Talk:Tongyong Pinyin

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"However, this difference is enough to make anti-unificationists satisfied (and declare it "Natural Pinyin" (自然拼音)), and yet make those Hanyu Pinyin supporters dissatisfied. "

This is not an issue as clear cut as having unificationists support Hanyu Pinyin and separatists favor Tongyong Pinyin. There are other reasons to oppose both or support both. It should be noted that part of the criticism w/ Tongyong is that it's confusing to have different sounds be assigned the same letter. This is not a simple political issue. --Jiang 22:22, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Inaccuracy about "Natural Pinyin" (自然拼音) is removed. "Natural Pinyin" is derived from "Natural Input System" (自然輸入法), an input system that existed in Taiwan long before the arrival of Tongyong Pinyin. The two matters are unrelated. That is, the expression "Natural" (自然) in "Natural Tongyong Pinyin Input Method" (自然通用拼音輸入法) was there long before. It refers to an input method, not a romanization scheme.

"Around 90% of the Tongyong Pinyin syllables are spelled identically to those of Mainland China's Hanyu Pinyin, mainly with a few consonants changed."

I've corrected this to read "Around 80 percent"; Tongyong and Hanyu use the same spellings for 83 out of 410 Mandarin syllables.

I've also deleted "mainly with a few consonants changed" because about half of differently spelled syllables have vowel changes exclusively or as well. -- Taibeiren

On Taiwan[edit]

Tongyong Pinyin (通用拼音, literally "Universal/General Usage Sound-combining") is the current official romanization of the Chinese language adopted by the national government (although not all local governments) of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) since late 2000

What is "on Taiwan" meant to mean? This is a grammatical mistake, but I don't know what to correct it to. Lupin 10:02, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It means the Republic of China is based on the island of Taiwan. Does that make sense, if not, ask User:Jiang, I copied this style off him. --Menchi 11:23, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wait, no, Jiang wrote that himself [1]. This is not a good thing I'm mistakening other people's edits with mine.... >_< --Menchi 11:27, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The phrase "Republic of China on Taiwan" was already ubiquitous when I stumbled upon this site. I added it so people wouldnt get confused and think that this is the official romanization of the PRC (or rather, it would make those clueless people more confused so they would click on the links to learn). "Republic of China on Taiwan" is not an uncommon description, and was used by the Lee Teng-hui administration to describe ROC/Taiwan (it was used on UN membership resolutions). The Republic of China is the political entity; Taiwan is where the government is based and what it controls. Alternatively, we could use "Republic of China (Taiwan)", which is used by the current Chen Shui-bian administration to denote that the ROC is not merely on Taiwan, but it is Taiwan. There are basically a bunch of political intricacies involved here; the main purpose is to denote that "Taiwan" is somehow involved here for those without a clue. --Jiang 11:43, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

OK, I think I begin to understand now. However it's very confusing for people who don't know about these things. I suggest either
  1. Change "government of the Republic of China on Taiwan" to "government of Taiwan", since they have the same meaning (unless I still don't understand, which is quite possible) and talk about the political intricacies on the Taiwan page.
  2. Make a page Republic of China on Taiwan and link to that. Then confused people could click on that for an explanation.
The first option would be more easily understandable, I feel. Lupin 12:34, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  1. This would require a change in the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese) and should be discussed there. IMO, it's not NPOV to say that Republic of China=Taiwan. It's the position of moderate supporters of Taiwan independence that this is the case and a slight snub for supporters of Chinese reunification. Technically speaking, it's like saying United Kingdom=Great Britain since Quemoy/Matsu Islands are neither part of the province nor the island. But on the other hand, everyones doing it, so Taiwan can be a "conventional short form" for the ROC.
  2. I'm not sure about sending people to a lecuture on the politics when theyre interested in the country/government. Rather, we should discuss at the beginning of the [Republic of China] and [Taiwan] articles the political controversy/status. I thought this was already done, but let me know if it still needs improvement. I plan to expand the article on Chinese Taipei (and rename it) to a discussion on the various monkiers and official designations for the ROC/Taiwan, but Im not sure how it would play into this.

I think User:Roadrunner is responsible for the [[Republic of China]] on [[Taiwan]] text I first stumbled on. Since then, I've also used [[Republic of China]] (Taiwan) and [[Republic of China|Taiwan]]. Are those similarly confusing? --Jiang 14:50, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

[[Republic of China]] (Taiwan) looks OK to me. [[Republic of China|Taiwan]] looks utterly confusing: there are already articles Republic of China and Taiwan, and clicking a link which says Taiwan and ending up at Republic of China might make me think that they are exactly the same entity. Or at least confuse me a bit :) Lupin 18:42, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I've been telling everyone that "Republic of China on Taiwan" is a grammatical error (see Talk:Republic of China) but nooooo, nobody will listen to me because Lee Teng-Hui said it, so of course its holy writ to the current administration and all their supporters! I can't believe that guy was allowed to graduate from Cornel with grammar like that! --Sumple (Talk) 00:27, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
"Republic of China on Taiwan" is grammatical because in English we can use on with names of islands (e.g. "King Kong was discovered on Skull Island"). The phrase has been used for decades to avoid implying that Taiwan is a country. The word "in" would imply that Taiwan is a country. {Bubbha 04:33, 3 October 2006 (UTC)}
Yep, so the other day I landed on Britain, and thought, wow, I wish I was on Madagascar instead. So I smuggled my way down and stayed on Sardinia for a couple of days. Eventually I ended up on Tasmania.
Catch my drift? You only use "on" for things called Blah Island, or for very small rocks. --Sumple (Talk) 22:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It seems in Taipei that Han Yu Pin Yin is becoming popular since the street signs, most buses and mrt now use it. Han Yu Pin Yin is the international standard, Taiwan should use it too. -Anonymous

Anonymous: There is no standard in Taiwan, they use some combination of Tongyong, Wade-Giles, and Hanyu everywhere. For Taiwanese, it doesn't matter because they don't use any of it, they use 注音符號 doesn't really, actually, make sense to standardize romanization in Taiwan when 注音符號 works so much better for pronunciation. Kerui —Preceding undated comment was added at 02:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Well even if you think that Zhuyin "works better for pronounciation", despite the fact that they are mutually interchangable, using 4 different methods in one City does at least *not* simplify it for anybody. Its true that most Taiwanese don't care which system to use, hence why not just use what so many foreigners use anyways? (talk) 12:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Meng becomes mong?[edit]

Dajia hao! Hi everyone, my name is Vijay. I just wanted to point out a certain inconsistency on this page. The article claims that "meng" is changed to "mong," but none of the links seem to support this claim.-- 23:30, 25 June 2006 (UTC)Vijay

No one has objected to the above comment for more than a month. For this reason, I have changed the portion of the article dealing with "eng." In case anyone has an objection, however, I include the original text below:

"eng becomes ong after b-, p-, m-, f-, w- (蹦、碰、孟、奉、瓮)"-- 22:49, 27 July 2006 (UTC) Vijay

I'm curious as to why some of the labial initials are followed with -eng and others with -ong when they all have the same rhyme (whether the speaker rhymes them with "teng" or not). I wonder the same about "ben" "pen" "men" "fen" and "wun". This seems an inconsistency with the way Standard Mandarin is pronounced in Taiwan. Those with heavy Taiwanese accents (as opposed to Standard Mandarin) would say "wun" or even "?wun" (? being a glottal stop), but the same people would say "hun" instead of "fen". {Bubbha 04:42, 3 October 2006 (UTC)}
Maybe it's simply the case that it's spelled "ong" wherever it doesn't create a conflict with an already existing syllable. For instance, if one had spelled "teng" as "tong", one would have merged it with the already existing syllable "tong", but there are no existing syllables read as "bong", "pong", "mong", "fong" or "wong".
As for "wen" being spelled "wun", it's consistent when you consider it a separate final from "en"—For instance, it's already spelled "un" in "gun", "lun", "cun", "kun" and so on. I've heard it pronounced as "un" in that context as well. Rather than criticise Tongyong Pinyin for this feature, I would applaud it for being consistent. Rōnin 16:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, gun, lun, cun, and kun all rhyme with each other, but not with wen, which at least in the dialect I speak, rhymes with fen and ren. For the record, I do not speak some wacky dialect, either -- no offense to those that do. 00:47, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it's unique to Taiwan? At any rate, the way it's presented in my textbook, and also in the book LDHan quoted below, "un" is a shortened version of "wen", and thus "gun", "lun" and "cun" are, at least formally, shorthand for "guen", "luen" and "cuen". As you and LDHan both mentioned, they may not sound much alike, but perhaps they did historically? I don't think "yan" and "tian" rhyme that well either, really... Rōnin 00:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
It may not be unique to Taiwan. I speak Beijing dialect, which I'll admit differs somewhat from even the Mainland's idea of Standard Mandarin, but is nonetheless relatively prestigious. We pronounce wen something like ven, though -- many of the w- syllables in pinyin (but not all) are no longer simply glides but now have a v sound, although not necessarily consistently (I guess you could say the glide w and the v-w are not in contrastive distribution, and it takes some effort for me to hear the difference even in english sometimes). I will say though that in newscaster mandarin -- the stuff we hear on tv -- wen still rhymes with ren, even if the w is a soft glide and not a v.
To the original point, I have heard taiwanese friends pronounce 猛吃 as mong chi, where as we would say meng chi. So perhaps Tongyong pinyin simply is a better approximation of the pronunciation of mandarin on taiwan, but it is worth noting that this is not anything resembling standard pronunciation on the mainland. 01:31, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I am a native Taiwanese speaker and I'm 30 years old (I think that may matter). I also spent my teenage years abroad. I don't really understand pinyin but I think I know what you're referring to. The Mainlanders pronounce 風 differently from Taiwanese. I was taught 風 as Fong. But (I think) everywhere else the correct pronunciation is regarded as eng. But I think there is a trend to pronounce eng as ong. I pronounce 猛吃 as meng and 孟 as meng but most Taiwanese don't, even though I have heard people acknowledge that as less than perfect pronounciation. - huggie —Preceding unsigned comment added by Huggie (talkcontribs) 04:07, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

But as I said before (at the beginning of this discussion), there is no evidence (not yet, anyway) that TP uses "mong" in the first place! :-P --Kuaichik 04:58, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

"Xe" and "qe" ?!?[edit]

In the "Features" section, under the "Spelling" subsection, the article includes this statement:

"Hanyu x and q...become s and c...before front vowel (i and e)."

Shouldn't that just be "...before i"? When does x or q appear before any vowel other than i or u in Hanyu Pinyin? Has anyone ever seen "xe" or "qe"?

I'm going to change "before front vowel" to "before i." If anyone has any objections, please discuss them here. --Kuaichik 16:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


I'd like some examples of famous words rendered in Tongyong and Hanyu for comparison: Things like Beijing, Confucius, Hong-kong, Taiwan, kungfu, renminbi, I Ching,... so that we can check whether how its use could affect to non-Chinese. -- 09:15, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Tongyong vs. Hanyu Pinyin: Beijing/Beijing, Kongzih/Kongzi, Sianggang/Xianggang, Taiwan/Taiwan, Gongfu/Gongfu, Renminbi/Renminbi, Yijing/Yijing. In this small set of examples, most are the same. With a larger set of examples, you'll see significant differences. (talk) 04:35, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


The article currently states that "The exceptional spelling of "wun" does not fit in with the "ben", "pen", "men", "fen" series which rhyme with 文 in Standard Mandarin, whether spoken in Taiwan or the mainland." Is this actually a commonly used argument against Tongyong Pinyin and can we see a source fo it? As far as I can see, it's Tongyong Pinyin that's being consistent ("wun", "lun", "kun", ) and Hanyu Pinyin that's being inconsistent ("wen", "lun", "kun"). Thus this argument could actually be used as an argument for Tongyong Pinyin as well as against. I hope someone can elaborate on this. Rōnin 16:26, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Pinyin "wen" (文) does not rhyme with pinyin "lun", "kun" etc, it rhymes with pinyin "pen", "men", "fen" etc. Pinyin "wen" is a spelling convention, it is actually "uen", the "u" is replaced by "w" to mark syllable boundaries in multi-syllable words. LDHan 17:30, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Is that not also the case with "lun" and "kun", that they're actually shorthand for l+wen and k+wen? In the Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II system, one can even see "lun" spelled as "luen" and "kun" as "kuen". Rōnin 17:40, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes you are right that "lun" and "kun" are also "short" forms, but they stand for "lüen" and "küen". I don't have my reference books to hand to check but I think the "e" in "üen" (yun) and "uen" (wen) are different. LDHan 18:17, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I cannot get that explanation to fit. Look at this from which compares different romanization systems. The last column is Hanyu Pinyin:
ㄨ wu wu wu wu wu
ㄩ yü yu yu yu yu
ㄣ en en en en en
Note how we can find ㄨㄣ, uen and wen in both wen, kun and lun, but not or yu:
ㄨㄣ wen wen wen wun wen
ㄎㄨㄣ k`un kuen kwen kun kun
ㄌㄨㄣ lun luen lwun lun lun
Also note how ben doesn't contain an / u / w sound like the above:
ㄅㄣ pen ben ben ben ben
I'd agree that ben and wen are phonetically very similar, but if anything, that would mean that "wun"-"kun"-"lun" ought to be spelled "wen"-"kuen"-"luen", rather than "wen"-"kun"-"lun" as in Hanyu Pinyin. Rōnin 20:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I have a made whole load of mistakes, my apologies! I'm ashamed to have jumped in without checking the facts first. Please disregard my previous comments!
All the following is about pinyin (Hanyu), taken from Yin Binyong 尹斌庸 and Mary Felley (1990). Chinese Romanization. Pronunciation and Orthography. The "un" series (in "normal" pinyin) is as follow: dun, tun, nun, lun, gun, kun, hun, zun, cun, sun, zhun, chun, shun, run and wen (uen). All these syllables are "short" forms, in "full" they would be duen, tuen...shuen, ruen and uen. The "e" is left out of all these except for "uen". In the case of "uen" the "e" is retained but the "u" is replaced by "w". These "short" forms are spelling conventions, used to mark syllable boundaries in multi-syllable words. For example "lunwen" would be "luenuen" in "full" form, it is clear what syllables make up "lunwen" but not "luenuen". Although not explicitly stated, it appears that the "e" is retained in "uen" (and also in "uei") so that the "u-" syllables: ua, uo, uei, uan, uen, uang and ueng, where the "u" is changed to "w" when they stand alone by themselves, remain consistent, ie the change from "u" to "w" is regular.
You are correct, the "en" series: ben, fen, etc does not rhyme with the "un" series which includes "wen". LDHan 02:04, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Ah well, it's a relief that we've found some common ground. I think you made a good point, too—it would probably make sense to include the e sound in the spelling somehow, as is done in those systems that use wen - luen - kuen and so on. It might be that Tongyong Pinyin discards this principle in order to reduce the number of characters per syllable, or simply to be more compatible with Hanyu Pinyin. Whatever the reason, it certainly seems like Tonyong Pinyin is more like Hanyu than its predecessor... Rōnin 13:59, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
If the "e" is retained in "un" series, then you would have ambiguity, "luen" could be "luen" (one syllable) or "lu en" (two syllable) due to the practice of writing multi-syllabic words as one unit in Hanyu pinyin. The "e" is dropped to simplify writing and I suspect also to reduced the need for the apostrophe (used to separate syllables).
Tonyong pinyin is basically the same as Hanyu, except that it doesn’t use Hanyu’s c ch q z zh etc, so I think it’s probable that Tonyong droping the e is simply following Hanyu pinyin. IMO the people who designed Tongyong wants it to be as similar to Hanyu as possible, as you have suggested, to be compatible with Hanyu because Hanyu is practically universal outside Taiwan, but at the same time distinct from Hanyu for political and cultural reasons. LDHan 14:32, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
In my experience, wen rhymes with ben, not with lun (except for speakers with a heavy, non-standard Taiwan Guoyu accent - the same accent in which "fa" would be pronounced as "hua"). (talk) 04:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Siang vs. Syong[edit]

Can anyone here explain this inconsistency: siang vs. syong? Why isn't siong used instead of syong? After all, here we have two different letters--i and y--representing the same sound: /j/. Hanyu Pinyin does not suffer from this inconsistency, using xiang and xiong. Bubbha 08:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

It better reflects the analysis that zhuyin uses, ㄧㄤ (i-a-ng) vs. ㄩㄥ (ü-e-ng). If Hanyu did this, they'd be xiang & xuong. There is no /o/ in Mandarin apart from /e/; the letter o is used either for /ue/ (in song, wo, and, in Tongyong, wong) or in this yong. kwami (talk) 09:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
It may better reflect the Zhuyin use, but this particular Zhuyin use is one of Zhuyin's most glaring inconsistencies, since there is no ㄩ /ü/ sound in "yong" or "xiong"; instead, the sound in question is an ㄧ /j/ sound. Bubbha (talk) 04:34, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

100% difference?[edit]

Since tone is marked differently in Hanyu and tongyong pinyin, all syllables are written differently, correct? kwami (talk) 09:37, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Never mind. The article was wrong. Will correct. kwami (talk) 18:46, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


There are NPOV issues in the origins section of this article. Specifically, the motivation for creating the system is being asserted to be one of technical deficiencies in Hanyu Pinyin, when it is well known that political reasons motivated the government not to adopt the established, but Communist-created, system. This is perhaps best addressed by the original author of the article. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 00:33, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

ma with neutral tone[edit]

In the comparison chart, when showing the tone marks for ma, the neutal tone uses 媽媽 as an example, which is confusing, since it's only the second 'ma' that's netural, but the romanized and zhuyin examples have just one 'ma'. I think the example should be changed to 嗎 for simplicity sake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, especially since the second "ma" in "mama" is pronounced with its full tone value in Taiwan. Bubbha (talk) 04:36, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Tone mark placement[edit]

The article doesn't say anything whether diacritic placement is same as in Hanyu Pinyin or different. If it's same, it should be mentioned; if it's different, it should be explained. Does anyone know the rules? Cababunga (talk) 18:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Change order of Hanyu pinyin and Tongyong pinyin[edit]

Seems like most Taiwanese cities here have Tongyong pinyin listed first. I think having both is reasonable but with the current official status of Hanyu pinyin in Taiwan and in my opinion the quite slight possibility that Tongyong pinyin will be used again officially in the future maybe change the order in Taiwan related articles? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Taichung and Tongyong[edit]

Unfortunately (as far as I am concerned), Taichung City has been using Hanyu Pinyin since 2004 and nearly all signs erected since then by the municipal government have used Hanyu Pinyin. The municipal government has NEVER used Tongyong and the only Tongyong signs you will find in Taichung City were erected by the national government. Legacy systems still in view include modified Wade-Giles and MPS II. Taichung County, on the other hand, DOES use Tongyong pinyin and signs in the county using this system are widespread. As such, I will make the appropriate edit. If there are any questions, please drop me a note. ludahai 魯大海 (talk) 08:22, 28 February 2010 (UTC)