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Re: OFF: More Pinyin reform...

From:DOUGLAS KOLLER <laokou@...>
Date:Sunday, February 27, 2000, 7:01
From: "Daniel A. Wier"

> Hey, what is the Yale translit system? All I know is Pinyin and
> Yale is commonly used for Cantonese, right?
There is a Yale system for Cantonese -- too many h's leaping about IM*E*SHO. But there is also a Yale system for Mandarin, kind of a watered down version of pinyin, claiming, I guess, to be a little more intuitive. I only had to use it for one semester over fifteen years ago, so I'm no longer competent in the system, but I think it used "aw" for pinyin "ao", "sy" for "xi", and so on. I mean it was alright, workable, and all, but aesthetically I wasn't reallly into it, and having teethed on pinyin, I found it a little jarring. I guess if you started your studies in the Yale transcription, you might not have a problem with it. Anyway, I think it comes up with several solutions similar to yours.
> You're right. My purpose here was really just to invent a personal
> system, not to supplant Pinyin. I've found Pinyin to be the most
> if not most accurate. I'm thinking of marrying the old Wade-Giles with > Pinyin. In a lot of cases I translated Bopomofo symbol by symbol, so I
> "ien" instead of "in", and "ueng" instead of "ong".
A decent approach, but keeping the "e" in there is deceptive since it looks like W-G "ien" which is pinyin "ian". Also, while "en" is the name of that symbol in BPMF, the "e" sound falls out when combined with other vowels. If a child were spelling "pin" in BPMF, s/he would say, "po-yi-en, pin". As for BPMF's use of "üng" for pinyin "iong", this is my only gripe with the system (and I'm a Bopomofo kinda guy) -- not especially intuitive, sounding it out doesn't necessarily lead one to "iong", but I guess they had to use it to keep the max number of symbols per syllable down to three.
> But like I said, I > still need to learn Yale.
A quick search found these sites; the third cursorily looks the most useful. The second says that Yale is the most widely used in Taiwan to teach Chinese to foreigners -- that is so much stuff and nonsense. Kou