PRC’s official rules for Pinyin: 2012 revision

In 2012 China revised its official guidelines for writing Pinyin.

These are the Hanyu Pinyin Zhengcifa Jiben Guize (official translation: “Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography”), promulgated as GB/T 16159-2012.

Among the changes are that some alternate forms are now allowed, for example “wo de” (my) may also be written as “wode”. I’m not thrilled about that; but I know some people will welcome this.

I’ve added a few notes, such as for errors in the original document.

So far I have made only a version in so-called simplified Chinese characters. But eventually I’ll add one in traditional Chinese characters and an English translation.

front cover of GB/T 16159-2012 Pinyin guidelines

5 thoughts on “PRC’s official rules for Pinyin: 2012 revision

  1. Pingback: PRC’s official rules for Pinyin: 2012 revision — in traditional Chinese characters | Pinyin News

  2. Notes by the webmaster of

    [a] Corrected from “yier-jiu (??·?)” in the original document.
    > Just wonder why the correct form is not “yi’er-jiu (??·?)”

    [b] Corrected from “qiankemimeimiao (??·?/?)” in the original document.
    > Why correct it? It seems that in physics textbooks published in Mainland China, the unit, if written in Hanzi, is always ??·?/?. ????? is just how the unit is read.

  3. Sorry about the scrambled Hanzi and diacritics. That’s not something I can fix yet.

    a. That’s a tricky one, something I debated a bit myself. But since in Mandarin the numbers are all said as separate units (e.g., er-er-ba for Feb. 28) I opted for this. At any rate, “yier” is simply a non-starter.

    b. Thanks for the info on the standard form in China. The thing about qiankemimeimiao is that if it’s written in the pattern of “XX·X/X” then the Pinyin should also have a slash (/). Then we’d have, most likely, “qianke mi/miao”. I could have corrected it to that instead; but it seems a bit less transparent. YMMV.

  4. I have a comment about your HTML version.

    Under 6.3.1, The lines right after “诗歌每行开头的字母大写。例如:” (“The first letter of each line of a poem is capitalized. For example:”) is a poem.

    «Yǒude Rén» (《有的人》) – title of poem
    Zāng Kèjiā (臧克家) – author of poem
    Yǒude rén huózhe, (有的人活着,) – poem line 1
    Tā yǐjīng sǐ le; (他已经死了;) – poem line 2
    Yǒude rén sǐ le, (有的人死了,) – poem line 3
    Tā hái huózhe. (他还活着。) – poem line 4

    So the original document is not wrong. The line “诗歌每行开头的字母大写。例如:” and the two lines that follow HAVE TO come directly after the line “Wǒ ài wǒ de jiāxiāng. (我爱我的家乡。)” This is intended.

    And under 5.3, “gūihuà” should be “guīhuà”

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