Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)/Transcription of Chinese

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The major discussion on Pinyin vs Wade-Giles is currently held at m:Use pinyin not Wade-Giles.[edit]


It seems to me that this article increases rather than solves the confusion in this matter. The contents should probably be integrated with those about pinyin, the increasingly more accepted way of romanizing Chinese. The point raised by the article's author in "How should these names and words from Chinese language properly be represented in written English?" misses the entire point. Romanization is not anglicization. Pinyin is a system for the transliteration of Chinese into the roman alphabet that can be applied in a context of any language that uses that alphabet. If the letters chosen have phonetic values contrary to their English values, that's the way it is. Representing Chinese in written English is terribly ethnocentric.
It should also be noted that at the time of the 1911 encyclopaedia, even the Wade-Giles system did not exist as the most common method of representing Chinese in English contexts. This simply means that the usages in that work are a generation further removed from current usage. One also needs to ask whether the old transcription was based on Cantonese, Mandarin or some other pronunciation. A cookie-cutter approach is not reliable. Eclecticology, Monday, April 29, 2002

Agreed. I've replaced the content with links to Pinyin and m:Use pinyin not Wade-Giles, though perhaps it should be a simple #redirect to Pinyin. (In any case, it'll be an orphan soon enough.) Brion VIBBER, Monday, April 29, 2002

If someone wants to integrate the old content, here it is:


Is it Peking or Beijing, Tientsin or Tianjin? How should these names and words from Chinese language properly be represented in written English? That depends on the transcription system used, and several incompatible systems have been used throughout the years. Some articles copied to Wikipedia from an old encyclopedia published in 1911 have names that cannot be found in modern sources.

I created this page not because I'm an expert, but because I want to learn more. I can describe the problem, but not all of the solutions. Please add details. Some examples follow.--user:LA2

The spelling currently in use contains a lot of G, J, X, Z, and less K, T.

Old spelling    - Spelling used now
Canton          - Guangzhou (city)
Chekiang        - Zhejiang (province)
Chengtu - Chengdu (city)
Fukien          - Fujian (province)
ho              - he ("river")
Honan           - Henan (province)
Huang Ho        - Huang He (river)
Hupe            - Hubei (province)
Kansu           - Gansu (province)
kiang           - jiang ("river")
Kiangsi - Jiangxi (province)
Kiangsu - Jiangsu (province)
Kuangsi - Guangxi (province)
Kuang Tung      - Guangdong (province)
Kueitsjeu       - Guizhou (province)
Nanking - Nanjing (city)
Nganhoei        - Anhui (province)
Peiho           - Hai He (river)
Peking          - Beijing (city)
Sechuan - Sichuan (province)
Sjangtung       - Shandong (province)
Tientsin        - Tianjin (city)

Library of Congress Guidelines[edit]

The page "Library of Congress Pinyin Conversion Project: New Chinese Romanization Guidelines" might be helpful in standardizing Chinese transcription in the 'pedia. It also features a useful table of Wade-Giles-pinyin equivalency. Not all points on the pages are applicable to the 'pedia; the following is a summary of those that may be:

--Menchi 23:01 Feb 18, 2003 (UTC)