Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Liu Bei, courtesy name Xuande, was a warlord in the late Eastern Han dynasty who founded the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period and became its first ruler. Despite early failings compared to his rivals and lacking both the material resources and social status they commanded, he gathered support among disheartened Han loyalists who opposed Cao Cao, the warlord who controlled the Han central government and the figurehead Emperor Xian, led a popular movement to restore the Han dynasty through this support. Liu Bei overcame his many defeats to carve out his own realm, which at its peak spanned present-day Sichuan, Guizhou and parts of Hubei and Gansu. Culturally, due to the popularity of the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei is known as an ideal benevolent, humane ruler who cared for his people and selected good advisers for his government, his fictional counterpart in the novel was a salutary example of a ruler who adhered to the Confucian set of moral values, such as loyalty and compassion.
Liu Bei, like many Han rulers, was influenced by Laozi. He was a brilliant leader whose skill was a remarkable demonstration of a Legalist. Liu Bei's somewhat Confucian tendencies were dramatized compared to his rival states' founders, Cao Pi and Sun Quan, who both ruled as pure Legalists, his political philosophy can best be described by the Chinese idiom "Confucian in appearance but Legalist in substance", a style of governing which had become the norm after the founding of the Han dynasty. The historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms described Liu Bei as a man seven chi and five cun tall, with long arms that extended beyond his knees, ears so large that he could see them; the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms gives a similar description about Liu Bei's physical appearance, but with additional features. It mentions that Liu Bei is seven chi and five cun tall, with ears so large that they touch his shoulders and that he can see them, long arms that extend beyond his knees, a fair and handsome face, lips so red that it seems as though he is wearing lipstick.
According to the 3rd-century historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei was born in Zhuo County, Zhuo Commandery, in present-day Zhuozhou, Hebei. He was a son of Liu Sheng and a grandson of Emperor Jing. However, Pei Songzhi's 5th-century commentary, based on the Dianlue, said that Liu Bei was a descendant of the Marquis of Linyi; as the title "Marquis of Linyi" was held by Liu Fu and by Liu Fu's son Liu Taotu, who were descendants of Emperor Jing, it was possible that Liu Bei descended from this line rather than Liu Zhen's line. Liu Bei's grandfather Liu Xiong and father Liu Hong both served as clerks in the local commandery office. Liu Bei grew up in a poor family. To support themselves, Liu Bei and his mother sold straw-woven mats. So, Liu Bei was full of ambition from childhood: he once said to his peers, while under a tree that resembled the imperial chariot, that he desired to become an emperor. In 175, his mother sent him to study with a distinguished man from Zhuo Commandery.
One of his fellow-students was Gongsun Zan, whom Liu Bei admired and treated as an elder brother, another was his kinsman Liu Deran. The adolescent Liu Bei was said to be unenthusiastic in studying and displayed interest in hunting and dressing. Concise in speech, calm in demeanour, kind to his friends, Liu Bei was well liked by his contemporaries. In 184, at the outbreak of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Liu Bei became much more politically aware and called for the assembly of a militia to help government forces suppress the rebellion. Liu Bei received financial contributions from two wealthy horse merchants, Zhang Shiping and Su Shuang, rallied a group of loyal followers, including Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Jian Yong. Liu Bei led his militia to join the local government forces led by Colonel Zou Jing and participated in battles against the rebels. In recognition of his contributions, the Han central government appointed Liu Bei as the Prefect of Anxi County, one of the counties in Zhongshan Commandery.
The Han central government decreed that any official who had gained the post as a reward for military contributions was to be dismissed and Liu Bei resigned the post after attacking the inspector who had attempted to formally dismiss him. He travelled south with his followers to join another militia in fighting the Yellow Turbans remnants in Xu Province; as a reward for his contributions, the Han central government appointed him as the Prefect and Commandant of Gaotang County. Liu Bei never participated in the Campaign against Dong Zhuo, although he is said to have raised troops for the purpose. Instead, he opted to move north to join the warlord Gongsun Zan. In 191, they scored a major victory against another warlord Yuan Shao in their struggle for control of Ji Province and Qing Province. Gongsun Zan nominated Liu Bei to be the Chancellor of Pingyuan State and sent him to join his subordinate Tian Kai in fighting Yuan Shao's eldest son Yuan Tan in Qing Province. In 194, Yuan Shao's al
Zhongshan was a small state that existed during the Warring States period, which managed to survive for 120 years despite its small size. Its origins and ethnic identity are a matter of contention between scholars; the origin of the Zhongshan state is disputed. Zhongshan occupies the same place as the earlier Xianyu state; the two countries, being Zhongshan and Xianyu, have a muddled history, as the term Zhongshan begins somewhat before the term Xianyu ends. Zhongshan, meaning central mountains, is first mentioned in 506 BC, by a Jin minister, as a hostile neighboring state; the last mention of the Xianyu, meanwhile, is in 489 BC, when Zhao Yang, a Jin minister, leads a military campaign against them. There are three reasons Zhongshan is considered a continuation of Xianyu: Both had similar relationships with Qi and Jin, the two states were located in exactly the same place, there is no historical record of Xianyu being conquered, it is considered possible that the name change marks a transition from a loosely-controlled confederation of Di tribes, to a more centralized state.
One challenge to this theory of continuation is that after Zhongshan was conquered in 407-406, by the state of Wei, Marquess Wen of Wei gave the land to his eldest son Ji, the state was based upon this. However this theory is contradicted by a line of the Shiji, in which it states that the new state of Zhongshan came some time after this; some theories postulate that this new state was a continuation of the earlier Xianyu, others saying the ruling family of the new Zhongshan came from a line of the Zhou. Because of this, there is no definitive answer as to the ethnicity of Zhongshan, or to the ethnicity of the royal family; the first major event of Zhongshan was the capital being placed at Gu, in 414 BC, during the reign of Duke Wu, traditionally considered the founding of the country itself. Soon after this, in 407, Zhongshan was conquered by Wei troops, led by general Yue Yang, it is said that Yue Yang's son was living in Zhongshan when war was declared, was taken hostage. He was paraded before Yue Yang in order to weaken morale, but when this failed, they killed his son and made him into stew, before sending part of said stew to Yue Yang, which he drank in front of the Zhongshan messenger to show resolve.
Shortly after, in 381, Zhongshan won its independence back. Zhongshan invaded Yan in 315, after Yan's king, Zi Kuai, abdicated his throne to his chancellor, Zi Zhi. Qi and Zhongshan both separately invaded Yan. Zhongshan seized copper mines in this war, which had belonged to the Donghu, but, taken by Yan in war. Zhongshan's troops were led by Sima Zhou. In 306, after the state of Zhao, under King Wuling of Zhao, finished a military reform, adopting the uniforms and tactics of the Hu nomads, they invaded Zhongshan. After ten years of war Zhao annexed them in 296. Zhongshan was unusual in that despite being such a small nation, it managed to survive for a long time, considering that many countries and small, of the Warring States period lived short lifespans. Guo Songtao credits this to shrewd diplomacy, saying: "In the rises and falls of the Warring States, Zhongshan seems to be the unnoticed hub and lynchpin." Despite their small size, they demonstrated impressive strength. In 323 BC, Zhongshan formed a vertical alliance, allying itself with Wei, Han and Yan, in order to defend themselves against larger states like Qin, Qi, Chu.
This alliance allowed the states in it to claim the title of wang. King Wei of Qi, who had 11 years earlier taken the title of wang for himself, objected to this, saying: "I am ashamed to be a king if the ruler of Zhongshan can be one too", he went on to say: "I am a state of ten thousand chariots and Zhongshan is one of a thousand chariots, how dare she assume a title the equal of mine?". An important part of this statement can be seen in his reason for denouncing them claiming kingship is not that they were non-Chinese, which would likely have been mentioned in the insult if it were true; the fact that Zhongshan was invited to the five state alliance is seen as another proof of them being Chinese, as a barbarian country would never be invited to such an alliance. After this, King Wei of Qi asked Wei and Zhao to join him in attacking Zhongshan, to force them to abolish their title of wang, King Cuo sent an advisor, Zhang Deng, to these states, sowed discord and distrust amongst them, no such alliance was formed.
The state of Zhao surrounded Zhongshan entirely, with only Zhongshan's northeastern border being outside of Zhao. For this reason, they were considered to be a "disease in the belly" by the Zhao kings. From 307 BC on, Zhao attacked Zhongshan every year, until, in 301, the king of Zhongshan was forced to take refuge in Qi. During this time Qi invaded Chu. Due to commonality of finds of iron agricultural tools in the southern part of Zhongshan, compared to the commonality of animal skeletons in the northern part, it is believed that the southern land's economy was agriculture, the northern land's was from animal husbandry. Zhongshan used, it is known that these co
Chinese surnames are used by Han Chinese and Sinicized ethnic groups in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines and among overseas Chinese communities. In ancient times two types of surnames existed, namely xing or clan names, shi or lineage names. Chinese family names are patrilineal. Women do not change their surnames upon marriage, except in places with more Western influences such as Hong Kong. Traditionally Chinese surnames have been exogamous; the colloquial expressions laobaixing and bǎixìng are used in Chinese to mean "ordinary folks", "the people", or "commoners". Prior to the Warring States period, only the ruling families and the aristocratic elite had surnames. There was a difference between clan names or xing and lineage names or shi. Xing were surnames held by the noble clans, they are composed of a nü radical, taken by some as evidence they originated from matriarchal societies based on maternal lineages. Another hypothesis has been proposed by sinologist Léon Vandermeersch upon observation of the evolution of characters in oracular scripture from the Shang dynasty through the Zhou.
The "female" radical seems to appear at the Zhou period next to Shang sinograms indicating an ethnic group or a tribe. This combination seems to designate a female and could mean "lady of such or such clan"; the structure of the xing sinogram could reflect the fact that in the royal court of Zhou, at least in the beginning, only females were called by their birth clan name, while the men were designated by their title or fief. Prior to the Qin dynasty China was a fengjian society; as fiefdoms were divided and subdivided among descendants, so additional sub-surnames known as shi were created to distinguish between noble lineages according to seniority, though in theory they shared the same ancestor. In this way, a nobleman would hold a xing; the difference between xing and shi was blurring for women since the Spring and Autumn period. After the states of China were unified by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, surnames spread to the lower classes. Many shi surnames survive to the present day. According to Kiang Kang-Hu, there are 18 sources from which Chinese surnames may be derived, while others suggested at least 24.
These may be names associated with a ruling dynasty such as the various titles and names of rulers and dynasty, or they may be place names of various territories, towns and specific locations, the title of official posts or occupations, or names of objects, or they may be derived from the names of family members or clans, in a few cases, names of contempt given by a ruler. The following are some of the common sources: Xing: These were reserved for the central lineage of the royal family, with collateral lineages taking their own shi; the traditional description was what were known as the "Eight Great Xings of High Antiquity", namely Jiāng, Jī, Yáo, Yíng, Sì, Yún, Guī and Rèn, though some sources quote Jí as the last one instead of Rèn. Of these xings, only Jiang and Yao have survived in their original form to modern days as occurring surnames. Royal decree by the Emperor, such as Kuang. State name: Many nobles and commoners took the name of their state, either to show their continuing allegiance or as a matter of national and ethnic identity.
These are some of the most common Chinese surnames. Name of a fief or place of origin: Fiefdoms were granted to collateral branches of the aristocracy and it was natural as part of the process of sub-surnaming for their names to be used. An example is Marquis of Ouyangting, whose descendants took the surname Ouyang. There are some two hundred examples of this identified of two-character surnames, but few have survived to the present. Names of an ancestor: Like the previous example, this was a common origin with close to 500 or 600 examples, 200 of which are two-character surnames. An ancestor's courtesy name would be used. For example, Yuan Taotu took the second character of his grandfather's courtesy name Boyuan as his surname. Sometimes titles granted to ancestors could be taken as surnames. Seniority within the family: In ancient usage, the characters of meng, shu and ji were used to denote the first, second and fourth eldest sons in a family; these were sometimes adopted as surnames. Of these, Meng is the best known.
Occupation From official positions, such as Shǐ, Jí, Líng, Cāng, Kù, Jiàn, Shàngguān, Tàishǐ, Zhōngháng, Yuèzhèng, in the case of Shang's "Five Officials", namely Sīmǎ, Sītú, Sīkōng, Sīshì and Sīkòu.
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.
Rebellion of the Seven States
The Rebellion of the Seven States or Revolt of the Seven Kingdoms took place in 154 BC against China's Han dynasty by its regional semi-autonomous kings, to resist the emperor's attempt to centralize the government further. At the beginning of the Han dynasty, Liu Bang--Emperor Gaozu of Han—created princely titles for many of his relatives in certain territories that accounted for between one-third to one-half of the empire; this was an attempt to consolidate Liu family rule over the parts of China that were not ruled directly from the capital under the commandery system. During the reign of Emperor Wen, these princes were still setting their own laws, but in addition they were minting their own coins and collecting their own taxes. Many princes were ignoring the imperial government's authority within their own principalities; when Emperor Jing became emperor in 157 BC, the rich principality of Wu was domineering. Emperor Jing had an inimical relationship with his cousin-once-removed Liu Pi, Prince of Wu, the nephew of his grandfather, Han founder Emperor Gaozu.
The principality of Wu enjoyed, among abundant copper and salt supplies. When Emperor Jing was still Crown Prince Qi, Liu Pi's heir apparent Liu Xian had been on an official visit to the capital Chang'an and they competed in a liubo board game. During arguments over the game, Liu Xian offended Crown Prince Qi, who threw the liubo board at him, resulting in his death. Liu Pi hated Emperor Jing for causing the death of Liu Xian. Emperor Jing's key advisor Chao Cuo suggested using as excuses offenses that the princes had committed, ignored by Emperor Wen, that he cut down the sizes of the principalities to make them less threatening. Chao explicitly contemplated the possibility that Wu and other principalities might rebel, but justified the action by asserting that if they were going to rebel, it would be better to let them rebel earlier than when they might be more prepared. Emperor Jing, in 154 BC, thus ordered the following punishments: He carved out the commandery of Donghai from the principality of Chu, based on Liu Wu, Prince of Chu, having sexual relations during the mourning period for Empress Dowager Bo.
He carved out the commandery of Changshan from the Principality of Zhao, based on an unspecified offence. He carved out six counties from the principality of Jiaoxi, based on Liu Ang, the Prince of Jiaoxi, embezzling funds from the sales of titles intended for paying border patrol costs. Carving out the commanderies of Huiji and Yuzhang from the Principality of Wu, based on various offences by Liu Pi, the Prince of Wu. In response to these actions, Liu Pi organized a rebellion; the seven participating princes were: Liu Pi, Prince of Wu. Liu Wu, Prince of Chu Liu Ang, Prince of Jiaoxi. Liu Xiongqu, Prince of Jiaodong. Liu Xian, Prince of Zichuan. Liu Piguang, Prince of Jinan. Liu Sui, Prince of Zhao. Two other principalities—Qi and Jibei --agreed to join but neither did. Liu Jianglü, Prince of Qi, changed his mind at the final moment and chose to resist the rebel forces, Liu Zhi, Prince of Jibei, was put under house arrest by the commander of his guards and prevented from joining the rebellion. Three other princes were persuaded to join but either refused or did not join: Liu An, Prince of Huainan Liu Ci, Prince of Lujiang Liu Bo, Prince of Hengshan.
The seven princes requested help from the southern independent kingdoms of Donghai and Minyue, the powerful Northern Xiongnu. Donghai and Minyue sent troops to participate in the campaign, but the Northern Xiongnu, after promising to do so, did not; the seven princes claimed that Chao Cuo was aiming to wipe out the principalities and that they would be satisfied if Chao were executed. The four principalities on the periphery of Qi divide it. Zhao forces headed west but stayed within the borders to wait for Wu and Chu forces, which were considered the main force in the rebellion. Liu Pi, the Prince of Wu, had several strategies suggested to him that he considered:- A suggestion by Tian Lubo to have two main forces—one to be led by Liu Pi himself, attacking the Principality of Liang, one to be led by Tian that would head west by the Yangtze River and the Han River to make a surprise attack directly on the capital Chang'an. A suggestion by a Gen. Huan to ignore all cities on the way and leapfrog to attack Luoyang and seize the plentiful food and weapons supply near Luoyang.
A suggestion to concentrate the forces to destroy it first. Liu Pi accepted the final suggestion, concerned that if he gave Tian a large force he might rebel, that Huan's plan was too dangerous. Wu and Chu forces therefore concentrated against Liang, against Emperor Jing's younger brother Liu Wu, the prince of Liang, whose forces suffered devastating defeats, forcing Liu Wu to withdraw to his capital of Suiyang, which the Wu and Chu forces proceeded to besiege. In accordance with instructions left by Emperor Wen, Emperor Jing commissioned Zhou Yafu as the c
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