Yale romanization of Cantonese

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The Yale romanization of Cantonese was developed by Parker Po-fei Huang and Gerald P. Kok and published in 1970.[1] Unlike the Yale romanization of Mandarin, it is still widely used in books and dictionaries, especially for foreign learners. It shares some similarities with Hanyu Pinyin in that unvoiced, unaspirated consonants are represented by letters traditionally used in English and most other European languages to represent voiced sounds. For example, [p] is represented as b in Yale, whereas its aspirated counterpart, [pʰ] is represented as p. Because of this, the Yale romanization is easy for English speakers to pronounce without much training.[2][3] Students studying Cantonese at The University of Hong Kong learns the Sidney Lau romanisation from his three-volume textbooks, while those who attend The Chinese University of Hong Kong's New-Asia Yale-in-China Chinese Language Center are taught to use the Yale romanization.[4]

Initials[edit]

b
[p]
p
[]
m
[m]
f
[f]
d
[t]
t
[]
n
[n]
l
[l]
g
[k]
k
[]
ng
[ŋ]
h
[h]
gw
[kw]
kw
[kʰw]
w
[w]
j
[ts]
ch
[tsʰ]
s
[s]
y
[j]

Finals[edit]

a
[a]
aai
[ai]
aau
[au]
aam
[am]
aan
[an]
aang
[aŋ]
aap
[ap]
aat
[at]
aak
[ak]
  ai
[ɐi]
西
au
[ɐu]
am
[ɐm]
an
[ɐn]
ang
[ɐŋ]
ap
[ɐp]
at
[ɐt]
ak
[ɐk]
e
[ɛ]
ei
[ei]
      eng
[ɛŋ]
    ek
[ɛk]
i
[i]
  iu
[iu]
im
[im]
in
[in]
ing
[ɪŋ]
ip
[ip]
it
[it]
ik
[ɪk]
o
[ɔ]
oi
[ɔi]
ou
[ou]
  on
[ɔn]
ong
[ɔŋ]
  ot
[ɔt]
ok
[ɔk]
u
[u]
ui
[ui]
    un
[un]
ung
[ʊŋ]
  ut
[ut]
uk
[ʊk]
eu
[œ]
eui
[ɵy]
    eun
[ɵn]
eung
[œŋ]
  eut
[ɵt]
euk
[œk]
yu
[y]
      yun
[yn]
    yut
[yt]
 
      m
[]
  ng
[ŋ̩]
     

Tones[edit]

Graphical representation of the 6 tones of Cantonese.

Modern Cantonese has six phonetic tones. Cantonese Yale can represents these tones using tone marks with the letter h or tone numbers.[5][6] Traditional Chinese linguistics treats the tones in syllables ending with a stop consonant as separate "entering tones". Cantonese Yale follows modern linguistic conventions in treating these the same as tones 1, 3 and 6, respectively.

No. Description Chao tone
number
Yale representation
1 high-flat 55 sīn sīk
2 mid-rising 35 sín
3 mid-flat 33 si sin sik
4 mid-falling 21 sìh sìhn
5 low-rising 23 síh síhn
6 low-flat 22 sih sihn sihk

Examples[edit]

Traditional Simplified Romanization using Tone Marks Romanization using Numbers
廣州話 广州话 Gwóngjāuwá Gwong2jau1wa2
粵語 粤语 Yuhtyúh Yut6yu5
你好 Néih hóu Nei5 hou2

Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems:

春曉
孟浩然
Chēun Híu
Maahng Houh Yìhn
春眠不覺曉, Chēun mìhn bāt gok híu,
處處聞啼鳥。 chyu chyu màhn tàih níuh.
夜來風雨聲, yeh lòih fūng yúh sīng,
花落知多少? fā lohk jī dō síu?

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Rossiter; Gibson Lam; Vivying Cheng (2005). "The Gong System: Web-Based Learning for Multiple Languages, with Special Support for the Yale Representation of Cantonese" (PDF). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Advances in Web-Based Learning — ICWL 2005. Springer Verlag. pp. 209–220. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  2. ^ Brian Kwong. "Why Cantonese isn't as hard as you think". Fluent in 3 Months. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  3. ^ "Cantonese". Omniglot. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  4. ^ "CUHK Teaching Materials". Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  5. ^ Ng Lam & Chik 2000: 515. "Appendix 3: Tones. The student of Cantonese will be well aware of the importance of tones in conveying meaning. Basically, there are seven tones which, in the Yale system, are represented by the use of diacritics and by the insertion of h for ..."
  6. ^ Gwaan 2000: 7. "Basically, there are seven tones which, in the Yale system, are represented by the use of diacritics and by the insertion of h for the three low tones. The following chart will illustrate the seven tones: 3 Mid Level, 1 High Level, 5 Low Faliing, 6 Low Level..."

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]