Taizhong street signs are ‘wushasha’

This isn’t much of a story, really. But since it talks, however vaguely, about the messy romanization situation in Taizhong and since I haven’t put up anything lately in Pinyin itself, I decided to go ahead and post it.

Just don’t expect any useful news herein, unless you’d be surprised to hear that Taizhong’s street signs are a mess.

Táizh?ng Shì lùpái su? sh?yòng de Y?ngwén p?ny?n qi?nqíb?iguài, p?ny?nf? jìy?u T?ngyòng, Hàny?, zhùy?n fúhào dì-èrshì, W?itu?m? p?ny?n, d?ng, jiù y?u mínzhòng xiàng b?nbào bào liào, zh?ch?ng zhèxi? lùpái ràngrén kàn de “wùshàsha,” wàiguó gu?ngu?ngkè gèng zh?néng g?n dèngy?n.

Y? Táizh?ng Shì nánq? W?-quán Nánlù [i.e, "the Five Branches of Government South Road"] de x?n-jiù lùpái láishu?, jiù y?u lùpái shì c?iyòng W?itu?m? p?ny?n, y?nc? “?” zì sh?yòng chuan, ér g?ngg?ng wáng?ng de x?nshì lùpái “?” zì zéshì sh?yòng cyuan, shìwéi T?ngyòng P?ny?n, rán’ér xiànzài Táizh?ng Shìzhèngf? z?oy? quánmiàn g?iyòng Hàny? P?ny?n, “?” zì y?ngg?i shì quan cái zhèngquè.

Lìngwài, zài nánq? x?ng dàlù de lùpái, jiù y?u lùpái “?” zì de p?ny?n wéi hsing, shì sh?yòng W?itu?m? p?ny?n, rìqián g?i lùduàn y? g?nghuàn x?nshì lùpái shàng, shìy? Hàny? P?ny?n ji?ng “?” zì p?ny?n wéi xing, dàn li?ng ge lùpái d?u xuánguà zài lùk?u, ràngrén kàn de “wùshàsha.”

Zh?nduì Táizh?ng Shì lùpái su? sh?yòng Y?ngwén p?ny?n gèzì bùtóng de qíngkuàng, Táizh?ng Shìzhèngf? Ji?ot?ngchù ji?ot?ng gu?huà k? bi?oshì, zài gègè niándài su? x?ngjiàn de lùpái sh?yòng bùtóng de p?ny?n f?ngshì, cái huì zàochéng xiànj?n hùnluàn de qíngkuàng, mùqián Táizh?ng Shì y?jing quánmiàn c?iyòng Hàny? P?ny?n, wèile ji?jué c? y? wèntí, yóu Táizh?ng Shìzhèngf? d?shì f?zh?n ch?y? “chéng-xi?ng x?nf?ngmào” de j?ngfèi, jìnxíng t?ngy? lùpái p?ny?n de g?ngzuò. Zài W?-quán Nánlù de x?n lùpái f?ngmiàn, yuánb?n y?ngg?i sh?yòng Hàny? P?ny?n, dàn chéngb?osh?ng què f?sh?ng cuòwù, mùqián y?jing y?oqiú g?ijìn; zhìyú zài x?ng dàlù f?ngmiàn, y? huì y?oqiú chéngb?o yèzh? ji?y? g?izhèng.

source: Lù míng p?ny?n luànz?oz?o — kàn dé rén wùshàsha (??????? ??????), Zìyóu Shíbào (Liberty Times), March 21, 2009

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 (?).

Taiwan city and county names

As most readers of this site know, Taiwan has approached romanization and signage with a sloppiness that sometimes beggars belief. Although the situation has improved somewhat this decade, many errors remain. And even where there are not errors, people still must often contend with a variety of romanization systems.

Thus, my list of Taiwan place names may come in handy.

I made the list more than a year ago but put it on another website and never drew much attention to it. Now I’ve moved it here to Pinyin Info, where it may do more good.

The list, which is arranged by county and then by city, gives Chinese characters, Hanyu Pinyin (both with and without tone marks), Tongyong Pinyin (ugh!), and a commonly seen older form (usually bastardized Wade-Giles).

I have not bothered to include MPS2, because it is seen more on street signs than on maps. And, anyway, it’s on its way out. I strongly recommend using Hanyu Pinyin.

Taichung/Taizhong busstop names

Dan of Jidanni.org has come up with a list of Taizhong’s busstops in the mixed style of Hanyu Pinyin and English that has become standard in Taiwan and is becoming so in China.

I hear that this list may actually be implemented! If so, that would be much to Taizhong’s credit, as local governments elsewhere in Taiwan are often not so responsive.

Here are the lists:

Good work, Dan!

Just out of curiousity, I removed the English and numerals from the list and then compared how it would be written in Hanyu Pinyin (the international standard) vs. Tongyong Pinyin (Taiwan’s international embarassment). This revealed that 337 of 633 entries would be written differently in Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin, giving a difference rate of 53.2 percent.