Pinyin in Taiwan


It wasn’t until I travelled to Kaohsiung (pardon me, Gaoxiuong…or is it Gaoshung?) last week that I saw for myself just how inane and unstandardized Taiwan’s (ab)use of pinyin really is. The sign above pretty well says it all. This site, which was generous enough to provide me with the above photo, has other interesting examples of Taiwanese pinyin as well as “simplified Chinese creep” in Taiwan.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Gaoxiong – Gaoxiong – Gaoxiong

While we’re on the pinyin topic; has anyone grown up learning Canto-pinyin? (I know enough to test out of it but that’s not saying much…) I hate it with a passion! Its flippin’ unbelievable, who the hell came up with it?! Arrhhh!!!

May 6, 2006 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

Heh! The Peking Duck who talks about living in Hong Kong before moving to Taipei complaining about non-standard pinyin. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Although of course you’re right – it’s a complete mess in Taiwan)

However, although it might offend your sensibilities, it’s got to be Kaohsiung. I think there’s a good chance that a letter marked ‘Gaoxiong’ wouldn’t arrive …

May 7, 2006 @ 2:09 am | Comment

Pinyin in Hong Kong? I don’t remember ever seeing any whilke I was there.

May 7, 2006 @ 6:56 am | Comment

“as well as “simplified Chinese creep” in Taiwan”

As much as I hate to admit it, simplified Chinese is a whole lot easier to read and write than traditional Kanji/Hanzi. Maybe it’s for the best.

Saying that, has anybody noticed how much more traditional Chinese you see on store fronts and bill boards on the Mainland these days.

Its far more than you used to see

May 8, 2006 @ 2:20 am | Comment

Not so, David. I’ve sent letters to Gaoxiong, Jiayi, and Taibei, using proper romanizations and they’ve all shown up. Even the belly of the mis-romanization beast itself, A.K.A. the R.O.C. government, has started using standard pinyin along with their own bastardized variant on their postal site. To see it, click “English”, “Hot Info”, and then “Zip Code”.

Chairman, I don’t know if it’s of any interest to you or not, but I wrote a Canto-pinyin tone tool a while back.

May 8, 2006 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

My 10th graders World History text uses Jian Jieshi (formerly known per the text book as Chiang Kai-shek)

May 8, 2006 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

Not bad – Mark,
Can it go Mandarin to Canto? is a good one too.

May 9, 2006 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

Pinyin is one of the few things the communists got right. Maybe a dose of home-grown self-reliance is just what was needed to send Wade-Giles and the like to the dustbin of history. Remember when the Nation Geographic had to revise all the Chinese place names on its atlas back in the early 80’s? Beijing finally got its name back, and Chungking was reduced to nothing more than a name brand for chop suey. This has started a trend all over the world in which bastardized colonial placenames were restored to their proper native romanizations. Korea restored Busan and Jeju, and India ditched Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta…

May 9, 2006 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

Well,I don’t know how to say taiwanese pinyin
I used to try leaning cantonese pinyin though a TV channel,But you know it is impossible. this is culture ,it have a basic,and different instance in different place.

May 14, 2006 @ 12:57 am | Comment

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