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Old 03-02-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Well, if you're thinking about studying Chinese in either China or Taiwan, I'd choose Taiwan. Much more pleasant to live in. Taiwan dialect is easily adaptable to Beijing Mandarin, not a big deal. Pretty much any Mandarin speaker in Beijing would be able to understand Taiwanese dialect. And it's easier to go from traditional characters to simplified, than visa versa. Personally, I'd prefer Taiwan, no contest.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Well, if you're thinking about studying Chinese in either China or Taiwan, I'd choose Taiwan. Much more pleasant to live in. Taiwan dialect is easily adaptable to Beijing Mandarin, not a big deal. Pretty much any Mandarin speaker in Beijing would be able to understand Taiwanese dialect. And it's easier to go from traditional characters to simplified, than visa versa. Personally, I'd prefer Taiwan, no contest.
There is one issue though: most Taiwanese do not distinguish sh/s zh/z ch/c for example.
If you are used to such an accent, it would be hard to remember which word is supposed to have 'sh'.

It is not a big deal if you just want to be understood, but your Chinese pronunciation will never be "very good" that way.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:53 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,063,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Well, if you're thinking about studying Chinese in either China or Taiwan, I'd choose Taiwan. Much more pleasant to live in. Taiwan dialect is easily adaptable to Beijing Mandarin, not a big deal. Pretty much any Mandarin speaker in Beijing would be able to understand Taiwanese dialect. And it's easier to go from traditional characters to simplified, than visa versa. Personally, I'd prefer Taiwan, no contest.
I'd like to add that, hanyu pinyin is highly recommended in learning Mandarin. The Taiwanese system is outdated and has no use and recognition outside the island and the Chinese-speaking world. I'm not sure whether there is hanyu pinyin being taught in Taiwan nowadays though.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kyh View Post
I'd like to add that, hanyu pinyin is highly recommended in learning Mandarin. The Taiwanese system is outdated and has no use and recognition outside the island and the Chinese-speaking world. I'm not sure whether there is hanyu pinyin being taught in Taiwan nowadays though.
Is it used in SE Asia as well or do they continue using Wade-Giles?
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:23 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
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Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Is it used in SE Asia as well or do they continue using Wade-Giles?
Malaysia and Singapore adopt the Beijing standard, hence pinyin is adopted. I guess no other SE Asian countries have a far more comprehensive and conducive Chinese learning environment than in Malaysia and Singapore. Malaysia has a Chinese education system (vernacular schools) alongside the national schools.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Is it used in SE Asia as well or do they continue using Wade-Giles?
Hanyu pinyin and simplified characters are used in Singapore and Malaysia.

Wade-Giles was more commonly used to transcribe Chinese names (personal names, place names, etc.) to the Latin alphabet rather than used as an educational tool. While almost everything in mainland China is now changed to the official pinyin standard, a lot of things outside of China are still known by their older transcriptions. In SE Asia, this may be Wade-Giles or some non-standard romanization to approximate the pronunciation in Mandarin or even in Cantonese or other "dialects". You mentioned Jiang Jieshi (Pinyin), but he is still better known as Chiang Kai-shek (Chiang is Mandarin pronunciation in Wade-Giles while Kai-shek is Cantonese).

So the simple answer is they mostly use Pinyin in SE Asia for newer transliterations, but for some older ones, they remain in the older system. If your surname is transcribed as Chiang, then one's children will probably continue using that surname rather than change to Jiang.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:22 PM
 
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Thank you both for the information. Now I have one more question. Is the Chinese phonetic alphabet (bopomofo) used in the schools in Malaysia and Singapore and other areas of SF Asia? I know this system is used by Chinese youngsters but would it be better to use this alphabet for non-Chinese learning the language?

Because of my major in school I can read Chinese characters but I only know the Japanese pronunciation of those characters.It is called, in Japanese kanbun (漢文) and it was used to write classical Chinese as well as Buddhist sutras but just for myslf I'd like to know the Chinese pronunciation of the characters used. So I am wondering if it wouldn't be more practical to learn the Chinese phonetics and skip the use of romanized Chinese. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:33 PM
 
6,730 posts, read 6,619,367 times
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Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Thank you both for the information. Now I have one more question. Is the Chinese phonetic alphabet (bopomofo) used in the schools in Malaysia and Singapore and other areas of SF Asia? I know this system is used by Chinese youngsters but would it be better to use this alphabet for non-Chinese learning the language?

Because of my major in school I can read Chinese characters but I only know the Japanese pronunciation of those characters.It is called, in Japanese kanbun (漢文) and it was used to write classical Chinese as well as Buddhist sutras but just for myslf I'd like to know the Chinese pronunciation of the characters used. So I am wondering if it wouldn't be more practical to learn the Chinese phonetics and skip the use of romanized Chinese. Any thoughts on that?
Chinese has much more sounds than Japanese. If you skip pinyin, you need to find an alternative way to learn and memorize all the sounds. So why would you bother to do that?

If you know the Japanese pronunciation of the characters already, it certainly helps in some cases. As far as phonology of 漢文 is concerned, Japanese is just like a simplified version of (old) Chinese.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:57 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,672,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Thank you both for the information. Now I have one more question. Is the Chinese phonetic alphabet (bopomofo) used in the schools in Malaysia and Singapore and other areas of SF Asia? I know this system is used by Chinese youngsters but would it be better to use this alphabet for non-Chinese learning the language?

Because of my major in school I can read Chinese characters but I only know the Japanese pronunciation of those characters.It is called, in Japanese kanbun (漢文) and it was used to write classical Chinese as well as Buddhist sutras but just for myslf I'd like to know the Chinese pronunciation of the characters used. So I am wondering if it wouldn't be more practical to learn the Chinese phonetics and skip the use of romanized Chinese. Any thoughts on that?
As far as I know, Malaysia and Singapore use the mainland system. There are a few Chinese schools in the Philippines that still use the Taiwanese system, but the Philippines is far from being a major Chinese-speaking region.

If you already know kanji, then I would think pinyin is very easy for you to learn. Bopomofo is used as a phonetic aid only, like furigana for Japanese. It serves no further use, so it's like learning a whole kana system for you just for phonetics. Learning pinyin is easier. Just to give you example:

Simplified character: 国
Traditional character: 國
Hanyu Pinyin: guó (diacritics are used for the tones)
Wade-Giles: kuo² (tone numbers often eliminated, as well as apostrophes which make the system confusing)
Zhuyin (bopomofo): ㄍㄨㄛ/ (Pinyin equivalent ㄍ=g, ㄨ=u, ㄛ=o and rising tone mark)

There are about 37 bopomofo characters, so it probably is easier to skip learning this and learn pinyin.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:55 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,455,894 times
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
There is one issue though: most Taiwanese do not distinguish sh/s zh/z ch/c for example.
If you are used to such an accent, it would be hard to remember which word is supposed to have 'sh'.

It is not a big deal if you just want to be understood, but your Chinese pronunciation will never be "very good" that way.
Yes i notice my mother and others say words with sh in them like 'shan', like 'san.'
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