Seal (East Asia)
A seal, in an East and Southeast Asian context is a general name for printing stamps and impressions thereof which are used in lieu of signatures in personal documents, office paperwork, art, or any item requiring acknowledgement or authorship. The process soon spread across East Asia. China and Korea use a mixture of seals and hand signatures, electronic signatures. Chinese seals are made of stone, sometimes of metals, bamboo, plastic, or ivory, are used with red ink or cinnabar paste; the word 印 refers to the imprint created by the seal, as well as appearing in combination with other ideographs in words related to any printing, as in the word "印刷", "printing", pronounced "yìnshuā" in Mandarin, "insatsu" in Japanese. The colloquial name chop, when referring to these kinds of seals, was adapted from the Hindi word chapa and from the Malay word cap meaning stamp or rubber stamps. In Japan, seals have been used to identify individuals involved in government and trading from ancient times; the Japanese emperors, shōguns, samurai each had their own personal seal pressed onto edicts and other public documents to show authenticity and authority.
Today Japanese citizens' companies use name seals for the signing of a contract and other important paperwork. Zhuwen seals imprint the Chinese characters in red ink, sometimes referred to as yang seals. Baiwen seals imprint the background in red, leaving white characters, sometimes referred to as yin seals. Zhubaiwen Xiangjianyin seals use zhuwen and baiwen together The Chinese emperors, their families and officials used large seals known as xǐ renamed bǎo, which corresponds to the Great Seals of Western countries; these were made of jade, were square in shape. They were changed to a rectangular form during the Song dynasty, but reverted to square during the Qing dynasty; the most important of these seals was the Heirloom Seal of the Realm, created by the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, was seen as a legitimising device embodying or symbolising the Mandate of Heaven. The Heirloom Seal was passed down through several dynasties, but had been lost by the beginning of the Ming dynasty; this explains the Qing emperors' obsession with creating numerous imperial seals - for the emperors' official use alone the Forbidden City in Beijing has a collection of 25 seals - in order to reduce the significance of the Heirloom Seal.
These seals bore the titles of the offices, rather than the names of the owners. Different seals could be used for different purposes: for example, the Qianlong Emperor had a number of informal appreciation seals used on select paintings in his collection; the most popular style of script for government seals in the imperial eras of China is the Nine-fold Script, a stylised script, unreadable to the untrained. The government of the Republic of China has continued to use traditional square seals of up to about 13 centimetres each side, known by a variety of names depending on the user's hierarchy. Part of the inaugural ceremony for the President of the Republic of China includes bestowing on him the Seal of the Republic of China and the Seal of Honor. In the People's Republic of China, the seal of the Central People's Government from 1949 to 1954 was a square, bronze seal with side lengths of 9 centimetres; the inscription reads "Seal of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China".
Notably, the seal uses the modern Song typeface rather than the more ancient seal scripts, the seal is called a yìn, not a xǐ, in a nod to modernity. Government seals in the People's Republic of China today are circular in shape, have a five-pointed star in the centre of the circle; the name of the governmental institution is arranged around the star in a semicircle. There are many classes of personal seals. Denotes the person's name. Are the equivalent of today's email signature, can contain the person's personal philosophy or literary inclination; these can be any shape. Carry the name of the person's private studio 書齋, which most literati in ancient China had, although in lesser forms; these are less rectangular in shape. There are two types of seal paste depending on what base material; the standard colour is vermilion red but other colours can be used such as black, etc. for specific purposes. Silk: The red paste is made from finely pulverized cinnabar, mixed with castor oil and silk strands.
The silk strands bind the mixture together to form a thick substance. It has a oily appearance and tends to be a bright red in colour. Plant: The red paste is made from finely pulverized cinnabar, mixed with castor oil and moxa punk; because the base is a plant one, pulverised, the texture is loose due to the fact that it does not bind. The appearance is not oily. Plant-based paste tends to dry more than silk-
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest; the temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jiajing built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of Earth in the north, the Temple of Moon in the west; the Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. By the state budget was insufficient, so this was the last large-scale renovation of the temple complex in imperial times; the temple was occupied by the Anglo-French Alliance during the Second Opium War. In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the Eight Nation Alliance occupied the temple complex and turned it into the force's temporary command in Beijing, which lasted for one year.
The occupation desecrated the temple and resulted in serious damage to the building complex and the garden. Robberies of temple artifacts by the Alliance were reported. With the downfall of the Qing, the temple complex was left un-managed; the neglect of the temple complex led to the collapse of several halls in the following years. In 1914, Yuan Shikai President of the Republic of China, performed a Ming prayer ceremony at the temple, as part of an effort to have himself declared Emperor of China. In 1918 the temple was turned for the first time open to the public; the Temple of Heaven was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and was described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations..." as the "symbolic layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries." The Temple grounds cover 2.73 km2 of parkland and comprises three main groups of constructions, all built according to strict philosophical requirements: The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 36 m in diameter and 38 m tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests.
The building is wooden, with no nails. The original building was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1889; the current building was re-built several years after the incident. The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base, it resembles it, but is smaller. It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances; the Imperial Vault is connected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360-meter-long raised walkway that ascends from the Vault to the Hall of Prayer. The dome for this building has no crossbeams to support the dome; the Circular Mound Altar is the altar located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, each decorated by lavishly carved dragons; the numbers of various elements of the Altar, including its balusters and steps, are either the sacred number nine or its nonuples. The center of the altar is a round slate called the Heart of Heaven or the Supreme Yang, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather.
Thanks to the design of the altar, the sound of the prayer will be reflected by the guardrail, creating significant resonance, supposed to help the prayer communicate with Heaven. The Altar was built in 1530 by the Jiajing Emperor and rebuilt in 1740. In ancient China, the Emperor of China was regarded as the Son of Heaven, who administered earthly matters on behalf of, representing, heavenly authority. To be seen to be showing respect to the source of his authority, in the form of sacrifices to heaven, was important; the temple was built for these ceremonies comprising prayers for good harvests. Twice a year the Emperor and all his retinue would move from the Forbidden City through Beijing to encamp within the complex, wearing special robes and abstaining from eating meat. No ordinary Chinese was allowed to view the following ceremony. In the temple complex the Emperor would pray to Heaven for good harvests; the highpoint of the ceremony at the winter solstice was performed by the Emperor on the Earthly Mount.
The ceremony had to be completed. Earth was represented by Heaven by a circle; the whole temple complex is surrounded by two cordons of walls. Both the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Circular Mound Altar are round, each standing on a square yard, again representing Heaven and Earth; the number nine represents the Emperor and is evident in the design of the Circular Mound Altar: a single round marmor plate is surrounded by a ring of nine plates a ring of 18 plates, so on for a total of nine surrounding rings, the outermost having 9×9 plates. The Hall of Prayer for Good H
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua
Beijing romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Beijing is an important world capital and global power city, one of the world's leading centers for politics and business, education, culture and technology, architecture and diplomacy. A megacity, Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political and educational center, it is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world's four biggest financial institutions. It is a major hub for the national highway, expressway and high-speed rail networks.
The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010, and, as of 2016, the city's subway network is the busiest and second longest in the world. Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back three millennia; as the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries, was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium A. D. Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural center of an area as immense as China." With mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically poised and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the perfect location for the imperial capital.
The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, parks, tombs and gates. It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal— all tourist locations. Siheyuans, the city's traditional housing style, hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing. Many of Beijing's 91 universities rank among the best in China, such as the Peking University and Tsinghua University. Beijing CBD is a center for Beijing's economic expansion, with the ongoing or completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing's Zhongguancun area is known as China's Silicon Valley and a center of innovation and technology entrepreneurship. Over the past 3,000 years, the city of Beijing has had numerous other names; the name Beijing, which means "Northern Capital", was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing. The English spelling is based on the pinyin romanization of the two characters as they are pronounced in Standard Mandarin.
An older English spelling, Peking, is the postal romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation. Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the city's older locations and facilities, such as Beijing Capital International Airport, with IATA Code PEK, Peking University, still use the former romanization; the single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is 京, which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin alphabet abbreviation for Beijing is "BJ"; the earliest traces of human habitation in the Beijing municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where Peking Man lived. Homo erectus fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago.
Paleolithic Homo sapiens lived there more about 27,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, located in downtown Beijing; the first walled city in Beijing was Jicheng, the capital city of the state of Ji and was built in 1045 BC. Within modern Beijing, Jicheng was located around the present Guang'anmen area in the south of Xicheng District; this settlement was conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital. After the First Emperor unified China, Jicheng became a prefectural capital for the region. During the Three Kingdoms period, it was held by Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shao before falling to the Wei Kingdom of Cao Cao; the AD 3rd-century Western Jin demoted the town, placing the prefectural seat in neighboring Zhuozhou. During the Sixteen Kingdoms period when northern China was conquered and divided by the Wu Hu, Jicheng was the capital of the Xianbei Former Yan Kingdom. After China was reunified during the Sui dynasty, Jicheng known as Zhuojun, became the northern terminus of the Grand Canal.
Under the Tang dynasty, Jicheng as Youzhou, served as a military frontier command center. During the An-Shi Rebellion and again amidst the turmoil of the late Tang, local military commanders founded their own shor
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, tamped earth and other materials built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe with an eye to expansion. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC. Little of that wall remains. On, many successive dynasties have repaired and newly built multiple stretches of border walls; the most well-known of the walls were built during the Ming dynasty. Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, the fact that the path of the Great Wall served as a transportation corridor.
The frontier walls built by different dynasties have multiple courses. Collectively, they stretch from Dandong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, from present-day Sino-Russian border in the north to Qinghai in the south. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure 8,850 km; this is made up of 6,259 km sections of actual wall, 359 km of trenches and 2,232 km of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km. Today, the Great Wall is recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history; the collection of fortifications known as the Great Wall of China has had a number of different names in both Chinese and English. In Chinese histories, the term "Long Rampart" appears in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, where it referred both to the separate great walls built between and north of the Warring States and to the more unified construction of the First Emperor.
The Chinese character 城, meaning city or fortress, is a phono-semantic compound of the "earth" radical 土 and phonetic 成, whose Old Chinese pronunciation has been reconstructed as *deŋ. It referred to the rampart which surrounded traditional Chinese cities and was used by extension for these walls around their respective states; the longer Chinese name "Ten-Thousand Mile Long Wall" came from Sima Qian's description of it in the Records, though he did not name the walls as such. The AD 493 Book of Song quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji referring to "the long wall of 10,000 miles", closer to the modern name, but the name features in pre-modern times otherwise; the traditional Chinese mile was an irregular distance, intended to show the length of a standard village and varied with terrain but was standardized at distances around a third of an English mile. Since China's metrication in 1930, it has been equivalent to 500 metres or 1,600 feet, which would make the wall's name describe a distance of 5,000 km.
However, this use of "ten-thousand" is figurative in a similar manner to the Greek and English myriad and means "innumerable" or "immeasurable". Because of the wall's association with the First Emperor's supposed tyranny, the Chinese dynasties after Qin avoided referring to their own additions to the wall by the name "Long Wall". Instead, various terms were used in medieval records, including "frontier", "rampart", "barrier", "the outer fortresses", "the border wall". Poetic and informal names for the wall included "the Purple Frontier" and "the Earth Dragon". Only during the Qing period did "Long Wall" become the catch-all term to refer to the many border walls regardless of their location or dynastic origin, equivalent to the English "Great Wall"; the current English name evolved from accounts of "the Chinese wall" from early modern European travelers. By the 19th century, "The Great Wall of China" had become standard in English and French, although other European languages such as German continue to refer to it as "the Chinese wall."
The Chinese were familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn period between the 8th and 5th centuries BC. During this time and the subsequent Warring States period, the states of Qin, Zhao, Qi, Zhongshan all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made by stamping earth and gravel between board frames. King Zheng of Qin conquered the last of his opponents and unified China as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty in 221 BC. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered the destruction of the sections of the walls that divided his empire among the former states. To position the empire against the Xiongnu people from the north, however, he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's northern frontier. "Build and move on" was a central guiding principle in
The giant panda known as panda bear or panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, across its round body; the name "giant panda" is sometimes used to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda's diet is over 99% bamboo. Giant pandas in the wild will eat other grasses, wild tubers, or meat in the form of birds, rodents, or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, fish, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food; the giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China in Sichuan, but in neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu. As a result of farming and other development, the giant panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived; the giant panda is a conservation-reliant vulnerable species. A 2007 report showed 239 pandas living in another 27 outside the country; as of December 2014, 49 giant pandas lived in captivity outside China, living in 18 zoos in 13 different countries.
Wild population estimates vary. Some reports show that the number of giant pandas in the wild is on the rise. In March 2015, conservation news site Mongabay stated that the wild giant panda population had increased by 268, or 16.8%, to 1,864. In 2016, the IUCN reclassified the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable". While the dragon has served as China's national symbol, internationally the giant panda has filled this role; as such, it is becoming used within China in international contexts, for example, appearing since 1982 on gold panda bullion coins and as one of the five Fuwa mascots of the Beijing Olympics. For many decades, the precise taxonomic classification of the giant panda was under debate because it shares characteristics with both bears and raccoons. However, molecular studies indicate the giant panda is part of the family Ursidae; these studies show. The giant panda has been referred to as a living fossil. Despite the shared name, habitat type, diet, as well as a unique enlarged bone called the pseudo thumb the giant panda and red panda are only distantly related.
The word panda was borrowed into English from French, but no conclusive explanation of the origin of the French word panda has been found. The closest candidate is the Nepali word ponya referring to the adapted wrist bone of the red panda, native to Nepal; the Western world applied this name to the red panda. In many older sources, the name "panda" or "common panda" refers to the lesser-known red panda, thus necessitating the inclusion of "giant" and "lesser/red" prefixes in front of the names. In 2013, the Encyclopædia Britannica still used "giant panda" or "panda bear" for the bear, "panda" for the red panda, despite the popular usage of the word "panda" to refer to giant pandas. Since the earliest collection of Chinese writings, the Chinese language has given the bear 20 different names, such as huāxióng and zhúxióng; the most popular names in China today is dàxióngmāo, or xióngmāo. The name xióngmāo was used to describe the red panda, but since the giant panda was thought to be related to the red panda, dàxióngmāo was named relatively.
In Taiwan, another popular name for panda is the inverted dàmāoxióng, though many encyclopediae and dictionaries in Taiwan still use the "bear cat" form as the correct name. Some linguists argue, in this construction, "bear" instead of "cat" is the base noun, making this name more grammatically and logically correct, which may have led to the popular choice despite official writings; this name did not gain its popularity until 1988, when a private zoo in Tainan painted a sun bear black and white and created the Tainan fake panda incident. Two subspecies of giant panda have been recognized on the basis of distinct cranial measurements, colour patterns, population genetics; the nominate subspecies Ailuropoda m. melanoleuca consists of most extant populations of panda. These animals are principally found in Sichuan and display the typical stark black and white contrasting colours; the Qinling panda, A. m. qinlingensis is restricted to the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi at elevations of 1,300–3,000 m.
The typical black and white pattern of Sichuan giant pandas is replaced with a dark brown versus light brown pattern. The skull of A. m. qinlingensis is smaller than its relatives, it has larger molars. A detailed study of the giant panda's genetic history from 2012 confirms that the separation of the Qinlin population occurred about 300,000 years ago, reveals that the non-Qinlin population further diverged into two groups, named the Minshan and the Qionglai-Daxiangling-Xiaoxiangling-Liangshan group about 2,800 years ago; the giant panda has luxuriant black-and-white fur. Adults measure around 1.2 to 1.9 m long, including a tail of about 10–15 cm, 60 to 90 cm tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 160 kg. Females can weigh as little as 70 kg, but can weigh up t
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo