Is there an alternative system to writing Pinyin that resembles it but uses a single middle our final letter which incorporates information about the pronunciation tone.

Coming up with enough letters to do this is beyond my capability but I am certain that if it existed, people learning Chinese would never forget the pronunciation of the tone marks.

Thanks for looking into this or for considering my idea. I think it could be an interesting one? Let me know your thoughts on this.

2 Answers 2


Sometimes Pinyin is written with a number after the syllable, instead of the diacritic mark. Something like Wo3 xue3xi1 zhong1wen2. I don't know if this is has a name, but the Wikipedia describes this usage.


Tonal spelling is a feature of the Gwoyeu Romatzyh spelling, although the correspondences are rather complicated. This is not used nowadays. There are also romanization systems for other languages that represent tone with final letters such as the Romanized Popular Alphabet of Hmong (Hmoob).

Pinyin without diacritics may be inconvenient for a second language learner, but native speakers generally have no problem understanding such texts (otherwise, they would write using tone marks more often!) especially when syllables are grouped into words. Writing systems often leave off some information about pronunciation; tone in Mandarin is one example, but another is stress in English or in Russian.

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