Taipei to stick with Hanyu Pinyin, despite pressure from central gov’t: mayor

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (Hǎo Lóngbīn / 郝龍斌) said on Sunday that Taipei will not switch from Hanyu Pinyin to Tongyong Pinyin, despite pressure from the Ministry of the Interior to do so.

Questioned by reporters at the wedding of Taiwan’s top “Go” player, Hau stressed that the Taipei City Government would continue to use Hanyu Pinyin despite the Interior Ministry’s push as it’s the most commonly used pinyin system in the international community.

“Taipei City has decided to continue using Hanyu Pinyin to connect with other countries in the world,” Hau said.

He suggested that the Interior Ministry consult with linguistic scholars and learn to respect their expertise when standardizing the romanization of Taiwan’s place and street names.

Yes, the MOI would do well to follow this advice — as would the Taipei City Government itself. Taipei’s stupid @#$%! InTerCaPiTaLiZaTion and lack of apostrophes are significant errors. And sometimes the lack of tone marks is a problem. And don’t get me started about Taipei’s “nicknumbering” system.

Taipei City is the only city in Taiwan that has adopted Hanyu Pinyin.

This is incorrect. Several cities around Taiwan use Hanyu Pinyin, such as Xinzhu and Taizhong, though none as consistently as Taipei.

TVBS is reporting that Taipei will be forced to switch, which I very much doubt will happen — certainly not before the presidential election in March 2008.

Nèizhèngbù de xíngzhèng mìnglìng yīdàn bānbù, bùyòng sòngjiāo Lìyuàn tóngyì, Táiběi shìzhèngfǔ zhǐyǒu zhàobàn de fèn, 5 nián qián, Mǎ Yīngjiǔ qiángshì zhǔdǎo Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, ràng Táiběi Shì chéngwéi tā yǎnzhōng, gēn guójì jiēguǐ de dūshì, 5 nián hòu, Nèizhèngbù dìngdìng fǎlìng qiǎngpò zhíxíng, gěi le yī jì huímǎqiāng.

TVBS also gives the cost for changing Taipei’s signs at NT$8 million (US$250,000).

The TVBS video gives lots of pictures of signs.


5 thoughts on “Taipei to stick with Hanyu Pinyin, despite pressure from central gov’t: mayor

  1. Heh, it was dead when it was launched, but the signs are still up. Can’t remember which road I was on recently when I noticed that there was no “English” (i.e. Pinyin) name besides the “nicknumber’. Now that’s going to be very annoying if you can’t read the Chinese characters.

  2. Unfortunately not. It just goes in and out of various states of dormancy. For example, years after the nicknumbering system was introduced — i.e., what should have been enough time for even politicians to have figured out it was a stupid idea — the Taipei City Government started putting up new address plates on buildings. In general, this is a good thing, because the new address plates are larger than the old ones (which could be hard to read from the street, especially on major streets where the sidewalks are wider) and because they have romanization in addition to Hanzi.

    Or at least some of them have romanization. Most of the newish signs on buildings on major roads have the nicknumbering system and no romanization. To make things worse, these signs have no mention (outside of Chinese characters) of sections (duan) or even of east/west, north/south. Thus, for example, “8 4th Blvd” could describe no fewer than nine different addresses (No. 8 Zhongxiao West Road Sec. 2, No. 8 Zhongxiao West Road Sec. 1, No. 8 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 1, No. 8 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 2, etc.). For an example of how nicknumbering has crept into areas beyond just street signs, zoom in on Microsoft’s Live Search map of Taipei; note how most major roads are identified by nicknumbers only — no names.

  3. > And don’t get me started about Taipei’s “nicknumbering” system.

    Apparently it is going into the trash can of history, thank goodness.,4521,11050601+112008051300397,00.html

    中國時報 2008.05.13 




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