signage snafus in Taizhong/Taichung/Taijung…

An observant reader, Sonarchic, sent in the top two photos below, both of which were taken in Taizhong (Taichung), Taiwan. The first one is especially interesting in that what would be written zhong in Hanyu Pinyin is here written two different ways: chung and zhueng.

sign with what is written Z-H-O-N-G in Hanyu Pinyin spelled here both C-H-U-N-G and Z-H-U-E-N-G

Here’s an older street sign.

sign with what is written Z-H-O-N-G in Hanyu Pinyin spelled here J-U-N-G (MPS2)

I’ve appended two photos I took myself in Taizhong about two years ago.

The first was taken on a highway near Taizhong. Since highways are under the central government’s jurisdiction, these signs are in Tongyong Pinyin.

sign with what is written Z-H-O-N-G in Hanyu Pinyin spelled here J-H-O-N-G (Tongyong Pinyin)

And here is a relatively new street sign with Taizhong itself. Note the use of Hanyu Pinyin, which, despite reports to the contrary, is not limited in Taiwan to Taipei City. I don’t know what “C1″ refers to; I certainly hope it’s not a variant of Taipei’s idiotic nicknumbering system. Note also how any mention of the road’s sections (duan) are omitted from the romanization — very bad. Moreover, it has always seemed to me that Taizhong’s street signs suffer from too much information: just look at all those numbers. That can’t be good for readability.

sign with what is written Z-H-O-N-G in Hanyu Pinyin actually spelled Z-H-O-N-G

So, to wrap up, these signs in and near Taizhong, give us:

All that for a simple zhong (?).

6 thoughts on “signage snafus in Taizhong/Taichung/Taijung…

  1. Yes, all the signs for the Zhong-Zhang EXPY have been written as Zhueng
    I don’t know what came into the mind of the guy who did that : for all other transcriptions one can understand where it comes from (chung, jung, jhong, zhong… why not it sort of sounds like the real thing), but “zhueng” ???? where the hell did the guy hear a “ueng” sound ?

  2. The zhueng spelling likely comes from someone trying to create Pinyin from zhuyin fuhao (bopomofo), which would write zhong as ???, which could be seen as zh + [w]u + eng.

    I’ve met zhuyin supporters who like to call Hanyu Pinyin quirky but who have a hard time recognizing that spellings such as ??? are not exactly intuitive.

  3. Could the “C1″ be coordinates that are listed on maps at bus stops? I hadn’t noticed them before, and I was unable to find any related info on the City Gov’t web site, but that’d be my first guess.

    Speaking of “too much information,” how about that mini “~1″ on that same sign?

  4. Pingback: Pinyin news » Gaoxiong (Kaohsiung) MRT

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