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Taibei

Pinyin writing contest -- cash prizes

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Taibei

A total of more than US$13,000 will be awarded to the winners of the Li-ching Chang Memorial Pinyin Literature Contest. Prizes be given to the top three winners in each of the following categories:

  • novella
  • short story
  • essay
  • poetry

Entries must be original and composed in Hanyu Pinyin, not Chinese characters. Yes, seriously. 

 

You need not be a native speaker of Mandarin to enter. But you must have a high level of fluency, because entries should be aimed at an audience of adult, fluent speakers of Mandarin. Entries should not be written at a level for children or those learning Mandarin.

 

The deadline for entries is October 2017. 
 
For further information, see the contest's FAQ: http://www.pinyinlit.com/faq/

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Demonic_Duck

Interesting idea, upvoted. But why the requirement to send both a hard and a soft copy? Seems like an unnecessary barrier to entry for an already niche contest (if you need hard copies, isn't there a budget for printing? It couldn't need more than a tiny fraction of the 13k prize money...)

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Taibei

I don't make the rules. I'm just letting people know about this. 

 

Maybe it's there to help to filter out those who might not be serious contestants. At any rate, it doesn't seem like much of a barrier, especially since there's no entry charge. YMMV. 

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roddy

"Tone marks are optional"  :shock:

 

Maybe you have to send a hard copy in so the judges can mark them in themselves, then compare to see if they made up the same story. "Hey, did you like the one about the horse?" - "Didn't see that one.  The one about the guy's mother was my favourite."

 

It's a fun idea though, and $13,000 is proper money. Put the tone marks on though. 

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Demonic_Duck
I don't make the rules. I'm just letting people know about this.

Fair enough. I assumed from the OP that you were affiliated with the organizers in some way.

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Hofmann

Someone should take advantage of this and make the story hinge on a double entendre.

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陳德聰

Wow this seems like fun but genuinely sounds really challenging. The limit on the novella category is 20,000 words, but what would be the minimum that would still count as a novella would you say? I also find it bizarre that the contest page links to the pinyin story "dashui guohou", but that story is filled with weird pinyin errors/stylistic choices like rendering 的 consistently as "d" and 得 consistently as "dé".

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LinZhenPu

Even with tone marks there is going to be ambiguity of meaning at that level of language because of the amount of homophones Chinese has if you strictly adhere to the rules of the Hanyu Pinyin system.

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Demonic_Duck
Even with tone marks there is going to be ambiguity of meaning at that level of language because of the amount of homophones Chinese has if you strictly adhere to the rules of the Hanyu Pinyin system.

 

By extension, this implies that it's impossible to express high-level concepts in spoken Chinese, which is patently false.

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LinZhenPu

I don't know how that didn't occur to me. Yes, you're quite right. It's only individual characters and words of one syllable that have homophones, not multi-syllabic words. And then there is context.

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Lu
It's only individual characters and words of one syllable that have homophones, not multi-syllabic words.
This is not true, there are plenty of homphonic multi-syllable words (星星/猩猩, 权利/权力, 事实/适时 and another whole range of shishi combinations in various tones, to name but a few). But you're right about the context.

 

Chen Decong, the 的-as-d thing is something particular to Li-ching Chang, if I recall correctly. Because a consistent system is nice and all, but it's always more fun to make your own amendments. While spelling your name in botched Wade-Giles. (Perhaps I'm being unfair to her, but still, I just find this rather weird.)

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Bad Cao Cao

Chinese is about as homophonic as English is. Certainly not significantly more so. In everyday speech, it is actually less so.

 

The English sound "run" has over 100 different meanings. Have you ever (even once in your life) been confused as to the meaning of the sound "run" when you've encountered it in either written or spoken English? 

 

What about "take", "break", "turn" or "set"? All of these words, also, have over a hundred different definitions.

 

How about "go", "play", "cut", "up", or "hand"? These have over 90 different definitions. 

 

In these respects, English, in everyday speech, is actually more homophonic than Chinese. How does English even begin to manage the impossible task of distinguishing all of these homphones?

 

However, where Chinese runs into the most trouble is with proper nouns. In this respect, it is more homophonic than English.

 

People's names, companies names etc, are very hard (or impossible) to distinguish with just the straight pinyin. But here, the practice, in everyday speech, is simply to clarify each ambiguous character with one of the most common words (multiple character) that it is contained within.

 

The process of clarifying proper nouns takes a short time to do...and, again, comparing with English speech, is still actually quicker than having to spell a word out - which happens very frequently in English. 

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realmayo

The English sound "run" has over 100 different meanings

 

 

I'm a bit puzzled by this ... you're talking about "to run for re-election" and "to run a race" being different meanings? Because if so I'd wonder whether it's much easier to tell the difference between meanings that are basically the same and meanings which are wholly unrelated as you often get in Chinese.

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Taibei

The site originally was just in English, but now it has two Mandarin versions: Pinyin and Chinese characters.

 

I need to fix links, etc., and correct a typo here and there; but it's good enough for non-English readers to get the idea. 

 

Please pass on the link to anyone you think might be interested. The contest and the money (e.g., US$5,000 for the top novella) are very real. 

 

http://www.pinyinlit.com/

See the links on the right side for the pages in various languages/scripts. 

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Angelina

Zhende jiade?

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Lu

A question.

 

The pinyin version of the site says:

Nǐ de zuòpǐn bù néng chāoguò yǐxià zìshù xiànzhì:

Zhōngpiān xiǎoshuō: 20,000 zì

Duǎnpiān xiǎoshuō: 10,000 zì

Sǎnwén: 5,000 zì

Shī: 1,000 zì

 

But the English version says:

Your entry should not exceed the following word limits:

novella: 20,000 words

short story: 10,000 words

essay: 5,000 words

poem: 1,000 words

 

What is considered a zì in an all-pinyin text? And how come 'word' is translated as 字/zì (or 字/zì as 'word', whichever way around it went)?

 

And you're right, the pinyin version needs some serious proofreading. Several mistakes in the first few lines of the Hànyǔ Pīnyīn Shūxiě Guīzé for starters, and there seems to have been some kind of glitch that randomly doubles some syllables. I think it would have been good if someone had read through it before publishing it.

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imron
7 minutes ago, Lu said:

And how come 'word' is translated as 字/zì (or 字/zì as 'word',

I'm guessing due to the Taiwanese influence, where 字 is commonly used to mean word as well as character.

 

@Taibei, out of curiosity, have you had many submissions?

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Lu
3 hours ago, imron said:

Taiwanese influence, where 字 is commonly used to mean word as well as character.

So is 'Yòng Hànyǔ pīnyīn xiě duǎnpiān xiǎoshuō' 6 zì or 10? (Or even 34?) I don't mean to be mean, but I love language and things like this just irk me to no end.

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Angelina
Quote

I'm guessing due to the Taiwanese influence, where 字 is commonly used to mean word as well as character.

 

 

 

One of the reasons why Pinyin is important. No Pinyin and speakers would mix ci and zi.

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