Pinyin without tonal marks, diacritics

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Ludus, May 7, 2014.

  1. Ludus Senior Member

    The word is only an example. I'd like to know if it's correct to write "shānzhài". I've read on Wikipedia that "shānzhài" is pinyin, i.e. "the official phonetic system for transcribing the Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet in China".

    The same for Lianghui or Liǎnghuì, and so on.

    What's the more correct way to write these chinese words?

    Hope it's clear :)

  2. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    If they're intended as Chinese-words-transcribed-in-pinyin or Chinese words for some specialist reader groups, keep the tone marks. Otherwise, the tone marks are not needed. If you write, for example, Liǎnghuì (instead of Lianghui), in a novel intended for general English readers, it'd look strange.
  3. Ludus Senior Member

    Hi, xiaolijie, thanks for quick reply. I need to write these Chinese word in a novel, for general italian readers. So, it'd look strange writing Liǎnghuì :)
  4. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    The tone marks are often omitted for the convenience of typists, foreign writers and readers. Pinyin without marks are not "standard Pinyin", although they are acceptable in some circumstance.
    Compare to Chinese characters, Pinyin would increase the chance that people misunderstand the word as its homophones, Pinyin without tone marks will increase the chance even more significantly.
    If you really want to be "more correct", and don't mind to bother your readers, you should use Chinese characters. :)
  5. Ludus Senior Member

    Italian readers cannot understand and read Chinese characters ;)
  6. Peripes Senior Member

    Lima, Perú
    Español, Perú
    Nowadays most transcriptions from Mandarin to another languages are done with Pinyin winthout tone marks. Most articles from Wikipedia and textbooks do this. If the book is directed towards people interested in learning the actual pronunciation you might want to include the actual Pinyin within brackets. Tone marks make no sense to someone who does not speak Chinese or speaks a language where tones are unimportant. And, as it's been already said, I think readers would feel a bit uncomfortable if they saw a character without knowing how to read it.
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  7. Ludus Senior Member

    The book is not intended to people interested in Chinese language, but to general readers. So, you're right: if the readers read "Liǎnghuì" they don't know the pronunciation of the name and "Lianghui" is more comfortable for them. Thanks for the explanation.

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