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atitarev

Cantonese to Romanisation Conversion Tool

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atitarev

I asked this before but will try again - I am looking for a conversion tool for Cantonese (e.g. Yale romanisation) - tone numbers to tone marks (+"h" for lower range of tones). Cantonese has more tones and more syllables, so it's obviously more complicated to write (or to type, rather). Besides, there is no standard and no agreement on how many tones Cantonese actually has (6, 7, 9 or 10) but any version would do, because I'd like to romanise some song lyrics and textbook exercises.

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weixiaoma

Well, since I just wrote a pinyin tone tool for Mandarin, a Cantonese one would probably be a snap IF I had the necessary information. I don't know much about Cantonese.

How are the tones displayed over vowels? Cantonese has a lot of tones. I'm guessing some tones would use the same tone marks as the Mandarin tones, but how about the others? What do they look like and what are the unicode characters for the vowels with those tones? Also what are the rules for which tone to put the vowel over? In Mandarin, for example, words with "iu" finals have tones over the 2nd vowel, while words with "ao" finals have tones over the first vowel. The rules aren't as simple as one might assume.

If you get me the info I need, I might be able to put something together for you.

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atitarev

Thanks Weixiaoma. It's probably too time-consuming to create it from scratch.

Tones:

http://www.chinawestexchange.com/Cantonese/Pingyam/tones.htm

Here are the Cantonese 7 tones on a basic syllable, note the use of H.

mà mā má ma máh màh mah

Yale romanization with initials and finals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_Romanization

I'll try to find a full list of syllables. There are more syllables in Cantonese than in Mandarin. It's probably a bit harder to create the conversion tool for Cantonese than for Mandarin (e.g. dī or dīk) and I'll check the rules for diphthongs (which letter gets the tone mark).

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atitarev

Weixiaoma,

Attaching here a full list of Cantonese syllables. I would like to have a tool/macro (available for everyone) to convert any possible syllable with a tone number into a syllable with a tone mark + h where appropriate. H is inserted after the initial but before final, e.g. "din" would become "dihn" -

The tone mark should be on the first vowel of the syllable (excluding "y", e.g. "syu").

"ng" is also a syllable, sometimes "m" is used as a complete syllable (not in the attached file).

Please let me know if you want to have a go at creating the macro, I am not sure if this can be automated. If you get started, please let me know if I can help.

Examples of Yale romanization for Cantonese:

電影 dihnyíng (Mandarin: diànyǐng 电影 - simpl.)

網球 móhngkàuh (Mandarin: wǎngqiú 网球 - simpl.)

The above Cantonese words with the tone numbers would be

din7ying6 and mong6kau5

Some more Cantonese romanisation examples from a textbook, you need to know how to read the tones, the tone marks are not the same as in Mandarin!:

Jóusàhn, Wòhng sìnsàang.

Jóusàhn, Jèung síujé. Néih hóu ma?

Ngóh hóuhóu. Néih nē?

Hóuhóu.

Néih taaitáai nē?

Kéuih dōu hóu. Yáuhsàm.

Òu, deui-mˋh-jyuh, gwai sing a?

Ngó sing Hòh, néih haih Léih Síujé ma?

Mˋh haih, ngóh sing Jèung. Hòh Sìn-sàang, néih haih mˋh haih Méih-gwok-yàhn a?

Mˋh haih, ngóh haih Yìng-gwok-yàhn. Ngóh maaih Méih-gwok chē: Méih-gwok chē hóu leng, néih yiu mˋh yiu a?

Mˋh yiu, mˋh yiu. Méih-gwok chē hóu gwai: ngóh yiu Yaht-bún chē. Joi-gin, Hòh Sìn-sàang.

Néih mˋh yiu, Léih Síu-jé yiu mˋh yiu a?

Léih Síu-jé dōu mˋh yiu. Joi-gin, joi-gin

(The pronunciation used is standard Cantonese, used by TV anchors, so it's "ngóh" (我), not "óh" and "néih", not "léih"). I had trouble putting the tone mark over "m", so it's "mˋh".

Cantonese Syllables in Yale romanization.xls

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Ncao
Jóusàhn, Wòhng sìnsàang.

Jóusàhn, Jèung síujé. Néih hóu ma?

Ngóh hóuhóu. Néih nē?

Hóuhóu.

Néih taaitáai nē?

Kéuih dōu hóu. Yáuhsàm.

Òu, deui-mˋh-jyuh, gwai sing a?

Ngó sing Hòh, néih haih Léih Síujé ma?

Mˋh haih, ngóh sing Jèung. Hòh Sìn-sàang, néih haih mˋh haih Méih-gwok-yàhn a?

Mˋh haih, ngóh haih Yìng-gwok-yàhn. Ngóh maaih Méih-gwok chē: Méih-gwok chē hóu leng, néih yiu mˋh yiu a?

Mˋh yiu, mˋh yiu. Méih-gwok chē hóu gwai: ngóh yiu Yaht-bún chē. Joi-gin, Hòh Sìn-sàang.

Néih mˋh yiu, Léih Síu-jé yiu mˋh yiu a?

Léih Síu-jé dōu mˋh yiu. Joi-gin, joi-gin

早晨 王(黃)先生

早晨 張小姐 妳好嗎?

我好好 你呢?

好好

你太太呢?

佢都好 有心

奧 對唔住 貴姓呀?

我姓何 妳係李小姐嗎?

唔係 我姓張. 何先生 你係唔係美國人呀?

唔係 我係英國人. 我賣美國車. 美國車好靚,你要唔要呀?

唔要唔要. 美國車好貴 我要日本車. 再見 何先生

妳唔要,李小姐要唔要呀?

李小姐都唔要.再見 再見

Am I right?

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atitarev

Yes, very good. Here's the Cantonese text.

早晨﹐王先生。

早晨﹐張小姐。你好嗎﹖

我好好。你呢﹖

好好。

你太太呢﹖

佢都好﹐有心。

噢﹐ 對唔住﹐貴姓呀﹖

我姓何﹐你係李小姐嗎﹖

唔係﹐我姓張。何先生﹐你係唔係美國人呀﹖

唔係﹐我係英國人﹐我賣美國車﹕美國車好靚﹐你要唔要呀﹖

唔要﹐唔要。美國車好貴﹕我要日本車。再見﹐何先生。

你唔要﹐李小姐要唔要呀﹖

李小姐都唔要。再見﹐再見。

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geraldc

That second dialogue is crazy, there must be loads of cantonese learners out there who just assume everyone goes around chatting to strangers about buying expensive cars, it's only slightly less mad than the classic "my postillion has been struck by lightning" line...:mrgreen:

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atitarev

I don't get any prejudice when reading this, Geraldc.

I just treat this text as an exercise in Cantonese - grammar, vocab, characters, pronunciation.

Back on the topic, here's the only tool I know - HanConv, which can convert a chunk of Chinese text to Yale romanisation (it can do Yutping/Jyutping as well and others)

http://www.users.on.net/~aliceyeung/software/1.php

So, the above text is romanised into Yale (Cantonese) with tone numbers:

jou2 san4﹐wong4 sin1 saang1。

jou2 san4﹐jeung1 siu2 je2。nei5 hou2 ma3﹖

ngo5 hou2 hou2。nei5 ne1﹖

hou2 hou2。

nei5 taai3 taai3 ne1﹖

keui5 dou1 hou2﹐yau5 sam1。

o1﹐ deui3 m4 jyu6﹐gwai3 sing3 a1﹖

ngo5 sing3 ho4﹐nei5 hai6 lei5 siu2 je2 ma3﹖

m4 hai6﹐ngo5 sing3 jeung1。ho4 sin1 saang1﹐nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 yan4 a1﹖

m4 hai6﹐ngo5 hai6 ying1 gwok3 yan4﹐ngo5 maai6 mei5 gwok3 che1﹕mei5 gwok3 che1 hou2 jing6﹐nei5 yiu1 m4 yiu1 a1﹖

m4 yiu1﹐m4 yiu1。mei5 gwok3 che1 hou2 gwai3﹕ngo5 yiu1 yat6 bun2 che1。joi3 gin3﹐ho4 sin1 saang1。

nei5 m4 yiu1﹐lei5 siu2 je2 yiu1 m4 yiu1 a1﹖

lei5 siu2 je2 dou1 m4 yiu1。joi3 gin3﹐joi3 gin3。

This tool can't do tone marks, which I am after.

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Ncao

This is the first Cantonese Romanization that I can totally understand.

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atitarev

Ncao, you mean because it's good or because the text is simple? Which one did you prefer the one with tone numbers, each syllables spaced out or the one with tone marks with words joined?

You can get your own romanisation if you download HanConv.

I used it to romanise a couple of songs, it worked OK. There must muptiple readings of characters in Cantonese as well but I didn't get any for the songs I romanised.

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Ncao

I prefer the tone marks. It was easy for me to figured the text out because it was simple.

Also, the yale system is a little more easier for me.

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weixiaoma

Hi all. I didn't notice the thread had been moved. Anyway, I threw together a basic Cantonese tone tool, but I'm not sure about a couple of things. First of all, according to atitarev, the seven tones are like this:

mà mā má ma máh màh mah

My tone tool does that but it doesn't match the tones you guys wrote for the dialogues. You guys wrote

jou2 san4﹐wong4 sin1 saang1。

as

Jóusàhn, Wòhng sìnsàang.

The problem is, according to the example with the all the ma's, the first tone is falling, the second is flat, and the third is rising. Also, I'm not sure about the placement of the "h" in 6th and 7th tone words with dipthongs. On the good side, I've only spent about 20 minutes on it, so I'm not too frustrated :D

Check out my tool and tell me what needs to change! It's at http://toshuo.com/?page_id=74

You can comment on it at http://toshuo.com/?p=75.

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atitarev

Thanks, Weixiaoma.

So, jung3 leui5 cham4 ta1 chin1 baak3 dok6。

is converted to júng léhui cham tà chìn báak dòhk。

This is our pattern:

ma1 ma2 ma3 ma4 ma5 ma6 ma7

mà mā má ma máh màh mah

léhui is incorrect - should be léuih, but dòhk is good - H is inserted at the end of a final (could be one vowel or a diphtong) but before the final - m, n, ng, k, p, t.

i is part of the diphtong, not final (e.g. paai)

Question on your site:

>>2)Can “ng” be an independent syllable with a tone mark?

Yes, it can. E.g. number 5 (五 is ng5)

Thanks for the effort, I'll try to check a bit more later. Could I have a look at the codes, please? (canto-tonetool.js)

All possible combinations of Cantonese syllables are in the attached spreadsheet in my previous posts.

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