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Pinyin with regards to the internet

Guest jderke

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I'm having difficulty understanding the Pinyin representation of the Chinese language as it relates to the internet, etc...

for example, if i were refering to "food".. it seems like I should type it as Shi2 Wu4 .. and yet, it seems like it's also typed as Shi Wu .. which seems like, to me, could mean

Shi2 Wu3 - fifteen

Shi4 Wu4 - work

So.. why don't I see pronunciation numbers consistently? Also, with regards to the internet, a lot of Chinese language websites seem to have english url's... a lot seem to have numbers.. I know there's an effort to utilize Chinese characters for that, but, does Pinyin Representation have a role? and, should I have written Pin1 Yin1? or is Pinyin correct?

Thanks for helping me understand

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this is a big problem.

if you search "shi wu",


too many result ...

you can narrow your search with "shi2 wu4",


fewer results... but sometimes confusing for learners of the language.

most people understand what you are talking about if they are well-educated in Hanyu Pinyin. when typing pinyin, i mix in some english for words that might seem "funny" to say.

i am also very lazy about tone numbers. :D

this is a good question.

i hope we can find an answer.

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