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Fw: Re: Completely OT: Romanization of Chiense speech

Begin forwarded message:

Sorry, I was tired last night and didn't realize that I hadn't posted
this to the list. If you are really interested in this sort of thing,
there are plenty of chinese associations/societys around that are
perfectly approachable. I have been an amateur sinologist for some
years, and it has certainly relaxed some paradigms in my mentality.

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 21:33:52 +0800
From: "David Palmer." <davidpalmer@westnet.com.au>
To: Alex Malinovich <demonbane@the-love-shack.net>
Subject: Re: Completely OT: Romanization of Chiense speech

On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 02:49:20 -0500
Alex Malinovich <demonbane@the-love-shack.net> wrote:

> I apologize in advance as this is about as OT as you can get, but I've
> found a great diversity of backgrounds and languages on this list so
> I'm hoping someone might have more information on this for me as most
> of the stuff I've found through googling seems to be geared towards
> linguists and not casual users.
> So, getting onto the actual question. This all started with the search
> for the proper pronunciation of "chi". (As in life-force, etc.)
> Whether it's "che(eseburger)" or "key". In looking around, I've
> learned about Pinyin, Wade-Giles, Lessing-Othmer, EFEO, et al.
> romanizations. Unfortunately, I've learned a whole lot of nothing. I'm
> finding "chi" referred to as "qi" and as "chi" with no consensus on
> either pronunciation or spelling. I think a big part of the problem is
> that I'm finding a number of old English references done in the Yale
> style, which has very conflicting characters with Pinyin.
> So the first and easy question is, what's the story on ch/qi. And
> second, is there any easy way to tell which romanization is being used
> for a particular word in order to more easily figure out the
> pronunciation? (I'm guessing that it's "che(eseburger)" as "q" in
> Pinyin seems to be a ch and not a k sound.
> Also, any simpler references to more on the subject would be
> appreciated. I'm actually finding all of this very interesting. :)
> -- 
> Alex Malinovich
> Support Free Software, delete your Windows partition TODAY!
> Encrypted mail preferred. You can get my public key from any of the
> pgp.net keyservers. Key ID: A6D24837

Hello Alex,

Yes, you've got it right. A soft sound as in cheeseburger.
With the 'q', this comes from the earlier attempts to anglicise the
northern mandarin, of which pinyin was the common dialect promoted by
the Maoist revolution. But where you see it, it is pronounced the same
Ki is a hard sound and is associated with the japanese equivalent of


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