India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Romanization of Japanese
The romanization of Japanese is the use of Latin script to write the Japanese language. This method of writing is sometimes referred to in Japanese as rōmaji (. There are several different romanization systems; the three main ones are Hepburn romanization, Kunrei-shiki romanization, Nihon-shiki romanization. Variants of the Hepburn system are the most used. Japanese is written in a combination of logographic characters borrowed from Chinese and syllabic scripts that ultimately derive from Chinese characters. Rōmaji may be used in any context where Japanese text is targeted at non-Japanese speakers who cannot read kanji or kana, such as for names on street signs and passports, in dictionaries and textbooks for foreign learners of the language, it is used to transliterate Japanese terms in text written in English on topics related to Japan, such as linguistics, literature and culture. Rōmaji is the most common way to input Japanese into word processors and computers, may be used to display Japanese on devices that do not support the display of Japanese characters.
All Japanese who have attended elementary school since World War II have been taught to read and write romanized Japanese. Therefore all Japanese are able to read and write Japanese using rōmaji, although it is rare in Japan to use this method to write Japanese, most Japanese are more comfortable reading kanji and kana; the earliest Japanese romanization system was based on Portuguese orthography. It was developed around 1548 by a Japanese Catholic named Yajiro. Jesuit priests used the system in a series of printed Catholic books so that missionaries could preach and teach their converts without learning to read Japanese orthography; the most useful of these books for the study of early modern Japanese pronunciation and early attempts at romanization was the Nippo jisho, a Japanese–Portuguese dictionary written in 1603. In general, the early Portuguese system was similar to Nihon-shiki in its treatment of vowels; some consonants were transliterated differently: for instance, the /k/ consonant was rendered, depending on context, as either c or q, the /ɸ/ consonant as f.
The Jesuits printed some secular books in romanized Japanese, including the first printed edition of the Japanese classic The Tale of the Heike, romanized as Feiqe no monogatari, a collection of Aesop's Fables. The latter continued to be read after the suppression of Christianity in Japan. Following the expulsion of Christians from Japan in the late 1590s and early 17th century, rōmaji fell out of use and was used sporadically in foreign texts until the mid-19th century, when Japan opened up again. From the mid-19th century onward, several systems were developed, culminating in the Hepburn system, named after James Curtis Hepburn who used it in the third edition of his Japanese–English dictionary, published in 1887; the Hepburn system included representation of some sounds. For example, Lafcadio Hearn's book Kwaidan shows the older kw- pronunciation. In the Meiji era, some Japanese scholars advocated abolishing the Japanese writing system and using rōmaji instead; the Nihon-shiki romanization was an outgrowth of that movement.
Several Japanese texts were published in rōmaji during this period, but it failed to catch on. In the early 20th century, some scholars devised syllabary systems with characters derived from Latin that were less popular since they were not based on any historical use of the Latin script. Today, the use of Nihon-shiki for writing Japanese is advocated by the Oomoto sect and some independent organizations. During the Allied occupation of Japan, the government of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers made it official policy to romanize Japanese. However, that policy failed and a more moderate attempt at Japanese script reform followed. Hepburn romanization follows English phonology with Romance vowels, it is an intuitive method of showing Anglophones the pronunciation of a word in Japanese. It was standardized in the United states as American National Standard System for the Romanization of Japanese, but that status was abolished on October 6, 1994. Hepburn is the most common romanization system in use today in the English-speaking world.
The Revised Hepburn system of romanization uses a macron to indicate some long vowels and an apostrophe to note the separation of confused phonemes. For example, the name じゅんいちろう is written with the kana characters ju-n-i-chi-ro-u, romanized as Jun'ichirō in Revised Hepburn. Without the apostrophe, it would not be possible to distinguish this correct reading from the incorrect ju-ni-chi-ro-u; this system is used in Japan and among foreign students and academics. Nihon-shiki romanization, which predates the Hepburn system, was invented as a method for Japanese to write their own language in Latin characters, rather than to transcribe it for Westerners as Hepburn was, it follows the Japanese syllabary strictly, with no adjustments for changes in pronunciation. It is therefore the only major system of romanization that allows near-lossless mapping to and from kana, it has been st
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
The Western world known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most including at least part of Europe and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all interrelated; the Western world is known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world. Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are considered to be the birthplaces of Western civilization: the former due to its impact on philosophy, democracy and art, building designs and proportions, architecture. Western civilization is founded upon Christianity, in turn shaped by Hellenistic philosophy and Roman culture; the ancient Hellenes had been affected by ancient Near East civilizations, including Judaism and Early Christianity. In the modern era, Western culture has been influenced by the Renaissance, the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolutions. Through extensive imperialism and Christianization by Western powers in the 15th to 20th centuries, much of the rest of the world has been influenced by Western culture.
The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the theological and emphatical division between the Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. West was literal, opposing Catholic Europe with the cultures and civilizations of Orthodox Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the remote Far East, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East. By the mid-20th century. Worldwide export of Western culture went through the new mass media: film and television and recorded music, while the development and growth of international transport and telecommunication played a decisive role in modern globalization. In modern usage, Western world sometimes refers to Europe and to areas whose populations originate from Europe, through the Age of Discovery. Western culture was influenced by many older great civilizations of the ancient Near East, such as Phoenicia, Ancient Israel, Minoan Crete, Sumer and Ancient Egypt, it originated in its vicinity.
Over time, their associated empires grew first to the east and west to include the rest of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal areas and absorbing. They expanded to the north of the Mediterranean Sea to include Western and Southeastern Europe. Christianization of Ireland, Christianization of Bulgaria, Christianization of Kievan Rus', Christianization of Scandinavia and Christianization of Lithuania brought the rest of present-day European territory into Western civilization. Historians, such as Carroll Quigley in "The Evolution of Civilizations", contend that Western civilization was born around AD 500, after the total collapse of the Western Roman Empire, leaving a vacuum for new ideas to flourish that were impossible in Classical societies. In either view, between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the West experienced a period of first, considerable decline, readaptation and considerable renewed material and political development; this whole period of a millennium is known as the Middle Ages, its early part forming the "Dark Ages", designations that were created during the Renaissance and reflect the perspective on history, the self-image, of the latter period.
The knowledge of the ancient Western world was preserved during this period due to the survival of the Eastern Roman Empire and the introduction of the Catholic Church. Since the Renaissance, the West evolved beyond the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the Islamic world, due to the successful Second Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial revolutions peaked with the 18th century's Age of enlightenment, through the Age of exploration's expansion of peoples of Western and Central European empires the globe-spanning colonial empires of 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous times, this expansion was accompanied by Catholic missionaries, who attempted to proselytize Christianity. There is debate among some as to. Whether Russia should be categorized as "East" or "West" has been "an ongoing discussion" for centuries; the term "Western culture" is used broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, specific artifacts and technologies.
Western culture may imply: a Biblical Christian cultural influence in spiritual thinking and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after. European cultural influences concerning artistic, folkloric and oral traditions, whose themes have been further developed by Romanticism. A Graeco-Roman Classical and Renaissance cultural influence, concerning artistic, philosophic and legal themes and traditions, the cultural social effec
The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great. It may be written as Hangeul following the standard Romanization, it is the official writing system of Korea, both North. It is a co-official writing system in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County in Jilin Province, China, it is sometimes used to write the Cia-Cia language spoken near the town of Indonesia. The Hangul alphabet consisted of 28 letters with 17 consonant letters and 11 vowel letters when it was created; as four became obsolete, the modern Hangul consists of total 24 letters with 14 consonant letters and 10 vowel letters. In North Korea the total is counted 40, it consists of 19 consonant letters and 21 vowel letters as it additionally includes 5 tense consonants and 20. The Korean letters are written in syllabic blocks with each alphabetic letter placed vertically and horizontally into a square dimension.
For example, the Korean word for "honeybee" is written 꿀벌, not ㄲㅜㄹㅂㅓㄹ. As it combines the features of alphabetic and syllabic writing systems, it has been described as an "alphabetic syllabary" by some linguists; as in traditional Chinese writing, Korean texts were traditionally written top to bottom, right to left, are still written this way for stylistic purposes. Today, it is written from left to right with spaces between words and western-style punctuation; some linguists consider it among the most phonologically faithful writing systems in use today. One interesting feature of Hangul is that the shapes of its consonants mimic the shapes of the speaker's mouth when pronouncing each consonant; the Korean alphabet was called Hunminjeong'eum, after the document that introduced the script to the Korean people in 1446. The Korean alphabet is called hangeul, a name coined by Korean linguist Ju Si-gyeong in 1912; the name combines the ancient Korean word han, meaning "great", geul, meaning "script".
The word han is used to refer to Korea in general, so the name means "Korean script". It has been romanized in multiple ways: Hangeul or han-geul in the Revised Romanization of Korean, which the South Korean government uses in English publications and encourages for all purposes. Han'gŭl in the McCune–Reischauer system, is capitalized and rendered without the diacritics when used as an English word, Hangul, as it appears in many English dictionaries. Hānkul in the Yale romanization, a system recommended for technical linguistic studies. In North Korea it is called Chosŏn'gŭl after Chosŏn, the North Korean name for Korea after the old name of Korea; the McCune–Reischauer system is used there. Until the mid-20th century, the Korean elite preferred to write using Chinese characters called Hanja, they referred to Hanja as jinseo or "true letters". Some accounts say the elite referred to the Korean alphabet derisively as'amkeul meaning "women's script", and'ahaetgeul meaning "children's script", though there is no written evidence of this.
Supporters of the Korean alphabet referred to it as jeong'eum meaning "correct pronunciation", gukmun meaning "national script", eonmun meaning "vernacular script". Before the creation of the new Korean alphabet, Koreans wrote using Classical Chinese alongside native phonetic writing systems that predate the modern Korean alphabet by hundreds of years, including Idu script, Hyangchal and Gakpil. However, due to fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages, the large number of characters, many lower class Koreans were illiterate. To promote literacy among the common people, the fourth king of the Joseon dynasty, Sejong the Great created and promulgated a new alphabet; the Korean alphabet was designed so that people with little education could learn to write. A popular saying about the alphabet is, "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; the project was completed in late December 1443 or January 1444, described in 1446 in a document titled Hunminjeong'eum, after which the alphabet itself was named.
The publication date of the Hunminjeongeum, October 9, became Hangul Day in South Korea. Its North Korean equivalent, Chosŏn'gŭl Day, is on January 15. Another document published in 1446 and titled Hunminjeong'eum Haerye was discovered in 1940; this document explains that the design of the consonant letters is based on articulatory phonetics and the design of the vowel letters are based on the principles of yin and yang and vowel harmony. The Korean alphabet faced opposition in the 1440s by the literary elite, including politician Choe Manri and other Korean Confucian scholars, they believed. They saw the circulation of the Korean alphabet as a threat to their status. However, the Korean alphabet entered popular culture as King Sejong had intended, used by women and writers of popular fiction. King Yeonsangun banned the study and publication of the Korean alphabet in 1504, after a document criticizing the king entered the public. King Jungjong abolished the Ministry of Eonmun, a governmental institution related to Hangul research, in 1506.
The late 16th century, saw a revival of the Korean alphabet as gasa and sijo poetry flourished. In the 17th century, the Korean alphabet novels became a major genre. However, the use of the Korea
The Vietnamese alphabet is the modern writing system for the Vietnamese language. It uses the Latin script, based on its employment in the alphabets of Romance languages, in particular the Portuguese alphabet, with some digraphs and the addition of nine accent marks or diacritics – four of them to create additional sounds, the other five to indicate the tone of each word; the many diacritics two on the same vowel, make written Vietnamese recognizable. There are 29 letters in the Vietnamese alphabet. Note: Naming b bê bò and p pê phở is to avoid confusion in some dialects or some contexts, the same for s sờ mạnh and x xờ nhẹ, i i ngắn and y y dài. Q, q is always followed by u in every phrase in Vietnamese, e.g. quần, quyến rũ, etc.. The name i-cờ-rét for y is from the French name for the letter: i grec, referring to the letter's origin from the Greek letter upsilon; the alphabet is derived from the Portuguese, although the usage of gh and gi was borrowed from Italian, that for c/k/qu from Greek and Latin paralleling the English usage of these letters.
The correspondence between the orthography and pronunciation is somewhat complicated. In some cases, the same letter may represent several different sounds, different letters may represent the same sound; this may be because the orthography was designed centuries ago and the spoken language has changed, or because the inventors were trying to spell the sounds of several dialects at once. The letters y and i are equivalent, there is no concrete rule that says when to use one or the other, except in sequences like ay and uy. There have been attempts since the late 20th century to standardize the orthography by replacing all the vowel uses of y with i, the latest being a decision from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education in 1984; these efforts seem to have had limited effect. In textbooks published by Nhà Xuất bản Giáo dục, y is used to represent /i/ only in Sino-Vietnamese words that are written with one letter y alone, at the beginning of a syllable when followed by ê, after u. Most people and the popular media continue to use the spelling.
The uses of the letters i and y to represent the phoneme /i/ can be categorized as "standard" and "non-standard" as follows. This "standard" set by Nhà Xuất bản Giáo dục is not definite, it is unknown why the literature books use Lí while the history books use Lý. The table below matches the vowels of Hanoi Vietnamese and their respective orthographic symbols used in the writing system. Notes: The vowel /i/ is: written i: /sǐˀ/ = sĩ. sometimes written y after h, k, l, m, n, s, t, v, x: /mǐˀ/ = Mỹ'America'. It is always written y when:preceded by an orthographic vowel: /xwīə̯n/ = khuyên'to advise'; the vowel /ɔ/ is written oo before c or ng: /ʔɔ̌k/ = oóc'organ'. This only occurs in recent loanwords or when representing dialectal pronunciation; the vowel /o/ is written ôô before c or ng: /ʔōŋ/ = ôông. But unlike oo being used in onomatopoeia, transcriptions from other languages and words "borrowed" from Nghệ An/Hà Tĩnh dialects, ôô seems to be used to convey the feel of the Nghệ An/Hà Tĩnh accents.
In transcriptions, ô is preferred. Notes: The glide /w/ is written: u after /k/ o in front of a, ă, or e except after q o following a and e u in all other cases; the diphthong /iə̯/ is written: ia at the end of a syllable: /mǐə̯/ = mía'sugar cane' iê before a consonant or off-glide: /mǐə̯ŋ/ = miếng'piece'. There are six distinct tones in the standard northern dialect. In the south, there is a merging in effect leaving five basic tones; the first one is not marked, the other five are indicated by diacritics applied to the vowel part of the syllable. The tone names are chosen such. Unmarked vowels are pronounced