Hanyu Pinyin
汉语拼音; 漢語拼音
Script type romanization
Time period
LanguagesStandard Chinese
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet
Simplified Chinese汉语拼音方案
Traditional Chinese漢語拼音方案

Hanyu Pinyin,[note 1] or simply pinyin, is the most common romanization system for Standard Chinese.[a] In official documents, it is referred to as the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet.[1][2] It is the official system used in China and Singapore, and by the United Nations. Its use has become common when transliterating Standard Chinese mostly regardless of region, though it is less ubiquitous in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Chinese, normally written with Chinese characters, to students already familiar with the Latin alphabet. The system makes use of diacritics to indicate the four tones found in Standard Chinese, though these are often omitted in various contexts, such as when spelling Chinese names in non-Chinese texts, or when writing non-Chinese words in Chinese-language texts. Pinyin is also used by various input methods on computers and to categorize entries in some Chinese dictionaries. The word Hànyǔ (汉语; 漢語) literally means 'Han language'—meaning, the Chinese language—while pīnyīn (拼音) literally means 'spelled sounds'.[3]

Hanyu Pinyin was developed in the 1950s by a group led by Chinese linguists including Wang Li, Lu Zhiwei, Li Jinxi, Luo Changpei[4] and Zhou Youguang,[5] who based their work in part on earlier romanization systems. The system was originally promulgated at the Fifth Session of the First National People's Congress in 1958, and has seen several rounds of revisions since.[6] The International Organization for Standardization propagated Hanyu Pinyin as ISO 7098 in 1982,[7] and the United Nations began using it in 1986.[5] Attempts to make Hanyu Pinyin the standard in Taiwan occurred in 2002 and 2009, and while the system has been official since the latter attempt,[8][9] [10] Taiwan largely has no standardized spelling system.[citation needed]

The pronunciations and spellings of Chinese words are generally given in terms of initials and finals, which represent the language's segmental phonemic portion, rather than letter by letter. Initials are initial consonants, whereas finals are all possible combinations of medials (semivowels coming before the vowel), a nucleus vowel, and coda (final vowel or consonant).

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  1. ^ GF 3006-2001 汉语拼音方案的通用键盘表示规范 (Standard for the Scheme of Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Input with Universal Keyboard). National Language Commission, PRC. 23 February 2001. ISBN 978-7-80126-789-4.
  2. ^ GB/T 16159 汉语拼音正词法基本原则 (The basic rules of Chinese phonetic alphabet orthography). National Language Commission, PRC. 29 June 2012.
  3. ^ The online version of the canonical[clarification needed "According to which group?"] Guoyu Cidian (國語辭典 defines this term as 'a system of symbols for notation of the sounds of words, rather than for their meanings, that is sufficient to accurately record some language'. See this entry online.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference pinyin_history was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ a b Margalit Fox (14 January 2017). "Zhou Youguang, Who Made Writing Chinese as Simple as ABC, Dies at 111". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Pinyin celebrates 50th birthday". Xinhua News Agency. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  7. ^ "ISO 7098:1982 – Documentation – Romanization of Chinese". Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  8. ^ Shih Hsiu-Chuan (18 September 2008). "Hanyu Pinyin to be standard system in 2009". Taipei Times. p. 2.
  9. ^ "Government to improve English-friendly environment". The China Post. 18 September 2008. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008.
  10. ^ Copper, John F. (2014). Historical Dictionary of Taiwan (Republic of China). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-4307-1. Retrieved 20 July 2020.

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