Mandarin feature: we tend to use less neutral tone as a whole. As for tofu, by the way, it is pronounced as dou4fu3, but the second syllable is so unstressed that it would be nearly as reasonable to analyze it as a neutral tone. I'd have to say the image of 'douf4' catches the feeling quite nicely. 石川 (talk) 10:51, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

While I'm not discouraging interviewing individual speakers, ultimately we need a citable reference (either print or web). Something that looks like:


The web source corroborates both Lǎozǐ (the philosopher) and lǎozi (father), whereas the print source only lists lǎozi (father). The print source does not mention the philosopher, but I'm sure a bigger print dictionary could be found that could be cited. It removes the discussion from personal anecdotes to verifiable references. Now, if you want to dispute the cited sources, that's another matter, but atleast you can verify where it came from. -- A-cai (talk) 22:22, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
That's what I needed, thanks. It corroborates with my experience, in fact. The best I can do now is probably just throwing out personal experiences and see if someone can help with that. Meanwhile, I'll keep on learning how to find reliable linguistic sources; I feel sorry that I'm not yet fully adequate to that task.

Is the ROC Mandarin dictionary reliable enough?

"老子(1)". (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-01-04. 

"老子(2)". (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-01-04.  I'm not really familiar with the format, sorry. 石川 (talk) 09:25, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I would say that 國語辭典 is just fine (I cite it all the time on wiktionary). However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind with 國語辭典:
  1. romanization is in tongyong pinyin, which is different from hanyu pinyin.
  2. 國語辭典 represents the "standard" Mandarin of Taiwan, which does not always match "standard" Beijing Mandarin.
  3. the hyperlink to the entry actually expires after a few minutes (try clicking the above link again).

If you do cite it, I would recommend a few minor changes:


  • "老子(1)". Guoyu Cidian On-line Mandarin Dictionary (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  • "老子(2)". Guoyu Cidian On-line Mandarin Dictionary (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-01-04. 

In general, I find 國語辭典 to be an excellent resource for classic works. I rely on it heavily when translating a work such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms. However, it does not do as good a job highlighting regional differences. Also, I would not rely on 國語辭典 for the "correct" hanyu pinyin spelling. -- A-cai (talk) 01:57, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Taiwan Guoyu == Beijing Putonghua?

I critically doubt the claim in this article that Standard Mandarin is a language spoken in both Mainland China and Taiwan and has aliases "Guoyu" and "Putonghua", and should have one combined article in Wikipedia. Taiwan Guoyu and Beijing Putonghua differ greatly in pronunciation of a certain number of words and grammar and usage, for example 期 is pronounced qi1 in Putonghua but qi2 in Guoyu, and buses are translated to 巴士 or 公共汽車 in Putonghua but 公車 in Guoyu, both exclusive to each other. These differences in fundamental speech pattern are not mentioned in this article. --Deryck C. 14:43, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

yes, differences in the standard should be mentioned in this article, as they are mentioned at Taiwanese Mandarin. but the differences are so few that I don't think splitting will do any good - how about an article discussing their differences like American and British English differences? btw, both 巴士 or 公共汽車 are used in Taiwan (公車 is just an abbrivation for 公共汽車 while Ive seen 巴士 painted on a number of buses, though that term is not usually used in normal speech) and from what ive experienced 期 is also pronounced qi2 in the mainland. The differences are outlined at Taiwanese Mandarin article.--Jiang 14:51, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
巴士 is a modern derivative of the English word "bus", and I use it often in mainland China-- (talk) 21:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

However, one of my concerns is that Putonghua redirects here. This can bring readers confusion as if this standard-local hybridized "Standard Mandarin" is equivalent to Beijing Putonghua. Although from what you experienced 期 is also pronounced qi2 in the mainland, this is strictly outruled by the 國家語委. (I don't know the real English translation) --Deryck C. 14:59, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Putonghua is Standard Mandarin. I dont see your point--Jiang 00:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
But it says "standard mandarin is spoken in Beijing, Taiwan ..." I don't see that the Taiwanese call their language "Putonghua", if you say that standard mandarin = putonghua. --Deryck C. 04:16, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
since theyre nearly identical, putonghua, guoyu, and huayu can all be lumped under what we've conveniently called "standard mandarin". "Standard Mandarin" is an English term, not a Chinese one. --Jiang 04:23, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I thought "Putonghua" is a more common term than "Standard Mandarin"? My RS teacher, who is a Chinese American, always refers to the language as "Putonghua" instead of "Mandarin" or "Standard Mandarin". --Deryck C. 07:38, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

One data point for reference: I live in northeastern U.S., and from what I can tell, most people who know something about Chinese (as well as the media) here refer to the language as "Mandarin" or "Mandarin Chinese". It seems that only recently have people been exposed to the term "Putonghua", and if it appears in print it is nearly always accompanied by an explanation. --ian (talk) 14:43, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Before we can take your data as reference, can you tell us if the people that you're describing did disambiguate between the Taiwan Guoyu and Beijing Putonghua, or simply fused them into a lot? --Deryck C. 14:45, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
It's all lumped in together--usually nobody even knows there's a difference. --ian (talk) 15:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Is there any article discussing the differences in pronunciations between the standardised Kuo-yü (as according to the 國語字典 published by ROC's Ministry of Education) and that of Putonghua, like 期 in 星期 and 括 in 包括? — Instantnood 17:24, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

My teacher claims that the Taiwanese dictionaries say期 is pronounced as qi1, not qi2. It's, under his claim, just the Taiwanese's misconception pronouncing it qi2. --Deryck C. 06:15, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Not really. Pronunciations on the mainland has been changed over time, but some of the pre-1949 elements have been preserved on Taiwan. Is there any Wikipedia article (either in Chinese or in English) covering that? — Instantnood 06:30, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
The English Taiwanese Mandarin article touches on pronunciation differences, but mainly the differences that arise as an influence of Taiwanese on Mandarin, and not so much the various differences in tone. The corresponding article on the Chinese Wikipedia attributes some of the differences to Mandarin educators from Sichuan, but that also only explains the more systematic changes in pronunciation. --ian (talk) 19:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Someone should translate part of the zh: article on Taiwanese Mandarin since it is more comprehensive than en:. An article on Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese Mandarin differences could be started.--Jiang 21:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Well actually I'm not talking about how Mandarin is influenced by Taiwanese in Taiwan. I'm looking for comparison between the pure form of 普通话 and the pure form of 國語. — Instantnood 22:15, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the xingqi question is a good illustration of the neutral tone question seen above. If you look at the standard dictionaries that go back in time, or if you look at the "canonical" definitions in, e.g., the Kangxi dictionary, the word "qi" (time period) is yang2 ping1, i.e., second tone. Its tone changes in hurried conversation under the influence of the surrounding xing2 and (if presend)) 1,2,3... After a while people start hearing it as a first tone, and somebody changes the dictionary. It's still second tone in my dictionaries from Taiwan. What is hard to understand is why what is a perfectly acceptable but hurried, imprecise and technically incorrect pronunciation has to be made the standard. But we see the same thing in the U.S. where a few misguided TV announcers can start a "new standard." P0M 03:37, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The national language of China and Taiwan is Modern Standard Chinese which is called Putonghua in China and Guoyu in Taiwan. But since China has the final say concerning language matters nowadays , it is better for foreigners to use Putonghua (except when in Taiwan talking to Nationalists)Lie-Hap-Po 15:37, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


AFAIK, Taiwan doesn't use simplified characters, so why have them listed for guóyǔ? Notice putonghua only includes Simplified (as only Simplified are official on the Mainland.) Wiki Wikardo 00:24, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

The subject of this article is about a Chinese spoken variant. Traditional/Simplified thingie is a topic related to Chinese written language. -- G.S.K.Lee 13:24, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Although simplified characters were created by the communist party, the truth is that Chinese both in China and in Taiwan should learn both in order to get along in this global village.Lie-Hap-Po 15:45, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Is it not possible to have a standard IPA vowel inventory? It seems odd to have it for just the consonants.

Vowels were eventually added long ago. -- (talk) 00:34, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Serious error in historical fact

During the 1950s, there were plans for Pinyin to supersede the Chinese characters.

This is absolutely and 100% wrong.

In the early 1950s, the Chinese were becoming aware that relying on a written language that could only be transmitted from one place to another in what we would now term "hard copy" form was a severe impediment to industrial progress. Altenatively, a message went through the complex process of transmission:

  • Creating the message.
  • Writing the message in Chinese characters.
  • Delivering that written message to the encoding station (whoich was, most often, a Post Office).
  • Encoding (by a specialist encoding officer) these messages into the Chinese Telegraph Code (CTC), which is almost identical with today's Chinese Commercial Code (CCC).
  • Transmitting those messages (mostly by Morse code, requiring a specialist Morse Code telegrapher, or by teleprinter machine).
  • Receiving messages at the other station (again by a specialist telegrapher).
  • Decoding these messages from the Chinese Telegraph Code into written characters (againby a specialist encoding officer).
  • Writing the message clearly in Chinese characters.
  • Delivering the message to its intended recipient.

The Chinese decided that the only way out was to rely upon a system of romanization that:

  • could be typed upon a standard QWERTY keyboard.
  • did not use (or require) any special marks (such as the need for " ' " to distinguish between Chi and Ch'i in Wade-Giles),
  • did not use (or require) any special diacritical signs (such as the need for the "umlaut" to distinguish between Chu, and Chü, and Ch'u, and Ch'ü in Wade-Giles).
  • did not use (or require) any special additional coding to indicate the suprasegmental tones (such as with Wade-Giles' Chu1, Chu2, Chu3, Chu4, and Chü1, Chü2, Chü3, Chü4, and Ch'u1, Ch'u2, Ch'u3, Ch'u4, and Ch'ü1, Ch'ü2, Ch'ü3, Ch'ü4.
  • was 100% consistent with the principles of the "Draft Scheme for a Chinese Phonetic Alphabet" published in "People's China" on 16 March 1956.

The only system that met all of these requirements was Gwoyeu Romatzyh. Neither of the other two equivalent systems, the Zhuyin Fuhao (or Bopomofo) system or the Hanyu Pinyin could be typed on a standard QWERTY keyboard. It was this Gwoyeu Romatzyh system that was proposed for general usage.

For example, the Wade-Giles with the Gwoyeu Romatzyh in brackets:
Chu1 (Ju), Chu2 (Jwu), Chu3 (Juu), Chu4 (Juh), and
Chü1 (Jiu), Chü2 (Jyu), Chü3 (Jeu), Chü4 (Jiuh), and
Ch'u1 (Chu), Ch'u2 (Chwu), Ch'u3 (Chuu), Ch'u4 (Chuh), and
Ch'ü1 (Chiu), Ch'ü2 (Chyu), Ch'ü3 (Cheu), Ch'ü4 (Chiuh).

As a consequence, I am replacing the sentence in the article with the following:

During the 1950s, there were plans for Gwoyeu Romatzyh, which was written in the Latin alphabet, to supersede the Chinese written characters.

Best to you all. Lindsay658 01:36, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but assertions without citations will not fly. On top of that, whatever merit your discussion may have for some advocacy of Gwoyue Romatzyh use in telegraph communications it does not argue against the article's original assertion that the CCP had plans to make pinyin a substitute for hanzi since their aim was facilitating universal education. P0M 12:53, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Lindsay658, your claim smacks of Gwoyeu Romatzyh propaganda. I looked up an actual source on this, and corrected the section accordingly. Benwing 00:20, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Benwing. Whoever you are.
Your intemperate language "smacks" of a very strong political position.
I have nothing to do with any sort of propaganda, and that is precisely why I am engaged in an as-yet-unfinished task of seeking out sources in relation to the entire issue. Most of them are hard to get; and none of them are oriented to the demented ravings of either the CCP or the KMT, but are based on works by scholars and linguists.
Also, given your (failed) attempt to pretend that you have the "high moral ground", you have failed to state the sources from which you have formed your exalted opinion, and thus, everything you say must be dismissed on the grounds of it not representing a NPOV.
I am not interested in any politics. I am only interested in accurate scholarship.
I will ignore your rudeness and continue to seek out my sources (some of which are in storage) and will then attempt to bring some light and clarity to what is, at present, an equivocal, ambiguous and incorrect section of this article.
I suggest that you learn some manners. Lindsay658 02:34, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Let's all be a little more 禮貌 and also try to remain 客觀. Has anybody looked this question up in John DeFrancis's book on the Chinese language? Has anybody checked Karlgren's earlier book on the same subject? In Chinese sources, look for post-1948 PRC official policies on universal education and the question of how best to teach reading to adults with little or no prior schooling. P0M 18:15, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Look, I'm sorry about the use of the term "propaganda"; but I did cite a source, it's right in the reference on that section. Benwing 05:39, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Now, I believe, all is fixed, well-balanced, not serving any political goals, historically accurate, academically correct, and well-referenced, with appropriate references. And, best of all, it is not delivering an inappropriate "whig" version of history either. Best to you all.Lindsay658 08:57, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

large addition on vowel phonemes (section on Finals), July 15 (

The large change by User: to the Finals section, made on July 15, 2006 was actually me (User:Benwing); I was accidentally logged out when I made the change. Benwing 00:40, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

length of romanization additions

hi. i see that User:Lindsay658 has added a whole lot of text on romanization. the quality of the text looks ok to me, but i'm rather concerned about its length; as it is, it's completely dominating the rest of the article and goes into far more detail than anything else in the article. i think we should move it into a separate article on mandarin romanization and include a much reduced summary in this article. the historical aspects of romanization, in particular, don't belong in this article, in my opinion. Benwing 04:57, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Agree, but I'd go farther than that and split the romanization section to two articles, since they address two topics mixed together: the use of phonetic transcriptions for pedagogical purposes, and movements to eliminate Chinese characters entirely and replace them with an alphabetic writing system. cab 05:57, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

The move

I think it's time we have a proper discussion about the merits of moving this article to Standard Chinese. Since the article concerns the only internationally recognized form of spoken standard Chinese it would seem a lot more logical to use a title that actually reflects this fact. The title Standard Mandarin seems to be less common and above all somewhat confusing considering that it's a standard for all Chinese speakers, not just those speaking Northern Chinese dialects. Could we try to summarize the arguments for and against a move? Is a straw poll in order? --Peter Isotalo 10:01, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd oppose the proposal. Few speakers of Chinese languages other than Mandarin would perceive Putonghua or Kuo-yü as, and equate it with Chinese, and it has always been contentious if Mandarin speakers do so. Putonghua or Kuo-yü is officially the standard, but it's not just a standard for Chinese languages. In ythe mainland of the People's Republic of China it's the standard over Tibetan, Mongolian, Zhuang, etc. I'd prefer having some time for discussion before moving forward to have a straw poll. — Instantnood 12:42, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
At least in Singapore and Malaysia where multiple Chinese dialects are regularly spoken, the term "Chinese language" does commonly refer to Mandarin. I speak Hokkien, but I dont find it strange to refer to Hokkien as Hokkien and to Mandarin as "Chinese", even if its technically incorrect. It appears much of the world thinks the same, especially English users who think dialects like Cantonese is a seperate language from the Chinese language.--Huaiwei 12:55, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I support a move, but I suspect Han Chinese people who don't speak putonghua will oppose it. "Standard Chinese" just means a version of Chinese that is understood in all regions, it doesn't mean there aren't other variants of Chinese or that they are in some way "sub-standard" or lesser languages/dialects. LDHan 13:29, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to quote the naming conventions here (with my own bolding):
Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
Using the title "Standard Mandarin" seems to satisfy neither of the objectives stressed in the conventions.
And while I recognize that there might be disagreement from those who speak other forms of Chinese than the northern dialects, I know of no other form of Chinese that is officially promoted and regulated.
Peter Isotalo 14:20, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to quote from Wikipedia:naming conventions (Chinese): " In general, one should avoid using the term "Chinese" to be synonymous with the spoken Mandarin Chinese. " [1]Instantnood 16:32, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
That the conventions bothers to mention this is telling in itself.--Huaiwei 16:35, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
The proposal is not to move to "Chinese" but to "Standard Chinese", there is a difference. LDHan 16:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
It's still effectively equating Mandarin with Chinese. — Instantnood 20:21, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd oppose this. It isn't clear to me that "Chinese" in the context of language refers to Mandarin. To non-Chinese N Americans, hearing Cantonese and equating it with "Chinese" is very popular because the earliest immigrants spoke it. They hear Cantonese in their "Chinese" restaurants in "Chinatown" and they go see a subbed] Jackie Chan movie. Simply put, claiming that "the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" isn't Mandarin at all. Most english speakers are just outright ignorant of the variety of language spoken in China. SchmuckyTheCat 15:02, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
As another North American, I endorse this statement. --Yuje 19:30, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
It's essentially wrong logic to say that English speakers recognise "Chinese" more than they do "Mandarin", so that we should move the article to "Standard Chinese". Recognising "Chinese" more often over "Mandarin" does not mean they think "Chinese" equals "Mandarin". Moreover, "Standard Mandarin" is so named to distinguish itself from "Mandarin". "Standard Mandarin" is definitely more accurate as there is a whole family of Chinese languages/dialects. I would definitely oppose this. --- Hong Qi Gong 15:32, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Some Google figures:
I'll add to this that the term "Standard Chinese" is used in Encyclopedia Britannica and there is also the choice of title for works like The Phonology of Standard Chinese to consider. It's also rather amusing to note that when googling for "Standard Mandarin" without "-wikipedia"[2], the number of hits goes up by a whopping 35,000. I'm very tempted to claim that the usage of "Standard Mandarin" is extremely over-represented here at Wikipedia. There also seems to be some a lot of evidence that seems to favor just "Mandarin" as a synonym for Puthonghua rather than "Standard Mandarin".
And I don't see anyone attempting to reply to the statement that no other form of standardized Chinese exists, making it impossible to confuse this title (that already redirects here) with any other dialect/language. The difference between "Chinese" and "Standard Chinese" is not merely semantic. Compare, for example, German and Swedish with Standard German and Standard Swedish.
Peter Isotalo 17:09, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
The Google figures are not accurate. "Standard Chinese" can refer to a lot of things, such as baihua ("modern written vernacular Chinese"), even "Standard Chinese School of Australia" or "Standard - Chinese Crested Dog - Toy" (sic), whereas "standard Mandarin" can only refer to standardized official Mandarin.
There also seems to be some a lot of evidence that seems to favor just "Mandarin" as a synonym for Puthonghua rather than "Standard Mandarin". We have been there before, two years ago, when we came up with this usage. I remember the people involved were users Ran and Patrick0Moran. Then I opposed vehemently to using Mandarin as a synonym for putonghua. Amongst linguists and even Britannica, Mandarin refers to guanhua, a majority Chinese dialect which spreads from northeastern China over to Szechuan, central China etc, with large variations in accents and dialects. Putonghua is the standardized version of this, based almost entirely on the Beijing dialect. Mandel 07:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
You can find "Standard Mandarin Dinners" as well, and if you follow a lot of the links, a substantial percentage of them seem to be unauthorized mirrors of this article or just plain copyright violations. What weighs in a lot heavier as an argument is the fact that both EB and a recent phonology (written by a Chinese linguist) both use "Standard Chinese". "Standard Mandarin" is also somewhat similar to calling the most common form of standardized French "Standard Parisian" instead of "Standard French".
Peter Isotalo 08:18, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Do the French use any other language that are mutually unintelligible? I don't think so. The Chinese do, though. Nobody calls standard Mandarin standard Beijingese for instance. I don't see why we must follow EB at every turn. EB is sometimes inaccurate, and also, like I say, "standard Chinese" doesn't state if it is a spoken language or not.
Also, what EB exactly use is the term: "Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin)" [3] Mandel 06:39, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Granted that "Parisian French" was a bad example, "Orléanais" or "Oïl" are not. And there are many mutually unintelligible languages spoken in France that don't belong to the Oïl languages or that don't belong to the dialect group spoken around Paris. All of them aren't Romance and French has a greater demographic dominance than Mandarin, but a great deal of them are just as closely related to one another as most Chinese variants. One can also make this comparison with Spanish, especially when looking at the situation in Spain, where Galician and especially Catalan are spoken by very sizeable minorities.
I urge you to read the EB material more carefully. The introduction to the article on Standard Chinese reads:
Modern Standard Chinese is based on the Peking (Beijing) dialect...
The article then goes on to describe the initials of Standard Chinese before it is cut off. Right below the article on Standard Chinese in the article hierarchy on the left-hand side is an article called "Standard Cantonese". The title Standard Chinese (Mandarin) should of course be read "Standard Chinese, also called Mandarin", not "the standard form of Chinese (Mandarin)".
Peter Isotalo 11:51, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I've said many times before that Standard Chinese/Mandarin is not equivalent to Mandarin. Mandarin is Mandarin, standard Mandarin is the standardized version of it. So what you say is clearly not what EB means. Until you get that right you will misunderstand three-quarters of the discussion below. Mandel 08:19, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I think in ordinary and non-specialist usage "Mandarin" means putonghua and not the wider Mandarin group spoken in N and SW China which is mainly only used by linguists. So the EB title Standard Chinese (Mandarin) for putonghua just simply means Standard Chinese (commonly know as Mandarin). LDHan 12:02, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
You mean in non-specialist, Westernized context. EB defines it differently, [4]. Mandel 06:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link and correction, I hadn't read the EB entries before and I didn't know they used the wider group definition of Mandarin. Based on that, I would suggest the EB title Standard Chinese (Mandarin) for putonghua means Standard Chinese (one variety of the Mandarin group) or Standard Chinese (based on one variety of the Mandarin group). Nevertheless in popular usage, Mandarin or Mandarin Chinese refers to putonghua. LDHan 11:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Standardized Cantonese exists. Native speakers throughout Guangdong and parts of Guangxi speak various dialects of Cantonese, yet the form taught in schools in Hong Kong and Macau, and published in Cantonese textbooks and dictionaries, is the standarized form, and speakers of other Cantonese varieties are often bilingual in standard Cantonese as well. --Yuje 19:35, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Standard Mandarin may or may not be a good title, but Standard Chinese is definitely not a good one. Putonghua is the English name the PRC and the Hong Kong governments use, and it's got 333 000 hits (with non-English pages and Wikipedia filtered out). — Instantnood 20:21, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Putonghua is not going to happen since it's not recognizable to most English speakers. And your argument that SC isn't a good title still seems to be supported only by the argument that "Chinese" and "Standard Chinese" are the same thing.
Peter Isotalo 08:51, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
The most recognisable name to English speakers who are aware that Chinese isn't one language, is Mandarin. — Instantnood 19:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd support the move. The only dialect of Chinese that is being promoted by the Central Government is (standard) Mandarin Chinese. They are NOT promoting Shanghainese, Cantonese or any other dialect. 'Standard' here can be taken to mean 'the official form' as well. Although I am not fluent in Mandarin (I'm a native Cantonese speaker though) I do believe that this is the only form of Standard Chinese in existence since the CCP took over as the Chinese government in 1949. However, one can argue the other way, perhaps. After all, 'standard' written Chinese has been 'traditional' Chinese up until 1949. Nevertheless, the writing / spoken issues are different. In recent Chinese history Mandarin has always been the 'official' dialect. The number of Chinese living in China who do not know any Mandarin are extremely few. Thus, standard Chinese is essentially (standard) Mandarin. Jsw663 17:17, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Move to Mandarin Chinese. While Standard Mandarin has 50,000 hits, and Standard Chinese has 206,000 hits, Mandarin Chinese has over 2 million hits, with Wikipedia filtered out. Making the appeal to something that the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, Mandarin Chinese fits the bill better than Standard Chinese, and in almost all contexts refers to the standardized langauge and rarely to the northern Chinese dialect group. When universities in English speaking countries teach Mandarin Chinese, they teach Putonghua, not any of the other northern dialects.--Yuje 19:27, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
    I'd have to oppose this alternative too. Direct comparisons would then be Canadian English, California English, Quebec French, etc., which are all dialects of a language. — Instantnood 20:21, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
If you extend this line of argument, then there would be Standard Tuscan, Standard Castilian etc, so as to be consistant with Standard Mandarin. LDHan 20:55, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
LDHan has a good point here. The Italian and Spanish language articles are under the simple titles Italian language and Spanish language, while they both have several distinct dialects, just like Chinese. Badagnani 00:13, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Tuscan is an Italian dialect (which literary is the basis of modern Italian), wheareas Castilian is an alternative name of Spanish (in oppose to other languages in Spain, namely Catalan/Valencian, Basque, Galician). Mandarin is (linguistically) a language, not a dialect. (There's an article on Standard Spanish, btw.) — Instantnood 00:40, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
The point is that the standard national languages of Spain and Italy are based on one variety of the many languages/dialects which are mutually unintelligible to varying degrees in those countries, very similar to China. One difference when compared with China is that there are not a relativley significant number of Spanish and Italian people who do not speak the standard national language/dialect and object to something they do not speak; (Standard) Tuscan and (Standard) Castilian, being known as Italian or Spanish. Note that the proposal is not even to move to "Chinese" but to "Standard Chinese", there is an important difference. LDHan 14:00, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Venetian, Galician or Catalan are not dialects of Italian or Spanish, just as Cantonese and Hakka aren't dialects of Mandarin. Cantonese, Hakka, Mandarin, etc., are all Chinese languages. — Instantnood 19:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether Venetian, Tuscan, Galician, Catalan, Castilian, putonghua, Wu or Hakka etc are classed as languages or dialects, they are all language variants in Spain, Italy and China. LDHan 11:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose move as per WP naming conventions. Chinese doesn't equal Mandarin and there is a northern dialect of Mandarin that is not the standard version. There's a reason we have the article under this title; it's the consensus result of a lot of previous discussion. Badagnani 19:42, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I support either Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese, or any other alternative that:
    1. Encompasses Putonghua (mainland China), Guoyu (Taiwan), and Huayu (Singapore, Malaysia);
    2. Keeps the Mandarin dialects ("Guanhua"; "Beifanghua") and the standardized dialect ("Putonghua", "Guoyu") distinct.
      -- ran (talk) 20:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I would not oppose either, but I think "Standard Chinese" has the advantage of being more in-line with how people from a Mandarin-dominant (but NOT necessarily mandarin-speaking) environment understand the matter. By that I mean people from Mainland China, Taiwan, or Singapore, for whom "Chinese" usually means "Mandarin". In addition, "Standard Chinese" is more accurate, in the sense that the particular version of Mandarin is the standard Chinese, not just the standard dialect across the Mandarin group.

On the other hand, "Standard Mandarin" would be the more common term in English, and would accord with how people from a non-Mandarin-dominant environment understand the matter. By that I mean people from Hong Kong, Macau, and other countries. In the Anglophone world, for example, there is still the common misconception that "there are two types of Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese", or even "there are two types of Chinese; most people speak Cantonese, but some also speak Mandarin". Given these misconceptions, "Standard Mandarin" would accord more with the "common names" policy. --Sumple (Talk) 01:16, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

"Mandarin Chinese" is problematic, because it might just as well refer to the dialect group. This is exactly what I found when checking out standard language. Granted that it's a piped link, but I don't think it's reasonable to say that we know that all those 2 million Google hits actually refer to Putonghua and not the dialect group. And "Standard Mandarin" seems to be really common only here at Wikipedia. I also think that the usage in EB and the most recent Mandarin phonology would weigh in heavily on the side of SC.
Peter Isotalo 08:51, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I oppose the move. Standard Chinese is ambiguous. It doesn't state whether it is Spoken chinese, or vernacular written Chinese (baihua). Standard Mandarin is descriptive: it tells the reader specifically that it is Mandarin, a spoken dialect, that it is standardized, and not any other dialects (Cantonese, Min-nan) that the reader is using.
I don't think we ought to perpetuate the misconception common in the West that there are only one standard Chinese language, since there are standard Mandarin and other Chinese languages as well. Standard Mandarin is what is promoted by the PRC and Taiwan KMT. A lot of people will oppose as it is not equivalent to standard Chinese.
The only move I would support is to Standard Mandarin Chinese. Mandel 06:53, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
In that case Mandarin would be thought to be a Chinese dialect, in the same manner as Canadian English or Scottish English. — Instantnood 19:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Whether Chinese is a collection of languages of dialects is debated. I mean, sure standard Min and standard Wu (Suzhou dialect) are mutually unintelligible, but when you get to the boundary areas the dialects spoken there is pretty similar to each other. --Sumple (Talk) 00:40, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Alternative proposal for suggestion. Move or Split the article to Putonghua. Originally, this page didn't exist, but there were two seperate articles, at Putonghua, and Guoyu, for the two standardized versions of Mandarin that exist. They're not identical, so it would be valid to have a page for each. And contrary to what one might think, Putonghua actually outnumbers "Standard Chinese" by a fair margin on the Google test. (about 733,000 hits with Wikipedia filtered out).--Yuje 07:14, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

POV-forks are satisfying only to (a few) editors, but very seldom to readers.
Peter Isotalo 08:18, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
How would they be POV? Putonghua and Kuo-yu are indeed two different standards, and the article treats them as if they were the same. Several others have stated their concerns that the two should not necessarily be equated with each other. --Yuje 13:13, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
How would you like Singaporeans to call the "Chinese language" they know in eveyday speech then? Putonghua or guoyu?--Huaiwei 14:23, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Putonghua and Kuo-yu aren't defined by what the local Singaporean on the street considers themselves to be speaking, but by the language councils that wrote and set the standards. That should be enough to answer your question. --Yuje 15:02, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
No you are not answering the question. Of course local Singaporeans do not define Putonghua and Kuo-yu, and that was not what I was suggesting. Since you proposed two seperate articles called Putonghua and Kuo-yu, then the language which Singaporeans speak has to point to either one of them. Which one would you propose it be point at?--Huaiwei 11:31, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
The language spoken by Chinese Singaporeans would obviously have to be based on some standard, whatever that standard is. A split would result in a link pointing to it. --Yuje 11:46, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
And just what is that standard? If you effect the split now, mind telling us where that link should point to? Mind telling us if ethnic Chinese Singaporeans (and for that matter any Chinese aound the world outside Greater China) should call the language they speak Putonghua or Guoyu? If you are unable to answer this basic question, than just what kind of linguistic knowledge do you possess to argue for such a split other than being basically politically motivated?--Huaiwei 14:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Since you're a Singaporean, then you probably know the answer. I'm not sure of how Singapore's Mandarin is defined, myself, since I never bothered learning the differences of this particular variety, but I do know that there was a government agency that they did so. Singapore's initial attempts at standardization resulted in a version of simplified Chinese different from that of China's, while subsequent reforms matched them with that of China's. It was also this agency that decided on the adoption of Hanyu pinyin instead of bopomofo or an alternate romanization system. --Yuje 20:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
If asked to choose between either Putonghua or Guoyu, then no, I have no answer as a Singaporean. I thus wonder just what solution you can propose for us, since you propose splitting an existing article which serves that purpose perfectly. As of now, I dont see any solution coming from you. As for that "mysterious" government agency, mind educating us a little on just which it is, and perhaps write a sourced article on it and its activities and initiatives, before expecting others to ponder over them?--Huaiwei 14:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't support the proposed split. All of these "languages" are so similar in practice that any definitional difference is artificial. Furthermore, an English speaker without great knowledge of the nuances of Chinese linguistics would only be confused by two or three different pages that will, no doubt, largely duplicate each other. --Sumple (Talk) 22:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
In what ways are putonghua and kuoyu two different standards? They are by and large the same, so far as I understand. Sumple's argument makes lots of sense. Mandel 06:39, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The differences are mostly in vocabulary, though the pronunciation differences are listed here. :Shrug: It was just an idea tossed out there for discussion, because Putonghua as a name, seems to be a fairly popular one, outnumbering all the other suggestions by a fair margin. I still think the most popularly used name would be Mandarin Chinese, and most usages of the word aren't intended for the whole northern grouping. How Mandarin came to be the name of the entire group of northern dialects, I don't know, since Mandarin historically referred to the standard language that the mandarins in Beijing spoke. --Yuje 07:13, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The link is interesting. The only pronunciation I know which differs enough is in 垃圾 lésè (guoyu), lājī (putonghua). But it's very enlightening. Mandel 07:14, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The differences can be discussed in the same article. They are two slightly different standard of essentially the same thing. — Instantnood 19:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It is plain clear that the supposed "differences" are mostly in vocabulary, but does that create a "new language" of its own to warrant a seperate article? If this was repeated for all other languages, goodness knows how many articles on the English language we will have here in wikipedia alone!--Huaiwei 11:31, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
We do have many, many, many articles on the different varieties of English spoken throughout various countries.--Yuje 11:48, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
And how many of them are being promoted as seperate languages (or even dialects)? I challenge you to list them here. Even American English is no more than a dialect, when it has global notability and with obviously far more linguistic differences from British English than putonghua vs guoyu (and you will notice the later avoids calling itself a language too). Even Singlish probably posses more grammatic and vocabularic differences than any of the above pairs, but it is no more than a "creole". So on what basis are you arguments based on?--Huaiwei 14:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth. When did I argue that Putonghua and Guoyu were different languages? They're two differently defined standards version of Mandarin. --Yuje 20:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
And ditto for yourself. I challenge you to quote me any of my statements which directly accuses you of making the above claim.--Huaiwei 14:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Oppose move. I dont see how it is the academic or common consensus to prefer "Standard Chinese" over "Standard Mandarin". This article is on the spoken, not the written, form--Jiang 12:19, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

What are you basing your statements on, Jiang? When was it permanently decided that this article can't cover the written standard language? All other articles on standard languages seem to have no problem in encompassing both written and spoken standards. What about the usage in authoritive sources like EB? The Google counts, even if they are not to be taken too seriously, confirm that "Standard Mandarin" is by far the least common of all the titles (save for "Standard Mandarin Chinese") and the searches seem to show that the usage of this term is extremely overpresented here at Wikipedia. I mean, one of the only all-around Mandarin phonologies available is even called The Phonology of Standard Chinese.
Peter Isotalo 14:11, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I think "Standard Chinese" or "Modern Standard Chinese" are much more common in academic and specialist works than "Standard Mandarin". In non-academic and general usage the most common terms seem to be "Chinese", "Mandarin Chinese" or "Mandarin". "Standard Mandarin" seems to be something invented by wikipedia. It seems to me that the over-emphasis of the separation made between the spoken and written forms of standard Chinese language are made by people who do not both speak and write in the standard language, and according to some, speak a different language but use Modern Written Chinese as their written language .LDHan 17:11, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I've definitely seen "Standard Mandarin" outside of Wikipedia before. And there's no need to over-emphasize the seperation of spoken and written Chinese. There are already plenty of articles like Chinese written language, Chinese language, and Spoken Chinese to explain the difference between the forms. "Standard Mandarin" should be used in that "Standard Chinese" is very ambiguous. - Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 17:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see anything ambiguous about "Standard Chinese" at all. To me it just means a version of Chinese that is understood and spoken across many regions of China, in contrast to other varieties of Chinese which are only spoken in a particular region or by speakers from that region, and which are not used by people from other parts of China. LDHan 19:19, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
And I do think you've got a great point. But nothing precludes "Standard Mandarin" or an article about the topic to say that it is such a dialect/language that is used across many regions of China. Also, Chinese is not spoken in China alone. There are Chinese people all over the world. The Overseas Chinese population number to more than 30 million. - Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 19:34, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not basing my statements on anything. I'm asking for evidence for the claims being thrown around here. What is there to suggest that "Standard Chinese" satisfies Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)? I'm not necessarily saying "Standard Mandarin" should stay, but that I don't see the justification to have it moved to "Standard Chinese". If we want to trust google, then "Mandarin Chinese 1 910 000" is by far more common than either of the alternatives.
The article, as it stands, is solely on the spoken language. Other articles exists on the written language: Vernacular Chinese and Chinese written language. If you would like this setup to be changed, then let's start a new discussion. We shouldnt be renaming articles on the assumption that events that have not happened will occur.--Jiang 20:06, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of arguments for "Standard Chinese". In fact, any option that isn't "Standard Mandarin" would be more logical. But as long as Mandarin (linguistics) exists it's more or less impossible to name this article anything that includes "Mandarin" since the disambiguation would be entirely arbitrary. It would make more sense to call this simply Mandarin and move the dialect article to Northern Chinese dialects or something like it.
I don't know why the standard written language hasn't been included here, but the choice of title and stressing the uniqueness of Chinese seems to have been the issue moreso than any concern for end users. The main argument aginst the move to "Standard Chinese" is based almost entirely on the argument "We don't want people equating Mandarin with Chinese" which is a pretty obvious straw man, since we're discussing Standard Chinese and nothing else. As pointed out many times already, it's no less neutral than referring to other standard languages that are based on specific dialects, even if that language includes dialect that are very different of even mutually unintelligible (like Italian or German).
Peter Isotalo 15:12, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Comment: some of the comments here seem to be based on an ideological insistence that Mandarin =/= Chinese. However, it should be recognised that to most people educated in a Mandarin-dominant environment (the vast majority of Chinese speakers), for all intents and purposes Chinese is Mandarin, and especially so if the context calls for a distinction between Chinese and a foreign language. For example, if you ask a person from mainland China to "speak Chinese", it is almost certain that they will speak Mandarin.

The term "Chinese" is problematic not because (at least to me) of what you call an "ideological insistence", but because the term "Chinese" is extremely lax in English usage. It can mean lots of things. It can mean: 1) a written language, 2) a spoken language, 3) the Han people in general, 4) the PRC nationality, including Mongolians, Tibetans etc. 5) people of Han ancestry, who may or may not live overseas, which (might) include Taiwanese (hence the term Taiwanese Chinese) or 6) anything cultural pertaining to China. It should be noted that the PRC has never recognized putonghua =/= Chinese, and that it should be the only language of use in China. 普通话 is 普通话, it is not 中国话, 中国语 or even directly equivalent to 汉语. It is unlike the French who call their common language français; putonghua is merely being promoted as the lingua franca in all of Mainland China. Fair enough if you want to equate them, but you must make several distinctions as well. Mandel 06:55, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I am not suggesting that this should determine the name of the article - it is the English wikipedia, afterall. I just think that it should be borne in mind that, while to you and me Chinese =/= Mandarin, to most Chinese speakers that is the case in ordinary usage. --Sumple (Talk) 00:47, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I think you have made some good points. It seems to me the objections to Standard Chinese are mostly made by Chinese people (particularly the overseas Chinese) who do not speak putonghua but speak only some variety of non-putonghua local Chinese language, and are vastly over represented in English speaking countries and therefore on English wikipedia. I doubt if anyone in China (but obviously not including HK and Macao)would raise an eyebrow if one said that Standard Chinese=putonghua/guoyu. LDHan 11:47, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Comment:Ironically enough, those same mainlanders who equate Chinese==Mandarin are also likely to be ones who vehemently object to the distancing of non-Mandarin dialects from Mandarin. They might say to non-Putonghua speakers something like, "You should learn to speak Chinese", but if one said, "I speak both Chinese and Cantonese" or "I speak Mandarin and Cantonese", you might get a strong a reaction such as, "They're the same langauge, you only speak Chinese". --Yuje 08:32, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Comment: That it should be "ironic" is a matter of your personal opinion. I do not find it ironical, and I find perfect sense in what they say without being a Chinese mainlander. As what LDHan alluded to, just because the English wikipedia is swarmped with Overseas Chinese dosent mean the views of Mainlanders arent worth accounting for.--Huaiwei 11:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
It's a bias that can't be helped, as Wikipedia is banned in mainland China. Any Chinese who are typing on here would have to be outside the Mainland (ie overseas), unless they figured out some way to circumvent the Great Firewall.--Yuje 11:51, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
If you have full knowledge that a ban exists, and acknowledge this bias exists, I find it a cause for concern that you can persist in enforcing a point of view which you jolly well know is not in full accordance with wikipedia's WP:NPOV. You unabashedly counter the efforts of those trying to counter systemic bias, and you are appear keen to enforce it irregardless. If this is so, then I suppose you are simply inviting others to oppose what you are doing.--Huaiwei 14:46, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
While Wikipedia users are expected to restrain their own biases, a demographic bias is something outside my control. If you want to question my factual accuracy, then point them out, instead of trying to insinuate guilt by association on my part to try to discredit me. That they are banned from Wikipedia, or that the majority don't speak English are facts outside of life that I can't change. As for proposals, I only have my own to give, as I'm not a mainlander, don't claim to speak for them, and not too keen on putting words in other people's mouths. Look hard enough and you'll see plenty of other demographic biases on this page. I'd wager that the majority on this talk page are male, a good majority is probably ethnic Chinese, all are English speaking, and all have both the means and skills to operate a computer. This excludes quite a good-sized demographic. Will you try to rectify this, as well? Of course not. I can't plug a demographic onto a computer, but I can make sure my edits are factually accurate. That putonghua and kuo-yu (and whatever standard Singapore follows) are two (or three) differently-defined mandarin standards is a factual statement. Whether or not such an article organization presents the information best will inevitably involve an opinion of judgement. I can only speak for my own opinion. If you would like to question my factual accuracy, then do so. If you want to accuse me of NPOV, then first identify which POV I'm pushing. But don't lay systemic bias at my feet, and please avoid the annoying habit of laying personal attacks at me at every talk page where you see me. --Yuje 20:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
If you are interesting in writing lengthy essays like the above, then perhaps you may consider the use of paragraphs. Seeing a whole bunch of text after a long hard day of work is just such a put off (notice I have yet to bother replying to that ultra long essay several sections above too. I have so much to comment, I dont know where to start).
You certainly think too highly of yourself. From claiming that I was "deliberately targetting you for reverts", to "trying to discredit you", to even "laying personal attacks at you at every talk page where I see you" do you think you deserve that much of my precious time? That some of the most ridiculously inaccurate, unsourced, and highly imaginative linguistic and other related arguments constantly gets associated with this user name is just plain unfortunate. There is a basic and fundamental difference between having an issue with your ideas, and with you. So much for trying to accuse me of launching "personal attacks" on you, when in the same breath you attempt to lambast others for trying to "discredit you. ;)
Your lenghty essay on demographic bias is not worth my read. You acknowledged the existance of this bias. I pointed out the fact that there is an active effort to contain this problem, and your continued actions is directly countering the best efforts of others. You respond by somehow believing I am "blaming" you for this existance of this bias, that you can somehow "control" it (actually you can play a part, no matter how small, but would you consider it?), and get all personal and cry-babyish over it. Seriously, get a hold on yourself and grow up (and THIS, btw is a far more accurate and genuine example of a personal attack). Do you honestly think I am expending this energy to discredit you, or more to drill into you the fact that you dont own wikipedia even if you happen to belong to the majority demographic sector?
I find it greatly amusing that even at this time, you can still feign ignorance and demand evidence for your blatant display of POV. I will provide these evidence at the best opportune time, thank you very much.
"That putonghua and kuo-yu (and whatever standard Singapore follows) are two (or three) differently-defined mandarin standards is a factual statement."...and..."I can only speak for my own opinion." Indeed I will question your factual accuracy when it is due, and as I have done all these while. Despite your proud statement inviting my contestations of your views, you appear all hyper sensitive and gittery over it when it does happen. The above statements, meanwhile, left me wondering if you the lines between "factual statements" and personal "opinion" are murky in your books. Nothing is "factual" until proven. Everything is a matter of "personal opinion" if unproven. How many times have you actually provided credible, unbiased sources (and please, even as you say you see biases all over this page, you obviously have major problems admitting that the West is hardly devoid of bias and POV) to support your statements unless drilled and grilled for them (unfortunately usually by none other than yours truly)? If you want to have the balls to claim your personal opinions as fact, then where did they go after the declaration stage?
To sum up, I bother wasting time like this, not just to voice out my opinions, not just to question your statements, but also to basically let you know, that you arent exactly in the moral high-ground to launch attacks against others who disagree with you factually, no matter how small a number they may be. Whether you want to listen, I am hardly concerned. Just dont go all irritatingly balless, and start whining like some hurt animal in your bid to seek community symphathy when the going gets bumpy. Its not like you arent warned.--Huaiwei 14:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Again, I would invite you to actually name these biases or factual inaccuracies at the appropriate pages instead of directing a long string of petty personal and ad hominem attacks and accusations. If you believe something I said here regarding Mandarin was inaccurate, name it. Petty personal attacks will accomplish none of your goals. I'm man enough to refrain from being goaded by such childish antics, or to make my own. Are you? If you have relevant comments or criticisms to make, then make them. If you believe I'm systematically pushing a POV or factual inaccuracies, my talk page or an arbitration committe. If you simply don't like me, feel free to email me as many histrionics as you wish. But not here. Else please stop wasting everybody's time and bandwidth. --Yuje 22:59, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Splitting Standard Mandarin into guoyu and putonghua presupposes two things: one, that the reader is well versed in pinyin; two, that the reader knows enough about this distinction to know which link to follow. Neither of which can be taken for granted. I would approve only if there are three separate articles instead of two: putonghua, guoyu and Standard Mandarin, but that would mean a lot of duplicate materials. By the way, standard Singaporean Mandarin pronunciation is based on putonghua, but if you defined a language by its vocabulary, then Singapore Mandarin would need another article since it possesses plenty of self-coined words and terms like 乐龄,巴刹,组屋 which might not be understandable to a Mainland Chinese / Taiwanese. Mandel 06:26, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

While splitting the entire article into three might not be necessarily the best option, the fact that such differences do exist do give room for several subarticles on specific standards, they way that currenty exists for other languages like English. --Yuje 22:59, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
If you take a Chinese Mainlander, a Taiwanese, and a Singaporean, and get them to speak to each other in Chinese, you will find that the Taiwanese and Singaporean sounds far more alike, particularly in terms of intonation, accent, and to some extent, vocabulary. This may be partly due to the relatively common dialectic backgrounds. When I was in Taiwan, people could generally tell I wasent a local once I open my mouth, but no one would assume I am from the Mainland.--Huaiwei 14:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I support the move to 'Standard Chinese' for common sense reasons - just imagine the confusion if we decided to revert to special technical names for every language! 'Mandarin' is an anachronistic term from a bygone era, even if it is still current among overseas Chinese communities. Kleinzach 13:01, 2 October 2006 (UTC)


I've tried to sum up the very extensive discussion, and what seems to be clear is that Standard Mandarin is a term that is heavily over-represented here on Wikipedia and seems somewhat stilted. It appears to be insisted on primarily by those who for one reason or another believe that it could mean that Chinese would be entirely equated with Mandardin. There are plenty of arguments ("Standard XXX" can't logically be equated with "XXX") and examples of other articles on standard languages (Standard German, Standard Spanish, Standard Swedish) provided in the discussion above that show that confusion or even a POV-problem is unlikely.
The most common term for the Chinese standard language seems to be either Mandarin or Mandarin Chinese, and it would be far more accurate to use any of these titles than the current one. The only problem is, of course, that it would be a rather arbitrary choice to grant this article, rather than Mandarin (linguistics), the title Mandarin Chinese. I personally feel that Standard Chinese is a perfectly uncontroversial title which appears to be used by linguists and in major encyclopedias like EB. It would also be completely analogous with the title of other articles on standard languages. Another option, however, would be to come up with a better title for Mandarin (linguistics) that would leave us with the option of calling this Mandarin Chinese.
Either way, I feel the current title is a poor compromise that hasn't been discussed properly and kept only because it's been around for a long time. I feel that it's quite safe to say that it does not enjoy a broad consensus at the moment. Is some form of straw poll in order? Perhaps even a move request?
Peter Isotalo 22:34, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Cellophane noodles question

Hello, there's some controversy about the origin of the name saifun to refer to cellophane noodles. It was earlier thought that this was a Japanese name (i.e. harusame saifun) but it now seems it might be related to the Mandarin "fen si." Is it possible that "saifun" is a Min Nan pronunciation? It doesn't seem to be Cantonese. Thank you, Badagnani 05:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

New Page idea

Ever since seeing the great updates on the Xiao'erjing page, I thought of a new page idea. How about a new page which shows a table of Mandarin phonetics as written in different writing systems? A page showing a table of Pinyin, along with its equivalents in Wades-Giles, Zhuyin, Cyrillization, Xiao'erjing, example characters, and IPA? --Yuje 12:12, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

If you create such a page, let me know. I've just created a Hebrew transliteration page in he:ויקיפדיה: כללים לתעתיק מסינית UncleMatt 23:08, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Making the number of speakers more prominent?

Is there any reason the stat on the number of speakers in the PRC is all the way at the bottom? I realize that it doesn't nearly account for all of the speakers, but I would think it would help to say in the introduction that there are at the very least x number of speakers, especially since the survey was in the nation with the most speakers. --Echalon 01:29, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Chinese surname categories up for deletion

A new editor has just added a number of categories for Chinese surnames, which I believe to be very useful. As is usually the case at the Categories for Deletion area, the people who frequent that place generally try to delete every new category, regardless of whether they understand its use. In this case, they seem not to understand the utility of being able to have a category for everyone with the name "Liu," for example. Please voice your opinion here. Badagnani 03:41, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Postal romanisation based on French?

I have read this article partially, and I have been surprised to read that the so-called postal romanisation is based on French. I would think English had much more influence on the old spellings. For example, the letter w doesn't exist in French (except in foreign loanwords) so names like Swatow or Kweichow cannot be explained in terms of French influence. Besides, the letter combinations sh and ch are always used with their English values. Just think of a name like "Changsha" (the French would have spelt that as "Tchangcha"). The quintessentially English oo also appears in names like Soochow and Foochow. Frankly, I can't think of any postal-style name that reflects French spelling rules in any way, so I think this is an error in the article that needs to be corrected. Gelo 10:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The statement that the postal romanization is based on French is entirely true; and, also, entirely logical. Due to the cultural invasion of China by the conglomerate of European powers in the second half of the 19th century, the franchise for the customs system was given to the English (hence the importance of the British Wade system in relation to the European recording of the pronunciation of the Chinese ideograms), the franchise for the railway system was given to the Germans, and the franchise for the postal system was given to the French. From this, it was entirely logical that place names were rendered according to the prevailing French systems of romanization; simply because it was the French that were responsible for the delivery of the mail. For example, according to the conventions of the French system, the name that was written PEKING was actually pronounced BEY-JING (which is precisely how its residents would have pronounced its name). 02:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

This Phoneme /ɰ/ is Misclassified, and Does it Really Exist?

The IPA chart defines this symbol /ɰ/ as a velar approximant.

The consonant chart in the Phonology section of this article has it in the chart position for a velar fricative -- and from its position to the right of /x/ it looks like it's intended as an aspirated /x/ -- that is an aspirated velar fricative: /xʰ/

So something is wrong here.

Does it exist?

If if does, it should either be /xʰ/ in its current location, or /ɰ/ in the Approximants row.

If it does exist, please explain its Romanization in the Pinyin article.

If it is only an allophone of /x/ -- after correcting it as I indicate above -- it should also be put in parentheses and indicated as an allophone of something with a footnote. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

The symbol does indeed exist. It is called a "velar approximate" on the IPA site, so if it is uxed in Chinese it should be so labeled. I suspect that the phenomenon that somebody has tried to represent symbolically is that some speakers of Chinese "grind" their "h" sounds a good bit more than others. It's fairly rare, but I've heard it before. P0M 03:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
All valiant guesses. Actually, [ɰ] is an allophone of the zero initial in the speech of many Mandarin speakers when no medial is present. See, for example, the discussion in this book. Its being classified as its own phoneme here is obviously wrong.

Less Romanization Info

Why is this article like 80% information on Romanization? Aren't there many separate articles for that? There's really too much information about it in here. I say it should be split off into its own page. It's odd that there isn't a page for Chinese romanization, even though there are many pags about the specific types. I'll work on it too, but assistance would be greatly appreciated! --LakeHMM 01:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

For a centralized discussion, please post responses here. --LakeHMM 01:27, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Question on IPA values

The vowel chart is as follows:

Nucleus Coda Medial
Ø i u y
a Ø ɑ
i uaɪ
u iaʊ
n an iɛn uan yɛn
ŋ ɑŋ iɑŋ uɑŋ
ə Ø ɤ uo 1 ²
i ueɪ
u ɤʊ iɤʊ
n ən in uən yn
ŋ ɤŋ uɤŋ ³ yʊŋ
Ø i u y

The pronunciation for "ai" and "wai" are written with "ɪ," which would put a rounded vowel at the end of these sounds. Saying "wai" with a rounded vowel ending would make one open and shut one's lips like a goldfish. Shouldn't it bi "i" and not "ɪ"?

Second, the IPA for "ying" makes the vowel into a diphthong, as though one were saying ""eeeuhuhuhng". In other words, one would be opening one's jaw by making this sound. Shouldn't it be 'iŋ"? P0M 03:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

If nobody is going to defend these "spellings," I'm going to change them. P0M 00:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
[ɪ] is an unrounded vowel... FilipeS 23:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I realize this is a year late, but anyway :) The English word "city" is [ˈsɪti]. With that in mind, "wai" is [wai], not [waɪ]. Finally, "ying" would be [jiŋ] or simply [iŋ]. -- A-cai (talk) 14:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Why are they again being called "retroflex" finals

The "r" sound involved in compounds like 小孩兒 is not a retroflex. In pinyin it's "er" [ɚ] (Li and Thompson) not "ri". This matter was discussed a couple of years ago, but somehow the misinformation has crept back in. Just try to say the English word "car" with your tongue in retroflex position and you'll get the idea. Wade-Giles and NPR both distinguish clearly between the two "r" sounds, using two different symbols, ㄖ(Wade-Giles j)for the retroflex and ㄦ (er) for the slack tongue back/open sound. P0M 08:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that you do the correction first at any rate. --Deryck C. 08:44, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed that many of the people who do these charts disagree among themselves. Usually it's over assignments to vowel categories that are next door neighbors, but sometimes the people making the categorizations appear not to know what the real tongue positions are. "Er" and "ri" sound similar to English speakers. If English speakers will say "star rides" they'll feel their tongues touch the top of the mouth on the second "r". Chinese speakers can get the same kind of experience by saying, "女兒入醫院."
I've been arguing things out with some members of the Chinese Language Teachers Association listserv hosted by Kenyon University and comparing several sets of "authoritative" IPA descriptions of Chinese. Those discussions have been useful and have even involved debate/discussion on topics such as whether to note the "y" in "yi" the same was as the "y" in "yuan." To me the whole point of doing a careful phonetic description, symbolic or otherwise, is to clue the non-speaker in on just these differences. (I had an argument with my thesis advisor on whether it was appropriate to write "an yin and a yang." I lost, but he was wrong.) I'll try to take care of things in a day or two. P0M 18:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Recently, I'm doing a private research on Mandarin phonetics and read a handbook for Standard Putonghua Test (ISBN 7-100-04175-9/H.1035). This book was published by mainland China's language authorities.

In the phonology section of this book, "r" in 日 is defined as an "apical-back" sound (舌尖後音, i.e. 翹舌[retroflex]音) and is a Voiced retroflex fricative (ʐ). "er" in 兒 is defined as a "retroflex vowel" (捲舌元音), and the IPA is [ər]. The "ə" is Mid central vowel, and pronouncing er is to let 舌前、中部上抬,舌尖向後捲,和硬腭前端相對. In other words, 兒 is a vowel followed by a retroflex gesture. But this gesture does not involve a "fricative".

By referring only to the information given by this book, both 日 and 兒 involve a retroflex gesture.

It should also be noted that this book does not mention Retroflex approximant (ɻ), which is a common variation of "r" among some Chinese speakers (especially the southerners, like me).--Fitzwilliam 03:39, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

There are sure a lot of opinions on how these sounds are made. My impression of many of these disputes is that there is a great deal of subjectivism involved. I have been communicating with a linguist working in Beijing who has access to the Beijing Language Institute tables (I think it was). I'll have to see what he can dig up on this subject.
Sometimes moving the tip of the tongue creates a significant difference in the speech sounds produced because the tongue tip gets up in the air stream and changes the nature of the vibrations produced. In English we have some speakers who are so slack that they leave out lots of the "r" sounds -- and then make up for it by putting in extra "r" sounds at the ends of words where nobody else makes them. They say something like "cah" for "car". The full "r" sound of that nature is, to me, close to what was always accepted as an 兒-type "r" by my teachers. If the 日-type r sounds start to lose their tension (and their curl) they change into zi, ci, si (at least in Taiwan). The standard 日-type r involves a great deal of tension in the tongue, so much so, in fact, that the tongue tip starts to function like a reed in a wind instrument. My Beijing instructors did not have any trouble in telling me how to make that sound (unlike ji, qi, xi which they made just fine but had no idea of how it was actually being done). There are indeed differences in how "retro" the sound is, and the differences may involve recent changes as populations have mixed. On the other hand, Beijing was not monolithic in its pronunciation standards even before the Second World War, the communist takeover, and all the changes of those turbulent times.
More later. (I wonder how many people know enough IPA to make all the effort to get a good IPA description worthwhile. I've listened to IPA sound recordings of somebody trying to make various vowel and consonant sounds in isolation and it does not give me any confidence that the effort is worthwhile. P0M 04:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Republic of China naming dispute

Why on earth are you guys reverting to the old thing? That is completely wrong. The Republic of China is not Taiwan. There is no country called Taiwan. The country ruling Taiwan is the Republic of China. These are the facts, it doesn't matter what you think or feel. It is important to stress these facts. (Taiwan) should not be included. Republic of China on Taiwan, would work better. -Nationalist 08:09, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

We don't always say "DPRK" for North Korea, because it's cumbersome and confusing to English speakers. There are many other examples where we don't usually, in English, use the full legalistic name of the country. Taiwan is understood as the nationality: "I am Taiwanese"; not "I am Republic of China-ese." Badagnani 08:18, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Another (more neutral) example is Hong Kong. Nobody ever calls the place "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" in common usage. Once a fellow student wrote "HKSAR" on the address box and the whole class laughed for ten minutes. Nor is anobody called "SAR-er"; just "Hongkonger". --Deryck C. 09:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
You're clearly biased about this, though. I mean, look at your username. For the record, I support Taiwan/ROC/whatever. I looked at your past contributions and they're all about this issue! You are clearly using this account to just insert your POV into a bunch of articles. People who aren't aware of the complexities of the political situation between PRC/ROC probably don't know what the Republic of China is, so why not use the term that most people are familiar with? The examples cited above are valid ones. Here are some more: We don't refer to Libya as the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" every time we talk about it. We don't call the UK the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Those long terms are the official names of those countries, but that's not how they're known by most people. Need I cite more? --LakeHMM 09:17, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem with all the examples is that they are all official names and that their is no dispute about the sovereignty of that country. For example, no one disputes that the UK is part of another country etc. There is an ongoing dispute that Taiwan is independent byitself or it is part of the PRC or whatever. But in fact and in truth, Taiwan is governed as Taiwan province, Republic of China. It is part of the country called Republic of China. The ROC is NOT the PRC. We cannot equate ROC to Taiwan. Because that is not true. The ROC also governs some Fuchien islands. But they are not part of Taiwan proper or Province. They are part of Fuchien Province, Republic of China. Therefore, we should put it as Republic of China on Taiwan. That would clarify to people. And since some people don't know about this dispute/conflict, they will click on the Wiki ROC article and realize all the information about the ROC, Taiwan, and PRC. It is important for us to not hide the truth, but rather help others understand what's really happening. -Nationalist 22:35, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
"Republic of China (Taiwan)" just means "Republic of China, commonly know as Taiwan to the rest of the world", it's not making any statements about Taiwanese adminstrative divisions or territorial claims. The rest of the world outside Taiwan doesn't commonly use "Republic of China" to mean Taiwan, if it is used at all it usually refers to China 1912-1949. Whatever internal disputes that the PRC and ROC may have do not alter the fact that their common names are "China" and "Taiwan" respectively. Also according to your own arguments, "Republic of China on Taiwan" is not correct either, it should be "Republic of China on Taiwan and surrounding Islands". LDHan 14:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Republic of China on Taiwan would still work. The ROC government is based centrally in Taipei, Taiwan. Its not based in the surrounding islands. We still need to use exact names, but to clarify..I proposed Republic of China on Taiwan. Having (Taiwan) in back of Republic of China makes Taiwan equal to the ROC. Although the ROC is commonly known as Taiwan, it still does not mean both are equal to each other. Therefore ROC on Taiwan is most fitting -Nationalist 02:01, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Didn't the opposition party guys "turn the tables" (literally) on the elderly KMT politicians, each of whom represented a province of mainland China (Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong, etc.) about 10 years ago, finally leading to the acknowledgement that the ROC government does not, in fact, no longer controls those provinces? I have that on video. If so, then ROC = Taiwan for all intents and purposes, and thus "Taiwan" is fine to use as someone's nationality, and as the name of the nation (as in the Libya and North Korean examples given earlier). Badagnani 02:06, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I would like to see that video. Second, even though Lee Teng-hui (some pro Taiwan independence guy) said doesnt mean it is binding. In order for the Republic of China to officially renounce sovereignty over Mainland China, the National Assembly must pass a resolution to change the national boundaries. So far that has not happened. Therefore, even if the DPP government doesnt want to believe it...the ROC government still claims sovereignty over all of China including Mongolia. So therefore the ROC still represents some parts of China and should be treated as such. It also controls Fuchien province (not only Taiwan). -Nationalist 04:59, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

The video was footage and an interview shown on a CBS News 60 Minutes program about 12 years ago. I have the tape. I'm not sure if you can watch NTSC VHS, and it could be expensive to mail overseas to you. Probably you should send me something interesting in return. I'm interested in traditional Taiwanese opera, if you are able to find a recording of that. Badagnani 05:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
If the ROC government "controls Fuchien province" it will come as a big shock to the PRC government. It will also come as a big shock to the U.S. government and the governments of other major parties. Heads will roll at the CIA.
Mention of the ROC (Taiwan) makes perfect sense to me. Taiwan is a geographical location that actually means something to people in the U.S. "Republic of China" and "Peoples Republic of China" can blend into a mish-mash in the minds of some people. (Earlier in the Bush administration the national anthem of the ROC was played to honor the ambassador of the PRC. Presumably this was the result of mish-mash thinking in the orchestra and not a deliberate affront by an undiplomatic government official.) People would have to know about Jinmen and Mazu to have any idea that Taiwan is not all of the ROC territory, and if they did, then they would know enough to put the slightly flaky definition into its propery social context. P0M 08:23, 23 January 2007 (UTC

The relevant policy is at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese). As "official" languages pertain to governments, we must use official names according to the policy. It is controversial to equate the Republic of China with Taiwan (the blues and communists are against this), but we can interpret the parenthesis as a clarification - common name after official name. but "Republic of China" has to stay.--Jiang 22:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Should we therefore change all mentions of Libya, in articles discussing the government of Libya, to ""Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya"? Badagnani 06:33, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
No, because there is one, not two, Libyas. Its status is not a political issue.--Jiang 06:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Wrong page to be discussing this. But refer to Macedonia and Ireland, along with Korea.--Jiang 07:02, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Ar least we are beyond the point when Americans only recognized the name "Formosa." :-) P0M 22:42, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, we need to use the official name which is Republic of China. We can include something like since 1949, the ROC government has been based in Taiwan, for further clarification. And it is true that the ROC controls parts of Fuchien province. There is still a fully functioning Fuchien Provincial Government in Kinmen, a rival to the PRC, and justifying claims of the Republic of China to all of China-Nationalist 06:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

中华人民共和国 Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo in short 中国 Zhongguo is China. 中华民国台湾 Zhonghua Minguo Taiwan in short 台湾 Taiwan is Taiwan.Lie-Hap-Po 15:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Requesting someone with experience

In this page I saw someone labelled the name '孫悟空' as Japanese? But it is actually Chinese, the Japanese name is 'カカロット' and it is Kanji, could someone solve this problem and see if my edit is good enough (since I changed it)? Because it is definitely Chinese as my language 'Korean' has Chinese/Korean = Hanji, so I know whats Chinese and whats Japanese aswell. ( Seong0980 02:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC) )

If you changed it it appears that someone changed it back. The way Chinese names are written in Japanese is usually to borrow the Chinese characters and give them a Japanese pronunciation. Without having the original materials in hand it is hard to guess what is actually going on. They give a name in kanji and its corresponding Japanese pronunciation in romanization, and they give a name in kana and its corresponding pronunciation in romanization. Are they selling a Chinese language version? Are they giving the character two names in Japanese? Who knows? But it's likely that they would just kanji just for its decorative effect on a book cover or box top. If they have changed it back I would just leave it that way. P0M 04:55, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Manchu and Mongolian language influences on Mandarin

The power of the Mongols and the Manchurians were strong enough to impose a language replacement or a language change on the ancient chinese language in the Northern Chinese proper. How much did these invaders have influenced the ancient chinese language which had formed the Standard Mandarin of today? What words were borrowed from the Mongolian and Manchurian? Sonic99 03:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

This talk page is for discussing changes to the article, not general discussions related to the subject. --Ideogram 03:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I believe Sonic99 is trying to request some additions to the article. --Deryck C. 04:03, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Ideogram, it's a fair question regarding the subject and could help to add to the article; please don't attack other editors for asking questions. We all work together here, let's keep a positive and collaborative attitude at all times. Badagnani 04:09, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not an attack, it's a statement of fact. --Ideogram 04:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Was the original comment was just a request for more information regarding Manchu and Mongolian influences on Mandarin? To me it seems to be to a rhetorical question, written to confirm a already held belief regarding Manchu and Mongolian influences on Mandarin. It starts with the premise that there was a "language replacement or a language change on the ancient Chinese language", and then uses the leading questions "How much did these invaders have (sic) influenced the ancient chinese language which had formed the Standard Mandarin of today?" and "What words were borrowed from the (sic) Mongolian and Manchurian?" I don’t have my reference books on hand at the moment, so I may be wrong on this, but I seem to recall that there is little Mongolian and Manchurian influences on Mandarin (putonghua/guoyu), it is mainly limited to a few loanwords such as hutong. However, no doubt there was more influence on the many local Mandarin dialects such as Beijing dialect etc (not to be confused with putonghua/guoyu).

It is nonsensical to talk of "the ancient Chinese language" in this context because at the time of the interaction of these languages during the Yuan or Qing dynasties, they were all contemporary languages, actual ancient Chinese; the language of Kongzi and Mengzi of course were not influenced by Mongolian or Manchurian. LDHan 16:11, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting question. The Altaic-speaking northern tribes had a profound influence on the phonology and lexicon of northern Chinese. I'm sure I have plenty of sources to cite this claim, but none come to mind right now. -- 20:22, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposed IPA for apical vowels

The phonetician John C. Wells has just proposed an improved narrow transcription of the Mandarin finals occurring in Pinyin shi and zi (he doesn't—or didn't when I looked—mention ri at all). You might like to have a look & either adopt it here or suggest an improvement. From the name, it sounds as if his informant is a Cantonese speaker.

See Wells' blog for details. --NigelG (or Ndsg) | Talk 18:28, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

IPA transcriptions of zao, zhong and jiao

I’ve been a student of Chinese for many years and I just can’t accept the IPA transcriptions of the initials in zao, zhong, and jiao as ʦ, ʈʂ,and tɕ.

To my ears, they are all clearly voiced, as the Pinyin transcription would indicate. They're certainly not just unaspirated cao (ʦʰ), chong(ʈʂʰ), and qiao(tɕʰ)!

Any Thoughts?

Marquetry28 11:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Pinyin doesn't indicate voicing as such, perhaps you are confusing the sounds that "z" and "j" represent in other languages that use the Latin alphabet with Chinese sounds. LDHan 12:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
They may sound voiced, but they aren't. This is perhaps better illustrated in dialects such as Taiwanese that evince a three-way distinction: aspirated and unvoiced, unaspirated and unvoiced, and unaspirated and voiced. Only the first two are present for the most part in (standard) Mandarin, and pronouncing the second as the third (especially doing so distinctly) is often considered a distinguishing feature of non-native speakers. The only voiced consonants in Mandarin are the nasals (n, m) and the liquid r (maybe the liquid l, too, I'm not sure).
By way of analogy, intervocalic consonants in English are sometimes unaspirated but unvoiced. Consider, for instance, 't' in "rated." It is not aspirated as in "Ted," as you can readily determine by feeling your breath with your hand as you say these words, but neither is it like voiced 'd' in "raided." BrianTung 00:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Luoyang Dialect

I'm surprised that there's no mention of the Luoyang dialect as the historical precursor to Standard Mandarin. See, for example, the lengthy discussion in this book, as well as several essays in this book. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Philosofinch (talkcontribs)

You should add something. We also have an article called Mandarin (linguistics) which might be a better place because this article is about the standardized form of the Mandarin languages. Badagnani 03:04, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Deletion proposal

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mandarin slang Badagnani 08:53, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Role of standard Mandarin

In Chapter 5 "Role of standard Mandarin", the following claims are inaccurate: "In China, a proficiency of level 3-B usually cannot be achieved unless special training is received." "Most university graduates usually take this Exam before looking for a job. Many companies require a basic Mandarin Level Evaluation Certificate from their applicants." Zhxlier 15:52, 22 August 2007 (UTC)


Why on earth is there an article written by Stalin in the reference list? Peter Isotalo 06:27, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

The work appears on the reference list because it, above all other written works, had the greatest effect on the project this article speaks to -- viz., the creation of the artifact now known and "Standard Mandarin" -- and, moreover, it was the single piece of writing that also gave the impetus for the (now discredited) drive towards removing the use of Chinese characters altogether.
As a final point, in relation to your frivolous "Comrades: heading, the publication of the work in question in Chinese -- despite the fact that it was 100% driven by a political ideology (namely that, in terms of Engels political theories, "language" was a tool and, as a consequence, it was the property of the "workers") -- was the most important single event in the creation of today's "Standard Mandarin". It is obvious from your remarks that you have not read the article, nor understood its impact on such a theory-driven group of people as the Communist Party of those times. Please do not remove the reference again. Lindsay658 06:15, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

If this opinion is something that can be verified with independent sources, then it should be pointed out in the article, and what should be cited is not the work of Stalin himself. If someone's translated article affected the view of Standard Mandarin there's very little point in citing that article it as a direct source. Unless someone makes this less oblique in the article itself, keeping that article in the list of sources is rather misleading.

Peter Isotalo 09:58, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

null initial???

removed the following because it's utterly false:

The null initial is most commonly realized as [ɰ], though [n], [ŋ], [ɣ], and [ʔ] are common in other dialects of Mandarin.

Benwing 07:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Pronouncing syllables that start with a vowel with many of these sounds is very common in many languages. I clearly recall reading about glottal stops being a common onset in The Phonology of Standard Chinese, for example. What exactly is being disputed here and on what grounds?
Peter Isotalo 13:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I'd be interested in seeing more about this "null initial" in the article. For example, what does "null" here mean? That is, why isn't [ɰ] etc. considered to be another initial? What is the geographic distribution of these different sounds?

I think my Chinese teacher in America (from Inner Mongolia, I believe) used either [ɰ] or [ɣ], but when I copied it here in Taiwan, I wasn't understood. I think they use [ʔ] here. DAF (talk) 08:30, 25 May 2009 (UTC)