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Chinese in purely phonetic script

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Quest

Gato, I got tired half way through your pinyin text.

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nipponman

I'm sorry, I gave up before the end of the first sentence. That is an eyesore.

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gato
I hope you don't mind me asking then, are you a native speaker gato?
Yes, I am, more or less. One side of my family is Mandarin speaking, the other Shanghainese speaking, but I've been living in the US since I was 10. When I lived in Shanghai as a kid, I spoke mostly Shanghainese because I lived with my Shanghainese relatives. Since my immediate family is mixed, so to speak, we've been using Mandarin at home ever since I came to the US.
You'd thnk that native Cantonese would be able to read a phonetic script a little better than would a mandarin speaker.
When Cantonese speakers think about something, I would guess that they think in Cantonese (just like you and I might think in English). Many of them probably read to themselves in Cantonese in their head when they're reading Chinese texts. This phenomenon could explain how it might be more tiring for non-native Mandarin speakers to read Mandarin pinyin. I'm just putting that out there as a hypothesis. I have no proof that it's a factor. We need more native Mandarin speakers to chime in.

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nipponman

Kanji definitely. Again, it is takes more time to figure out the words. Sure if I were to see:

わたしはにほんじです。Or even Watashi wa nihonji desu. I would be able to read and understand about as fast as if there were kanji. But that is just a simple sentece, if I were to see

いじょうのようれいにおいて「ば」と「たら」がおきかえかのうですが、どちらをつかってもおなじようにいえるのかというと、そんなことないだろうとおもいます。ぜったいなにかニュアンスのちがいがあるとおもうのですが、にほんじんはこのふたつのけいしきをたかうとき、どうかんじますか?

Well, I could definitely read it, but I would be fumbling through my mind as to the meanings of some of the words. words like ようれい, and ぜったい are easy, but I have to seperate the words mentally before I can figure out what it means. This actually proves my point a little. The Japanese space there words when written in hiragana. (Childrens shows and books are written only in hiragana) So if they didn't space the words, it would be confusing.

But I have to admit, the problem isn't as big in Japanese. In other words, it would be more feasable to replace kanji with hiragana than it would be to replace hanzi with pinyin. But, it is still harder. Matter of fact, they tried to get rid of kanji in the late 1800's to become more westernized or something, and it failed miserably, so they simplified the kanji number instead. I could be wrong though, my history is a little rusty.

nipponman

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fenlan

Actually, you raised an interesting question. What do Cantonese speakers do when reading modern standard Chinese? Can Skylee and Quest tell us? When you read 他们 do you translate that to "kueidei" in your head?

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nipponman

This has already been answered actually. I don't know where though.

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Quest
Can Skylee and Quest tell us? When you read 他们 do you translate that to "kueidei" in your head?

I do not read exclusively in Cantonese. I don't know when I would use Mandarin or Cantonese exactly, but if I am reading posts on a mainland/taiwan forum, I would probably read and reply all in Mandarin mentally. For news articles, I would read in Cantonese probably, and if I do 他们 would be "tamoon" in my head.

This phenomenon could explain how it might be more tiring for non-native Mandarin speakers to read Mandarin pinyin.

I think it would just be the same if it was in cantonese pinyin.

«Bakging Mahnbo»

Zongguok Guokmuhndong,Cuhnmuhndong Dailuk Fongmuhntuin Geinimzeung Fahthung

Gumtin Seungng,Zongguok Guokmuhndong,Cunmuhndong dailuk fongmuhn geinimzeung 1 to 3 mui zoi yuhnmuhndaiwuitong saiteng zingsik yu simuhn ginmin。Gui zongwa cuinguok zapyaoluinhapwui zuinga gaisiu,cici fahthung dik yut mui gumzeung,leungmui nguhnzeung gunwai zukgum zuknguhn zaizokyising。gumzeung zingmin to'oin wai wopinggahp,gahmlahmzi,yuyi Guokmuhndong fongmuhntuin dik "woping zi lui".

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atitarev

Oh, so many replies!

I'd like to get some answers from a native Mandarin speaker who is comfortable with pinyin and not biased against it. In mainland China they spend much more time learning it and even write essays before they master enough characters. Someone said they had to use the characters they knew not what they really wanted to say and how. Pinyin too needs some getting used to - I would say it needs different types of skills - you just read it aloud with correct tones - I am not sure if all Chinese people can still read it after a long gap from school and use the right tones based on the tone marks, not on the characters they read and know how to pronounce them. In other words, can you read pinyin well and just produce the audio out of what you read - can you just read it correctly? Pinyin doesn't take years to learn but it does need some getting used, especially with tones.

I read in another thread in this about a non-Chinese person (knowing pinyin and Chinese pronunciation) reading a pinyin text on the phone to his Chinese girl-friend and she understood him well, as far as I remember.

As for Japanese Nipponman, kids read hiragana texts for a long time in Japan but they also put spaces between words, otherwise it's hard to segment them. I also had some problems with Japanese when I had to figure out if a letter is the end of one word or the beginning of another when they were spelled in hiragana.

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skylee
Can Skylee and Quest tell us? When you read 他们 do you translate that to "kueidei" in your head?

I read "tamun".

わたしはにほんじです。

What is にほんじ?

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nipponman
What is にほんじ?

タイプミス(げー)しましたよね。日本人を書きたかったが。。。

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atitarev
What is にほんじ?

NIHONJI - Ok, Nihon is most likely Japan,JI can be anything. It could be 日本字 Japanese characters or 日本時 Japanese time or others, need more context. Will you uderstand it if I just tell you this out of context?

For characters I would use 日本の文字, for time 日本の時間.

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skylee
タイプミス(げー)しましたよね。日本人を書きたかったが。。。

I knew it. :wink::mrgreen:

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Quest
In mainland China they spend much more time learning it and even write essays before they master enough characters.

I was educated in mainland China in Mandarin...

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atitarev
I was educated in mainland China in Mandarin...

Quest, I have then a few of questions to you. Are you a native Mandarin speaker? Can you read the example texts in this thread (in modern Chinese) in pinyin aloud with the correct pronunciation? That's the same if someone else read the same text written in Chinese characters aloud for you, isn't it? What is harder for you - reading the pinyin text aloud or listening to the other person reading it for you? Will you understand it?

It's just a discussion - I am not forcing pinyin on anyone, we are discussing if Chinese can be written in pinyin.

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Quest
Quest, I have then a few of questions to you. Are you a native Mandarin speaker? Can you read the example texts in this thread (in modern Chinese) in pinyin aloud with the correct pronunciation? That's the same if someone else read the same text written in Chinese characters aloud for you, isn't it? What is harder for you - reading the pinyin text aloud or listening to the other person reading it for you? Will you understand it?

It's just a discussion - I am not forcing pinyin on anyone, we are discussing if Chinese can be written in pinyin.

I am not a native Mandarin speaker, like other Cantonese in guangzhou, I grew up learning Mandarin from school and from tv and friends. I can read the example texts in pinyin aloud with correct pronunciation. I speak Mandarin just as fluently as I speak Cantonese, but I do have problem with s, sh, z zh c ch. I can understand any Mandarin spoken to me, except maybe for some local slangs. Reading in pinyin is harder (than characters and than if it were read to me by someone), which does not mean I do not understand what the pinyin says.... You sound like I don't know mandarin or that I am a learner of mandarin... I didn't really learn mandarin I picked it up as I grew up in China.

I think this Cantonese = no mandarin stereotype is very wrong.

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fenlan

Quest, this illustrates another issue. As many Chinese do not differentiate between zh/z and ng/n, it would be a problem to introduce pinyin. Misspellings would be very frequent indeed.

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atitarev
I am not a native Mandarin speaker, like other Cantonese in guangzhou, I grew up learning Mandarin from school and from tv and friends. I can read the example texts in pinyin aloud with correct pronunciation. I speak Mandarin just as fluently as I speak Cantonese, but I do have problem with s, sh, z zh c ch. I can understand any Mandarin spoken to me, except maybe for some local slangs. Reading in pinyin is harder (than characters), which does not mean I do not understand what the pinyin says....

Thanks very much. Harder but is the same as the other person read it out for you? You don't have to convert the words to characters when you speak/listen?

I think this Cantonese = no mandarin stereotype is very wrong.

Not sure what you mean. Pinyin was designed for Putonghua, although other dialects are or can be transliterated as well, but you are forced to read and pronounce in Putonghua (if you know and follow the rules) when you read in pinyin. I don't have any stereotypes/prejudices - you are comfortable with Mandarin, another Cantonese (or other Chinese dialect) speaker may be not.

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Quest
Harder but is the same as the other person read it out for you? You don't have to convert the words to characters when you speak/listen?

I dont know what you mean either.

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