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Text in Pinyin in Shanghai.

Hanyu Pinyin Fang'an ( Chinese  漢語拼音 方案  /  汉语拼音 方案 , Pinyin Hànyǔ Pīnyīn Fāng'àn  - "Program to fix the sounds in Chinese"), mostly only short Pinyin ( 拼音 ), to differentiate Tongyong Pinyin ( 通用 拼音 , Tōngyòng Pīnyīn ) also called Hanyu Pinyin ( 漢語拼音  /  汉语拼音 ), is the official Chinese Romanization of Standard Chinese in the People's Republic of China . This phonetic transcription based on the Latin alphabet , developed by Zhou Youguang , was officially adopted by the State Council on February 6, 1956 and approved at the end of 1957. It replaced the non-Latin Zhuyin inscription (Bopomofo) introduced in 1921 on the mainland .

The pronunciation given by the pinyin transcription is based on standard Chinese ( 普通話  /  普通话 , pǔtōnghuà ). Pinyin is registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO 7098: 1991 (second edition after 1982) and thus recognized as an international standard. In the People's Republic of China, pinyin is defined by the national standard GB / T 16159 , which was last revised in 2012 (GB / T 16159-2012); The GB / T 28039-2011 standard applies to the writing of personal names.

Since January 1, 2009, Hanyu Pinyin has also been the official standard in the Republic of China on Taiwan by resolution of the Kuomintang government elected in 2008 . In the cities and counties ruled by the DPP party , however, this non-binding ordinance is not followed and the romanization Tongyong Pinyin , introduced in 2002, is still used.

Spelling of the syllables

Since the Chinese characters almost always describe exactly one syllable , pinyin transcription is also syllable -based. The Chinese syllable consists of an initial and an end. The syllable ba consists of the initial b and the final a . Most final sounds can also be spoken without an initial sound. Since the Chinese and German phonetic systems differ considerably in some points, the pronunciation hints are only approximations. The second column contains the pronunciation according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) based on Lee & Zee, Duanmu and Lin.

Initial sounds

Pinyin IPA description
b [ ] voiceless b
p [ ] like in German, breathed
m [ m ] like in German
f [ f ] like in German
d [ ] voiceless d
t [ ] like in German, breathed
n [ n ] like in German
l [ l ] like in German
G [ ɡ̊ ] voiceless g
k [ ] like in German, breathed
H [ χ ] as in la ch en or spanish j
x [ ɕ ] like ch in me and ß in white at the same time
j [ d̥ɕ ] like d plus pinyin x ; similar to girls , but much softer
q [ tɕʰ ] like t plus pinyin x ; similar to girls , but very breathy
s [ s ] as white ß (unvoiced s)
c [ tsʰ ] like t plus s : similar to German tz
z [ d̥z̥ ] similar to German d and voiced s together
w [ w ] as in English w ell
y [ j , ɥ ] like j in German j a or y in English y es; before a u it is pronounced with rounded lips
sh [ ʂ ] similar to German sch, but retroflex
zh [ ɖ̥ʐ̥ ] like d plus pinyin sh ; similar to Dsch ungel, but voiceless and retroflex (with the tip of the tongue bent back)
ch [ ʈʂʰ ] like t plus pinyin sh ; similar to German Tsch
r [ ɻ ] similar to French j (bon j our), but retroflex


Each end consists of up to three components:

  • Gliding sound : -, i, u, ü
  • Central sound: -, a, e / o
  • Final sound: -, i, u, n, ng

Not all combinations are realized and there are certain sound shifts (see phonetic transcription ). Then there is the syllable he , which does not fit into this scheme.

Final sound Interjection
[ ] [ ] [ n ] [ ŋ ] [ ɻ ]
glide -i [ ɻ̩ ], [ ɹ̩ ] e [ ɤ ] a [ a ] ei [ ei̯ ] ai [ ai̯ ] ou [ ou̯ ] ao [ au̯ ] en [ ən ] to [ to ] ong [ ʊŋ ] tight [ əŋ ] ang [ ] he [ ɚ ] o [ ɔ ]
ê [ ɛ ]
[ u ] u [ u ] uo [ u̯o ] ua [ u̯a ] uei [ u̯ei̯ ] uai [ u̯ai̯ ] uen [ u̯ən ] uan [ u̯an ] ueng [ u̯əŋ ] uang [ u̯aŋ ]
[ i ] i [ i ] ie [ i̯e ] ia [ i̯a ] iai [ i̯ai̯ ] iou [ i̯ou̯ ] iao [ i̯au̯ ] in [ in ] ian [ i̯ɛn ] iong [ i̯ʊŋ ] ing [ ] iang [ i̯aŋ ] io [ i̯ɔ ]
[ y ] ü [ y ] üe [ y̆e ] ün [ yn ] üan [ y̆ɛn ]

The finals are sometimes written differently depending on the initial sound:

  • After j, q, x and y the points above the ü do not apply . A written u after these initials is therefore pronounced as ü ;
  • The final positions uei, uen and iou be after initial sound as ui, un and iu written;
  • For syllables without an initial, i, u, ü are replaced by y, w, yu at the beginning . The syllables i , in , ing and u are written as yi , yin , ying and wu ;
  • After z, c, s, zh, ch, sh and r , i denotes “pressed” vowels in the throat (“it gets stuck in your throat”).
Pinyin IPA description
Simple vowels
a [ a ] as in w a r
e [ ɤ ] [ ə ] Tongue position as with o in red, but without rounding the lips. Is spoken as Schwa in some unstressed syllables .
-i, yi [ i ] as in n ie , except after zh, ch, sh, r, z, c and s
-i [ ɻ̩ ] after zh, ch, sh and r: no vowel, the tongue remains in the position of the consonant. Sounds like in English si r with American pronunciation.
-i [ ɹ̩ ] after z, c and s: tongue position as with u in Buch, but with spread lips
-u, wu [ u ] as in B u ch, after j, q and x as in ü
-ü, yu [ y ] as in above sea over
he [ ɚ ] like English h ur t in American pronunciation
Diphthongs and triphthongs
ai [ ai̯ ] as in M ai
ao [ au̯ ] similar to Fr au , the u is articulated very weakly and tends to o
ou [ ou̯ ] open o as in however, followed by unsyllabic u
egg [ ei̯ ] as in English d ay
-ia, ya [ i̯a ] like in Samb ia
yai [ i̯ai̯ ] as in Jei n
-iao, yao [ i̯au̯ ] as in meow , the u tends to o
-iu, you [ i̯ou̯ ] as in Yo ga with a hint of a u
-ie, ye [ i̯e ] as in English ye s
-ua, wa [ u̯a ] as in G ua rana
-uai, wai [ u̯ai̯ ] as in English wi fe
-uo, -o, where [ u̯o ] as in English wa ter
-ui, know [ u̯ei̯ ] like english way
-üe, -ue, yue [ y̆e ] as with ie, ye, but starting with ü as in over instead of i
Finals on -n
on [ to ] as in w ann
-ian, yan [ i̯ɛn ] as in amb ien te
-uan, wan [ u̯an ] as in As uan , after j, q and x see uan, yuan
-uan, yuan [ y̆ɛn ] after j, q and x: pronunciation as in cows ; like ian, yan, but starting with ü like in over instead of i
en [ ən ] as in mach en
-in, yin [ in ] as in b in , but with a closed i as in never
-un who [ u̯ən ] as in Individ uen after j, q and x see un, yun
-un, yun [ yn ] after j, q and x: ün (as in French un e)
Endings on -ng
nec [ ] as in ang st
-iang, yang [ i̯aŋ ] as in Italian b ian approx
-uang, wang [ u̯aŋ ] like ang which is preceded by an unsyllabic u
-ong [ ʊŋ ] as in H ung he
-iong, yong [ i̯ʊŋ ] how young
-closely [ əŋ ] open o as in yes, but without rounded lips, followed by ng
weng [ u̯əŋ ] as with closely preceded by an unsyllabic u
-ing, ying [ ] as in D ing , but with a closed i as in never
O [ ɔ ] alone as in d o ch, after b, p, m and f more like uo (see there)
yo [ i̯ɔ ] as in Jo ch

Matrix of all syllables

In the following table, all standard Chinese syllables are listed according to initial and final letters. The sorting is done phonetically , not according to the typeface. This means:

  • if j, q, x, y are followed by the “ü” sound, the syllable is in the corresponding line, although in this case “ u ” is written without dots;
  • the line with the “ong” final is in the u group, because in this case “ung” is pronounced;
  • the syllables with [ɻ̩] and [ɹ̩] stand in the line for the final "-i", separated from the line "i";
  • “W”, “y” and “yu” stand in the column for syllables without an initial (∅), as they are spelling variants of the floating vowels “u”, “i”, “ü”.

The syllable yai occurs in the high-level variant of the Republic of China , but not in the variant of the People's Republic of China . Only syllables that appear in the vocabulary of dialects are bracketed.

b p m f d t n l G k H j q x zh ch sh r z c s
a a ba pa ma fa there ta n / A la ga ka Ha zha cha sha za approx sa
ai ai bai pai May dai tai nai lai gai kai shark zhai chai shai zai cai sai
ao ao bao pao mao dao tao nao lao gao kao hao zhao chao shao rao zao cao sao
on on ban pan man fan Dan tan nan lan gan can han zhan chan shan ran zan can san
nec nec bang pang mang catch dang tang nang long gear kang hillside zhang chang shang rank pliers cang sang
e e me de te no le ge ke hey zhe che she re ze ce se
O O bo po mo fo lo
egg egg at pei my fei dei no lei gei (kei) hey zhei shei zei
ou ou pou mou fou dou tou nou lou gou kou hou zhou chou shou rou zou cou sou
en en ben pen men fen the nen gene ken hen zhen chen shen ren Zen cen sen
closely closely beng bang quantity feng deng tight ning ling enough keng heng zheng cheng sheng reng zeng ceng scorching
he he
u wu bu pu must fu you do nu lu gu ku hu zhu chu shu ru to cu see below
among others wa gua kua hua zhua chua shua
uai wai guai kuai huai zhuai chuai shuai
uan wan duan tuan nuan luan guan kuan huan zhuan chuan shuan ruan zuan cuan suan
uang wang guang kuang huang zhuang chuang shuang
uo Where duo tuo nuo luo guo kuo huo zhuo chuo shuo ruo zuo cuo suo
uei know dui tui gui kui hui zhui chui shui rui zui cui sui
uen whom dun to do now lun gun kun hun zhun chun shun run to cun sun
ong dong tong nong long gong kong hong zhong chong rong zong cong song
ueng weng
i yi bi pi mi di ti ni left ji qi xi
ia ya lia jia qia xia
iai yai
iao yao biao piao miao (fiao) diao tiao niao liao jiao qiao xiao
ian yan bian pian mian dian tian nian lian jian qian xian
yang yang niang liang jiang qiang xiang
ie ye bie pie mie the tie never lie jie qie xie
ok yo
iou you miu diu niu liu jiu qiu xiu
in yin am pin code min nin lin jin qin xin
ing ying bing ping ming thing ting ning ling jing qing xing
iong yong jiong qiong xiong
ü yu no ju qu xu
üan yuan Juan quan xuan
üe yue no lüe jue que xue
ün yun jun qun xun
-i zhi chi shi ri zi ci si

Except for it , all these syllables in standard Chinese and increasingly in the pronunciation of Beijing can be appended with an -r , which often changes the pronunciation considerably and makes tonal differences between otherwise clearly separated syllables disappear, which is not taken into account in the Pinyin transcription. There is also the interjection ê and interjections with syllable nasals (hm, hng, m, n, ng) . Interjections cannot be extended with -r .

Hyphenation marks

If a syllable in polysyllabic words begins with an a , e or o , it must always be separated from the preceding syllable by an apostrophe . Examples are the city names Xi'an ( 西安 , Xī'ān ) and Chang'an ( 長安  /  长安 , Cháng'ān ) or the words tian'e ( 天鵝  /  天鹅 , tiān'é  - "swan") and hai'ou ( 海鷗  /  海鸥 , hǎi'ōu  - "seagull"). Without hyphenation, these cities would be read as Xian (one syllable) and Chan-gan . Such a rule is not necessary in front of the other vowels (i, u, ü) because they are written at the beginning of the syllable as y, w, yu - the y and the w therefore already mark the syllable boundary. To improve reading fluency , the apostrophe is also placed where there is no risk of confusion ( tiane cannot be read tia-ne because the syllable tia does not exist in standard Chinese; neither can haiou be spoken as a syllable).

Designation of the tones

Sounds in the pinyin system

Standard Chinese is a contour tone language ; H. each syllable is spoken with a specific pitch, the so-called tone. Four tones are distinguished in stressed syllables; another can only be found in unstressed syllables, which have the so-called “light tone” ( 輕聲  /  轻声 , qīngshēng ), which is sometimes also referred to as the “fifth” or “neutral tone”. The first tone is spoken consistently high, on the second tone the voice rises from a medium pitch - similar to the end of German questions. On the third tone, the voice first drops slightly within the low frequency band and then increases, and on the fourth, the voice drops abruptly from a high level. In contrast, the pitch of unstressed syllables in the light tone is not decisive for the meaning of what is said.

In Pinyin, the tones of stressed syllables are identified by diacritical marks , which are small markings above the vowels (ā á ǎ à), in the case of the very rare vowelless syllables above the syllable nasals (ḿ ň). The first sound is a macron (ā), the second tone by acute (á), the third tone by a Hatschek (ǎ, respect, no Breve - pointed downward, not round) and the fourth sound by a grave accent (à) is shown. Since the spelling reform of 2012 in dictionaries, the light tone may be designated by a center point in front of the syllable (· ma). In order to indicate that a syllable is either spoken in one of the four tones of stressed syllables or in a light tone, a combination of the two tone symbols may be used according to the GB / T 16159-2012 standard (zhī · dào). In the past, the light tone was sometimes represented by a point (ȧ) or ring (å) on the vowel (rarely: the syllable nasal).

If no keyboard or no character set with the usual tone markings is available, the tone is instead often denoted by a number after the syllable, e.g. B. hao3 means the syllable hao in the 3rd tone ( hǎo ). The light tone is either denoted by a 5 or, more rarely, a 0 . This system is also used with some pinyin-based input methods , in which the letter ü is also entered by pressing the key for the v that is not used in the pinyin .

Rules for placing the tone signals

If a tone symbol is placed on an i , it replaces the i point . With a ü, however, the tone sign is placed over the dots (nǚ).

In stressed syllables that contain several vowels, the diacritical tone mark is placed on the first vowel if it is an a, e or o , otherwise on the second vowel.

The tone markings in inconsistent Chinese texts are often left out. However, the resulting homographs often lead to ambiguities.

Pinyin and Tonsandhis

Like other Chinese languages , standard Chinese knows Tonsandhis , i.e. H. tone changes depending on the context. The tone of the following syllable influences the tone course of the preceding one. For example, if a syllable in the third tone is followed by another syllable in the third tone, the first of the two syllables is often pronounced in the second tone. So z. B. (nǐ) + (hǎo) pronounced like ní hǎo . Regardless of the tone sandhi in the spoken language, the original tones in pinyin must always be kept unchanged ( 你好 , nǐ hǎo ); The changed pitch courses may only be marked for demonstration purposes (e.g. in language lessons).

Official spelling rules

The spelling rules for pinyin can be summarized as follows:

General rules :

  • Words as basic units: rén (  - "person"), péngyou ( 朋友  - "friend"), túshūguǎn ( 圖書館  /  图书馆  - "library")
  • Two or Dreisilbler as a complete concept: Quanguo ( 全國  /  全国  - "the whole nation"), duìbuqǐ ( 對不起  /  对不起  - "Sorry"), qiūhǎitáng ( 秋海棠  - "Begonia")
  • Expressions with four or more syllables are separated if they can be broken down into single words: wúfèng gāngbǐ ( 無縫 鋼筆  /  无缝 钢笔  - "seamless pen"), jīngtǐguǎn gōnglǜ fàngdàqì ( 晶體管 功率放大器  /  晶体管 功率放大器  - "transistor output stage ").
    Otherwise all syllables are written together: Hóngshízìhuì ( 紅十字會  /  红十字会  - "Red Cross"), yánjiūshēngyuàn ( 研究生 院  - "College for
    Postgraduate Studies ")
  • Doubled monosyllables are connected, doubled two- syllables are separated: rénrén ( 人人  - "all, everyone"), chángshi chángshi ( 嘗試 嘗試  /  尝试 尝试  - "try it out")
  • Juxtaposed doublings (AA-BB) are separated by a hyphen : láilái-wǎngwǎng ( 來來往往  /  来来往往  - "come and go, circulate "), qīngqīng-chǔchǔ ( 清清楚楚  - "clear and clear, crisp and clear")
  • A hyphen can be inserted for better reading comprehension: huán-bǎo ( 環保  /  环保  - "environmental protection"), shíqī-bā suì ( 十七 八歲  /  十七 八岁  - " 17/18 years old")

Nouns :

  • Monosyllabic prefixes and suffixes are combined with nouns .
    • Prefixes : fù- (  - " vice- "), zǒng- (  /   - "main"), fēi- (  - "un-"), fǎn- (  - "anti- / counter-") , chāo- (  - “super / over-”), lǎo- (  - “venerable, old, long-known”), A- (  - “prefixed marker for names of familiar people “), (  -“ can ”), e.g. B. xiǎokě ( 小可  - "can be irrelevant, can be insignificant"), wú- (  /   - "Un-, not, without") etc.
      Ex .: fù-bùzhǎng ( 副 部長  /  副 部长  - " Vice-Director of a (government) department "), zǒng-gōngchéngshī ( 總 公 程 師  /  总 公 程 师  -" Chief Engineer ")
    • Suffixes : -zǐ ( ), -ér (  /  ), -tóu (  /  ); Suffixes as noun ending : -xìng (  - "-nature, essence, property"), -zhě (  - "-ist (in)") / -yuán (  /   - "-ist (in)"), - jiā (  - "-Expert, -is (in)"), -shǒu (  - "Hand, person, -expert, -he (in), -is (in)"), - huà (  - “-ized”), -men (  /   - “plural suffix”) etc.
      Example: yìshùjiā ( 藝術家  /  艺术家  - “artist”).
  • Directional words : nouns and directional words following them are separated: mén wài ( 門外  /  门外  - "in front of the door, outside a discipline") = mén wàimian ( 門 外面  /  门 外面  - "outside the door, in front of the door") / mén wàibiān ( 門外 邊  /  门外 边  - "outside the door, in front of the door") / mén wàitou ( 門外 頭  /  门外 头  - "outside the door, in front of the door"), huǒchē shàngmian ( 火車 上面  /  火车上面  - "on the train, on the train")
    • Lexical units are connected: hǎiwài- ( 海外  - "overseas")

Proper names :

  • Family and first names (xìngmíng / míngzi) are written separately in Han Chinese. The first letters of family names and first names are capitalized. Pseudonyms (bǐmíng) and nicknames (biémíng) are written according to the same principles: Wáng Jiànguó, Dōngfāng Shuò, Zhāng Sān
  • Personal names and titles are separated: Wáng bùzhǎng, Lǐ xiānsheng
  • The first letter of personal salutations such as Lǎo, Xiǎo, Dà, Ā, and so on, are capitalized. For example: Xiǎo Liú (Little Liu), Lǎo Qián (Elder Qian), Wú Lǎo (Honorable Wu), Sān (the third [in a family])
  • When the name of historically known personalities is combined with a respectful or descriptive term by which they are generally known, the syllables are connected and the first letter is capitalized. For example: Kǒngzǐ (Confucius), Bāogōng (Supreme Judge Bao), Xīshī (Beauty Xishi)
  • Proper names and general place names are separated and the first letters of each of the names are capitalized: Běijīng Shì (City of Beijing), Dòngtíng Hú (Dongting Lake)
  • The monosyllabic prefixes or suffixes of proper names and common names are written together: Jǐngshān Hòujiē (backyards / red-light district of Jingshan), Cháoyángménnèi Nánxiǎojiē (southern small street within the gate facing the sun)
  • Established names for villages, cities and other places are usually written together (first letter capitalized): Wángcūn (Wang village), Zhōukǒudiàn (an archaeological site near Beijing), Sāntányìnyuè (moon in the mirror of the three ponds)
  • Generic names are written separately.
  • Names of persons and places that do not exist in the Chinese Han language are based on the principle "according to the custom of the person concerned (míng cóng zhǔrén)" - either written in the original language or transcribed with Latin letters: Einstein (Ài ' īnsītǎn), Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme (Āpèi Āwàng Jìnměi), London (Lúndūn), Washington (Huáshèngdùn)
  • Foreign names are written after the pronunciation of the corresponding characters: Nánměi (South America), Déguó (Germany), Dōngnányà (Southeast Asia)


  • Action verbs are connected with the endings zhe, le, guo : kànzhe (reading), kànle (just read), kànguò (have already read)
    • le at the end of a sentence is separated: Huǒchē dào le (completed action: the train came / has come).
  • Action verbs and their objects are separated: kàn xìn (read a letter), chī yú (eat fish), kāi wánxiào (make a joke)
    • But action verb and object are connected when they express a concept together: chīfàn (eat), shuìjiào (go to sleep), kànshū (read), dǎqiú (play ball), jūgōng (bow), kētóu ( kowtow )
  • Verb + object are separated when another element is inserted between the syllables: jūgōng (bow) à le yī ge gōng (bowed once)
  • Action verb and its complement are combined when both are monosyllabic. Otherwise they are separated: gǎohuài (ruin), zǒu jìnlái (go in), xiūlǐ hǎo (repair)


  • Monosyllabic adjectives combine with their reduplicated prefixes or suffixes: mēngmēngliàng (dimly lit), liàngtāngtāng (brightly lit)
  • Adjectives are separated from the following xiē, yīxiē, diǎnr, yīdiǎn : kuài (yī) xiē (faster [to be]), kuài (yī) diǎn (faster [to be])

Pronoun :

  • men indicates the plural and is associated with the pronoun in front of it: wǒmen (we), tāmen (them)
  • Demonstrative pronouns:
    • zhè, nà and the questioning demonstrative pronoun nǎ are separated from the nouns: zhè (ge) rén (this person), zhè zhī chuán (this boat), nǎ zhāng bàozhǐ (which newspaper?)
    • zhè, nà, nǎ are connected with xiē, me, yàng, bān, lǐ, biān, huǐr, ge : zhèxiē (this), zhège (this), nàyàng (so / then), zhèhuǐr (at this moment)
    • gè, měi, mǒu, běn, gāi, wǒ, nǐ, etc. are separated by the following nouns or ZEW: gè guó (every country), gè gè (all respectively), měi nián (every year), gāi gōngsī ( this / that company)

Numeralia and ZEW :

  • Whole numbers from 11 to 99 are written together: shíwǔ (fifteen), sānshísān (thirty-three)
  • bǎi (one hundred), qiān (thousand), wàn (ten thousand), (one hundred million) are connected with the preceding (whole) number, but “ten thousand” and “one hundred million” are separated by the following zero values (líng) : jiǔyì líng qīwàn èrqiān sānbǎi wǔshíliù (900.072.356)
  • di + Numeral (= Ordinalia) is connected to the number by a hyphen: dì-shísān (thirteenth), dì-èrshíbā (twenty-eighth)
  • Separate numbers and counting words: liǎng ge rén (two people), yī dà wǎn fàn (a large bowl of cooked rice)
  • duō, lái, jǐ indicate an approximate amount and they are separated from the numbers and counting words that come before and after: yībǎi duō ge (more than 100), shí lái wàn rén (approx. 100,000 people)
  • Numbers that indicate “more than ten” or “some” are combined: shíjǐ ge rén (more than ten people), jǐshí ge rén (some ten people)

Other parts of speech :

  • Functional words (xūcí) are separated from other words
    • Adverbs : hěn hǎo (very good), zuì dà (to be the greatest), fēicháng kuài (extremely fast)
    • Prepositions : zài qiánmiàn (front), shēng yú 1940 nián (was born in 1940)
    • Conjunctions : nǐ hé wǒ (you and me); Nǐ lái háishi bù lái? (Are you coming [or not?])
    • Constructive auxiliary verbs (jiégòu zhùcí) de (的), de / di (地), de (得), zhi (之): mài cài de (vegetable seller ), mànmàn de / di zou (walking slowly), hóng de hěn (real red)
    • Modal auxiliary verbs are written separately at the end of a sentence: Nǐ zhīdào ma? (Do you already know) ?; Kuài qù ba! (Hurry up and go!)

Chinese proverbs (chéngyǔ):

  • Chinese proverbs, which consist of four characters and can be divided in half, are connected by a hyphen: céngchū-bùqióng (appear one after the other), guāngmíng-lěiluò (to be just)
  • Other four-character sequences and idioms (shúy die) that cannot be easily segmented are written together: bùyìlèhū (isn't it a joy?), Àimònéngzhù (sorry, I can't help you).

Capital letters :

  • Letters at the beginning of a sentence are capitalized: Míngtian nǐ qù ma? (Are you going tomorrow?)
  • The first letter of a proper name is capitalized: Běijīng Dàxué (Peking University); Tài Shān (Tai Mountain); Huáng Hé (Yellow River)

Representation of the tones:

  • Only the original tones are given; Ton-Sandhi is not displayed.

Pinyin in Unicode

Coded characters

The basic letters a – z and A – Z also present in German are encoded in the basic Latin Unicode block ; v and V are not used in official Pinyin, but in some input systems and databases they stand for ü or Ü .

The following Unicode characters are encoded to denote the tones; Also included are characters with a dot to denote the neutral tone, which - with the exception of the still officially optional dot in front of the syllable in reference books - were used in an outdated Pinyin style:

Basic characters 1st tone 2nd tone 3rd tone 4th tone 5th (neutral) tone
(standing alone) ˉ = U+02C9 ˊ = U+02CA ˇ = U+02C7 ˋ = U+02CB [nothing] or · = U+00B7
(on the basic symbol, here ◌) ◌̄ = U+0304 ◌́ = U+0301 ◌̌ = U+030C ◌̀ = U+0300 [nothing] or ◌̇ = U+0307
a = U+0061 ā = U+0101 á = U+00E1 ǎ = U+01CE à = U+00E0 a or ȧ = U+0227
A = U+0041 Ā = U+0100 Á = U+00C1 Ǎ = U+01CD А = U+00C0 A or Ȧ = U+0226
e = U+0065 ē = U+0113 é = U+00E9 ě = U+011B è = U+00E8 e or ė = U+0117
E = U+0045 Ē = U+0112 É = U+00C9 Ě = U+011A È = U+00C8 E or Ė = U+0116
ê = U+00EA(≈e + ◌̂ = U+0302) ê̄ (ê + ◌̄) ế = U+1EBF ê̌ (ê + ◌̌) ề = U+1EC1 ê or ê̇ (ê + ◌̇)
Ê = U+00CA(≈E + ◌̂ = U+0302) Ê̄ (Ê + ◌̄) Ế = U+1EBE Ê̌ (Ê + ◌̌) Ề = U+1EC0 Ê or Ê̇ (Ê + ◌̇)
i = U+0069 ī = U+012B í = U+00ED ǐ = U+01D0 ì = U+00EC i or ı̇̇ (ı = U+0131+ ◌̇ + ◌̇)
I = U+0049 Ī = U+012A Í = U+00CD Ǐ = U+01CF Ì = U+00CC I or İ = U+0130
m = U+006D m̄ (m + ◌̄) ḿ = U+1E3F m̌ (m + ◌̌) m̀ (m + ◌̀) m or ṁ = U+1E41
M = U+004D M̄ (M + ◌̄) Ḿ = U+1E3E M̌ (M + ◌̌) M̀ (M + ◌̀) M or Ṁ = U+1E40
n = U+006E n̄ (n + ◌̄) ń = U+0144 ň = U+0148 ǹ = U+01F9 n or ṅ = U+1E45
N = U+004E N̄ (N + ◌̄) Ń = U+0143 Ň = U+0147 Ǹ = U+01F8 N or Ṅ = U+1E44
o = U+006F ō = U+014D ó = U+00F3 ǒ = U+01D2 ò = U+00F2 o or ȯ = U+022F
O = U+004F Ō = U+014C Ó = U+00D3 Ǒ = U+01D1 Ò = U+00D2 O or Ȯ = U+022E
u = U+0075 ū = U+016B ú = U+00FA ǔ = U+01D4 ù = U+00F9 u or u̇ (u + ◌̇)
U = U+0055 Ū = U+016A Ú = U+00DA Ǔ = U+01D3 Ù = U+00D9 U or U̇ (U + ◌̇)
ü = U+00FC(≈u + ◌̈ = U+0308) ǖ = U+01D6 ǘ = U+01D8 ǚ = U+01DA ǜ = U+01DC ü or ü̇ (ü + ◌̇)
Ü = U+00DC(≈U + ◌̈ = U+0308) Ǖ = U+01D5 Ǘ = U+01D7 Ǚ = U+01D9 Ǜ = U+01DB Ü or Ü̇ (Ü + ◌̇)

Very rarely used, but officially allowed, are the following short forms for consonants ( digraphs ) written with two letters :

Normal form ch Ch / CH ng NG / NG sh Sh / SH zh Zh / ZH
short form ĉ = U+0109 Ĉ = U+0108 ŋ = U+014B Ŋ = U+014A ŝ = U+015D Ŝ = U+015C ẑ = U+1E91 Ẑ = U+1E90

Occasionally two letters from the Unicode block IPA extensions for the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are used, the general typographic design of which is similar to that in the official Pinyin tables, in most Pinyin textbooks and in many dictionaries; For this reason, most Chinese fonts provide glyphs to represent the two letters :

Normal letter a G
IPA letter ɑ = U+0251 ɡ = U+0261

Entering the characters

Alternatively, in Microsoft Word for the sign with Makron in the case of a well A U + 0 3 0 4and for the characters, caron A U + 0 3 0 Cbox, and then the key combination Alt +  Cpress. U+0304, U+030Cand U+0307are the combining diacritics ◌̄, ◌̌, and ◌̇ in the Unicode block Combining Diacritics . If the keyboard has a number pad , it is even easier to add the combining diacritical marks ◌̄, and ◌̇ to a letter with Alt +  0772, Alt +  0780and Alt +  0775. For yǔ, for example, you only have to enter Y U Alt +  in Microsoft Word 0780. It is important that the numbers are entered using the numeric keypad.

An alternative for Microsoft Office, Libre Office and Open Office are the Pinyin Macros from Pinyin Joe's. To do this, you create a new macro in Word under View → Macros → Show Macros → Create a new macro under the name "Pinyin" and insert the content of the Pinyin macro between Sub and End Sub . Then you can enter Pinyin according to the scheme ⇧ Umschalt +  H A N 4 Y U 3 Leertaste ⇧ Umschalt +  P I N 1 Y I N 1(differently written: Han4yu3 Pin1yin1 ) with sound and tone number, in order to finally get the correct Pinyin characters via View → Macros → Show Macros → Execute → Pinyin , in the case of this example Hànyǔ Pīnyīn ("Chinese Pinyin").

See also


  • Pure Stoppok: Pinyin spelling. Spelling of the official Chinese Latin transcription. Rules and examples ; Sinica Series Vol. 11; Dülmen: European University Press, 2003 2 ; ISBN 978-3-932329-19-7 .
  • Yǐn Bīnyōng 尹 斌 庸 , Mary Felley [Fù Mànlì 傅曼麗  /  傅曼丽 ]: Chinese romanization. Pronunciation and Orthography / 漢語拼音 和 正 詞法  /  汉语拼音 和 正 词法 , Hànyǔ Pīnyīn hé zhèngcífǎ ; Beijing: Sinolingua, 1990; ISBN 7-80052-148-6 / ISBN 0-8351-1930-0 (Yin Binyong was a leader in the development of pinyin).
  • Klaus Kaden: The most important transcription systems for the Chinese language. An introduction to self-study ; Leipzig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie, 1975 (comparison with other transcription systems).

Web links

Wiktionary: Pinyin  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bernhard Zand: Connecting tones . In: Der Spiegel . No. 6 , 2014, p. 94 ( Online - Feb. 3, 2014 ).
  2. ^ New Pinyin Standards (2012). Derk Zech blog entry with links to PDF documents. (No longer available online.) April 7, 2013, archived from the original on November 9, 2013 ; accessed on November 9, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Lost in Romanisation , The Economist, June 7, 2014
  4. There is a character (  /  ) that sometimes denotes an unsyllabic, appended -r , but is read as a monosyllabic ér in other contexts . In addition, according to earlier editions of the widespread character dictionary Xinhua Zidian ( 新华 字典  - "Character dictionary of the new China") from the People's Education Press , short: PEP ( 人民 教育 出版社  - "Volksbildungsverlag", short: kurz 教社 ) Characters such as “sea mile” and “mile” are pronounced with two syllables as hǎilǐ or yīnglǐ , but also monosyllabic without distinction from Li ”. It is currently recommended to speak these measurements as two syllables and write them as 海里, 英里 . The two-syllable pronunciation of the rarer numerals 廿, 卅, 卌 for 20, 30 and 40 as èrshí, sānshí, sìshí , as if they were written 二十, 三十, 四十 , is not officially used. Normally you would have to read it in monosyllables niàn, sà, xì .
  5. Lee, Wai-Sum & Zee, Eric: Standard Chinese (Beijing) . Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 109-112. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; doi : 10.1017 / S0025100303001208
  6. Duanmu, San: The Phonology of Standard Chinese ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007²; ISBN 978-0-19-921578-2 .
  7. Lin, Yen-Hwei: The Sounds of Chinese ; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007; ISBN 978-0-52-160398-0 .
  8. ^ Apostrophes in Hanyu Pinyin: when and where to use them. Retrieved May 19, 2015 .
  9. -a guide to the writing of Mandarin Chinese in romanization. Basic Rules of Hanyu Pinyin Orthography (Summary). This version does not yet take into account the changes made in 2012. December 31, 2010, accessed on November 9, 2013 (English).
  10. Chinese Computing Help Desk ( English ) Retrieved September 21, 2019.