25 votes
Accepted

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Yes, it is possible to read texts that are written only in pinyin. This is pretty trivial in one sense: pinyin spelling indicates all of the segmental phonemic distinctions of standard Putonghua ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
12 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

It is possible only if you write in an informal way – the way you would say things out loud. The difference between formal and informal writing is quite large in Chinese, and the informal style may ...
michau's user avatar
  • 1,779
11 votes
Accepted

Old Chinese romanization using a letter that looks like a "3"

This is Legge Romanisation, as taken from the 1879 volume of Sacred Books of the East. It is a transcription of the "Mandarin" speech of 19th-century Beijing, which is slightly different to both later ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
10 votes
Accepted

What is the best romanization of ח?

There are several different standards, so which one you want to use will depend on your goal. For the purpose of conversing on the internet, for example, most people use ch; for linguistic purposes, ḥ ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Using Polish-inspired z Digraphs for Czech, Slovak

No, it is not acceptable and it is never done. It used to be done before the changes that appeared gradually in the 15th century, inspired by a paper most likely written by Jan Hus around 1400. Before ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
9 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

You have had some good answers to your question, but I would like to expand on what you say about Vietnamese writing traditions. The Chinese-based chữ nôm had a very marginal existence in Vietnam, ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.2k
8 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Beyond other answers, I will add some examples of actual use of phonetic writing systems actually used for Chinese (or any Sinitic language, what is traditionally called Chinese dialects/topolects). ...
Frédéric Grosshans's user avatar
7 votes

What is the origin of ⟨c⟩ for /ts/?

C and K both represented the /k/ phoneme in Classical Latin, but had different etymological uses: K was relegated to Greek loanwords (and occasionally kalendae), whilst C was the usual orthography (...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
6 votes

Are there any existing guidelines for romanizing Aynu Itak?

The de facto standard method for transcribing Ainu (both in Latin alphabet and in katakana) being used today is the one proposed in Akor Itak, a textbook published by the Hokkaido Utari Association (...
ski's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
Accepted

How useful is a cross-language romanization scheme?

This is not especially useful for linguists, because it sacrifices a lot of linguistically-relevant information. See user6726's answer for more on this. However, it can be very useful for lay people ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
5 votes

Is saying or typing "one-hundred and twenty two" using Arabic numbers?

Absolutely nothing to do with it. We say numbers the way we do in English because that's how they've developed in English. (Variants, such as ''three score'' or ''five and twenty'' exist, but are ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 7,454
5 votes
Accepted

How to transliterate/transcribe/romanize Ancient Egyptian

(Foreword: if you want to be pedantic, this will be a transcription or a bound transcription, representing the phonemes as best we can, but not necessarily representing the orthography.) The list you'...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
4 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Pinyin tosses out a lot of semantic information. Once Chinese characters are removed from the language, it becomes harder for Mandarin to coexist with different Chinese languages under the same ...
Kevin Li's user avatar
  • 331
4 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

The idea of pinyin or any other phonetic script replacing Chinese character writing is already more than a hundred years old. At the beginning of 20th century, when the Qing empire was collapsing, a ...
kash's user avatar
  • 145
4 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

It would be possible to use pinyin even without the tone marks to write down Chinese and it will be correctly understood. Actually, a similar thing has been done in the Dungan language for decades ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.3k
4 votes
Accepted

What are the most complex languages to romanize (other than IPA)

Pinyin, Vietnamese, Danish and Norwegian are already romanized (written in a Latin-based script), the first example by definition (it's the now-standard romanization of Mandarin). You didn't mention ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Is it straightforward to map Arabic script to romanized pronunciation?

I suggest consulting A reference grammar of Modern Standard Arabic by Karin Ryding, which has a detail discussion of the script. Your conversion routine has to include some context-sensitive ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Is it straightforward to map Arabic script to romanized pronunciation?

There are a few major issues you're running into. None of them are unsolvable! But I'd recommend reading up more on the phonology and morphology of Arabic too; it'll help with some of these. First, ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
3 votes

Is there a relatively systematic way to converter from pinyin to Sino Vietnamese words (Hán Việt) or vice versa?

The answer is yes, there are ways to convert in both directions, as long as you don't mind the intermediary of chữ Hán (hànzì). On Mac, for example, you can add the VNI input source for Vietnamese in ...
legatrix's user avatar
  • 717
3 votes
Accepted

Are there any existing guidelines for romanizing Aynu Itak?

Annoyingly, while everyone seems to say the Latin orthography is standardized, none seem to provide a clear explanation of it. I came across an article[*] which seemed promising, but on this matter ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Thai alphabet romanizations?

The official system of Romanization of the Thai languiage is Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS). All road signs, landmarks, and so on are to be transcribed according to RTGS. RTGS has ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

If the Romanization of Logographic (and other) Languages is Fully Accurate

The purpose of a good romanization is to represent the phonemic distinctions of the language accurately, so that a native speaker who understands the romanization can get the same information from the ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
3 votes
Accepted

In what ways does Arabic use letters as orthographic signs without phonetic significance?

I think the best way to understand this statement is to ask, why is فعلوا not pronounced [faʕalawā] (or various other possibilities like [fiʕalawā, faʕulawā, fiʕlawā]...). This omission of short ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

If the Romanization of Logographic (and other) Languages is Fully Accurate

A theoretical issue arises in Japanese, in that 箸 'chopsticks' and 橋 'bridge' are Romanized as hashi but have different pronunciations (the accent is on a different syllable), likewise 今 'now' and 居間 '...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

How useful is a cross-language romanization scheme?

It might be perhaps 1% useful, but perhaps -50% useful. I still can't read Tigrinya fidäl and definitely cannot write it, but I wrote a conversion program that handles unicode text and converts to ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes
Accepted

Is this a common romanization style for Korean?

This is the first time I've seen it, and it seems idiosyncratic. It appears to be a morphophonemic transcription based on Yale, as you can see from the way 못하지 is transcribed mos.ha.ci. Other ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
1 vote

Is Arabiv ی is romanized/transliterated as u with a line above it?

The wikipedia page you link doesn't seem to show the form you see to me. Regardless, I suspect this is an issue of case بنو هاشم with a wāw is the nominative form of Banū Hāshim, and is used when the ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,322
1 vote
Accepted

List of major languages that can and cannot have their pronunciation generated programmatically from the spelling

As a general guideline, it depends how old the orthography is, and how much evidence we have about the language. There are very few ancient scripts that are completely accurate and unambiguous in ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
1 vote

Is saying or typing "one-hundred and twenty two" using Arabic numbers?

The phrase "one-hundred twenty-two" shows that you're using some decimal numbering system (because you're using 122=1×100+2×10+2×1 rather than e.g. 122=2×60+2×1). Arabic numerals are one ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,214

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible