Yale Romanization vs. others

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
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Gigi

Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by Gigi » Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:37 am

Hi. I would like to know how the Yale Romanization system differs from the other romanization systems. Is there a source where I could compare the symbols, along with English examples, of each type of Cantonese romanization? Thanks very much.
Helmut
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by Helmut » Tue Apr 02, 2002 9:48 pm

There is surely no comparison chart for "each type" of Cantonese romanisation, because the number of different systems is not small enough. There are comparison charts for some systems deemed important by the authors of the charts. The biggest one I've seen had three systems (including Yale) plus the IPO representation.

Better you tell us, which systems you want to have compared with Yale. Or may be you simply want to find out what other systems exist besides Yale ?
sheik
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm
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Re: Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by sheik » Wed Apr 03, 2002 12:17 pm

The only formal systems that I have seen used are Yale (most common), Jyutping (newest and gaining in popularity) and Sydney Lau (which I think is quite old but I could be wrong).

The nice thing about Jyutping is that it uses numbers for the tones which makes it easy to write on forums like this!

/dam

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Learn how to read, write and speak Cantonese!
http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk
Helmut
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by Helmut » Wed Apr 03, 2002 10:29 pm

/dam,

well, there is more out there.

I have seen descriptions of the following systems for romanising Cantonese:
- Barnett-Chao
- Meyer-Wempe
- Sidney Lau
- Yale (and there seem to exist dialects of it)
- Jyutping

Furthermore, there is a number of systems that exist only in the text books written by their inventors and that failed to be mentioned a lot by others. Sounds not so official, but the systems mentioned above are not so official either. E.g., I have seen Sidney Lau's system to be applied only in his own books.

I guess we better skip the hundreds of systems invented by hundreds of disgruntled students of Cantonese (like you and me).

Apart from language teaching, there is the system applied by the Hongkong government for transliterating Cantonese names of persons and places. Other governments, e.g. Singapore, use other transliterations for Chinese names, including Cantonese names.

One can also skip romanisation altogether. E.g. the Oxford Chinese Dictionary uses the International Phonetic Alphabet together with the classical 9-tone system to indicate Cantonese pronounciation.
Thomas Chan

Re: Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by Thomas Chan » Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:06 pm

Helmut wrote:
>
> well, there is more out there.

Much much more...


> I have seen descriptions of the following systems for
> romanising Cantonese:
> - Barnett-Chao

There's also Chao's original scheme
published in his _Cantonese Primer_ (1947),
the only book which used it. It marked
tones in fashion similar to Gwoyeu Romatzyh
for Mandarin, which Chao also invented.


> - Meyer-Wempe

This one is antiquated because it describes
pre-1940s Cantonese pronunciation. It's
quietly disappeared from the comparative
charts included by authors. This system
was used in a textbook by Thomas O'Melia.


> - Sidney Lau

See below.


> - Yale (and there seem to exist dialects of it)

One common variation is to omit the <-h->
for low register tones, and replace the
tone diacritics with numbers.


> - Jyutping

There's also S.L. Wong's system
from _Syllabary of Canton_ (1941), of which
variations of it are still used in books
published in Hong Kong today. The original
system was also used in some textbooks by
Wong.

Also a system from mainland China, which
is made to look like Hanyu Pinyin for
Mandarin.

19th century authors like Samuel Williams
also had their own schemes, but they are
even more antiquated then the 1930's
Meyer-Wempe scheme.


> Furthermore, there is a number of systems that exist only in
> the text books written by their inventors and that failed to
> be mentioned a lot by others.

These are usually not worth mentioning if
they only appear in a single source, unless
there is some kind of prestige attached to
the author or the textbook.


> Sounds not so official, but the
> systems mentioned above are not so official either. E.g., I
> have seen Sidney Lau's system to be applied only in his own
> books.

Sidney Lau's scheme seems to have
become popular enough to be the
romanization system chosen for some
Cantonese input methods.


> I guess we better skip the hundreds of systems invented by
> hundreds of disgruntled students of Cantonese (like you and
> me).

Most of these efforts, whether by students
or textbook/phrasebook authors, are just
reinventing the wheel. It's pretty much
a showdown between Yale and Jyutping for
materials used by English-speaking students.


> Apart from language teaching, there is the system applied by
> the Hongkong government for transliterating Cantonese names
> of persons and places. Other governments, e.g. Singapore, use
> other transliterations for Chinese names, including Cantonese
> names.

Not to mention the ad hoc and idiosyncratic
schemes used for person and place names...


> One can also skip romanisation altogether. E.g. the Oxford
> Chinese Dictionary uses the International Phonetic Alphabet
> together with the classical 9-tone system to indicate
> Cantonese pronounciation.

Some romanization schemes, like Jyutping,
are pretty close to IPA, as well.


Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu
Gigi

Re: Yale Romanization vs. others

Post by Gigi » Thu Apr 04, 2002 2:59 am

Well, I guess I was just thinking of Yale vs. LSHK and Pinyin specifically. Actually, I received a reply to my post on Google (sci.lang) that answered this question. The following link has a comparison of these systems:

http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~windharp/ctroma.htm


Thanks to everyone for their input. I had no idea that there were so many systems out there!

Gigi
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