Is Tongyong Pinyin easier to type than Hanyu Pinyin?
Supporters of Tongyong Pinyin have claimed that it is easier to type in their preferred romanization system than in Hanyu Pinyin. Moreover, they have claimed that this is Tongyong's greatest advantage over Hanyu.
Do these claims have any merit? In examing this, we should of course ignore all syllables spelled the same in Tongyong Pinyin and Hanyu Pinyin. That leaves 83 syllables spelled differently. First, let's examine those differently spelled syllables that have the same numbers of letters in both Tongyong Pinyin and Hanyu Pinyin.
|fong||feng||Tongyong||slightly easier to alternate between hands|
|jyong||jiong||Hanyu||ji easier than jy, in which the j finger has to shift|
|ci||qi||Tongyong||left middle finger down easier than left pinky up|
|cyong||qiong||neither||c is easier than q, but i is easier than y|
|wun||wen||Tongyong||slightly easier to alternate between hands|
|wong||weng||Tongyong||slightly easier to alternate between hands|
|si||xi||Tongyong||easier to use left ring finger in initial position (s) than to shift it down (x)|
|syong||xiong||neither||s is easier than x, but i is easier than y|
|jha||zha||Hanyu||easier to alternate between hands and fingers (left pinky to right index finger) than shifting the right index finger|
At this point the score is a tie: 19 points for Tongyong Pinyin vs. 19 points for Hanyu Pinyin, with two entries not given to either side. Thus, from the examination so far, Tongyong Pinyin offers no advantage over Hanyu Pinyin in typing.
We began this examination by looking at the 40 syllables Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin spell (differently) with the same number of letters.
Now let's turn to the 43 syllables that Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin spell with different numbers of letters. While we're on the subject, note how, when examining the differences between Tongyong Pinyin and Hanyu Pinyin, more syllables have letter counts that are different (43) than are the same (40).
|chih||chi||Hanyu||Hanyu Pinyin requires fewer keystrokes than Tongyong Pinyin|
* ü is typed by using the letter v, which is but one keystroke.
Here, in every instance, Tongyong Pinyin takes more keystrokes than Hanyu Pinyin to type. So that's 43 more points in favor of Hanyu Pinyin and 0 in favor of Tongyong Pinyin.
Winner: Hanyu Pinyin by a factor of more than 3 to 1.