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Thread: Romanization of Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese) in the articles

  1. #1
    PM Guest

    Romanization of Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese) in the articles

    I am very glad that Wushu QIGONG adopts more and more Pinyin for Mandarin.
    I think it would be great to adopt any of the currently most used romanization of Cantonese, too (Yale, Sidney Lau, LSHK).
    Plus, it would be great to the Chinese characters more and more often in the articles - it would definitelya help us in our theoretical and historical research of CMA.

    What is your opinion?


  2. #2
    GeneChing Guest


    Well, thanks for the encouragement. If you've done any work translating, you know that romanization is really difficult. Martha and I spend hours on this alone and we still don't always get it. None of the systems - even pinyin - work very well. And this is complicated by the preponderence of Cantonese in Kungfu. Even though the UN adopted pinyin officially, Taiwanese and HK immigrants don't use it, not to mention Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, So we do the best we can. We also have been making a great effort to publish the Chinese characters, which is really the most powerful for research.

    You know it's funny, TC Media also does school logos for Tiger Claw Products so every week we get a few designs to clean up and convert for silk screening. About every other week we get someone who wants the Chinese/Japanese/Korean character for the name, but they don't know what it is, and even though we have native speakers here, we all have to really work to figure it out. It's nutty.

    One last thought - For all you pinyin fans, keep in mind, if we play by the rules, we have to start called in gongfu. What do you think of that?

    Gene Ching
    Asst. Publisher
    Kungfu Qigong Magazine &

  3. #3
    PM Guest
    Dear Gene, thank you for reply.

    I agreee to use the romanization "gongfu" (Pinyin) instead of kung-fu (good old Wade-Giles).

    I would suggest to hire a sinologist to unify the romanization in the different articles. I would also suggest to adopt Yale system for the romanization of Cantonese. It could take time for people to get used to Pinyin/Yale, but it is worth of it.

    I would also suggest to include in every issue the table of basic rules how to pronounce Pinyin/Yale.


  4. #4
    GeneChing Guest

    Thanks for your suggestions, but...

    Unfortunately, the Martial Arts economy cannot support a professional sinologist just to translate terms. Someone qualified in this field can find much better paying work somewhere else, like international business. And frankly, most people aren't that interested in it - they would rather just study the kungfu. If they are interested in transliteration, like yourself, they already know it - or they will soon find a more appropriate avenue to learn it. Providing information about kungfu is our mission - Teaching Chinese through our magazine is not, although we certainly hope to inspire people to find out more themselves.

    Personally, I don't beleive in pinyin. It is a poorly designed system and it is regretful that the United Nations has agreed upon it. It uses the alphabet more like the Russian alphabet due to its origin, which might work better for the Czech Republic (do tell me if it does, I would really be curious) but it is really bad for the way the alphabet is used in America. It causes much more problems here than solutions. I only use it to abide by UN international standards, but I firmly beleive that the best way to really understand is to learn the characters. We do make an effort to publish those too. They yield much greater information, but it is more demanding on our authors and layout artists. Still we try our best and I think you'll agree we at least do more than the other magazines.

    Gene Ching
    Asst. Publisher
    Kungfu Qigong Magazine &

  5. #5
    passing_through Guest

    resource for Cantonese(Yale) and Madarin(Pinyin)

    Just as a 4-1-1,

    There is an online database at the Ving Tsun Museum website on marital arts (mostly Wing Chun) terms with .gif images for the characters.

    Any suggestions to improve the database are welcome. Its at

    There are two formats - a Chinese character search and a Glossary search for phrases. There is also a pronunciation guide for both dialects.

    Eventually, we are planning to add sound files for each character in Cantonese and Mandarin.

    Jeremy R.

    ... opportunityisnowhere...
    ... was that no where...
    ...............or now here...

  6. #6
    PM Guest
    People misspell Pinyin in Czech republic as in any other country. I agree that the system is not ideal, but it is international and the rules of reading it are not that complicated. Any other system will encounter the same problems, as everybody's own language and the way of writting and reading is different. So the system has to stay independend on any of the languages, but everybody has to learn the basic rules how to pronounce it.

    WUSHU kungfu mag can publish a really small chart in every issue "how to read Pinyin romanization system of Mandarin" and (e.g.) "how to read Yale romanization system of Cantonese" and encourage people writing articles to use these systems.

    As you said, publishing of the characters is definitely the best solution.

    Project of the Vingtsun museum is great - good luck. Have a look at our project at
    dedicated to the other Southern style - Hungga gungfu.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Is it Tai Chi or Taiji?

    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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