RomanisationsRomanisations are writing systems developed to write a language/script that doesn't use roman letters (western alphabet) in roman. For Chinese several systems have been developed over the years.
The first systems of romanisation were devised by foreigners in China, beginning in the early seventeenth century with the Jesuits.
The most famous ones are Wade-Giles and Pinyin. Others are : Yale, Gwoyeu Romatzyh, ...
PinyinThis system was developed by the government of the People's Republic of China. It uses tone marks to represent the tones. (It was developed in the Sovjet Union in 1931 for the use by Chinese immigrants living there.) It was promulgated in a slightly modified form in 1958, in 1977 it became an United Nations Standard and in 1982 an ISO-standard. This is the most dominant romansiation used.
For more information on the history and use of Pinyin as an input method.
Wade-GilesThis system was first developed by Thomas Francis Wade (1859), it was revisted in 1867, and it was modified by Herbert Allen Giles. Giles published A Chinese English Dictionary in 1892, using his modified version, in 1912 he revised and enlarged the dictionary. It was the dominant system until recently.
Gwoyeu RomatzyhIt was created by Zhao Yuanren, it uses tonal spellings instead of tone marks.
Gwoyeu Romatzyh was devised by the Committee for National Language Romanization between 1926 and 1928, when it was adopted as the official romanization system of Mandarin in China. It was first used in Gwoin Charnyonq Tzyhuey (Guóyīn Chángyòng Zìhuì - "Glossary of Frequently Used Chinese") published in 1932.
YaleThe Yale romanisation method was created in 1948 for US military language-teaching. It was developed by Yale University in the 1950s and 60s as an aid to teaching Mandarin and Cantonese.
Besides romanisation their also excists other kinds of transcriptions, one of them is Bopomofo (Zhuyin Fuhao), this system is also used as an input method.
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