This morning I spotted something rare: official, government signage with tone marks. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall ever seeing this before in Taiwan. (It’s not so rare in China.)
There were three signs together, posted horizontally above the southeastern-bound lanes of a highway running through Zhonghe, near Taipei.
They read as follows:
Please note several points:
- These are in Tongyong Pinyin rather than Hanyu Pinyin (in which they would be written Xiùlǎng Qiáo, Xīndiàn, and Jǐngpíng Lù, respectively.
- They are written in a mix of romanization and English, which is typical in Taiwan. Although I don’t favor this style, it is so pervasive here that changing it is a relatively low priority compared with other romanization problems.
- The use of tone marks differs in Tongyong Pinyin and Hanyu Pinyin, with first tone not being marked in Tongyong.
I suspect these signs are one-offs, not, um, signs of things to come. But I’ll keep my eyes open.
The tone marks on the signs were done poorly, with the marks being too small and placed far above the relevent vowels. The letter i, for example, should lose its dot when it takes a tone mark.
(I’ve adjusted the second image to move the signs closer together.)
I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. They were taken through the dirty windshield of a speeding bus.