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PinYin and capital (upper case) letters


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When using pinyin some of my text books use capital letters as you would expect when writing English, some use them just for names and others don't use capitals at all.


Is there a correct way or are there no rules about it when using Pinyin?

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I have a question about pinyin.info. It's extremely useful and it's my 参考 of choice for things pinyin, but as I understand it, it's in no way an official thing. So where does the maker of the site get the rules from?

Asking because a while ago I was editing something and tried to get the author, a respected Western academic, to change things like 'Rier' and 'Longe' to 'Ri'er' and 'Long'e', and 'Ji'nan' to 'Jinan'. He of course thought his own system was the correct one and asked me what my source was for those rules. I felt I could hardly tell a scholar like him that I got it from a website, and without any other source to point to, either academic or from the Chinese government, I didn't really have an argument.

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The left column of the above page links to two sources, both books:





With the first one containing a quote from John DeFrancis - "This book is an indispensible tool for understanding the officially approved rules of Pinyin orthography."


As far as respected Western academics go, it's hard to get more respected than John DeFrancis.

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Ji'nan makes me stumble over a roadblock in the word. Jin'an just alerts me that I'm stepping into a new syllable here.

(Yes it's all conditioning and just happening to know what is correct. Had I instead been educated in the system of the scholar I mentioned I probably wouldn't stumble, but I haven't, so I do.)

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