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NinjaTurtle

Pronouncing the name Hsieh

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NinjaTurtle

How to pronounce the name Hsieh? (There is a professional tennis player by the name of Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan, playing at a tennis tournament in America.)

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NinjaTurtle

Wow, what a difference in spellings for 謝!

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ZhangKaiRong

It’s just a different romanization system. Depending on your native language and some background in Mandarin, you can guess it quite easily. Compared to the sounds my native language use, the Taiwanese romanization makes more sense from a proniunciation point of view.

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vellocet

Honestly Hsieh sounds a lot closer to the actual verbalization than the alien Xie.  

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Shelley

I have always thought that actually the Wade-Giles system was a better approximation to the sounds of Chinese. I have a printed out table of Pinyin to Wade-Giles and if I am finding pronunciation is tricky I will look it up and double check with WG.

 

The tones are dealt with easily too and are built into the spelling with hyphens separating syllables in words, further clarifying things. An apostrophe also helps with pronunciation.

 

If it wasn't for the fact Pinyin is everywhere I would prefer Wade-Giles.

 

More information here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade–Giles

 

 

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889

Tones are built into the spelling in Gwoyeu Romatzyh.

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Shelley

@889 Sorry, are you saying not built in in Wade-Giles? Have I made a mistake? 

 

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889

Unless you consider superscript numbers part of the spelling, Wade-Giles romanizes 马 and 妈 etc the same.

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Shelley

Oh ok thanks for the info, must have got it wrong. I really thought it had the tone info in the spelling and the numbers were a modern addition. 

Sorry folks ignore me I got it wrong.

 

Gwoyeu Romatzyh sounds good, maybe this is what I was confusing it with, seeing as this is the first I have heard of it, maybe I have read about it and confused the names.

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Publius

The problem with Wade-Giles is that everyone except sinologists will just ignore the apostrophe and superscript.

For example, a Han dynasty physician 張仲景 would be spelled Chang¹ Chung⁴-ching³ in Wade-Giles. That's hardly distinguishable from 常重慶 , Ch'ang² Ch'ung²-ch'ing⁴. To ordinary people, they are just the same Chang Chung-ching.

Note also that Wade-Giles uses the same spelling for the initial consonants in 張 and 景, relying on the readers to know the difference (/tɕ/ when followed by /i/ or /y/, /ʈʂ/ otherwise). It's fair to say, in my opinion, that Wade-Giles helped perpetuate the Ching Chong Chang stereotype.

Therefore I think it's a great improvement that Hanyu Pinyin should make use of 25 of the 26 Roman letters. Zhāng Zhòngjǐng vs Cháng Chóngqìng seems quite clear and elegant to me.

Admittedly some of the usages are weird, notably the letters j, q, x and c. But let's face it, Pinyin was not designed with foreign learners in mind. Who cares whether they are pronounceable in English (Eyjafjallajökull, anyone?). The sounds they represent are difficult and need to be taught separately anyway.

 

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vellocet
1 hour ago, Publius said:

It's fair to say, in my opinion, that Wade-Giles helped perpetuate the Ching Chong Chang stereotype.

Once, when I had first started to understand Chinese, I overheard two employees talking about Cantonese people.  One of them mocked the way Cantonese sounded, and she made those exact "Ching chong wing wong" sounds.  They both laughed and I joined in, thrilled to at last have gotten the joke and be able to laugh with everyone when Chinese was being spoken.  A golden moment in my Chinese study.  

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