Pinyin, mispronounced Mandarin linked: Malaysian official

Although announcements in Mandarin are being mispronounced in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, that’s only to be expected because the announcers are paid little and must use Hanyu Pinyin, according to Malaysian Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.

Bah. Pinyin doesn’t take long to learn. Moreover, it’s simple and accurate. The problem is simply a lack of training. Hanyu Pinyin is probably more closely phonetic than the spelling systems of any of the other languages the airport personnel would have to deliver announcements in.

Here’s the article:

Announcements in Mandarin pronounced wrongly at KL International Airport should be tolerated if the information is accurate, said Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.

He said information should include time of flight arrivals and departures and gate numbers.

Lim attributed the wrong pronunciations to the announcers, who relied on hanyu pinyin (romanised Chinese).

“It is not easy to get good announcers given the low pay and long working hours,” he told reporters after opening a workshop organised by the Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement here yesterday.

Lim said RTM also has a similar problem in getting newsreaders fluent in dialects.

Sin Chew Daily reported last week that wrong pronunciations at KLIA had not only drawn laughter but also made some tourists irritated.

source: Info more important than how you say it, Star, May 14, 2006

via ver 3.0

One thought on “Pinyin, mispronounced Mandarin linked: Malaysian official

  1. Maybe you should write a letter to the newspaper. This doesn’t ”necessarily” look like a dig at pinyin- could just be an extra detail the writer through in without realizing the possible negative light it shed on Pinyin. It could be pointed out that non-native speakers who can’t read Pinyin adequately probably can’t do any better for characters.

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